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07-27-2013, 04:45 PM
Mr. Know-It-Nothing
Join Date: Oct 2009
Country: Finland
Posts: 2,583
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
1) it's unlikely that they all end up in different QF pairs
When you look at the groups, it's indeed quite highly unlikely that this will happen.

What is the most surefire way to ensure that the best four teams on paper don't meet in QFs? Sweden, Canada need to win their groups and out of RUS/USA one needs to win and the other finish as the best runner-up.

Currently, the group setup is pretty heavily slated against that happening. One out of CAN/FIN is the most likely to be the best runner-up, and even if they aren't, then SWE/CZE have slightly better odds.

Now, if the best runner-up comes from either group B or group C, the 2nd best runner-up should come from group A so that they can avoid meeting one of the other four. Again, not the best odds. Slovakia won't make it easy.

One more thing that can happen in the group stage is that SWE-CZE, CAN-FIN, USA-SVK or RUS-SVK ends in the favor of the "challenger". This will also almost certainly guarantee a "big four" QF showdown. The Swiss can also end up being a spanner in the works.

Simply put: Those who predict that the best four teams on paper will make up the final four have not exactly done their homework. To predict against that to happen is not even wishful thinking. No, it's actually something that is built in the system. For the top four to really finish in the top four does not require things to go in favor of the odds... it's going to take beating them.

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