VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Welcome to hockey heaven: three grudge matches, two of which we're doing live chats for, including the opener between Russia and the Czech Republic (3 p.m. EST/noon PST).
As we said in The Hockey Story, Russia has moved Pavel Datsyuk to a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov, while Evgeni Malkin lines up with Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals. The Russians have to figure out their chemistry problems there – especially on the power play, where it's definitely been too many cooks in the kitchen.
As for the Czechs, they've arguably gone from dark horses to medal favorites with their play in the prelims. A win over Russia would cement that.
Please join yours truly and the usual gang of knuckleheads from Yahoo! Sports' Puck Daddy hockey blog and Fourth-Place Medal Olympic blog for complete coverage. Tell a friend, and, as always, bring the funny.