It feels like it just began, but today marks the end of the preliminary round in Olympic men's hockey. Remember that even after this stage is over, all 12 teams will have at least one more game: The top four teams after today's action get one-game byes to the quarterfinal round, while the other eight will face off to determine who matches up with those four teams.
A helpful Sunday schedule and viewing guide for the U.S. and Canada via nhl.com (all times EST):
United States (Channel Finder)
3-5:30 a.m. ET -- Austria vs. Norway, USA, NBC LiveExtra Online
7:30-10 a.m. ET -- Russia vs. Slovakia, USA, NBC LiveExtra Online
7:30-10 a.m. ET -- Slovenia vs. United States, NBCSN, NBC LiveExtra Online
12-2:30 pm ET -- Finland vs. Canada, USA, NBC LiveExtra Online
3-5:30 a.m. ET -- Austria vs. Norway, TSN2, TVA (French), Watch Online-EN, Watch Online-FR
7:30-10 a.m. ET -- Russia vs. Slovakia, SNET, TVA (French), Watch Online-EN, Watch Online-FR
7:30-10 a.m. ET -- Slovenia vs. United States, Watch Online-EN, Watch Online-FR
12-2:30 pm ET -- Finland vs. Canada, CBC, TVA (French), Watch Online-EN, Watch Online-FR
Many seeding scenarios remain, with Sweden (3-0) in the driver's seat but Canada and Finland (who face each other) in position to take the first seed with a regulation win. Here are some scenarios for the U.S.:
- ...a regulation victory against Slovenia will give it the Group A title with eight points. It will also guarantee the Americans are seeded no lower than third. They can't earn the top seed because Sweden, the Group C champion, has nine points. The Swedes can finish no lower than second.
- An overtime win would also give the U.S. the top spot in Group A. The Americans would finish even with the Russians at seven points, if they beat Slovakia -- but the first tiebreaker for group standings is head-to-head and the U.S. beat Russia 3-2 in a shootout Saturday.
- The United States can earn the No. 2 seed only if the Canada-Finland game goes to overtime.
The fourth bye is likely to come from either Group A (if USA or Russia) or Group B's (Canada or Finland) second-place finisher.
Some other reads:
Players and the coach react to the TJ Oshie skill competition show.
- A collection of (mostly NHLer) Twitter reactions to yesterday's shootout drama between U.S. and Russia.
- Two nice visual rundowns of how Oshie is still good at the controlled breakaway format: Puck Daddy on his history | SB Nation on Saturday's moves
- Interesting discussion of the lineup decisions Mike Babcock faces. And on the goalies specifically.
- After going 2-1 on the back of Jonas Hiller, is Switzerland a medal contender? Not without scoring, I reckon.