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Olympic Ice Hockey

Canadian_Rugger

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For all fans of Ice Hockey, this will be where we can discuss the upcoming Olympic tournament. I will post rosters as they become
available.
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ratsapprentice

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Definitely gonna try and catch some of this...
 

LittleGuy

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We got a really good draw for the pool stages, I'm a little worried about Finland who are solid at the back end, but realistically Norway and Austria shouldn't give us any trouble outside of possibly their top lines. Don't like the selection of Subban for us I just have a feeling he's going to do something dumb with the International refereeing being so strict and cost us huge.

As for winner, I think the hosts Russia might win the Gold, we traditionally don't do nearly as well on the larger Ice surfaces and the U.S.A. selections left a little to be desired. Sweden and the Finns could very much be darkhorses. After that not really any one I like a lot, Czechs and Slovaks could perhaps sneak out a bronze, Swiss might shock somebody, the rest are liekly there to make up the numbers(on an aside still shocked Germany did not qualify).

My picks.....

Mens

Gold: Russia
Silver: Canada
Bronze: Sweden
4th place: Finland
5th place: United States
6th place: Czech Republic
7th place: Slovakia
8th place: Switzerland
9th place: Norway
10th place: Latvia
11th place: Austria
12th place: Slovenia

Women's tournament

Gold: United States
Silver: Canada
Bronze: Sweden
4th place: Finland
5th place: Russia
6th place: Switzerland
7th place: Germany
8th place: Japan

Here is a list of the opening round pools for those wondering.

Men's Tournament

Pool A

Russia
United States
Slovakia
Slovenia

Pool B

Canada
Finland
Norway
Austria

Pool C

Sweden
Czech Republic
Switzerland
Latvia


Women's Tournament

Pool A

United States
Canada
Finland
Switzerland

Pool B

Sweden
Russia
Germany
Japan
 
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poopiepeople

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Your picks I think are very realistic. Sweden and Russia look very scary indeed. Might but the Czechs ahead of the US though.
 

Canadian_Rugger

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My review for each team and how I see them ranked:

1. Canada

Canada is the defending Olympic Champion and they have a star studded lineup filled with talent all the way through the team. They have the best player in the world (Sidney Crosby) playing for them and 7 of the 10 top scorers in the NHL. Also, their defensive core is exceptional and every defenseman is a star. The one question mark they have is goaltending. All three goalies are solid but in a tournament with single elimination games, having good goaltending throughout is so important and can make all the difference.

Canada's success on this tournament will depend very much on if the players they have can adapt to playing on the larger international ice-surface, which I believe they will and whether their goaltending shows up every game. I believe they will win the tournament.

Offense - A+
Defense - A+
Goaltending - B+

2. Sweden

Sweden, like Canada, is another team filled with stars and look to be real contenders to challenge for a medal. They possess a lot of really good two-way forwards such as Henrik Zetterberg, The Sedin's, Niklas Backstrom along with some seasoned veterans, such as Daniel Alfredsson. Their Defensive Corps is solid although they don't have as many stars as the Canadian team does. They also have good goaltending and should be solid between pipes.

Offense - A+
Defense - A
Goaltending - A

3. Russia

Russia is a team with tremendous offensive potential. With players like Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Malkin, Radulov, Datsyuk they will have no problem scoring goals and causing problems in the others teams zone. While they have tremendous offensive ability, they lack a certain level of polish that other teams like Canada, Sweden, Finland and the USA have in their defensive game and outside of Markob, Belov and Tyutin, none of their players are all-star defenseman. If their defensive corps doesn't show up this could hurt them as it has in other tournaments. As well, their goaltending is solid but not All-Star.

Offense - A+
Defense - B+
Goaltending - A

4. Finland

Finland is a team with the exact opposite problems of Russia, they are strong on defense and possess the best goaltending in the tournament but they lack pure goal scorers. They will need their offense to be firing on all cylinders if they want to go far in the tournament but they should be able to count on a strong defensive corps and good goaltending the keep them out of trouble.


Offense - B
Defense - A
Goaltending - A+

5. USA

The USA is a very balanced team, they have a solid defensive corps and also have good goaltending and some solid offensive players. What will hurt them and I believe keep them from getting a medal is that lack of world beater that the Canadians, Swedes, Russians and arguably the Finns have.

Offense - A
Defense - B+
Goaltending - A

6. Slovakia

Slovakia is also a strong team with very good defense with players such as Chara, Meszaros and Viznovsky along with one very good goaltender named Jaroslav Halak. Offensively, they possess some threats from Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa but are not as strong in this regard. They will need Halak to play exceptionally and really on strong defense and their size advantage (they have a lot of big physical players) if they want to go far in the tournament.

Offense - B+
Defense - A
Goaltending - B+

7. Switzerland

I think a lot of people are under-estimating the Swiss in this tournament and I am predicting that they are going to upset a few teams in this tournament. They have very good defenders and some solid goaltending in Jonas Hiller. They also have a few forwards that play in the Swiss League who are very strong such as Andres Ambuhl and Reto Suri.

Offense - B
Defense - B+
Goaltending - A

8. Czech Republic

If past reputations were what won tournaments the Czech Republic would be near the top of this list; however, with an aging lineup and a lack of quality goaltending I believe the Czech Republic will leave a lot to be desired in this tournament. We cannot discount this team though with players like Jaromir Jagr in the lineup. Jagr is still a class act even if he is near the end of his career and the Czech will need him and other aging stars like Patrik Elias and Petr Nedved to carry this team.

Offense - A
Defense - B+
Goaltending - B

9. Norway

Norway doesn't have the offensive threat or the defense that the other teams listed above do, nevertheless, they do possess some quality players. Matts Zuccarello is a good players and Patrik Thoresen is also quality and can score goals. Lars Haugen is a solid goalie and is playing well for his KHL team. Nevertheless, Norway doesn't have the depth of players to medal but they may be able to pull off an upset if they play well and catch a team off their game.

Offense - B
Defense - B
Goaltending - B

10. Latvia

Latvia have declined a lot over the past few years. They are in a re-building phase like the Czech Republic and don't have the depth of talent that they once had and the players they do have with world class talent, like Sandis Ozolinsh, are all on the wrong side of the age bracket. Most of their players play in the KHL but they don't possess any truly World Class players to be a real threat to anyone.

Offense - B-
Defense - B-
Goaltending - B

11. Austria

Austria are another team that outside of a few quality players like Tomas Vanek who would make most of the top 8 teams, don't have a lot to offer. They do have some fairly solid goaltending though with Rene Starkbaum, who usually plays well in international tournaments. Realistically they aren't going to medal but they may be able to sneak a couple of wins in the tournament.

Offense - B
Defense - C
Goaltending - B-

12. Slovenia

Slovenia, like Austria, has one World Class player in Anze Kopitar who could also play on most of the big guns teams but outside of that they are severely lacking in depth of talent. Jan Mursak is also quality as is Roc Ticar, who leads his team, Kolner Haie og Germany is scoring but outside of that they don't possess any real threats. They don't have the strongest goaltending either so I expect them to be thoroughly outclassed by some of the better teams in this tournament.

Offense - B
Defense - C
Goaltending - C
 

Canadian_Rugger

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Realistically I see the following happening:

Round-Robin Standings

Pool A

Russia - 3W 0L
United States - 2W 1L
Slovakia - 1W 2L
Slovenia - 0W 3L

Pool B

Canada - 3W 0L
Finland - 2W 1L
Norway - 1W 2L
Austria - 0W 3L

Pool C

Sweden - 3W 0L
Switzerland - 2W 1L
Czech Republic - 1W 2L
Latvia - 0W 3L

Elimination Round Rankings:

1. Canada
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Finland
5. USA
6. Slovakia
7. Switzerland
8. Czech Republic
9. Norway
10. Latvia
11. Austria
12. Slovenia

Elimination Round

USA (5) vs Slovenia (12)
USA wins

Slovakia (6) vs Austria (11)
Slovakia wins

Switzerland (7) vs Latvia (10)
Switzerland wins

Czech Republic (8) vs Norway (9)
Czech Republic Wins

Quarter Finals

Canada (1) vs Czech Republic (8)
Canada Wins

Sweden (2) vs Switzerland (7)
Sweden Wins

Russia (3) vs Slovakia (6)
Russia Wins

Finland (4) vs USA (5)
Finland Wins

Semi-Finals

Canada vs Finland
Canada Wins

Sweden vs Russia
Sweden Wins

Finals

Canada vs Sweden
Canada Wins!
 

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