Winter Olympics hockey 2014: Line combinations take shape during men's practice

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The men's national teams hit the ice for the first time in Sochi.

SB Nation 2014 Olympics Preview

With the NHL on hiatus and the hockey Olympians all settled in Sochi, the Olympic hockey teams held their first practices on Monday. It was the first chance for the new teammates to get acquainted and the first chance for fans and media to get an idea of what the line combinations will be throughout the tournament.

After sifting through tweets from media in Sochi, we've compiled a full list of line combinations for each team that practiced on Monday. We'll update throughout the afternoon as more information becomes available.

United States

USA's lines are from's Shawn Roarke. The defensive pairings are from Sports Illustrated's Sarah Kwak.


James van Riemsdyk - Joe Pavelski - Phil Kessel

Zach Parise - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Patrick Kane - Ryan Kesler - Dustin Brown

Max Pacioretty - Paul Stastny - Ryan Callahan

Dan Bylsma is going with some interesting combinations here. Any line with Ryan Kesler and Dustin Brown should be considered your third line, so why is Patrick Kane buried that low? The top line of van Riemsdyk, Pavelski and Kessel will be exciting to watch.

Derek Stepan and Blake Wheeler were used as extra forwards.

Defensive pairings:

Cam Fowler - Ryan Suter

Ryan McDonagh - John Carlson

Kevin Shattenkirk - Paul Martin

Brooks Orpik - Justin Faulk

Suter's defensive prowess should make up for any mistakes from the offensively-minded Fowler. Overall a nice mix of offensive and defensive paring combinations from USA's coaching staff. It'll be interesting to see which pairing gets scratched to begin the tournament.


Team Canada's line combinations and pairings are from Bob McKenzie.


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Jeff Carter

Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Rick Nash

Jamie Benn - John Tavares - Patrice Bergeron

Patrick Marleau - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

We all know that Canada has a wealth of forward talent, but seeing it in the line combinations really hits it home. These combinations are certainly subject to change, but right now it looks like coach Mike Babcock is going with a good blend of size and skill on his top three lines. It also looks like Matt Duchene and Martin St. Louis will be scratched.

Defensive pairings:

Duncan Keith - Shea Weber

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Drew Doughty

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Obviously, the big name missing here is P.K. Subban. His point production has slipped a little over the last couple of weeks, but it would still be a surprise to see him watching from the press box during Canada's first game.


The Russian lines and pairings were reported by Yahoo! Sports' Dimitry Chesnokov.


Alex Ovechkin - Evgeni Malkin - Alexander Semin

Vladimir Tarasenko - Artem Anisimov - Nikolai Kulemin

Alexander Radulov - Aleksandr Svitov - Ilya Kovalchuk

Alexander Popov - Alexei Tereschenko - Viktor Tikhonov

First of all, that top line might be the most dangerous in the entire tournament with Malkin centering two world-class finishers in Semin and Ovechkin. The lines below them will probably change, as Pavel Datsyuk didn't practice and Valeri Nichushkin is notably absent.

Defensive pairings:

Anton Belov - Nikita Nikitin

Alexei Emelin - Evgeni Medvedev

Andrei Markov - Slava Voynov

Ilya Nikulin - Fedor Tyutin.

It will be interesting to see which of these pairings eats up the most minutes, assuming the coaching staff doesn't tinker with the combinations before the first game. The blueline features a good combination of KHL and NHL defensemen on the same pairing, as opposed to the segregated forward lines.


Helene St. James reported Sweden's lines on Saturday.


Gabriel Landeskog- Henrik Zetterberg - Alexander Steen

Daniel Sedin - Nicklas Backstrom- Loui Eriksson

Gustav Nyquist - Patrice Berglund - Daniel Alfredsson

Carl Hagelin - Marcus Kruger- Jimmie Ericsson

Sweden might boast the most physical top line in the tournament, as both Landeskog and Zetterberg use their size along with their playmaking abilities.


The only report from Finland's practice is that Aleksander Barkov will center Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund on the top line. That just goes to show how thin the injury-ravaged Finnish team is up front.

Czech Republic

The Czechs will play Tomas Plekanec on a line with Jaromir Jagr and Roman Cervenka, per Roman Jedlicka of NOVA Sport.

More on the Winter Olympics:

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

Meet Ashley Wagner, the Olympics' first genuine meme

What you need to know about figure skating | Figure skating schedule

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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