Has Russia overtaken the #1 spot in World Hockey?
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11-28-2012, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Originally Posted by
It comes down to an argument of how you value the World Championships, because your logic is flawed elsewhere.
First of all you have to throw out the Super Series wins as they aren't Canada vs Russia, they are WHL, OHL, Q vs MHL/KHL
Second, Russia has beat Canada the last two World Juniors, but that is a relatively small sample size. Since the last lockout Canada's average finish has been a full place higher than Russia.
So the real question is how do you count the World Championships. Certainly Russia has been better. Since the last lockout Russia basically flips the script on Canada from the U20s finishing a over a full place higher on average. Russia has an average finish of 2.5, while Canada sports a sad 3.75. Now a Canadian will argue that Hockey Canada doesn't take the tournament as seriously and so it should not count. The counter argument is that isn't Russia's fault that Canada doesn't bring their best. It is a bit a silly to hear Canadians claim to be the best hockey team in the world (even if it is true), while casually dismissing international competition. The debate will never end, because there isn't a clear answer either way and mostly likely your view will be based on your rooting interests.
My view is that you don't get to just ignore international competition and claim you are the best, but you can't simply proclaim the Russians as the #1 hockey country in the world. You would likely be correct to say that Russia's hockey program has been slightly more successful than Canada's recently, but #1 hockey country in the world in a nebulous concept that skews more towards an NCAA football style AP poll champion of argument. If that is your claim then it won't be decided with numbers, but it is inherently argumentative based.
For that reason, with an essentially even split between Canada's success in the U-20s and Russia's success in the World Championship's, I've given the Canadians the tiebreaker based on thrashing Russia on the biggest stage in hockey at the Olympics.
The most reasoned and thoughtful response in this entire thread. Kudos, Sir! I can accept your argument and if Russia can manage a gold in Sochi, then I'll concede to them the number 1 spot for a while.
But I look at their prospective team and I really don't see a team that's a whole lot different than the one that crashed and burned in 2010, other than a few new faces and a new starting goaltender. Home ice advantage is really going to have to be the determining factor as I see the Americans, Canadians and Swedes all ahead of the Russians at the moment. I've said this a thousand times already, it could very easily be a U.S. Sweden gold medal game in Sochi. In fact I see that scenario more likely than either Canada or Russia winning gold there. HC in this lockout is doing **** for our players, while only 8 players (prospective Olympic team players are currently playing in Europe.) And it's time for HC to get off its *** and do something now as it looks as though the chances of an NHL season being played is extremely remote. We could very well have a very disjointed and poorly organized team yet again just like the one that followed the previous lockout. HC, more specifically Canadian hockey players who like to blow off the World Championships every spring better get serious about it and get serious in a hurry, as it may be the only competition they get for a while.
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