Olympic Hockey is almost upon us. Rosters freeze on Friday afternoon, and the first preliminary games begin on Feb. 12.
Three Stars players were selected by their respective teams, and here’s when and where you can catch a glimpse of them in action when you aren’t cheering on the U.S. team.
*All games are listed in central time
*All games can also be streamed online at NBCOlympics.com. You’ll need a cable provider though to log-in.
Kari Lehtonen – Finland
Feb. 13 – Finland vs. Austria, 2 a.m. – NBCSN
Feb. 14 – Finland vs. Norway, 11 a.m. – MSNBC
Feb. 16 – Finland vs. Canada, 11 a.m. – USA Network
Who knows right now just how much of Lehtonen we might see in the Olympics. Finland is stacked at the goalie position with Antti Niemi, Tuukka Rask and Lehtonen all on the team. Each of them could play at some point.
Lehtonen has been the best in the past two weeks but Rask is the best overall goalie on the team. It’s all up to the whims of coach Erkka Westerlund.
Jamie Benn – Canada
Feb. 13 – Canada vs. Norway, 11 a.m. – USA Network
Feb. 14 – Canada vs. Austria, 11 a.m. – USA Network
Feb. 16 – Canada vs. Finland, 11 a.m. – USA Network
Good ole’ Captain Benn will be seeing plenty of time with the tournament favorites. Jamie will most likely be playing on the third line for the Canadians with a couple of Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (bleh).
I’d also be quite surprised if he didn’t see some time working on both special teams units as well.
Luckily for us viewers, the Canadian games are all at reasonable morning times, so it shouldn’t be too hard to watch their games (as long as you can find USA on your channel guide).
Valeri Nichushkin – Russia
Feb. 13 – Russia vs. Slovenia, 6.30 a.m. – MSNBC
Feb. 15 – Russia vs. USA, 6:30 a.m. – NBCSN
Feb. 16 – Russia vs. Slovakia, 6:30 a.m. – USA Network
What an opportunity for the 18-year-old to be playing on the Olympic team in front of his home crowd.
The forward position on team Russia is full of superstars tough, so Nichushkin is going to be seeing a lot less time than he probably wants.
The first two lines will have veterans like Malkin, Datsyuk, Ovechkin and the slightly forgotten Ilya Kovalchuk. Alexander Radulov and Vladimir Tarasenko will most likely fill the last two forward spots on the top two lines, so Nichushkin will be a third/fourth-line player on team Russia.