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Olympic Men’s Hockey Tournament PRIMER: Everything you need to know!

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The Olympics are here, and the Men’s Tournament is SOON!

How to Watch:

All games will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and across all NBC affiliated networks, such as NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, Olympic Channel (check your cable package, it’s probably in there somewhere) and USA Network. If you have the NBC Sports app, you can also watch the coverage there.

Am I gonna be up that late to watch all of this?:

Not gonna lie, you’re probably gonna miss a few games, but luckily the scheduling is such that many of the games happen just as you’re waking up or on your way/at work. It’ll be something to keep on in the background while you do your thing for the day!

Group A Preview:

Teams:

Preview:

Let me set the stage for you here, and I’m sure it’ll be a tough stretch for you to grasp:

Canada’s probably going to win this division.

The best team possible to face them at this point is the Czech Republic, who might be the closest thing to a balanced competitor, and they still have somewhat glaring holes in their roster that Canada just doesn’t have. Switzerland has the goaltending and defensive acumen to try and play upset, but hold limited offensive options to do so without a little puck luck and someone like Jonas Hiller playing out of their goddamn minds, and South Korea just recently earned promotion to Division 1 international hockey, so the phrase “Just happy to be here and be the home country” will become especially precious to them.

Group B Preview:

Teams:

Preview:

Russia’s gonna try and do their damnedest to win this division, even if they can’t hoist the Russian flag to do so.

They’re sending the best of the best that they can that doesn’t involve an NHL player and have cleaned out the best in the KHL to do it. Pavel Datsyuk, Vadim Shipachyov, and Ilya Kovalchuk are just some of the names that the Russian Federation has been able to pull onto a squad that, for reasons outside of their control, will not be able to represent their country, and the athletes were understandably kinda pissed off about that.

Their best spoiler? The US of A and...a lot of misfit toys.

Brian Gionta was called out of retirement to captain this team full of AHL superstars and international talents, with Boston Bruin prospect Ryan Donato a special addition that means, even tangentially, you have a reason to root for the United States in this tourney. The American goaltenders are...Good? Ryan Zapolski is currently rocking a .932 SV% in the KHL, Brandon Maxwell has a .921 SV%, and even David Leggio is doing alright in the German Elite League.

Regardless, the US is going to have to play lights out hockey and even more so when it comes to a game against Russia. They did not come to play games here.

Slovakia and Slovenia, unsurprisingly, are going to suffer badly from not having any NHL talent; not the least of which being that Boston currently has two players that Slovakia would absolutely like to have in any international tournament if they could. At least they won’t have to suffer the indignity of wearing those disastrous Nike uniforms any longer than they have to.

Group C:

Teams:

Preview:

IN THE RED CORNER, WEIGHING IN AT 173,860 SQUARE MILES, WITH NO LESS THAN THREE OR FOUR FORMER NHL PLAYERS SUCH AS JHONAS ENROTH...THE KINGDOM OF SWEEEEDEN!

AND IN THE BLUE CORNER, WEIGHING IN AT 130,666 SQUARE MILES, WITH FORMER NHL PLAYERS SUCH AS JOONAS KEMPPAINEN, AND FUTURE BRIGHT SPOTS LIKE EELI TOLVANEN...THE REPUBLIC. OF. FIIIIIIIINLAND!

Also, Germany and Norway are here too!

Basically, assume Sweden vs. Finland is appointment viewing again, and that’ll be it. But hey! Maybe Germany could surprise!

As could South Korea!

PRELIMINARY ROUND SCHEDULE, START TIMES (in EST), AND CHANNELS:

EDIT: In a fit of exhaustion, i completely forgot what month it was. The necessary parties involved in this heck-up were flogged for their incompetence.

Feb 14th:

USA vs. Slovenia, NBCSN, 6:30am

OAR vs. Slovakia, USA Network, 7:10am

Finland vs. Germany, CNBC, 10am

One of USA vs. Slovenia or OAR vs. Slovakia will be replayed at 5pm

Feb 15th:

Norway vs. Sweden, NBCSN, 2:40am

Canada vs. Switzerland, NBCSN, 7:10am

Czech Republic vs. South Korea, USA Network, 7:10am

USA vs. Slovakia, CNBC, 10am

One game will be chosen for re-play at 5pm.

Feb 16th:

OAR vs. Slovenia, NBCSN, 2:40am

Finland vs. Norway, USA Network, 7:10am

Sweden vs. Germany, NBCSN, 7:10am

Canada vs. Czech Republic, NBCSN, 10:10am

Replay of one game at 7pm

Feb 17th:

Switzerland vs. South Korea, NBCSN, 2:40am

USA vs. OAR, NBCSN, 7:10am

Slovakia vs. Slovenia, USA Network, 7:10am

Germany vs. Norway, NBCSN, 10am

Replay of a select game 7pm

Feb 18th:

Czech Republic vs. Switzerland, NBCSN, 2:40am

Canada vs. South Korea, USA Network, 7am

Sweden vs. Finland, NBCSN, 7am

Replay of a select game 7pm

Wait, are you actually going to watch all this?:

Not all of it, but probably a good 2/3rds of it.

What the hell is wrong with you?:

My circadian rhythm is eternally messed up so GET OFF MY BACK

We’ll catch up after the preliminary round, until then, I wish all the teams good luck, and go for Gold!