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Greg Wyshynski

The Hockey Story: Do-or-die rounds begin for Canada, Czechs

Fourth-Place Medal

The Hockey Story sets the scene and the storylines for the day's Olympic ice hockey action, in a handy and easy-to-follow numerical format.

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1. Can Sidney find linemates who work?

Team Canada is entering its fourth game of the Olympic tournament, a qualification round bye game against Germany (7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST; U.S. TV: CNBC). Sidney Crosby is now skating with his fifth new linemate in Eric Staal, joining a previous Crosby linemate in Jarome Iginla.

Crosby has five points, three goals and two points, so this is as much an attempt to get others going as it is about creating a dominant offensive line. The trickledown is interesting, as Rick Nash – who played an awesome game against the Americans – joins Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. That's one to watch.

2. Luongo gets the nod

As we said earlier on Fourth Place Medal: This is Roberto Luongo's moment. The Vancouver Canucks goalie has been handed the reins to this team, and it'll be Luongo who leads it to gold if that's its ultimate fate.

3. Czechs seek rebound against Latvia

The Czechs were outplayed by the Russians in their rivalry game Sunday, looking fairly overmatched. Latvia (10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST; U.S. TV: CNBC) offers a chance for them to get back on track quickly, as they've been one of the slowest-starting teams in the tournament. Keep an eye on defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who has five points and has quietly been one of the tournament's top players.

4. Whom will the U.S. draw?

Switzerland, which already lost to the U.S., and Belarus, a physical team that played two tough games in the prelims, face off for the right to play the Americans in the quarterfinals (3 p.m. EST/noon PST; U.S. TV: USA Network).

5. Vikingstad!

This might be the last chance to view the awesomeness that is Tore Vikingstad on Team Norway. The tough forward scored a hat trick against the Swiss, and has been one of the toughest players in the tournament. Norway probably isn't beating Slovakia (midnight EST; 9 p.m. PST; U.S. TV: CNBC, joined in progress), so enjoy the Vikingstad while you can.

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