SB Nation's 2010 Olympics Hockey Preview

Over the next two weeks, SB Nation will go team by team in the NHL and give our predictions on who has the best shot at representing their country in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Each day we'll feature three teams whose respective websites will give their thoughts on who is on their way to Vancouver, and who will be staying behind.

Atlanta Thrashers - Bird Watcher's Anonymous

Pack Your Bags

Ilya Kovalchuk is a first line player for the Russian Team. The only thing keeping him from Vancouver would be an injury. He won gold at the most recent World Championships and would certainly love to repeat that performance with fellow countrymen Ovechkin and Malkin.

Christoph Schubert will attend given the paucity of German born NHL players. To be honest I don't know anything about German players playing in Europe, but looking at their list of Olympic candidates, I would expect him to be in their top four defenseman.

The Falconer goes on to say that while Maxim Afinogenov has had a great start to the season, he still has a long way to go before getting a chance with Team Russia.

Anaheim Ducks - Anaheim Calling

Pack Your Bags

Ryan GetzlafThe Regina-bred centerman missed Orientation Camp after offseason hernia surgery, but he has looked tip-top opening the year in Anaheim.  Canada will need his directly proportional size and skill up the middle.

Scott Niedermayer: Already packed.

Boston Bruins - Stanley Cup of Chowder

Pack Your Bags

Zdeno Chara, Slovakia
Chara is a lock to be on Slovakia's Olympic roster. This will be the second time that the towering defenseman has been on the Slovakian Olympic team, having made the roster in 2006.

Tim Thomas, United States

Thomas was one of 3 goaltenders to be invited to Team USA's Olympic orientation camp this summer. He will be competing with Buffalo's Ryan Miller and LA's Jonathan Quick. Right now, Ryan Miller looks to be the front-runner for the starting job, but Thomas certainly has a shot to be the #1 netminder for Team U.S. in Vancouver. More than likely both Thomas and Miller will see some ice time during the tournament. This would be Thomas' first Olympic appearance and according to the goalie a life-long dream come true.

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