Preds featured in all three Olympic games Saturday…

Starting at 2:00pm Central today, the first of four Nashville Predator Olympians will take the ice when the puck drops for Sweden.

Patric Hornqvist, the Preds leading goal scorer, will don the Tre Kronor of Sweden while trying to dispose of Belarus this afternoon. He didn’t collect a point in Sweden’s win over Germany but did have two shots in just 12:29 of ice time.

The trick for the Swedes will be not to overlook the Belarussians as their arch-nemesis Finland waits in the wings.

Sweden is considered a gold medal favorite. They’re stacked with 19 NHLers (including one of the leagues best goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist) and 1 future Hall of Famer in Peter Forbserg. By contrast, Belarus has just two NHL players. If the Belarussians want so much as a prayer in this game, they’ll need their goaltender Andrei Mezin to be as stellar as he was against the Swedes in the 2002 Salt Lake City games.

Mezin turned aside nearly 50 Swedish shots, helping his team to a 4-3 win eight years ago. Belarus was winless in the preliminary round but managed to knock off the talented Swedes in that opening qualifying round game.

Hornqvist, Forbserg and company can be seen on MSNBC.

The second Olympic game on the bill features another familiar face. Martin Erat leads the Czech Republic against Latvia.

The Czech’s are considered a second-tier team while Latvia is considered a long shot to medal. Seemingly, with Tomas Vokoun in goal for the Czechs, a second win is within reach. Latvia got steamrolled by the high-flying Russians in their first game 8-2, scoring their two goals in a meaningless third period.

Erat finished the game with just one shot on goal.

The second game is slated for a 7:00pm face-off and can be seen on CNBC.

The third game, the night cap at 11:00pm, has Finland and Germany playing in each of their second games of the Olympics. Marcel Goc and Alexander Sulzer, like Hornqvist and Erat, was held off the scoresheet in his opening game but looks to contribute at some point as he’s skating on a line with fellow NHLers Marco Sturm of the Boston Bruins and Jochen Hecht of the Buffalo Sabres.

Germany fell 2-0 in their opener against the Swedes while Finland took care of Belarus 5-1.

The late game can be seen on MSNBC.

What a difference a day makes. All four Predators players in action today are looking for their first point in these Olympics while the Preds who’ve played on opposite days, Ryan Suter (USA), Shea Weber (Canada) and Alexander Radulov (Russia), all have at least one point.

Hopefully Hornqvist, Erat, Goc and Sulzer can get on the board today.

4 Comments

  1. Matt Reitz

    February 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Something I was thinking about while watching the Czechs play the other day. First, sometimes I forget how good Vokoun is because he’s buried on the Panthers…

    But over the last 2 and a half seasons, the Preds have had Tomas Vokoun, Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis… and as it stands right now, only ONE of them will probably be around next season. And no one has a clue who it will be. I thought thought it was interesting that there are teams out there that are desperately searching for a goaltender and the Preds have had THREE great ones recently.

    • Cellblock 303

      February 21, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Don’t forget Chris Mason from that list!

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