Russia vs United States Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/15/14
Russia (1-0-0) vs United States (1-0-0)
Olympic Hockey: Saturday, February 15, 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Russia -1.5 See the Latest Odds
While it is inevitable that we see preliminary round games between two of the tournament’s biggest draws we are lucky to see what could very well be a gold medal preview between the United States and Russia on Saturday.
The Americans head into their marquee show down with Russia on Saturday coming off a statement victory over the Slovaks as they waxed them to the tune of a 7-1 line that squashed any doubt of their talent head into these Games. The US is certainly a co-favourite with a number of other teams including the Russians who they take on today and with the Olympics being played in Sochi and Men’s hockey beings the primary focus you can be sure the crowd will be very hostile in this one. The US has one of the most balanced teams offensively and to me are right behind Canada in that regard and have a blue line that has a ton of youth and some absences that some called into question but so far they have played very well. Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick seems to be the option going forward as 2010 hero Ryan Miller has been relegated to the bench for the time being but Quick will be on a short leash and if he can’t get the job done today against Russia we could very well see Miller against Slovenia.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Russia couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tournament as their first shot on goal on their first shift of the tournament saw a beauty snipe from Alex Ovechkin singe the top right corner leaving the crowd in a state of mayhem. However, the Russians tried to be a little too fancy throughout most of their game against Slovenia and only managed a three goal victory where the final two markers were well into garbage time. Ovechkin stated after the contest they can’t take anyone lightly and that they need to stay focused throughout a full 60 minute stretch if they’re to contend with gold and if they slip for one second against a team like the US they’re going to be in big trouble. This is to me is going to be one fantastic game and one I will definitely be waking up for as a fan of hockey and even if you’re not you should watch this as the spectacle has the makings of something special. I have a play on the side in this game in the Premium Area but for my free play I will take the over. Both of these teams have the ability to score in bunches and both teams’ weaknesses are their blue lines. Goaltending can only take you so far and while the under has been the play in most games so far I think this one is a barn burner.