Olympic hockey 2014 schedule: USA, Canada men kick off tournament

Bruce Bennett

Men's Olympic hockey began on Wednesday, but things really get going with four games on Thursday. The United States and Canada, silver and gold medalists in Vancouver, are both in action, as are the hometown Russians.

SB Nation 2014 Winter Olympic Coverage

The men's tournament in the Olympics is arguably the best hockey tournament in the world, and while it had a bit of a soft opening on Wednesday with Sweden defeating the Czech Republic and Switzerland squeaking by Latvia, it really gets started Wednesday with eight more teams in action.

Let's look at the full schedule and discuss the highlights.

Schedule

  • 3 a.m. Women, Japan vs. Germany
  • 3 a.m.: Men, Finland vs. Austria (NBCSN, Sportsnet)
  • 7:30 a.m.: Men, Russia vs. Slovenia (MSNBC, CBC)
  • 7:30 a.m.: Men, United States vs. Slovakia (NBCSN, TSN)
  • 12 p.m.: Women, Sweden vs. Russia (MSNBC, TSN 2)
  • 12 p.m.: Men, Canada vs. Norway (USA Network, CBC)

All times Eastern. All games are streamed via NBC or CBC, depending on your location.

Top storylines
  • Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene will be healthy scratches for Canada, if you were curious about how much depth that team has on its roster.
  • Team USA will start Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in goal ahead of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. Miller's been the better goalie this NHL season, but Quick always seems to show up big in the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- you know, the big stage. We'll see if that carries over in the Olympics, but expect Miller to get his chance soon enough.
  • Sweden and Russia battle for the top spot in women's Group B action, the final day of group play for the women. The playoff round kicks off over the weekend.
  • Can Austria play spoiler? They didn't qualify for the 2010 Olympics, but NHLer Michael Grabner leads a team that's hoping to be a surprise in Sochi.
  • The pressure on Russia to win at home in Sochi has been a very big talking point entering these Games. They open play against a Slovenia team that SB Nation has ranked last in the tournament, so maybe it's not the best barometer of what to expect come the medal round. But Russia's performance in the opener has

Stick with SB Nation for full coverage, all day long, of all the Olympic hockey. Follow us at @SBNOlympics and @SBNationNHL for live updates.

More on the Winter Olympics:

SB Nation's Winter Olympics medal tracker | Meet Team USA

Shaun White fails to capture gold | Women make halfpipe podium

What you need to know about curling | Bobsled, luge and skeleton

Miracle Put on Ice: 1984 US hockey team never had a chance

Hockey: Men’s schedule | All 12 men’s rosters | USA roster analysis

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