Which team would you least like to face in the medal round?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by incawg, Feb 19, 2006.

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  1. incawg

    incawg Registered User

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    Let's say you're a team in either Group A or Group B...what would be the order of preference as to which teams you'd *least* like to play? This is not a power-rankings per se, since it also incorporates potential.

    From Group A:
    1) Finland - They've always been a very strong defensive team internationally. If Selanne, Koivu, and Joikinen can continue to produce, they'll be very difficult to beat. Their goaltending thus far has been flawless.
    2) Canada - Playing like crap right now, but on paper the best team in the tournament. You don't want to wake the sleeping giant.
    3) Czech - See above. Not quite as strong without Hasek, but this team has a ton of talent and Jagr is the most skilled player in the world when he's on his game.
    4) Switzerland - Yes, they've had the two biggest victories in their country's history in the past week, but this is still an unproven team. Until they win when both teams care about the outcome, I will remain unconvinced.

    From Group B:
    1) Russia - Right up there with Canada in terms of skill level and they're playing better than their arch-rivals right now. If they play a team game they're almost unbeatable.
    2) Slovakia - Very underrated coming into the tournmanet. They have one of the most potent offenses in the tournament. Putting them behind Russia was the toughest choice I had to make.
    3) Sweden - Still haven't quite put things together, but they've finally got a gamebreaker goalie. If Forsberg can stay healthy, they can beat anyone.
    4) USA - I was unimpressed with the players selected and they've lived up (or down?) to expectations. Their core is too old and thier young players aren't stepping up.
     
  2. Lionel Hutz

    Lionel Hutz Registered User

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    Finland
    Canada
    Cze
    Swiss

    Slovakia
    Sweden
    Russia
    US
     
  3. octopi

    octopi Registered User

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    Canada. They have the depth, and they'll ramp it up for the medal round, you'll see.
     
  4. Broad st phantom

    Broad st phantom Registered User

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    you can say what you want about whats on text. Canada should win, because they have the strongest team. I dont think they will though

    i really think its the finns year, under that id have to go with russia
     
  5. Leo Naphta

    Leo Naphta Registered User

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  6. Vincent_TheGreat

    Vincent_TheGreat Registered User

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    If I'm Canada, it doesn't matter. Because any team we play is going to be a hard match!
     
  7. nuck

    nuck In the mist

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    we won't be in the medal round.
     
  8. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    :biglaugh:
     
  9. hifk88

    hifk88 Registered User

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    :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:
     
  10. Miracle80

    Miracle80 Registered User

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    I'm thinking Finns too (I can't even imagine if they had Sami and Joni, not a homer statement either), I'm not counting out he Slovaks just yet. I am an American, but I just don't see them getting it done. Or the Canadians. USA and CAN just don't seem to have the chemistry that the Finns, Slovaks, and Swedes do IMO. I may be proven wrong in the QF's but I've watched every game in this tourny and USA and CAN don't seem like TEAMS.
     
  11. Joe MacMillan

    Joe MacMillan Registered User

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  12. PapaBear*

    PapaBear* Guest

  13. :snide:
     
  14. ShaneDoan

    ShaneDoan Registered User

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    As a Finn we deserverd it, we`ve been underrated so many years...nobody believes that we are very good hockey-country!
     
  15. Bill McNeal

    Bill McNeal Registered User

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    As a fan of Canada:

    1. Sweden: Have the best goalie in the pool and if the Swedes go up they are excellent at keeping the lead. From a pure entertainment standpoint, watching the Swedes trap isn't very fun if you're not a Swedish fan. However, if you force them to open up a bit it can be very entertaining.

    2. Russia: Talentwise, the best team in the pool. Perhaps in the tournament, although I'd say Canada and the Czechs are both neck and neck with them. They also don't let up offensively. That being said, if I didn't care about facing an easier opponent, my choice is Russia. Canada-Russia would be amazing and I hope we see it at some point in this tourney. Boards would probably crash.

    3. Slovakia: They've been amazing, so this is meant as no slight to them. I just couldn't put them ahead of Russia or Sweden. I think they have potential to do extremely well, however.

    4. USA: Aside from my personal belief that this is a sort of transitional team between high pts in US hockey, I think Canada would excel against a team that plays a North American style. Still, not a team to be taken lightly and their match with Finland should be good.

    As a fan of a team in Pool B:

    1. Finland: This team is gelling. They have the best line in the tournament, one of the best goalies, and a great work ethic. I think their only concern should be that they're peaking too soon, but considering how well they play as a team it shouldn't be too much of a worry.

    2. Canada: Only reason I place them ahead of the Czechs is because of Brodeur. The guy is a proven winner. Neither Canada nor the Czechs have been very impressive but when two teams are as well matched up on paper as the Czechs and Canada, go with the goalie with the credentials.

    3. Czechs: (Maybe a better title would be 2B) Pretty much the same as Canada. A sleeping giant that could break out at any time.

    4. Switzerland: What can I say? The Swiss and the Finns are the stories of the tournament so far, but even if they have upset two of the favorites going in, the Swiss are still on the outside looking in at the 'big club.' They do have enormous potential to upset, however. Wherever they finish, this is a tournament to remember for the Swiss fans.

    Matchups I'd like to see?

    Well, USA and Finland is already set in stone (I think) so the others:

    Canada vs Russia
    Slovakia vs Czech Republic
    Sweden vs Switzerland
     
  16. Chimp

    Chimp Registered User

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    That is also the matchups I would like to see. :D

    As a Swede, i don't want to face Finland. They always play on 150% of their capacity when they play us. If they beat us, they are down to 50% of their capacity because they're exhausted from frantic Finnish skating for 60 minutes.

    Also, Canada and Czech Republic are sleeping bears (beers :D ) that will probably awake in the QF. Switzerland are rabbits on speed that have to go to sleep sometime soon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2006
  17. khy206

    khy206 Registered User

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    Vokoun was a gold medalist in World Championship 2005. He beat Brodeur and he was the best goalie in the tournament. I know he has not been particularly impressive so far, but neither has Brodeur. Still, I'll put Canada ahead of Czech because they have more talents to be the man in the tournament. Czech relies on Jagr too much.
     
  18. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    I don't understand how one can knock the Czechs below Canada based on Vokoun "not having credentials", even though he won the '05 WC, yet put Sweden as the most feared in their group, even though Lundqvist's credentials are playing in the Swedish league and 2/3 of an NHL season (don't get me wrong, I think he's a fantastic goalie, just not more proven than Vokoun is). Also, we don't know how well Forsberg will play, given that he hasn't played much hockey in recent weeks. I'm not saying Sweden isn't to be feared, but a close win against the USA is overwhelming evidence of their strength?

    As far as Czechs being below Canada, because "they rely too much on Jagr"... well, it's worked for the Rangers this year, but more importantly they do have other go-to guys. Prospal had a hat trick today, Hejduk has had numerous chances, etc.
    Of course Canada looks to be as talented as anyone on paper, but if they have so many guys that can "be the man", why didn't any of them get a goal the past two games??

    The Czechs will be facing tough opponents in the medal round, no doubt, so they could be out in QF. However, I wouldn't count them out against Canada, nor in medal round. I think they've had a tough tournament so far:

    Germany- Didn't play great, but in first game as a team, came out with solid 4-1 win against scrappy German squad. Losing Hasek and Elias also must have been a letdown to the team and may have carried over into Switzerland game.
    Swiss- Lost a close 3-2 game to Swiss, despite outshooting them by wide margin. I have to think playing a 7am ET game (after a later game the day before), didn't help Czechs any, but credit to Switzerland.
    Finland- They were playing with (perhaps even outplaying) Finland, until Jagr was injured. The Czechs looked as crisp in the first period as I have seen any team look. No telling how it would have turned out, but obviously had a huge impact on the game (Jagr was on fire). Still, scored the ONLY two goals Finland has allowed in tournament.
    Italy- Mission accomplished, got the unspectacular 4-1 win against Italy.

    Looking at Canada's games against same teams:
    Italy- Ho-hum 7-2 win against overmatched Italy.
    Germany- Solid 5-1 win against Germans, though could have been closer.
    Swiss- Despite being alerted by Swiss upsetting Czechs and having a day of rest in between, were shut out by Swiss, although may have scored one in Gerber's glove. Like Czechs, they outshot Swiss by wide margin.
    Finland- Fell behind and despite many chances in last two periods, were shut out.

    These are both sleeping giants. I guess after tomorrow's game we'll be able to tell more about whether they're going to wake up for medal round.
     
  19. Bill McNeal

    Bill McNeal Registered User

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    My opinions on Sweden were based on how Canada stacked up against them, not necessarily who was the best overall team. Sweden plays a style of hockey that gives Canada fits, and thus I wouldn't want to play them.

    As for ranking Brodeur ahead of Vokoun, it wasn't because Vokoun "didn't have credentials," it's because Brodeur has been widely considered the best goalie in the world the past 5 years and has the most credentials in this tournament, save for Hasek. I have the utmost respect for Vokoun and believe he is very underrated, but if given the choice in a big game I'd take Brodeur any day. 3 Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold and a World Cup title is a nifty resume.
     
  20. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    I wasn't comparing Vokoun's credentials to those of Brodeur, rather to those of Lundquist. No question of Brodeur's abilities and credentials, although I actually think Luongo has been as good or better in recent international competition.
     
  21. Dig Out Your Soul

    Dig Out Your Soul Ex Storm...

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    I would honestly not want to play Canada. That may sound cocky, but as someone said, they are a sleeping giant ready to explode. They are going to be one pissed off group of guys going into the next couple of games. They have nothing to lose and everything to prove.
     
  22. thebodyczech

    thebodyczech Registered User

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    Whoever plays Finland or Slovakia will need divine intervention. "Oh God, if there is one, save my soul, if I have one."

    That said, I feel a certain degree of sympathy for the team that faces an awakened/reinvigorated Czech or Canadian team. When either of those starts to click, the results can be quite scary.
     
  23. twelve

    twelve Registered User

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    I'm glad SUI won't play against the Suomi or the Slovacs in the quarterfinals. They've been the hottest teams in the tournament so far.
     
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