When the NHL decided not to send their own players to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea it made predictions for who would win Olympic Gold go out the window.
After the rosters began to be announced for the Olympics, Canadian hockey fans looked at the roster of players and collectively as a country muttered “Who are these guys?” The reality is, team Canada which is a powerhouse in hockey, is left basically fielding a roster of nobody’s and has beens. In my humble opinion any hopes that this team can come up with an Olympic medal are very low.
Right now the betting odds for Canada to win Gold at the Olympics are +300 at our partner site Bovada. Hmm +300? That means there are both delusional Canadians that think that their hockey superiority is so great that their rag tag team of players could win and that there are people out there that are blindly betting on team Canada simply for their proven history in the past.
Will Team Canada Win Group A?
Canada lucked out having the Republic of Korea in their group (so did everyone in group A)…well that’s a win for sure. Next is Switzerland which should be a win you would think but in the past the Swiss teams have played a solid defensive game and the goalies were spectacular keeping the games close vs Team Canada. Realistically, the Czech Republic should be the only threat for a loss to Team Canada but I expect they will beat them in a close game.
So as far as Group A goes, yes I got Canada winning that group fairly easily. Right now they are -225 to win the group and I see those odds getting to maybe -300 as the Olympics get closer.
Will Canada Win Mens Hockey Gold Medal?
After Group A comes the real challenge when they will face teams like the US, Sweden and the favorites to win the gold medal Olympic Athletes of Russia who are right now at +200 odds to win it all.
Russia is hungry for an Olympic gold medal to say the least after a terrible showing in their home country for the 2014 winter olympics. They have tons of talent from the KHL to fill a solid lineup with and most of them are guys that have played together for many years now. They overall likely have the most depth of top notch "amateur" players to choose from.
Sweden is another team that at +400 odds has a solid enough team to win gold especially with the future #1 NHL draft pick in 2018 Rasmus Dahlin anchoring their defense. Like Russia they have players from the Swedish Elite league that have all played together for years and are already a cohesive unit before any pre-tournament practice.
The US team I see being much like team Canada, a bunch of old NHL players that never were quite good enough to stay in the big leagues or their glory days have well passed them by. Although many players still play in the KHL or Swedish league, they don’t play together like the Swedes and Russians do which puts teams like Canada and the US at a disadvantage.
So Back to Team Canada
I see no other route for Canada besides having to go through either Russia or Sweden (or maybe both). That does not bode well for Canada who will have players who have been scattered all over Europe and the KHL still living out their dream. There is no one on their roster that can take over a game scoring wise and be a game changer. Their best 1, 2 punch is likely the combo of Derek Roy and Mason Raymond but that doesn't exactly in-still much confidence to me in a high scoring team. Their average age is 31 and their likely starting goalie is Ben Scrivens, yikes.
Sorry Canada…there will be no gold medal in men’s hockey at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics for you to celebrate. I think Sweden will be the ones claiming gold this year.
Best Value - Bet Sweden To Win Gold