This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Greatest Olympic Hockey Finals of All Time

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Home team Russia is gone and the Winter Olympics' men's hockey final is weaker for its absence.

Recent Olympics have spoiled fans a bit, especially fans of the host country. Team USA's matchup against Canada in Salt Lake City in 2002 got a boost not only from its home-ice advantage, but from a shellshocked nation looking for something to rally behind. For the Canadians in 2010, Sidney Crosby's game-winning goal in the gold-medal matchup against the U.S. would have made the Vancouver games a success even if its hadn't eclipsed its larger neighbor's gold medal total for the entire games.

It takes a lot of elements coming together at the right time to make the men's hockey gold-medal game something universally memorable. The National Hockey League has tried its best to stack the deck ever since it began halting its season and sending its best players to the games in 1998. Even top-flight NHL talent has been no guarantee of a memorable or even watchable gold-medal matchup.

Thus far, Olympic men's hockey has been treating NBC well and justifying not only its nearly $800 million investment in the Sochi games, but its 10-year, $2 billion deal with the NHL as well. The U.S. team's win over Russia in the preliminary round alone drew 4.1 million viewers on average for NBC Sports Network, including 6.4 million who tuned in to the last half-hour just to see T.J. Oshie's heroics in the game-ending shootout. That's the most-watched hockey game that NBC Sports Network has ever aired, edging Game 3 of last year's Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks.

It also got a huge boost from a U.S.-Canada semifinal that was both a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game in Vancouver and the matchup that North American hockey fans craved most. What does that mean for this year's games-ending final? Tough to say, but it'll take one thriller of a matchup to make up for the lack of North American-Scandanavian animosity of late.

Just to give an idea of exactly what this year's final is up against, here are just five of the best Winter Olympics men's hockey finals of all time for comparison. It's a lot to live up to:

1 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,905.54 -55.03 -0.32%
S&P 500 1,970.74 -7.60 -0.38%
NASDAQ 4,424.1670 -25.3970 -0.57%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs