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WJC Tournament Predictions

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Old
12-08-2012, 03:59 AM
  #101
Huffman
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Originally Posted by Nash View Post
So not only are you predicting that Russia loses their QF game, but that they will also end up third in their pool? That is a doubly bold prediction.

9 returning players, 2 returning goalies, first overall pick, size, strength, skill, international & home ice, etc...I just don't see it happening. This would be beyond a monumental collapse.

Almost half this group played last year, then played four games against Canada in the summer, and then played 6 games together in the Subway Super Series. I don't think there is any Canadian or Russian squad in the WJC history that has ever played as many significant games together prior to a tournament. There really shouldn't be a slow chemistry forming aspect to either squad. One hiccup in the tournament is hard to fathom, let alone two.
How is that even bold? I have the US as favorites to finish second in their group after Canada. Then Russia will face either Finland or Sweden in the quarters and they could EASILY lose to any of them.

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12-08-2012, 04:51 AM
  #102
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Group A:

Sweden
Czech Republic
Finland

Switzerland
Latvia

Group B:

Russia
Canada
United States

Slovakia
Germany

QF1: Czech Republic vs United Stares
QF2: Canada vs Finland

SF1: Sweden vs United States
SF2: Russia vs Canada

BM: Canada vs United States

F: Sweden vs Russia

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Old
12-08-2012, 05:16 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by perry2perry View Post
How is that even bold? I have the US as favorites to finish second in their group after Canada. Then Russia will face either Finland or Sweden in the quarters and they could EASILY lose to any of them.
Any team can beat any team if things just fall into place. Great goaltending alone can do it in a single game. Based on the rosters, I can honestly say that I'd take Russia 9 times out of 10 to beat USA. Can you say the same for the US, or are you predicting a huge upset. Calling a US win over Russia anything less than an upset is seriously poor evaluation of each squad.

As good as I think Canada will be in a lockout year, Russia is the favorite this year. They are more veteran, have 9 returning players from a team that lost the Gold medal in OT, have maybe the two best goalies in the tournament, Yakupov wasn't first overall for nothing and the tournament is on home, international sized ice.

So yes, I think it is bold to not only predict that USA will finish ahead of them, but that then they will also blow the QF in the same year.

The way I see it...

1A Russia
1B Canada



3A Sweden
3B Finland
5 USA
6 Czech

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12-08-2012, 06:39 AM
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
Any team can beat any team if things just fall into place. Great goaltending alone can do it in a single game. Based on the rosters, I can honestly say that I'd take Russia 9 times out of 10 to beat USA. Can you say the same for the US, or are you predicting a huge upset. Calling a US win over Russia anything less than an upset is seriously poor evaluation of each squad.

As good as I think Canada will be in a lockout year, Russia is the favorite this year. They are more veteran, have 9 returning players from a team that lost the Gold medal in OT, have maybe the two best goalies in the tournament, Yakupov wasn't first overall for nothing and the tournament is on home, international sized ice.

So yes, I think it is bold to not only predict that USA will finish ahead of them, but that then they will also blow the QF in the same year.

The way I see it...

1A Russia
1B Canada



3A Sweden
3B Finland
5 USA
6 Czech
That same team lost twice against Sweden while being heavily outplayed for the most part. The Russian teams have also often been terrible on the U18 level the last couple of years while Canada, Sweden and especially USA have excelled. Not saying the Russians have a worse team than any of those countries but I would not say they clearly have a better team either.

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12-08-2012, 06:42 AM
  #105
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1. Canada
2. Russia
3. Finland

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12-08-2012, 11:53 AM
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perry2perry View Post
That same team lost twice against Sweden while being heavily outplayed for the most part. The Russian teams have also often been terrible on the U18 level the last couple of years while Canada, Sweden and especially USA have excelled. Not saying the Russians have a worse team than any of those countries but I would not say they clearly have a better team either.
If U18 dominance was a true indicator of how the U20 tournament unfolds, USA would have more than two golds and seven medals total over 36 years. The April tournament conflicting with CHL playoffs doesn't even count to me. That cripples Canada and any Euros playing in the CHL as well. USA has a distinct advantage over every nation in both U17 & U18 in that the team plays together an entire season. Every other team meshes together for a short camp and tournament. New line mates, coaches, systems, etc need to be worked out in a very short time. At the Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 in August, all nations have the ability to send their best players. That tournament is probably a better indicator of actual talent.

Even so, Russia doesn't fair nearly as well at these younger tournaments as they do at the U20 level. I'm not sure why, but I'm sure a Russian poster could enlighten us.

The Russians were badly outshot both games against Sweden, but they were both OT wins that could have gone either way. Even though Russia tends to shoot less looking for higher percentage shots than most nations, yes they were outplayed those games. However, having Grigerenko playing injured didn't help. Also, as indicated, they have 9 returning players this year, plus Naumenkov who is injured. They were a young squad last year and they still won Silver. Don't discount that.

Sweden had a great tournament. It was nice to see them win Gold after years of frustration and both great players and great teams just falling short in the 90's and recently. However, it wasn't a cakewalk. They needed a shoot out to beat Switzerland in the round robin. If they lost that, they would have had to go through Czechs and Canada and who knows how that would have turned out. They also needed a shoot out win over Finland in the SF to make the final as well.

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12-08-2012, 12:59 PM
  #107
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I really like the Czechs' chances of upsetting someone in this tournament. A number of their forwards are on fire coming in, and if they can get some goaltending again they will be a tough out.

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Old
12-08-2012, 02:25 PM
  #108
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I am always excited to see Finland play. I think this year they will come home with a medal because of Sweden taking a step back this year. I always find Finland and the USA have great games. Canada is always super hyped up same with Russian and USA, one of those will get gold, but the more interesting story of this year is Czech Republic and Finland. Those two teams will be interesting to watch.

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12-08-2012, 02:26 PM
  #109
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Even the lesser lights (Germany, Latvia) have better rosters than usual.

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Old
12-08-2012, 02:57 PM
  #110
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1. Canada

2. Russia

3.USA

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12-08-2012, 05:00 PM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perry2perry View Post
That same team lost twice against Sweden while being heavily outplayed for the most part. The Russian teams have also often been terrible on the U18 level the last couple of years while Canada, Sweden and especially USA have excelled. Not saying the Russians have a worse team than any of those countries but I would not say they clearly have a better team either.
I have no problem with Canada and Russia being the favorites here, but I'm not sure why Sweden and Finland get the edge over the U.S.

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12-08-2012, 05:39 PM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
I have no problem with Canada and Russia being the favorites here, but I'm not sure why Sweden and Finland get the edge over the U.S.
I believe that Sweden and Finland have more high end talent than the US roster. Barkov, Teravainen and Armia are more talented the USA top 3 forwards. Sweden has more depth up front as well.

The tournament being played on international ice in Europe always makes me lean towards Euro teams as well if teams are close.

But as I said in an earlier post, look at Team Canada 2006. Only one bonafide NHL star forward from that roster, but they played a fantastic team game and got it done.

I'm excited to see if the Czechs can join this group of 3 as well. The near win against Russia last year and the best talent I've seen them have on forward in years makes me think they can.

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12-09-2012, 04:40 AM
  #113
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Alright then, The Nuge is on board, declaring himself fit for duty. I must say, I'm a little surprised as I didn't think Edmonton would ultimately give him the green light to play, but I guess it was his decision in the end and he made the right one.

Should be one hell of a tourny will pretty much all TOP Players playing except for injuries to Sweden's 2 guys on D and Ottawa being stupid over little Z. (I still hope they reverse that decision.)

Looking forward to the tourny as I do every year... my favorite part of the holidays.

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12-09-2012, 09:46 AM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
I believe that Sweden and Finland have more high end talent than the US roster. Barkov, Teravainen and Armia are more talented the USA top 3 forwards. Sweden has more depth up front as well.

The tournament being played on international ice in Europe always makes me lean towards Euro teams as well if teams are close.

But as I said in an earlier post, look at Team Canada 2006. Only one bonafide NHL star forward from that roster, but they played a fantastic team game and got it done.

I'm excited to see if the Czechs can join this group of 3 as well. The near win against Russia last year and the best talent I've seen them have on forward in years makes me think they can.
I don't agree with your assessment at all. It's all academic though. I suppose we'll see how it plays out on the ice.

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12-09-2012, 11:56 AM
  #115
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Originally Posted by Mr Writer View Post
Should be one hell of a tourny will pretty much all TOP Players playing except for injuries to Sweden's 2 guys on D and Ottawa being stupid over little Z. (I still hope they reverse that decision.)
Naumenkov for Russia on D. One of their best. Definitely the best during SSS.

Murray for Canada. Arguably top 1 or 2 D.

Buffalo may be holding back Girgensens in the AHL. Nothing official on that yet, but that would be a heavy loss.

Not sure of any other major ones.

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12-09-2012, 12:15 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
I don't agree with your assessment at all. It's all academic though. I suppose we'll see how it plays out on the ice.
USA always competes. Their focus on skating certainly helps in this regard. We won't be able to see an answer until the QF, where USA will likely play the 2nd seed.

Being placed in a pool with Canada and Russia in a lockout year is very tough. Luckily, Germany should be the worst team in the tournament, so all USA needs to do is beat Slovakia to secure the playoff round. The other side is tougher with the bottom two teams. Switzerland and Latvia are capable of possibly throwing an upset win in the mix in that pool.

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Old
12-09-2012, 12:23 PM
  #117
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Russia - Gold
Canada - Silver
USA - Bronze

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12-09-2012, 12:49 PM
  #118
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I dont expect Sweden leaving this tournament as the best junior team in the world again but i hope. If someone told me to bet on this tournament i either place Russia or Canada as a winner.
But if either Sweden get a medal or i Canada gets crushed i will be happy

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12-09-2012, 01:18 PM
  #119
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I predict that the Latvians will have the best fans show up and cheer wildly for their team. It's always a pleasure to see how passionate they are about hockey. I'm glad there is only one team relegated a year now and hope they stay in the top division for a long time. Switzerland and Germany have hosted the tournament previously, but it's been a long time since a nation other than the big six have held it. I'd love to see a tournament in Latvia in the near future.

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12-09-2012, 01:33 PM
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
I predict that the Latvians will have the best fans show up and cheer wildly for their team. It's always a pleasure to see how passionate they are about hockey. I'm glad there is only one team relegated a year now and hope they stay in the top division for a long time. Switzerland and Germany have hosted the tournament previously, but it's been a long time since a nation other than the big six have held it. I'd love to see a tournament in Latvia in the near future.
As a latvian hockey fan,its very humbling to hear this

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Old
12-10-2012, 10:17 AM
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
USA always competes. Their focus on skating certainly helps in this regard. We won't be able to see an answer until the QF, where USA will likely play the 2nd seed.

Being placed in a pool with Canada and Russia in a lockout year is very tough. Luckily, Germany should be the worst team in the tournament, so all USA needs to do is beat Slovakia to secure the playoff round. The other side is tougher with the bottom two teams. Switzerland and Latvia are capable of possibly throwing an upset win in the mix in that pool.
Not really directed at you, but I think the US is going to make some of the posters on here look silly.

Every team has strengths and has their flaws, but looking at the US team, and the number of skilled players they have top down, I do find it odd how they are getting ranked below Sweden and Finland who simply are not on their overall talent level. ...

playing this tournament away from North American soil could play havoc on both Canada and the US, but we did just fine in 04 away from North America with a similar makeup team that we are bringing now...

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12-10-2012, 03:11 PM
  #122
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Originally Posted by AmericanDream View Post
Not really directed at you, but I think the US is going to make some of the posters on here look silly.

Every team has strengths and has their flaws, but looking at the US team, and the number of skilled players they have top down, I do find it odd how they are getting ranked below Sweden and Finland who simply are not on their overall talent level. ...

playing this tournament away from North American soil could play havoc on both Canada and the US, but we did just fine in 04 away from North America with a similar makeup team that we are bringing now...
I'm pretty sure you had similar feelings last year about how dynamic that team would be. Didn't you say last year that one of the strengths of the US roster was their defense before the tournament? To which I only have to say Clendening. Wasn't Saad someone you thought would be a force for the team? I know you didn't like some CHL omissions, but you thought Blais would guide that team to victory.

Sorry, I'm not meaning to pick on you. This isn't directed at you, but many people picked USA to be a medalist last year and several had them pegged for gold. All I read prior to the tournament was how Jack Campbell was going to be a brick wall that would shut down everyone. Obviously, everything that can go wrong did. It was as bad as Canada in 1998.

By no means am I suggesting that USA will suffer through that type of embarrassment again this year, but I think there is a tad too much overhyping of them. Again, that is not directed at you. I think you are a reasonable poster. You have them slotted below Russia and Canada with a belief that they can still come together and win in the end.

I don't think there is a massive gap between Sweden, Finland and USA. There is a bigger gap between Canada and Russia and those 3 nations though. However, anything can happen in a tournament. All any team needs to succeed is great chemistry and great goaltending.

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12-10-2012, 03:24 PM
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nash View Post
I'm pretty sure you had similar feelings last year about how dynamic that team would be. Didn't you say last year that one of the strengths of the US roster was their defense before the tournament? To which I only have to say Clendening. Wasn't Saad someone you thought would be a force for the team? I know you didn't like some CHL omissions, but you thought Blais would guide that team to victory.

Sorry, I'm not meaning to pick on you. This isn't directed at you, but many people picked USA to be a medalist last year and several had them pegged for gold. All I read prior to the tournament was how Jack Campbell was going to be a brick wall that would shut down everyone. Obviously, everything that can go wrong did. It was as bad as Canada in 1998.

By no means am I suggesting that USA will suffer through that type of embarrassment again this year, but I think there is a tad too much overhyping of them. Again, that is not directed at you. I think you are a reasonable poster. You have them slotted below Russia and Canada with a belief that they can still come together and win in the end.

I don't think there is a massive gap between Sweden, Finland and USA. There is a bigger gap between Canada and Russia and those 3 nations though. However, anything can happen in a tournament. All any team needs to succeed is great chemistry and great goaltending.
Fair comments, but why the inference that there is something to be gained by looking at what happened last year? The U.S. only has three returnees, a new coaching staff, etc. I don't think you can make a prediction for this year's team based on last year's results.

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12-10-2012, 03:52 PM
  #124
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Maybe Russia will win this on home ice for once.

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12-10-2012, 05:04 PM
  #125
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Fair comments, but why the inference that there is something to be gained by looking at what happened last year? The U.S. only has three returnees, a new coaching staff, etc. I don't think you can make a prediction for this year's team based on last year's results.
True enough. There is a lot of turnover, which should happen after a big let down. Not quite hockey summit, national crisis like Canada.

However, I'm seeing some of the same rhetoric about this year's US squad. Some are saying that Gibson might be the best goaltender in the tournament already. Many are saying that both the high end talent and depth are as good as ever.

Personally I see as big a drop off as ever after the top 3-4 forwards and top two D. I'm sure a few players will surprise me. I just feel that for USA to medal, they are going to have to out will their opponents more than out skill them this year. Great depth on paper isn't always a recipe for success. The 2006 squad was as deep of a roster as the US has produced and they couldn't come together.

I don't see USA winning the pool in the round robin against both Canada and Russia. Any team going through the QF round has a hard time winning with two top seeds lying in wait and rested for the game the next day. I'm not sure if a third seed has ever won gold or even made the gold medal game, but I'd imagine it would be a very rare ocurance. Second place in the round robin might be the best seeding to aim for. You would have a QF and SF against the other pool, which is perceived to be weaker. However, that remains to be seen.

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