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Wednesday's notes: Predators defensemen fare well in Olympic openers

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Yesterday at the Olympics, Nashville Predators defensemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber got off to good starts, as the US and Canada won their opening games (Jeremy at Section303.com has your USA/Switzerland recap).  Even  erstwhile Predator Alexander Radulov got into the act, scoring a goal in Russia's 8-2 late night triumph over Latvia (yippee).

Wednesday's Olympic Hockey schedule

Finland vs. Belarus (2:00 p.m Central, MSNBC): The Finns are a real dark horse to stir up trouble in this tournament, while Belarus is also capable of the occasional upset as well (right, Tommy Salo?).

Sweden vs. Germany (6:30 p.m. Central, CNBC): Patric Hornqvist faces off against his Predators teammates Marcel Goc and Alexander Sulzer as Sweden, the defending Olympic champions, get started. Note, the Olympic schedule says this game starts at 6:30, while CNBC's schedule shows coverage starting at 7:00.

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia (11:00 p.m. Central, CNBC): Most of the major contenders start off with a bit of a cupcake opponent, but the Czechs and Slovaks are both talented, and close rivals. Martin Erat is the final Predator to hit the Olympic ice, against a Slovakian team that will miss elite goal-scorer Marian Gaborik.

After the jump, we've got the rest of your morning hockey news...

Predators News

Preds On The Glass: Preds Place Two on German Team and Wednesday Wrap-Up
Buddy's morning update features a look at Goc and Sulzer's Olympic opener later today.

The View from 111: Random Ruminations From The Road
Mark sums up his week on the road with the Predators, an experience I'm sure all of us would like to try at some point.

Call to Action on DirecTV/Comcast, Olympic Look and an HBR Preview - Paul McCann
Paul is about ready to toss DirecTV into the dumpster (as am I), and also has a look ahead to tonight's radio show.

Around the NHL

Historical Team Records in Olympic Hockey - Behind The Net
Who knew that Finland has the 2nd-best record since professional players were allowed into the Olympics in 1998?

Olympic Line Combinations: Day 2 - View From My Seats
Check out the lines for most of the teams starting play today, including Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Vancouver: Varlamov Critiques the Food, Semin Goes for a Joyride - Japers' Rink
Here we get a translated Russian interview on how the Olympics are going so far for two of the Capitals players.

Backes said he didn't threaten Swiss player Sprunger - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen looks into an allegation that things got nasty between Team USA and Switzerland yesterday.

Almost All Olympic Players Wear Visors : Hockey Beat
Have you been wondering why so many (but not all) NHL players are wearing visors in the Olympics?

Lowetide: Perfect
In an ideal situation, which Edmonton Oilers should stay or go at the trade deadline?

Fighting The Urge To Add An Enforcer - Japers' Rink
When one of your players gets hit hard, the natural temptation is to call for protection in the lineup. Is that what the Capitals really need, though?

Updated Trade Deadline Playbook: Eastern Conference
Scott Cullen reviews the Eastern Conference teams and how they approach the trade deadline. Hmm... Washington could sure use a defenseman...

In Defense of John Anderson - Bird Watchers Anonymous
Has John Anderson been able to make a positive impact behind the Thrashers bench?