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(Chicago Tribune)

With 10 Blackhawks and 149 NHL players taking part in the Sochi Games, the fellas decided this would be a perfect time to get together for a roundtable “discussion” of the internet variety. I think Mighty Mike is the most excited out of any of us given that he finally gets to watch NHL-level competition without having to stay up until all hours of the night. The rest of us? Well, that’s why they invented DVR.

Let’s get to it:

Who will win the gold medal and why?

Mike: I’m going to make myself popular and say Canada. There’s a shocking amount of firepower there, even without Stamkos, which also extends to their Defensive corps: when you can ice Keith, Doughty, Weber and Subban you are bringing some serious Offensive upside. Obviously Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, St Louis and Tavares are all-world elite forwards and the supporting cast is terifying too. I’d expect Drinky Price to do the heavy lifting in goal and he’s in wonderful form, despite the Habs’ struggles of late. Bob and Flopper are more-than capable backups. I really don’t think there’s anyone to touch them, if I’m honest. But I tend to get these things wrong, too.

Adam: Canada, because they’re better than everyone else. Their B-Team would probably make it to the medal round. If the Canadians fail to make the gold medal game, it would be a major upset.

Nakis: Canada. This #analysis is based on that fact that their roster seems to have better players on it than any of the other teams participating in the tournament. They’re so deep they¬†aren’t even dressing Matt Duchene. They’re so deep that they literally buried Marty St. Louis. They’re so deep that Roberto Luongo doesn’t even matter.

Bartl: Let’s take a quick look at some of the players left off Team Canada.

Claude Giroux (11th in NHL with 58 points), Joe Thornton (2nd in NHL with 48 assists), Tyler Seguin (24 G, 32 A), Logan Couture (14 G, 21 A in only 43 games due to injury), Eric Staal (14 G, 31 A).

You could create a new country like Peter Griffin, use these guys as five of your top six regardless of position and you’ll have a potential medal contender on your hands. Not to mention, it’s highly doubtful any of them would have been left off Team USA.

I will take Canada.

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