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02-19-2010, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Bunny Foo Foo View Post
What every fan from every country needs to realize is that the best team on paper doesn't win at the Olympics. The hottest team at the time wins or a hot goaltender can beat even the most stacked team.

There's plenty enough skill on many of these teams to win any given game. Relative skill level matters a little, but not enough to guarantee anything in a single elimination format. Look at it this way...the relative talent levels between the best team in the NHL and the worst is obvious even to casual observers. Yet the best best team is only winning about 66% of their games and the worst team is winning almost 33%. If they played each other in a single game the top team would be favored, but it would hardly be a lock.

At this level of competition, there's a definite diminishing return on skill. Any given game factors like the ones below will have a larger impact in determining the outcome than the disparity in skill levels between the teams:
-Quality of execution within the team's various offensive and defensive schemes
-Intensity level and effort
-Relative difference in the quality of play between the two goaltenders

Any number of teams in this tournament have goalies good enough to steal a single game. You sure can't depend on, or control, luck. What you do have some control over, however, is constructing a team around players who consistently have high intensity levels and who you think will be able to execute the best within the schemes you want to play. Those players aren't always the most skilled ones available.

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