Preview and projection: Slovakia

A top-heavy roster might make it hard to contend with the deeper teams

Updated: January 22, 2014, 10:14 AM ET
By Timo Seppa | Hockey Prospectus

Zdeno CharaJared Wickerham/Getty ImagesZdeno Chara's play on both ends of the ice will be pivotal for Team Slovakia.

Olympic Previews: USA | Canada | Russia | Sweden
Finland | Czech Republic | Slovakia | The Rest

Team Slovakia boasts some top-end talent, including the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa, the Bruins' Zdeno Chara and the Blue Jackets' Marian Gaborik. Unfortunately, their NHL depth falls short of the top Olympic contenders, with 11 of 25 roster slots filled by players who ply their trade in the European leagues. All in all, it will be a challenge for Slovakia to equal (or improve upon) its fourth-place finish from Vancouver.

By quantifying each team's players by their recent performances over the past two "partial" seasons -- meaning the 48 games of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign combined with the 40-plus games in the books for 2013-14 -- we have come up with top-level projections for each squad, ranking them on offense, defense, goaltending and overall.

The metric of choice, as usual, is Hockey Prospectus' goals versus threshold (GVT). Team Slovakia, at 1.3 GVT per game, is comparable to a fringe playoff team. An average NHL team produces 1.5 GVT per game.


To read the full preview and projection for Team Slovakia at the Sochi Olympics, including where the numbers say they will finish, sign up for Insider today.