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David Backes
Sochi Olympics: U.S. hockey team built for speed and toughness
Sochi Olympics: U.S. hockey team built for speed and toughness

SOCHI, Russia — Canada has an unequaled group of centers. Sweden, though depleted up front by injuries, has fine goaltending. Finland boasts an unshakable team ethic that clicks in whenever its players reunite. And Russia, blessed with enormous skill, bears the equally large burden of living up to a glorious history that may never be duplicated. What Team USA will bring to the Olympic hockey tournament when it faces Slovakia at Shayba Arena on Thursday is more difficult to summarize. Outstanding goaltending? No question, with the Kings' Jonathan Quick designated to start the opener, an exclamation point on his return from a groin strain that sidelined him from Nov. 12 until...

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