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

Will the Olympics ever be a true best on best?

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Old
04-21-2013, 02:57 AM
  #1
markz*
 
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Will the Olympics ever be a true best on best?

Right now, we have the prelim stage and then a playoff round, but out of the top 8 hockey countries in the world, Top nations only usually face 3 usually, to sometimes 4 of the Best Countries in the tournament.

I like how in the Canada Cups (round robin system only), they have every country play each other, which is more telling. I know personally lots of people that have the feeling even that if you win the Olympics, you only really play 3-4 of the Top 8 countries.

Also, Each Champion since 1998 has also lost in the Tournament, and they've only faced 1/2 of the other Best Countries. System needs to change to give a better picture.

Also it's seems that N.A countries excel in Small Ice and Euro Countries excel in Big Ice, and - maybe go to a hybrid ice?

Edit: I don't think it will ever exist the way it's structured either, unless


1. Each Country plays each other, and the one with the Best Record wins the Gold* (Most Logical). -*But to be the undisputed Best, going undefeated has to be absolute.

or

2. The old way in the Olympics up until 1992 - 2 Groups of Countries play all teams in their grouping, and the Top 2 teams of each Group play each other in a "Final Four" where the best record wins the Gold.


Additionally:
* Ice Size must be neutral for all countries involved (Olympic sized Ice - Hybrid Ice)


* Referees must be neutral for all countries involved (one from each country that is playing in THAT specific game - not hard to do)


Both are better than today's system, and closer to a true best on best.


Last edited by markz*: 05-03-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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04-21-2013, 03:12 AM
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Nothing is perfect, and it will never be absolutely pure best on best as there will always be injuries, suspensions, home ice advantages/disadvantages and so on.

I think it's fine the way it is right now, you also have to remember that there are very strict timeline constrictions that this tournament has to work with, making any formatting changes extremely difficult to play with.

It's easy to say something isn't perfect but to propose something better takes a lot of effort...

As Voltaire said - perfect is the enemy of good.

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04-23-2013, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
Nothing is perfect, and it will never be absolutely pure best on best as there will always be injuries, suspensions, home ice advantages/disadvantages and so on.

I think it's fine the way it is right now, you also have to remember that there are very strict timeline constrictions that this tournament has to work with, making any formatting changes extremely difficult to play with.

It's easy to say something isn't perfect but to propose something better takes a lot of effort...

As Voltaire said - perfect is the enemy of good.
True I agree somewhat But personally, I think if you don't play every top country from best 7/8, it's not a "True" Best on Best competition.

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04-23-2013, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
Also it's seems that N.A countries excel in Small Ice and Euro Countries excel in Big Ice, and - maybe go to a hybrid ice?
I honestly believe it's too small of a sample to even judge whether that's true or not. In 4 best on best Olympic tournaments, Canada has two Golds; one on NHL size ice, the other on big ice.

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04-24-2013, 08:19 AM
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The Olympics aren't long enough for all the teams to play eachother, so no. I guess if you make it a 6 team tournament, sure.

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04-24-2013, 10:28 AM
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Whether you run track, shoot arrows, rifle, shot put, weights, swimming, you face all the best judged equally. Hockey - you only end up facing 3-4 of the Best countries of the Top 7/8.

And ... Every Country has lost in each Olympics since 1998. We need a better system.

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04-24-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
Each Champion since 1998 has also lost in the Tournament, and they've only faced 1/2 of the other Best Countries.
Outside of 2010, all the previous winners had to face all but one of the top countries.

Playing more games against other contenders is only going to increase the likelihood that the eventual winner has lost a game, or even multiple games, along the way.

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04-24-2013, 12:19 PM
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I disagree. Look at every other "best on best" team sporting competition in the world. Does each of the top 5 10 15 teams play each other? No. The format is fine.
I could see the tournament expanding to 16 teams at one point but that is the only change I'd like to see. And that would only be reflective of the growing competitiveness in international hockey.

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04-24-2013, 12:24 PM
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Also you cite the old Canada Cup, but when it comes to limiting the number of games that the eventual winner is allowed to lose, it was really the worst format you could possibly think of.

Hell you didn't even need a positive record to actually win it, you could end up champions with as little as 2W and 3 defeats.

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04-24-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
Right now, we have the prelim stage and then a playoff round, but out of the top 8 hockey countries in the world, Top nations only usually face 3 usually, to sometimes 4 of the Best Countries in the tournament.

I like how in the Canada Cups, they have every country play each other, which is more telling . I know personally lots of people that have the feeling even that if you win the Olympics, you only really play 3-4 of the Top 8 countries.

Each Champion since 1998 has also lost in the Tournament, and they've only faced 1/2 of the other Best Countries. System needs to change to give a better picture.

Also it's seems that N.A countries excel in Small Ice and Euro Countries excel in Big Ice, and - maybe go to a hybrid ice?
The closest ever to a best-on-best was the 1972 Series of the Century. Both teams were acknowledged to be the best in the World, and they played each other in an 8 game home and home series. At that time, the NHL was about 98% Canadian, and there were very few good American players. The Czechoslovaks and Swedes occasionally beat the Soviets, but the Soviets dominated international competition overall. Referees were from countries other than the Soviet Union and Canada, which prevented allegations of favoritism. Those conditions were never duplicated after 1972.

Discussion of the Canada Cup inevitably turns into a war zone. The Olympics currently have the best players, but it is single game, single elimination, which only measures which team was the best on a given day. Also, most NHL refs who work the Olympics are Canadian or American, which produces anxiety in people from other countries. I agree with Fulcrum that as it stands, the Olympics are probably the best we have, but they are fall short of being a complete best on best competition.

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04-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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The most prestigious and successful team sports tournament in international play is the FIFA World Cup and it runs on almost exactly the same system.

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04-24-2013, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
The Czechoslovaks and Swedes occasionally beat the Soviets, but the Soviets dominated international competition overall.
The Czechoslovaks did not "occasionally" beat the Soviets, they beat them on a regular basis. In the games played between 68 and 72 the Czechoslovaks beat the Soviets 5 times, versus 3 Soviet wins.

As for Canada, I'm not sure what there is to suggest they were any better than Czechoslovakia at that point. Indeed they couldn't beat them when they faced them that year.

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04-24-2013, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
The Czechoslovaks did not "occasionally" beat the Soviets, they beat them on a regular basis. In the games played between 68 and 72 the Czechoslovaks beat the Soviets 5 times, versus 3 Soviet wins.

As for Canada, I'm not sure what there is to suggest they were any better than Czechoslovakia at that point. Indeed they couldn't beat them when they faced them that year.
The problem for the Czechs in that period was losing to countries not named the USSR

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04-25-2013, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
The Czechoslovaks did not "occasionally" beat the Soviets, they beat them on a regular basis. In the games played between 68 and 72 the Czechoslovaks beat the Soviets 5 times, versus 3 Soviet wins.

As for Canada, I'm not sure what there is to suggest they were any better than Czechoslovakia at that point. Indeed they couldn't beat them when they faced them that year.
You seriously think Czechoslovakia was better than Canada between 1968 and 1972? Riiight...

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04-25-2013, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
You seriously think Czechoslovakia was better than Canada between 1968 and 1972? Riiight...
I'm not sure what there is to suggest Canada were any better than Czechoslovakia in 1972, is what I wrote.

Why would Czechoslovakia need to be better than Canada between 1968 and 1972?

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04-27-2013, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
Whether you run track, shoot arrows, rifle, shot put, weights, swimming, you face all the best judged equally. Hockey - you only end up facing 3-4 of the Best countries of the Top 7/8.

And ... Every Country has lost in each Olympics since 1998. We need a better system.
And whether you play badminton, basketball, field hockey, football, handball, table tennis, tennis or volleyball, you... oh wait.

You're comparing a team sport to individual sports. That makes no sense.


Last edited by wirelessflyingcord: 04-27-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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04-28-2013, 12:38 AM
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And whether you play badminton, basketball, field hockey, football, handball, table tennis, tennis or volleyball, you... oh wait.

You're comparing a team sport to individual sports. That makes no sense.
I see what mean. But still doesn't change the Facts that Olympic Hockey is not a true Best on Best - how about going back to the Round Robin style of play like in the 1988 Olympics?

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04-28-2013, 03:25 PM
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I certainly hope you don't think something that was literally called the "Canada Cup" is a better indicator of anything.

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04-28-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
I see what mean. But still doesn't change the Facts that Olympic Hockey is not a true Best on Best - how about going back to the Round Robin style of play like in the 1988 Olympics?
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the same way. It's a tournament. Maybe a team was better than your team but they ran into a team that was a bad matchup for them but happened to be a good matchup for your team. Them's the breaks.

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04-30-2013, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
The closest ever to a best-on-best was the 1972 Series of the Century. Both teams were acknowledged to be the best in the World, and they played each other in an 8 game home and home series. At that time, the NHL was about 98% Canadian, and there were very few good American players. The Czechoslovaks and Swedes occasionally beat the Soviets, but the Soviets dominated international competition overall. Referees were from countries other than the Soviet Union and Canada, which prevented allegations of favoritism. Those conditions were never duplicated after 1972.

Discussion of the Canada Cup inevitably turns into a war zone. The Olympics currently have the best players, but it is single game, single elimination, which only measures which team was the best on a given day. Also, most NHL refs who work the Olympics are Canadian or American, which produces anxiety in people from other countries. I agree with Fulcrum that as it stands, the Olympics are probably the best we have, but they are fall short of being a complete best on best competition.
Just checked Wikipedia - 2010 Olympics Finals in Canada - Canada vs U.S.A - All Referee's were Canadian - Wow

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04-30-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
The Czechoslovaks did not "occasionally" beat the Soviets, they beat them on a regular basis. In the games played between 68 and 72 the Czechoslovaks beat the Soviets 5 times, versus 3 Soviet wins.

As for Canada, I'm not sure what there is to suggest they were any better than Czechoslovakia at that point. Indeed they couldn't beat them when they faced them that year.
Maybe I brushed over the Czechoslovaks emotional performances in 1968-69, sparked to a large degree by the political uprising that swept through Czechoslovak society during that era. The Czechs were clearly the Soviets toughest and most tenacious opponent at that time. Still, the Wikipedia describes the era of 1963-76 as "Soviet dominance" of the IIHF World Championships, in which the Soviets won 9 consecutive Gold Medals. The Soviets also won Olympic Gold in '64, '68, '72 and '76. I would offer those statistics to support my contention that the two best teams in the World were clearly Canada and the Soviet Union.

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04-30-2013, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by markz View Post
Just checked Wikipedia - 2010 Olympics Finals in Canada - Canada vs U.S.A - All Referee's were Canadian - Wow
That kind of occurences are for sure a bit questionable (didn't Salt Lake also had these?), but generally I honestly trust the NHL refs more than refs from Europe, where most refs are not even doing it for a living and are actually technically amateurs. Practically too, as the standard of the refereeing during the World Championships is a yearly topic for a reason.

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05-01-2013, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
the Soviets won 9 consecutive Gold Medals. The Soviets also won Olympic Gold in '64, '68, '72 and '76. I would offer those statistics to support my contention that the two best teams in the World were clearly Canada and the Soviet Union.
Those statistics say absolutely nothing about Canada.

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05-01-2013, 04:25 PM
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Those statistics say absolutely nothing about Canada.
I think when the Russians were beating Canada 3W-1T-1L in the 1972 Summit Series, and you have a Canadian forward (on orders from the coaches) to brake the best Soviet player's ankle (Russia's "Gretzky" I've heard) - that's cheating. That would cause a disqualification for Canada in the Olympics if they found out at that time, not 20 or 30 years later. The Soviets Won that

Still wondering, can anyone confirm why the Olympics changed their format after 1988 (In 1992) to go from each country playing each other and the one with the Best record gets the Gold (I think)?

I know the NHL was allowed from 1988 and they decided not to take a break until 10 years later (own choice), and still want concessions but other leagues in Europe don't get it?

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05-01-2013, 04:32 PM
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Also another question, why did many Swedish players admit they lost on purpose to Slovakia in the 2006 Olympics (Sedin, Forsberg etc) so they wouldn't have to face Russia or Canada (Sweden lost 5-0 to Russia)?

I read that even the IIHF and Olympics were investigating about it, but nothing happened.


Last edited by markz*: 05-01-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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