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-   -   Olympics: 2014 who's gonna be top dog? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1017261)

Barkkonen 10-29-2011 05:14 PM

2014 who's gonna be top dog?
 
I bet 75% people will say canada takes the cake, but seriously there is like 5 countires that will give canada hard time, so whats your call?

Swe,Cze,Rus,Fin,USA and Slovakia will give hard time anytime we are competing for gold best vs best.

So tell me why your team shouldn't be taken ligthly against canada!!?

slovakiasnextone 10-29-2011 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EkiE (Post 38671555)
I bet 75% people will say canada takes the cake, but seriously there is like 5 countires that will give canada hard time, so whats your call?

Swe,Cze,Rus,Fin,USA and Slovakia will give hard time anytime we are competing for gold best vs best.

So tell me why your team shouldn't be taken ligthly against canada!!?

Slovakia might not even play in Sochi yet alone in the knock out stage....:(

OttawaRoughRiderFan* 10-29-2011 11:37 PM

I think, on the big ice, Canada and the US will be at a disadvantage. Our players look lost out there and I worry 2014 will not be any different.

Having said that...

My predictions for 2014 (as a Canadian) are :

Canada
Russia
Sweden
Finland
USA
Slovakia
Czech

pouskin74* 10-30-2011 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EkiE (Post 38671555)
I bet 75% people will say canada takes the cake, but seriously there is like 5 countires that will give canada hard time, so whats your call?

Swe,Cze,Rus,Fin,USA and Slovakia will give hard time anytime we are competing for gold best vs best.

So tell me why your team shouldn't be taken ligthly against canada!!?

you mean on HFBoards?? no wonder here because its made mostly for NA fans. However i think Slovakia is out for a very long time as a contender for gold.

espo* 10-30-2011 07:58 AM

Well based on recent performance one would have to have Canada, the U.S,Sweden and Finland as the teams with a serious shot at gold with Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic as the dark horses with an outside shot of medaling if the stars align correctly for them, they'd be a long shot but could win if they get a hot goaltender that can steal games for them.

cheerupmurray 10-30-2011 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by espo (Post 38710161)
Well based on recent performance one would have to have Canada, the U.S,Sweden and Finland as the teams with a serious shot at gold with Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic as the dark horses with an outside shot of medaling if the stars align correctly for them, they'd be a long shot but could win if they get a hot goaltender that can steal games for them.

Nah.
Canada will be favorites, challenged by USA (have great depth) and Russia (have great forwards). Sweden, Czech republic and Finland as darkhorses. Slovakia is the weakest team in the mix.

My ranking would be:

1. Canada (Only weakness might be goalies)
2. USA (Good wellrounded team, not as strong as Canada though)
3. Russia (Got some firepower, defense a questionmark)
4. Sweden (Got some stars, lacks depth)
5. Czech republic (Underrated good team, defense is getting old though)
6. Finland (got some good players, lack depth on defense)
7. Slovakia (got stars but seriously lacks depth)

This might factor in:
Olympics are played on big ice which gives some advantages to the european teams.
Slovakia and Finland often looks stronger on the ice than on paper.

Muuri 10-30-2011 10:10 AM

Since NHL started sending players to the olympics, Finland has won the most medals.

Why Finland will win a medal:
-very good goalie trio, maybe the best of the tournament
- great coach that all the players are familier with (assuming Jalonen is still our coach by then)
- team chemistry, players know each other and have played together in the past
- good preparation and start (see Turin 2006)
- leadership by Mikko Koivu and the rest
- some great defensive forwards
- international size rink
- underdog status

Why Finland won't win a medal
- lack of natural goalscorers, need to work hard for every goal
- very little depth, especially on the defense. Few injuries and the tournament is already over
- no number one d-man, unless Pitkänen steps up
- choking. Finland has a history of giving up games they had in the pack (see last years WJC quaterfinal vs. Russia, 03 WC quaterfinal vs. Sweden)


As long as Finland avoids Sweden or the North American teams in the quaterfinal, winning the bronze medal is possibility.

therealdeal 10-30-2011 10:58 AM

Hockey is a very weird sport, because having a better team on paper doesn't give you that much of an advantage. And the difference between teams on paper in the olympics is pretty small, so having a better team on paper isn't all that helpful.

Its pretty much just about who can come together the quickest and play the best 4-5 games in a row when it matters.

canuck2010 10-30-2011 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealdeal (Post 38713731)
Hockey is a very weird sport, because having a better team on paper doesn't give you that much of an advantage. And the difference between teams on paper in the olympics is pretty small, so having a better team on paper isn't all that helpful.

Its pretty much just about who can come together the quickest and play the best 4-5 games in a row when it matters.

Think you're bang on with that observation.

OttawaRoughRiderFan* 10-30-2011 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by therealdeal (Post 38713731)
Hockey is a very weird sport, because having a better team on paper doesn't give you that much of an advantage. And the difference between teams on paper in the olympics is pretty small, so having a better team on paper isn't all that helpful.

Its pretty much just about who can come together the quickest and play the best 4-5 games in a row when it matters.

Good post.

I do however feel the size of the ice is a factor as well. Not for the Eupopean players - most can play on both. North American players are effected the most.

I think going forward, on the small ice, Canada vs the U.S. will most likely be the Gold Medal matchup. On the big ice anyone can win.

pouskin74* 10-30-2011 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by espo (Post 38710161)
Well based on recent performance one would have to have Canada, the U.S,Sweden and Finland as the teams with a serious shot at gold with Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic as the dark horses with an outside shot of medaling if the stars align correctly for them, they'd be a long shot but could win if they get a hot goaltender that can steal games for them.

:laugh:clown AT HIS BEST!

tikkanen5rings* 10-30-2011 10:22 PM

My chrystalball tells me Canada, Sweden and Finland will be the medal teams. Russia usually has trouble with team play and the Czechs don't look to be as strong as in the past. USA could always surprise but the chrystallballs don't lie.

JabbaJabba 10-31-2011 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tikkanen5rings (Post 38746821)
My chrystalball tells me Canada, Sweden and Finland will be the medal teams. Russia usually has trouble with team play and the Czechs don't look to be as strong as in the past. USA could always surprise but the chrystallballs don't lie.

Yeah, Finland wins gold, Canada gets silver and Sweden win bronze :nod:. I like it.

espo* 10-31-2011 08:58 AM

I call em as I see em, that's my opinion and it's based on recent performances in best on best tournaments (and no, the annual, and I use this term very loosely indeed "world championships" isn't one of them) and Russia has been pretty lousy lately in these best on bests. if you don't believe me go check their results yourself.

They're a dark horse going into Sochi, don't kid yourself.I'm not saying they suck, just that they can't be considered a TOP favourite going into the thing.


I truly would be a clown if I thought a team that hasn't done all that well in the highest level international tournaments at the senior level for quite some time now is a strong favourite going into the next olympics, it would be foolish to assume any such thing based on former long ago glories.

I'm hardly a clown, you're a guy who in another thread said Canada was currently in your opinion 4th in world Hockey AT BEST.

What kind of person really believes that malarky?

I've seen houseplants with a better grasp on international Hockey and it's results then that.

Clown indeed.



Quote:

Originally Posted by pouskin74 (Post 38742041)
:laugh:clown AT HIS BEST!


Zine 10-31-2011 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by espo (Post 38755237)
I call em as I see em, that's my opinion and it's based on recent performances in best on best tournaments (and no, the annual, and I use this term very loosely indeed "world championships" isn't one of them) and Russia has been pretty lousy lately in these best on bests. if you don't believe me go check their results yourself.

But Sochi won't be on NHL sized ice.

For NHL olympics (on international ice), Russia is tied for the lead in medals with Finns and Czechs. Canada has 1 medal in 3 big ice olympic attempts....including a 4th and 7th place finish.

You talk about results; however, like many posters here have said, history actually points to this as an 'anyone can win tourney' where every team can realistically be considered a top favourite.

espo* 10-31-2011 09:35 AM

You make good points there zine.

Rational anyway, you make sense.Definately something to take into account and consider.


It's certainly better then.....'we have won so many medals at the world championships in the past while you haven't" stuff that get's thrown around here so much and mean little to nothing at all in this argument.

OttawaRoughRiderFan* 10-31-2011 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zine (Post 38755761)
But Sochi won't be on NHL sized ice.

For NHL olympics (on international ice), Russia is tied for the lead in medals with Finns and Czechs. Canada has 1 medal in 3 big ice olympic attempts....including a 4th and 7th place finish.

You talk about results; however, like many posters here have said, history actually points to this as an 'anyone can win tourney' where every team can realistically be considered a top favourite.

Yes. Very true.

I have found watching Canada and the U.S. on the Big Ice painful. They look sooooo lost and out of place. Can't hit the net. Their passes miss. They forget their assignments, etc...

I think Russia has to be the favourites. Home, on the big ice, OV will have something to prove...

Having said that, Canada's talent is SCARY - everywhere but goal. Especially offensively. And, if they can get into a rhythm and GEL, it is hard to see anyone beating them.

Having said that, they could also finish 7th like in Italy.

Rabid Ranger 10-31-2011 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevyD (Post 38759117)
Yes. Very true.

I have found watching Canada and the U.S. on the Big Ice painful. They look sooooo lost and out of place. Can't hit the net. Their passes miss. They forget their assignments, etc...

I think Russia has to be the favourites. Home, on the big ice, OV will have something to prove...

Having said that, Canada's talent is SCARY - everywhere but goal. Especially offensively. And, if they can get into a rhythm and GEL, it is hard to see anyone beating them.

Having said that, they could also finish 7th like in Italy.

I can guarantee that the U.S. team in Sochi won't look anything like the team we brought to Turin. That was the last gasp for the "golden generation" that had its hey day at the '96 World Cup. Old, slow, and lacking in talent. The goaltending was also sketchy (even though Dipietro was adequete). USA Hockey has been placing a premium on skating over the last several years, and that should be a significant advantage. The goaltending has also never been better.

pouskin74* 10-31-2011 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by espo (Post 38755237)

I'm hardly a clown, you're a guy who in another thread said Canada was currently in your opinion 4th in world Hockey AT BEST.

it was sarcasm, you know. just feel a difference

YARR123 11-01-2011 03:45 PM

there are some really interesting factors that will come to play in Sochi.

- Russia and home court advantage. Russians will DEFINATELY work hard every shift infront of their home crowd, and if they get in a frenzy, Russian skill might take them to the gold, but, and that is one big BUT, they've also choked many times in front of a demanding home crowd. Defense a questionmark.

- Canada has choked before while playing on what we Europeans call rinks and you guys call soccerfields. Then again on paper they are absolutely dominant, but with the big ice surface and odd nature of these short tournaments gold is definately not guaranteed

- Oddly enough Finland always makes the best of what they have, and again probably are medal contenders. Gold is a reach

- Especially on the large ice Sweden will be tough once again. In previous years their defensive depth hasn't been a strong point, now I believe it will, as in addition to guys like Edler, Enström, Kronwall, Karlsson there will be Larsson, Hedman, Rundblad, OEL and co. to pick from.

- Slovakia, will be interesting to see how good a team they can put up by 2014, but I doubt they will be as strong as in 2010. They can put up only a couple of strong lines, after that the level drops drastically.

- Czech's have depth and skill but the guys are getting old and there aren't enough new guys to replace them.

- USA is probably the second best team in the tournament, but like Canada, how they perform on the soccerfield is a questionmark


This said, my prediction:

1. Sweden
2. Russia
3. Finland
4. Canada
5. USA
6. Czech
7. Slovak

Sorry Canada and USA :help:
Canada make it to the semis just because they have so much talent, lose the semis and then in the bronze game they are too shocked to care and Finland plays their best game of the tournament in the bronze game, as usual.

EDIT: oh, and don't take this too seriously, I know I wasn't

OttawaRoughRiderFan* 11-01-2011 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YARR123 (Post 38813377)
there are some really interesting factors that will come to play in Sochi.

- Russia and home court advantage. Russians will DEFINATELY work hard every shift infront of their home crowd, and if they get in a frenzy, Russian skill might take them to the gold, but, and that is one big BUT, they've also choked many times in front of a demanding home crowd. Defense a questionmark.

- Canada has choked before while playing on what we Europeans call rinks and you guys call soccerfields. Then again on paper they are absolutely dominant, but with the big ice surface and odd nature of these short tournaments gold is definately not guaranteed

- Oddly enough Finland always makes the best of what they have, and again probably are medal contenders. Gold is a reach

- Especially on the large ice Sweden will be tough once again. In previous years their defensive depth hasn't been a strong point, now I believe it will, as in addition to guys like Edler, Enström, Kronwall, Karlsson there will be Larsson, Hedman, Rundblad, OEL and co. to pick from.

- Slovakia, will be interesting to see how good a team they can put up by 2014, but I doubt they will be as strong as in 2010. They can put up only a couple of strong lines, after that the level drops drastically.

- Czech's have depth and skill but the guys are getting old and there aren't enough new guys to replace them.

- USA is probably the second best team in the tournament, but like Canada, how they perform on the soccerfield is a questionmark


This said, my prediction:

1. Sweden
2. Russia
3. Finland
4. Canada
5. USA
6. Czech
7. Slovak

Sorry Canada and USA :help:
Canada make it to the semis just because they have so much talent, lose the semis and then in the bronze game they are too shocked to care and Finland plays their best game of the tournament in the bronze game, as usual.

EDIT: oh, and don't take this too seriously, I know I wasn't

As much as I hate to admit it, there is a lot of truth to what you wrote.

espo* 11-01-2011 06:59 PM

I agree it will be more of an adjustment for Canada and the U.S on the bigger ice but Salt Lake was all on big ice wasn't it?

Canada won Gold on that, so finishing number one on the big ice is certainly attainable especially considering the talent Canada will have on hand (best in the tourney most probably)

Golds doable in Sochi without question, tougher, but doable.

espo* 11-01-2011 07:06 PM

I agree there is more of an adjustment on the big ice for Canada ( and the U.S too) but Salt Lake was all on big ice wasn't it?

Canada won Gold in that remember so winning in sochi is certainly attainable for Canada, especially considering the talent they will have on hand which will most likely be the best in the tournament and it will be mostly made up of players that are in their prime(unlike Torino) There won't be many, if any at all, over the hill guys on that team with the talent Canada has been streaming out this past decade/half decade(comfortably the best in quality and quantity amongst the big seven countries).


Golds certainly doable in Sochi for Canada, tougher yes but definately doable.

llwyd 11-02-2011 09:00 AM

Is the arena already finished in Sochi? I have a suspicion that when we are talking about the big ice that this particular time it really will be HUGE ice. International Russian rinks tend to be, hmm, rather sizeable - for some reason.... Nothing wrong in that, of course.

habsrule4eva3089 11-02-2011 09:40 AM

I wonder what the rest of the world's excuse will be after we win 2014 on that big pathethic ice, after having won on REAL SIZE ICE in 2010...probably will still find a way to get an excuse :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Don't compare 2014's roster to previous slow rosters that we sent on big ice, 2014 will be the best Canadian team ever assembled for an Olympic Games and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the world. :help:


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