EDITOR'S NOTE: You've arrived at the CBJ Power Rankings, our weekly breakdown of the top-five players, statistics, trends and many other Blue Jackets-related categories. If you're looking for the traditional power rankings, you've come to the wrong place. We'll go in-depth and outside the box, and hopefully give you something to think about.
The Olympic break is upon us, which for some, means a 20-day wait until the NHL resumes action. But...it's also time for one of the world's greatest displays of hockey: the 2014 Olympic Winter Games are underway in Sochi, Russia and the men's ice hockey tournament begins in just a couple of days. The host country is fired up, but can the Russians win gold on home soil as Canada did in 2010? Can the Americans rebound from a disappointing silver medal finish in 2010 and take the next step in 2014? Those questions (and more) will be answered in the next two weeks, and we're here to break down the contenders.
Let's take a closer look at the top five, shall we?
2010 OLYMPICS: SILVER
Zach Parise scored this unforgettable goal (above) in the dying seconds of the 2010 gold medal game against Canada, giving the Americans hope for a seemingly improbably gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics. Team USA, built on speed, tenacity and competitiveness, has two strong options in goal (Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick) and a youthful, uber-talented group of forwards that could surprise more than a few teams in 2014. This could go either way for us, but if Team USA and Canada reunite for a gold medal showdown in Sochi, don't count the Americans out.