You've read all the hype!

Now watch the game! I'll be making some comments here if they occur to me! You should too! (I am getting paid by the "!" in this post!)

The general sports media at large and even the hockey intelligencia (?) (Barry Melrose) has boiled this game into the familiar sports narratives that have worked for them before:

Youth (USA) vs. Experience (Canada): While on average, Team USA has younger players and Team Canada has more international team-play experience on the roster, Canada has Syd the Kid and Team USA has truly been anchored by 36-year-old defenseman Brian Rafalski.

David (USA) vs. Goliath (Canada): Some of the bobbleheads at ESPN have ventured to say that this would be a bigger upset than the Miracle on Ice, which is hyperbolic nonsense. Everyone on both sides here is a pro, and many are captains of their respective NHL teams.

Home (Canada) vs. Away (USA): Much has been made of the home-field advantage for Canada with what will certainly be a loud, frenetic crowd entirely on Canada's side, but pros of all sports often admit (when not shilling for their club's season ticket packages) that they don't even hear crowd during the game.

My guess is that these oversimplifications will once again miss the nuance of the contest. This game will be won and lost by individual match-ups. Who will win the race to a loose puck? Who will have more take-aways in the neutral zone? Face-offs (which determine possession) will be huge and Canada has a statistically large advantage with three players in the top twelve (Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Marleau) but throughout the tournament the top two face-off winners have been Americans Joe Pavelski and Ryan Kesler.

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. And if Team USA can get the puck—and keep the puck—they just might win the gold medal.