Early look at potential Olympic line combinations

With the Olympic tournament creeping ever closer, the teams got their first practices in Sochi Monday and we got our first glimpse into what the line combinations might be.

Now that the teams have been made official, the all-snub lists have been submitted and the players are in Sochi, the next game of guessing revolves around line combinations.

The men’s hockey teams took their first practices in Sochi Monday and all eyes were on which players were lining up with each other.

The following are line combinations from those Monday skates, though they may not stay this way when the tournament opens up on Wednesday. As Canadian coach Mike Babcock said: “We’ll be a work in progress, just like every team at the Olympics.”

Nonetheless, here are the forward lines the Big Five showed on Monday. One note is that Pavel Datsyuk didn’t practice with the Russians, but Alexander Svitov was taking line rushes in his place, between Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov:

Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Rick Nash
Patrick Marleau – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Jamie Benn – John Tavares – Patrice Bergeron

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James van Riemsdyk – Joe Pavelski – Phil Kessel
Zach Parise – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
Dustin Brown – Ryan Kesler – Patrick Kane
Ryan Callahan – Paul Stastny – Max Pacioretty

Gabriel Landeskog – Henrik Zetterberg – Alex Steen
Daniel Sedin – Nicklas Backstrom – Loui Eriksson
Gustav Nyquist – Patrik Berglund – Daniel Alfredsson
Carl Hagelin – Marcus Kruger – Jimmy Ericsson

Alexander Ovechkin – Evgeni Malkin – Alex Semin
Ilya Kovalchuk – Pavel Datsyuk – Alexander Radulov
Vladimir Tarasenko – Artem Anisimov – Nikolai Kulemin
Viktor Tikhonov – Alexei Tereshenko – Alexander Popov

Mikael Granlund – Aleksander Barkov – Teemu Selanne
Lauri Korpikoski – Olli Jokinen – Tuomo Ruutu
Jussi Jokinen – Petri Kontiola – Juhamatti Aaltonen
Leo Komarov – Jarkko Immonen – Jori Lehtera

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