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World Junior Championship Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

Could the Swiss be medal contenders in 2018?

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01-02-2013, 09:32 AM
  #1
weklof
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Could the Swiss be medal contenders in 2018?

I have been really impressed with the Swiss team in this WJC playing even with four major hockey powers (Sweden, Finland, Czech, Russia). I believe that this is not a fluke year, since they have started to produce quality prospects (Niederreiter, Bärtschi, Josi, Sbisa etc) the last couple of years, but the beginning of them finally establishing themselves as a top country.

I think 2014 is too early, but by 2018 do you think they will have a good enough team to medal at a best-on-best tournament?

In 2018 their top prospects will be at or around their peak: Josi (28), Sbisa (28), Niederreiter (26), Bärtschi (26), Andrighetto (25), Bertschy (24), Richard (25)

Some of their current NT mainstays will also still be around: Blindenbacher (35), Diaz (32), Weber (30), Sprunger (32), Wick (33), Brunner (32)

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01-02-2013, 09:36 AM
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The Saurus
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I don't think so but they will be a challenging opponent for countries like Canada, Russia, etc.

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01-02-2013, 10:15 AM
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dmacgreg37
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I don't think medal contenders, but I've been saying for a few years that I think Swiss are poised to take the "elite 6" spot from the Slovaks.

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01-02-2013, 10:25 AM
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FiLe
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Originally Posted by dmacgreg37 View Post
I don't think medal contenders, but I've been saying for a few years that I think Swiss are poised to take the "elite 6" spot from the Slovaks.
Wait... the Slovaks are part of the elite six now? Who's fallen out?

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01-02-2013, 10:27 AM
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dmacgreg37
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Sorry meant, 7th. Getting up too early for hockey and forgot someone. Oops.

I do think the Swiss could battle to get into that 6th spot though with continued development.

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01-02-2013, 10:39 AM
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FiLe
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Originally Posted by dmacgreg37 View Post
I do think the Swiss could battle to get into that 6th spot though with continued development.
I don't think there's any particular order inside the elite given how any of them can win almost any tournament. Doubt any of them are going to be dropping out either.

But the Swiss might be well on their way to expand the current elite by one. Though this is something that's been said for the last 15 years... they've been somewhere there, at the step, for all that time, not quite breaking it... yet.

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01-02-2013, 10:43 AM
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Not a chance...

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01-02-2013, 10:52 AM
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They need to come up with more top-end talent. They would need 4 or 5 guys who would be good enough to play for some other top-end countries.

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01-02-2013, 10:52 AM
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Of course they are. They've had decent showing in two straight Olympic games. No reason to think they couldn't get to the medal round.

6-years ago, they beat Canada 2-0.

Last time around, they lost in the QF 2-0.

One more win each of those years, and they would have been at least playing for Bronze.

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01-02-2013, 10:55 AM
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weklof
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Originally Posted by FiLe View Post
But the Swiss might be well on their way to expand the current elite by one. Though this is something that's been said for the last 15 years... they've been somewhere there, at the step, for all that time, not quite breaking it... yet.
I think what has been missing for them has been truly elite players. They have had teams full of players of high European class, but lacking those truly star players. If Niederreiter, Bärtschi, and perhaps someone more develop into NHL stars, perhaps they can reach the level of Slovakia ca 2006

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01-02-2013, 10:56 AM
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fly4apuckguy
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Some of the top teams could produce two or three teams that would still be better than the best Swiss team...so no.

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01-02-2013, 11:01 AM
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How are people saying no?

Belarus played for a Bronze 10 years ago.

Switzerland was one game out of a Gold or Bronze medal game in the last two Olympics games. In 2006 they were very impressive before their loss to Sweden (finished 2-2-2) and then last time, they weren't as impressive, but they only lost 2-0 to USA in the QFs.

Every one of the Top-8 teams are medal contenders as far as I'm concerned.

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01-02-2013, 11:15 AM
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yeah, potentially.

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01-02-2013, 12:12 PM
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alcanalz
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Originally Posted by HawkeyeCB View Post
How are people saying no?

Belarus played for a Bronze 10 years ago.

Switzerland was one game out of a Gold or Bronze medal game in the last two Olympics games. In 2006 they were very impressive before their loss to Sweden (finished 2-2-2) and then last time, they weren't as impressive, but they only lost 2-0 to USA in the QFs.

Every one of the Top-8 teams are medal contenders as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, just some of them have a better chance than others.

A lot would need to go right in order for Switzerland to medal. They play a strong, strong team game and could give any country a run for their money on any night, but it won`t be easy to medal with some of the elite teams in the picture.

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01-02-2013, 12:44 PM
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Will they be a team that could get some points from every other team in the tourney? Absolutely.

Could they upset some of the better teams on paper in QF and get into the medal rounds with the right circumstances? Possibly yes.

Can they however be considered just as a strong candidate for a top 4 finish as the other top teams? Deifnitely not. They just lack the depth in elite level talent, especially offensively. They not only behind the top 4 in this aspect, but also the Finns and the Czechs (even in their bad days). Yeah, yeah, right I know they have Niederreiter and Bärtschi, but a) those two are still much more an exception rather than a rule and nothing seems to point out that Switzerland is about to start producing elite offensive talent on an at least somewhat REGULAR basis and b) even their not surefire elite players as of yet.

As has been already pointed out Switzerland has been improving for a long time now, yet their overall results have been pretty much the same for all this time that they have been improving and they have not managed to cross the line that seperates them from elite at any given point of time.

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01-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fly4apuckguy View Post
Some of the top teams could produce two or three teams that would still be better than the best Swiss team...so no.
The relevance of this factoid regarding the original question is zero. Each country sends only one team to the Olympics.

And yes, I think they might be able to do it. All they need is a good goalie having a good tourney. The rest they have almost already now.

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01-02-2013, 01:00 PM
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Yes. They compete with the likes of Canada and Russia, therefore they can CONTEND for a medal. They're medal contenders.

Is it likely? no. But everyone said the Devils weren't playoff contenders and "certainly not" cup contenders last year. **** happens.

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01-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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torero
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There are several contestants, but only three real contenders for the gold.

That is Russia, Canada and Sweden.

So Switzerland is, in my view, already a contestant for the gold. (by virtue of playing this tournament ... relegation removes you the contestant status.)

Contender for a bronze medal ?? i seriously believe YES. We were unlucky in the past years. Had we had luck, we would be holder of at least 1 bronze medal so far.

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01-02-2013, 01:18 PM
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fly4apuckguy
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Originally Posted by RorschachWJK View Post
The relevance of this factoid regarding the original question is zero. Each country sends only one team to the Olympics.

And yes, I think they might be able to do it. All they need is a good goalie having a good tourney. The rest they have almost already now.
Fair enough.

Any of the top ten teams can fluke out a medal by having a hot goalie or a couple of good bounces.

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01-02-2013, 01:41 PM
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Sticks and Pucks
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The Swiss beat Canada in 2006 and took Canada to a shootout before losing in 2010. I don't think either of those games were flukes. The Swiss are only getting better and I do think they can contend for a medal in 2018. Doesn't mean they will win but they will definitely make the road to a medal harder than it was before for the regular Olympic contenders.

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01-02-2013, 02:14 PM
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quentez
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Let's not forget Norway in this mix

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01-02-2013, 02:18 PM
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Acallabeth
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No way. They are like Canada that is worse at everything.

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01-02-2013, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fly4apuckguy View Post
Fair enough.

Any of the top ten teams can fluke out a medal by having a hot goalie or a couple of good bounces.
I doubt it, I'm in the camp that believes the Swiss now round out a Top-8 that have a remote chance in hell to medal. Anything past CAN/USA/RUS/SWE/FIN/CZE/SVK/SUI realistically have no medaling shot in an Olympic tournament in the next ten years; Belarus was the only nation that has come close in 2002 but they got massacred by Canada. You can fluke your way pretty close but eventually you will come across one of the top four nations, where outside of the top-8 in a best on best tournament the probabilities are too low for the likes of Latvia, Germany, Norway, Belarus, Denmark, Austria etc to go past them into the podium. Then again, as they say in stocks past performance does not necessarily indicate the future.

What will the 2014 SUI team look like? Presumably on the NHL side they'll use their five defenders (Streit/Sbisa/Weber/Josi/Diaz) with Hiller in net and Nino / Bartschi on forward positions. Does any other prospect have a shot at joining?

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01-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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Yeah, Bärtschi will be a star by then

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01-02-2013, 02:25 PM
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Let's not forget Norway in this mix
What is a norway?

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