With just two days until the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden and only hours until the bronze medal game, that doesn’t leave much time for wondering what the odds are in each game.
Online oddsmaker Bovada.lv has come through and, for entertainment’s sake, they’ve got the North American teams looking good to win against their Scandinavian opponents.
Bovada lists Canada as a 2/1 favorite to win gold against Sweden. The odds on the Swedes winning are a bit longer at 33/20.
Both teams head into the game on Sunday (7 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC) undefeated and both teams are coming off one-goal wins against rivals. Team Canada defeated Team USA 1-0 while Sweden beat Finland 2-1.
In the bronze medal game, Bovada lists Team USA as a 19/10 favorite, virtually 2/1, to beat Finland. The Finns, meanwhile, are 8/5 to beat the United States. Those two face off Saturday (10 a.m. ET on NBCSN) for the third-place hardware.
If betting on a team isn’t your thing, the over/under on number of total goals scored in each games is 4.5. With how goaltending has been all tournament, good luck betting the over.
Team Canada goalie Carey Price more than did his job against Team USA stopping 31 shots in a 1-0 shutout victory.
While there was debate heading into the Olympics whether it would be Price or Roberto Luongo to start in goal, Price has proven to be the man.
As Canada coach Mike Babcock told Olympic News Service, Price’s work is what carries the team.
“He was great. Hockey’s just like everything else, you build a resume over time and it gives you confidence,” Babcock said. “He’s big and square and soft and he gives the team confidence. It’s not like there wasn’t chances tonight, there were chances both ways, but the goalies were just so good it was hard to get any pucks past them.”
Price’s efforts in the Olympics have Canada in position to win a second straight gold medal in men’s hockey. While it was Luongo who took care of business in 2010, Price’s work has been outstanding in Sochi and has them feeling good about taking gold again.
With how well Price has played, it’s hard to imagine there was even a debate in the first place, but that’s what having a wealth of talent on the roster will do.
The semifinal matchup between Canada and the United States is one that will grab the attention of the hockey world, but all eyes might be on Chicago Blackhawks teammates who will square off against each other.
Team Canada center Jonathan Toews says Canada-U.S. is now the preeminent rivalry and as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune shares, he says it’s not exactly a peaceful battle between the two.
“It has become even a bigger rivalry than Canada-Russia. There’s a lot of animosity, a lot of feelings like there’s something to prove between both teams,” said Toews. “It’s for the chance to go and play for a gold medal. It doesn’t get any better than that, playing for your country and going against the United States. There are millions of kids that grow up dreaming of this.”
Toews’ comments come after there was a very minor dust-up of opinions from Team USA’s Patrick Kane who gushed about the play of Phil Kessel.
As Tim Wharnsby at CBC Sports shares, Toews had a bit of fun with that statement himself.
Toews added with a smile, “He’s all right, [but] that Kessel guy is even better.”
All the talk goes away at Noon ET on NBCSN when the two sides square off for a spot in the gold medal game.