Olympic Hockey Day 10 Preview and Open Thread: Someone Leaves With Nothing

OK, maybe nothing is a bit harsh.  All of these Olympians will have left with something more than they came with, be it one of those sweet Latvia pins, a story of a glorious play made against the best in the world, or maybe just a small scrape from shoving down one of those pesky female fans.

But since there are only three types of shiny metal, only three teams leave with medals.  Tomorrow they battle for the nicer color, but tonight they just battle for getting one at all.  Desperation should make for good watching.

3dflags-svk1-2_medium

3dflags-fin1-2_medium

Game 1: #4 Finland vs. #7 Slovakia -10 PM EST: Of the two, Slovakia has definitely had the more impressive tournament for the most part.  They beat both Russia and Sweden, whereas Finland's only real marquee victory came against the Czech Republic.  And in the semifinals Slovakia was much sharper, blowing golden chance after golden chance to tie the Canadians late before falling 3-2.  Finland, on the other hand, was down 6-0 immediately and never had a chance. 

The Slovaks, who were not really expected to make any noise whatsoever at this tournament, have already made so much that they may not feel as much need to prove themselves in this game.  For the aging Finns, this will likely be the last Olympic game for Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, and even Kimmo Timonen.  So they could theoretically leave it all out there while the Slovaks have already left it all out there.

But if they don't play as scared as they did early vs. Canada, the Slovaks should take this one fairly easily.

Prognosticate and comment away tonight--you need to make sure you're in peak form for tomorrow's epic.

(Animated flag images by 3DFlags.com)

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