Hello from Sochi. Just thought I’d pass along the tentative practice plans for the American and Canadian men’s teams, per the Olympic media website. As you probably know, the NHL charters leave for Russia on Sunday. Both squads have booked ice times for Monday, the day of their arrival. The Canadians have one at 7:15 p.m., the Americans a bit later at 9 p.m.
The two teams also plan to practice Tuesday and Wednesday. They both play their first games Thursday.
I doubt these sessions will be particularly strenuous, but the coaches may want to run through some basic system stuff, and the players will want to find their legs after the long flight, and also get used to the big ice and their new teammates.
It’s only practice, but I’m sure there will be some fun things to watch for, particularly the line combinations and defensive pairings. I’d also be willing to bet the coaches will tell reporters something along the lines of, “Don’t read anything into these,” as if they just pulled them out of a hat.