Olympic Hockey Day 9 Preview and Open Thread: Medal Rounds, Baby

3dflags-fin1-2_medium3dflags-usa1-2_mediumGame 1: #1 United States vs. #4 Finland - 3 PM - NBC: Why is neither of these games starting at a normal time? Bizarre.  In any event, the Americans, the only group winners left in the tournament, play Finland at 3 PM EST on NBC, a game that should be annoyingly like the Switzerland game in all likelihood.  The Finns looked lost against Sweden with their huge forechecking pressure, so hopefully these American coaches we pay with our tax dollars (do we?) know to do that again.  This should be a real tight scoring game, with probably three goals maximum handed out the whole way.  If the Switzerland game made you nauseous, this one will be worse.  Enjoy!

3dflags-svk1-2_medium3dflags-can1-2_mediumGame 2: #6 Canada vs. #7 Slovakia - 9:30 PM - CNBC:  Why is this game on so late? Unclear.  It's gonna be like 10:30 PM in Sidney Crosby's weird Nova Scotia time before this gets started.  But when it does start, look for Canada to keep rolling offensively, especially against a non-elite goaltender like Jaroslav Halak, who has probably been more lucky than good in this tournament.  Everything may change for them when they get to a Ryan Miller or Miikka Kiprusoff, but tonight should be another high-scoring deal.  Mike Richards nets at least four, you can count on that.

75% of these players will leave here with a medal.  Not bad odds if you can get them.  Hopefully the odds are 100% of you commenting your heart out here now that it's crunch time.  Leave it all out there--you don't want to have to tell your grandchildren they can't play with your medal because they didn't give one for fourth back then.

(Animated flag images by 3DFlags.com)

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