And then there were two ....

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OK ... just waiting for the hardcore bettors to come forward ...

Still waiting ...

Oh, yeah, with the United States and Canada out, no one cares.

Guess again! (And for those counting, I went 3-1 in quarterfinal picks.)


1. SWEDEN-CZECH REPUBLIC: For New York Rangers fans, this is going to look real familiar. The Czechs feature NHL scoring leader Jaromir Jagr, Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka. Jagr may still be feeling some after-effects of a check into the boards by Finland's Sami Salo in round-robin play that led to nine stitches.

Sweden, though, has rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who has played in major tournaments before. He is Sweden's answer to a young Patrick Roy. And it doesn't matter how much offense you have -- a good goaltender wins out each time. If Peter Forsberg plays -- and he has been rested for this -- Sweden should move on. ... SWEDEN 3, CZECH REPUBLIC 1.

2. FINLAND-RUSSIA: This shapes up as the best match of the Olympics. The two highest-scoring teams also feature two of the best defenses. Finland's Antero Niittymaki and Fredrik Norrena combined for four shutouts while Evgeni Nabokov has three shutouts.

Finland, though, plays more of a team game with four players in the top 10 in scoring -- Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Jere Lehtinen and Olli Jokinen. Russia only has Pavel Datsyuk in the top 10. The Finns are playing for pride, never having won a gold and not having won silver since 1980.

Russia has won 12 medals, including a record eight golds, since 1924. They won't get a ninth. ... FINLAND 2, RUSSIA 1

1 comment:

kansas brat said...

You get extra points if you could spell all the players names without verification first. ; )

PS: I got your story links. I went home sick today. But will pass them along tomorrow. If I don't kill myself before then. Why is it too much to ask to be able to breathe while trying to sleep?!?!?