Should the World Juniors move to a larger format?
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12-21-2012, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted by
There is too much of a gap between the top teams like Canada, US, Russia, Sweden and the teams like Germany, Latvia, Norway etc. The Czechs, Slovaks and Finns, being small countries have good and bad years as is too be expected, but teams like Germany, Latvia etc rarely ever compete with anybody in these tournaments. I'm not sure it really benefits anybody to have more of these completely overmatched teams in the tournament.
Is that so?
I do remember quite a few of those smaller teams being competitive, Germany beating USA and Slovakia and then getting relegated because of losses against Belarus and Switzerland, Russia barely beating Kazakhstan, Switzerland taking the eventual gold-medal winner Sweden to a shootout. It happens, just like blowout losses happen. Now, blowouts were a bit more extreme lately then in the years prior to that, but there is a reason for that as well.
The problem is, the smaller nations are much more dependent on the skill of their oldest age-class. There have been quite a few times where teams got up to the WJC on the strength of their best class in years, only to lose most of them for the next tournament and get blown to bits because the next class was weak. Just like teams got relegated to a lower level even though they were probably much stronger than the team that got up. That's why having only one team go down makes sense.
Then you get to the point of different strategies. Some smaller nations try to compete with the best, and then lack the energy to beat those who are about their level, as those teams didn't waste any energy on the big nations, letting themselves get steamrolled, to save anything they have for the games they can win.
They just changed the system so maybe they should wait for some years and see how it goes.
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