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Olympic Hockey Preview and LIVE Thread: Feb 15

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Preliminaries end for Group C, and the US is back in action with Group A.

Did I leave the gas on?
Did I leave the gas on?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

WARNING: This is the LIVE thread for today's games. If you're waiting to watch, reading the comments is strongly discouraged because spoilers.

Boy oh boy is this a big day!

All times are listed in US Eastern.

Slovakia (0-0-0-1) v. Slovenia (0-0-0-1), men's prelims - Group A

LIVE: 2:45 am, Sportsnet, because you GOTTA have pregame I guess.
LIVE: 3:00 am, NBC Sports
LIVE: 4:00 am, CBC,
which I'm guessing is joined in progress after women's super-G finishes up.
no tape delay

Slovakia has a lot to prove against the hapless Slovenians after the 7-1 drubbing they took at the hands of Team USA. They expect better, and have exactly one (1) game to figure it out before they take on the Russians. Meanwhile, Team Slovenia may not be so hapless after all, after they put a legit scare into the host nation before finally falling 5-2.

Game of the Day: United States (1-0-0-0) v. Russia (1-0-0-0), men's prelims - Group A

LIVE: 7:00 am, NBC Sports, again with the pregame.
LIVE: 7:30 am, CBC
TAPE DELAY: 6:00 pm, NBC Sports

Here it is, your first marquee matchup of the men's Games. Two sides with high-powered offenses and some maybe-to-definitely-suspect defense square off to probably decide who comes out as the top team from Group A. Paul Stastny and Phil Kessel were outstanding for the US against Slovakia, while the Russians really didn't see any particular standouts in their game with Slovenia on opening day.

In a game that could come down to goaltending, it's Jonathan Quick against Semyon Varlamov. Over the long term the edge goes to Quick, but in a best of one? Coin flip. Watch this one, you guys, it's gonna be a good one. If you don't I'm calling you Komrade forever.

UPDATE: Bobrovsky starts.

Sweden (2-0-0-0) v. Latvia (0-0-0-2), men's prelims - Group C

LIVE: 11:45 am, Sportsnet 1
LIVE: 12:00 noon, NBC Sports
TAPE DELAY: 5:00 pm, NBC Sports,
but it's only listed for an hour.

Well... who knows what to expect here, really? Latvia's Edgars Masalskis has shown he can come up with a huge game--well, at least a huge 59:51.3--and Sweden ran up against that goal-scoring issue against Switzerland, whom they only managed one squeaky goal against. The Swedes are damaged goods up front, having lost a Sedin, Johan Franzen, and now Henrik Zetterberg to injury. With Gabriel Landeskog on a top line with Alex Steen it's hard not to expect some output eventually, though. Sweden come in the heavy favorites of course but all I'm saying is this one may not be a total blowout.

Czech Republic (1-0-0-1) v. Switzerland (1-0-0-1), men's prelims - Group C

LIVE: 12:00 noon, USA Network, TSN
no tape delay

This is a hugely important game for both sides because they're likely playing for 2nd in Group C. They're tied in points and they're tied in goal differential. It comes down to this game. Winner will seed 4th-6th for the qualifying round--okay probably 6th but that's the range--and the loser will seed 7th-9th. (Unless Latvia upset Team Sweden and then that's no moon, it's a space clusterfuck.) That's the difference between playing someone like Norway and someone like Finland to make the quarterfinals.

Switzerland have struggled to score goals, but they haven't allowed them either. The Czechs are decidedly average in both categories. Should be two desperate teams playing desperate hockey. I'm looking forward to it.

Women's Quarterfinals

If round robin play doesn't do it for you, the women have entered their knockout stage. Winners today move on to the semi finals to play Canada and the United States and are guaranteed a medal game. Losers face 5th-8th place seeding games, and nobody cares about those, especially not the players stuck in them.

Finland v. Sweden - 3:00 am, MSNBC, I don't see it listed for Canadian TV but check your listings.
Russia v. Switzerland - 7:30am, MSNBC, Sportsnet