The men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Games is expected to be the most thrilling and popular even at the Olympics. We’re breaking down all 12 teams until the tournament begins on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Slovenia competes in Group A in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Here are five reasons why they could totally medal in Sochi:
Slovenia makes its first trip to the Olympics in Sochi, beating out Denmark and Belarus for the honor. Good for you, team whose abbreviation confuses us with Slovakia!
2. Rhymes With ‘Flopitar’
We’d love to say something inspiring like “Slovenia is so much more than Anze Kopitar,” but then we’d be lying. The Los Angeles Kings star is the team’s most legitimate threat, and will look to make an impact in his first Olympics.
3. Robert Kristan
Expected to be Slovenia’s top goalie at the Olympics, Kristan played four seasons with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL before moving on to HK Nitra in Slovakia. And should the opportunity arise, he knows his way around a goalie fight.
4. The Rodmans
Marcel and David Rodman had to do some heavy lifting without Kopitar on the national team in the last year, with David scoring both goals in the game that qualified Slovenia for the Sochi Games.
As head coach Matjaz Kopitar said of Slovenia’s qualification for the postseason: “It’s a miracle.” They’ll need a few more of them to be anything but an also-ran in Sochi.
C’mon, Can These Guys Actually Medal?
No, but just making it to Sochi is a seminal moment for hockey in the nation.