The biggest concern for every team in this tournament is quickly learning to mesh with your line mates. Team USA's top line of Patrick Kane, Zach Parise and Paul Stastny got off to a dominating start against Switzerland, but they didn't produce any goals. Gaining that chemistry is important for all the teams, but especially those teams stacked with NHL players.
"To be honest, right when I found out [who I would be playing with] I started to think," Parise said. "You start to think about the way Stastny plays and where he likes to go on the ice. What does Kane like to do. You start to think what you can do to help these guys and make the line better."
For three of the big power houses, USA, Canada and Russia, they faced rather easy foes to open the Olympic games. Soundly beating the Swiss, Team Norway and the Latvians respectfully has proven that these three are the heavy weights, but it's tough to know just how good these teams until they face one another.
That will be tested by Russia first on Thursday when they play a much better national team in Slovakia. "Our game is not perfect yet," Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk told reporters following their 8-2 victory over Latvia. "We need to play simpler in defense. Our next opponents will make us do that."
When the international powerhouses start to face one another, the games will be more intense, more scrutinized and a whole lot more fun to watch.
Team USA's Upcoming Schedule:
Feb 18, 12:00 n - vs. NorwayTeam Canada's Upcoming Schedule:
Feb 21, 4:40 p - vs. Canada
Feb 18, 4:30 p - vs. SwitzerlandTeam Russia's Upcoming Schedule: (Ovechkin, Semin, Varlamov)
Feb 21, 4:40 p - vs. USA
Feb 18, 9:00 p - vs. SlovakiaTeam Sweden's Upcoming Schedule: (Backstrom)
Feb 21, 12:00 n - vs. Czech Republic
Feb 17, 4:30 p - vs. GermanyTeam Czech Republic's Upcoming Schedule: (Fleischmann)
Feb 19, 12:00 n - vs. Belarus
Feb 21, 9:00 p - vs. Finland
Feb 17, 9:00 p - vs. Slovakia
Feb 19, 4:30 p - vs. Latvia
Feb 21, 12:00 n - vs. Russia
All times are Pacific (local Vancouver time)