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Twenty bold predictions for the Olympic hockey tournament

Fourth-Place Medal

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Starting Tuesday, it's time for Olympic hockey. That long break is great news for a lot of guys in the NHL that are trying to work through injuries (I'm lookin' at you, Tomas Holmstrom) or people like me, whose favorite team seems to go out of its way to infuriate you.

And it's also great news for those clueless members of the sports media who will for once be forced to discuss hockey as though they somehow care about or understand it, and in doing so make themselves look quite foolish.

But as we all know, this is a time for predictions, and as the internet's most brilliant prognosticator (I'm currently on pace to finish about 16 for 20 on my NHL season predictions), I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring with some daring predictions as to how the next two weeks will go.

Of course, I'm not interested in where everyone ends up at the end of the tournament, because that isn't as fun as examining how everyone will get their feelings hurt along the way.

1. Ryan Miller will be the best player at the Games now that he doesn't have to defend 3-on-0 breaks.

2. Peter Forsberg's foot will actually fall off at some point. Adrian Dater will steal it and keep it under his pillow when he sleeps.

3. Tyler Arnason will continue to show up for his Dinamo Riga practices, and one day work up the courage to mention to Martin Prusek that the rink is awful empty these days. Prusek will say "Shut up, Arnason, and get me another Gatorade."

4. Mike Green will make it to Vancouver after all, only as Jaromir Jagr's hair adviser.

5. Sid Crosby wins two medals, bronze with the men's team and gold with the women's. (That joke's for you, Pens fans!)

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6. The Oilers' two representatives, Russia's Denis Grebeshkov and Slovakia's Lubomir Visnovsky, will actually find out what it feels like to win a game and experience happiness.

7. Several Finns will silently wonder what the hell Janne Niskala is doing there.

8. Vancouver cab drivers breathe a sigh of relief when Patrick Kane tells the media he was thrilled to learn his 20 American cents are worth about 21 Canadian cents.

9. Ron Wilson will have some amount of success as a coach. No I'm just kidding.

10. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will regale the Norwegian team with stories about what Jan Hejda is really like.

11. Switzerland will shock the world. By revealing that Hnat Domenichelli is still alive.

12. No one that works at the Montreal Gazette will be able to make eye contact with the German team.

13. The Russian power play will run around 45 percent and will actually make one opponent's goaltender cry.

14. The Swiss team is accused of trying to slow down the game because they use the NHL ice to their advantage and don't leave the neutral zone. Tip your waitresses, try the steak.

15. The Czech Republic and Slovakia turn heel, reunite as the superpower tag team Czechoslovakia, and hit Canada with a steel chair. They will be managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

16. Sweden will lose its first game, prompting Rangers fans to demand that they trade Henrik Lundqvist.

17. The Canadian team will disappoint its home country, and all members will be forced by a new law to carry pieces of the defective pillar from the opening ceremonies as a mark of shame.

18. Every Canuck at the Games will annoy their teammates by starting all restaurant suggestions with, "That place? You don't wanna go there. Let me take you somewhere better ..." We get it, Christian Ehrhoff, you live here.

19. It will be universally agreed upon that Norway defenseman Tore Vikingstad has the coolest name ever.

20. The entire tournament will be canceled in favor of ice dancing because more women watch the Olympics than any other sport.

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