When the United States and Canada face off in the Olympics, it's worth watching. When it's for a gold medal, it's very worth watching. And when it's for the gold medal in women's ice hockey, where the two teams have fomented a Celtics-and-Lakers-esque rivalry for the ages, by god, it's the most necessary viewing of the Olympics yet.
Team USA is seeking vengeance for a 3-2 loss in preliminary play, and unfortunately for the Americans, it's indicative of a historical trend. Canada has won three straight gold medals in women's ice hockey after the USA won the first event in Nagano in 1998. Two of the Canadians' three gold medals have come directly against the Americans, so make no mistake, these two squads rule the rest of the world.
Coverage starts at noon ET on NBC.
The women's individual skating competition draws to a close (and a set of medals) with the free skate on Thursday, and though there's little drama as to who the three medalists will be after a pretty decisive short program, leader Yuna Kim of South Korea holds only a slim margin over third place. Fourth place belongs to American Gracie Gold, but she's about seven points back from third place, so ... that's not going to happen.
Figure skating coverage gets underway at 9:30 a.m. on NBC Sports Network.
It's on tape delay, but if you want to watch the last, best women's curling match of the Olympiad, you should watch CNBC come 5 p.m. for the gold medal curling match between Sweden and Canada. Then again, the Americans finished in dead last place in the round robin, so does that make curling stupid for the next four years? It might. Watch anyway though; that makes you a rebel, and rebels blow up Death Stars.
And if you're a primetime Olympic watcher instead of a "middle of the morning on a weekday" Olympic viewer, obviously there's nothing wrong with that; it probably means you have a job, and that's a good thing. Anyway, come 8 p.m., you can watch coverage of the women's free skate again, plus some hot, awesome freestyle skiing action between the women's halfpipe and the men's ski-cross. We should probably rename that Ski-pocalypse or something. There will be carnage; that's all we can promise.