Zdeno Chara: The team captain and No. 1 defenseman needs to dominate at both ends of the ice for Slovakia to medal. He’s going to be matched up against the opponent’s top forwards and play an important role on the power play and penalty kill.
Jaroslav Halak: The veteran goaltender was excellent four years ago when he led Slovakia to the bronze medal game, and he needs to be even better in Sochi for the team to reach the medal stand.
Goaltending is the strength of the Slovakian team. There is plenty of depth in net with Halak starting and Montreal’s Peter Budaj serving as the backup.
Outside of Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, there’s no forward on this roster capable of taking over a game or consistently playing well against elite defensemen. Marian Gaborik’s injury, which forced him to miss the Olympics, was a huge setback for the top line.
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