Olympic rosters were finalized this morning as teams around the world prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia next month. The games will be made up of the best athletes around the world in their respective sports. One of the biggest draws in all of the games will be both the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey tournaments. On the Men’s side, the 12 teams will be made up of National Hockey League players and other superstars from other leagues around the world.
Five different Bruins will represent five different countries. Patrice Bergeron, (Canada) Tuukka Rask, (Finland) Zdeno Chara, (Slovakia) Loui Eriksson (Sweden) and David Krejci (Czech Republic) will be heading to Russia to try and capture a Gold Medal.
Bergeron was a member of the Canada squad that took home Gold on home ice in 2010 when the Canadians defeated Team USA in what was an epic Gold Medal game. Bergeron will have a bigger role on what is a very deep Canada team this time around.
Rask will head to Sochi battling with Stars’ goalie Kari Lehtonen and Sharks’ goalie Antti Niemi for the starting goalie spot on Team Finland. Niemi and Rask have been two of the league’s best so far this season. Rask should be the starter for Finland when they kick off their Olympic games February 13 against Austria.
Bruins’ Captain Zdeno Chara will represent Team Slovakia for the third time in his career and will represent Slovakia as their Captain for the second straight time. Slovakia had themselves a surprising performance in 2010 as they finished fourth. Chara will be joined by fellow NHL stars like Blackhawks’ forward Marian Hossa, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Blue Jackets’ forward Marian Gaborik.
Despite his recovery from his second concussion of the season, Eriksson was named to Team Sweden for the second time in his career. Sweden boats a very deep roster and is a favorite to take home a medal. Sweden will kick off the Olympics with a tilt against the Czech Republic.
Speaking of the Czech Republic, Krejci will represent his native land for the second time. Krejci had two goals and an assist in five games during the 2010 Winter Games. Krejci joins former Bruins Jaromir Jagr and Tomas Kaberle in Sochi. The Czech’s are another deep team and another team who can easily bring home a medal.
Joining the five Bruins players in Sochi will also be Claude Julien who will serve as an assistant coach for Canada and Peter Chiarelli who is serving as a member of Canada’s advisory team.
For predictions that no one cares about here are my three medal winners.
Bronze: United States