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12-28-2012, 06:50 AM
Holden Caulfield
The Eternal Skeptic
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
The team that frustrates teams that are better on paper with good coaching/abiding the system and little star power and might even upset them and at the same time can struggle against the same level/weaker teams.
Ah I see. Yeah that's true. For now I still think the Slovaks have much better top end talent, particularly at the Men's level with guys like Gaborik, Halak, Chara, Hossa, but going forward that likely will be the case, unless guys like Jurco, Dano, etc become huge players. It does show the considerable improvement in coaching/team play the Slovaks have had where they can compete with the lesser star power, which is not the worst thing.

But unfortunately right now it does look like the "golden age" of Slovak hockey is behind us. I'd still rank Slovakia as the solid #7, kind of in a grouping of their own, slightly better than Swizterland/Norway/Latvia, but no longer quite at the level of the top 6. Probably fall into Swizterland/Norway/Latvia tier soon, particularly with the improvement those nations have shown in recent years and the advancing age of many Slovak stars. Hopefully this next generation starts to turn it around for Slovakia. WJC are not a great indicator though, IMO, since superior depth of bigger countries allows them to shine.

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