2014 Olympic Men’s Hockey Preview: The Goaltending

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2.  Russia

Feb 3, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) during the game against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Probable Starter:  Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ

Backups: Semyon Varlamov, COL; Alexander Eremenko, Dynamo Moscow (KHL)

Bobrovsky is the reigning Vezina Tropy winner and despite a slow start to the season he has Columbus back into the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.  He has won 12 of his last 14 games and hasn’t allowed more than 3 goals in a game since Novemeber.  Varlamov fought off some off-ice distractions and Eremenko has been to the Olympics before as the 3rd goalie in Vancouver.

1.  Finland

Jan 25, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) allows goal by Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) (not pictured) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Bruins defeated the Flyers, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Probable Starter:  Tuukka Rask, BOS

Backups:  Antti Niemi, SJS; Kari Lehtonen, DAL

Rask backstopped the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final last season and is in the Vezina conversation this season.  Niemi and Lehtonen make Finland the deepest goaltending unit in the tournament, and that is even without fellow countryman Pekka Rinne, who could be the best of the bunch.  Now, if Finland can get enough out of their older, veteran skaters they could medal with Rask behind them.