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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.

Has Russia overtaken the #1 spot in World Hockey?

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12-07-2012, 12:01 PM
  #451
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
A b-tournament featuring "as many stars that wants and can show up", has it ever been viewed any other way?

USA got 2nd in the olympics played in USA and 2nd in the olympics played in Canada. Before and after that they were 6th and 8th. If they get a good finish in Russia, then let's talk.
Some of the people here seem to think it is a A tournament.

The USA has done more than Russia lately. In hockey history, of course not, but recent history, yes. I also think the current USA lineup > current Russian lineup

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12-07-2012, 12:03 PM
  #452
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
The WJC is popular in Canada because of TSN, that historical streak of 5 gold medals in the 90s that aligned with the ramping up of TSN's massive coverage, and the transformation of the tournament into a holiday tradition of sorts.

Let's not pretend that it's always been important.

No one knew anything about it before the early 90s, aside from the real hockey egg-heads and scouts.

The fact that it's held in North America quite often, does not really conflict much with the NHL schedule, and is easy prime-time ratings for the broadcaster, has helped drive its popularity.

It's gained some prestige in Europe, particularly when their teams win, and given the attention that Canada has placed on it, but it will never be the same as it is over here.
But for the past 20 years it has been a big deal, and that is what is important now. The best players go. Does it matter what happened 30 years ago?

From what I am reading it got big because of Canada, that alone tells me that Canada is the biggest and best hockey nation. Like it or not, Canada currently runs the hockey world.

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12-07-2012, 12:05 PM
  #453
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
But for the past 20 years it has been a big deal, and that is what is important now. The best players go. Does it matter what happened 30 years ago?
The best players of a certain age go.

Not the best players.

A guy who was born 2 weeks past the deadline can't attend? That's a constraint.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the World Juniors, but it says more about a country's depth than anything about the overall skill level IMO.

Teams that aren't competitive at the Juniors are often competitive at the senior level because the impacts of smaller pools of players are mitigated by the 20 years or so of hockey players that they can draw from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes
From what I am reading it got big because of Canada, that alone tells me that Canada is the biggest and best hockey nation. Like it or not, Canada currently runs the hockey world.
Those are two different statements that aren't necessarily aligned.

I would agree that Canada is the "biggest" hockey nation and that we "run" the hockey world.

That doesn't make us the "best".

We have the most clout.

I would say that we are the "best" right now because we're the reigning Olympic champions. Just like the Swedes in 2006, and the Czechs in 1998.

Like the World Cup in soccer, it's the only tournament that REALLY matters.

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12-07-2012, 12:08 PM
  #454
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
But for the past 20 years it has been a big deal, and that is what is important now. The best players go. Does it matter what happened 30 years ago?

From what I am reading it got big because of Canada, that alone tells me that Canada is the biggest and best hockey nation. Like it or not, Canada currently runs the hockey world.
Of course, because of the main countries that compete in olympic hockey, it's only Canada and possibly Finland that has it as that countries number 1 sport. And while Canada has like what, 85% focus on hockey, it's barely (if even) Finlands most popular sport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Like the World Cup in soccer, it's the only tournament that REALLY matters.
Sorry, but the European championship in football is easily one of the biggest tournaments in the world, all sports/tournaments counted. Most of the best football countries in the world in in Europe.

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12-07-2012, 12:09 PM
  #455
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
The WJC is popular in Canada because of TSN, that historical streak of 5 gold medals in the 90s that aligned with the ramping up of TSN's massive coverage, and the transformation of the tournament into a holiday tradition of sorts.

Let's not pretend that it's always been important.

No one knew anything about it before the early 90s, aside from the real hockey egg-heads and scouts.

The fact that it's held in North America quite often, does not really conflict much with the NHL schedule, and is easy prime-time ratings for the broadcaster, has helped drive its popularity.

It's gained some prestige in Europe, particularly when their teams win, and given the attention that Canada has placed on it, but it will never be the same as it is over here.
Popularity shouldn't dicate prestige. Regardless of a tournaments popularity, if a tournament is best on best than it should be considered prestigous.

For example lets say the world chess tournament is held every year in the US. It has the best players in each country come and contend for the "chess world championship". Just because no one watches and only friends/families/relatives care about it doesn't mean that it wouldn't be the most prestigious chess title in the world.

Sure it doesn't factor in as much as the Olympics would in terms of "the best hockey nation". But it is an accurate representation of the quality of each team's respective junior programs/eligible players each year. The size of the country shouldn't matter, as that doesn't get factored in during the Olympics either.

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12-07-2012, 12:10 PM
  #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
The best players of a certain age go.

Not the best players.

A guy who was born 2 weeks past the deadline can't attend? That's a constraint.
They are the best group of players of a certain age. They are the best of the best jrs. No one is pretending it is anything but that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Those are two different statements that aren't necessarily aligned.

I would agree that Canada is the "biggest" hockey nation and that we "run" the hockey world.

That doesn't make us the "best".

We have the most clout.

I would say that we are the "best" right now because we're the reigning Olympic champions. Just like the Swedes in 2006, and the Czechs in 1998.

Like the World Cup in soccer, it's the only tournament that REALLY matters.
Yes they are two different things, we just happen to be both right now. Why is it so hard to admit or accept?

We are best of the best right now and also have a top notch record nearly everywhere else.

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12-07-2012, 12:11 PM
  #457
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Originally Posted by topched View Post
The size of the country shouldn't matter, as that doesn't get factored in during the Olympics either.
The peaks and valleys of annual player development are offset by having access to more than a couple of years in the case of senior tournaments.

A team like Switzerland generally competes well at the senior level because it can manage a potentially weak year or two in talent development with its team selection.

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12-07-2012, 12:12 PM
  #458
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
Of course, because of the main countries that compete in olympic hockey, it's only Canada and possibly Finland that has it as that countries number 1 sport. And while Canada has like what, 85% focus on hockey, it's barely (if even) Finlands most popular sport.
Is this an excuse? Does it matter why we are #1 right now? When you win the cup/trophy/title, no one asks why, they just celebrate.

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12-07-2012, 12:13 PM
  #459
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
Is this an excuse? Does it matter why we are #1 right now? When you win the cup/trophy/title, no one asks why, they just celebrate.
It was to the claim of "biggest hockey nation".

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12-07-2012, 12:15 PM
  #460
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
Is this an excuse? Does it matter why we are #1 right now? When you win the cup/trophy/title, no one asks why, they just celebrate.
And if Russia wins in 2016, they will be the best for four years.

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12-07-2012, 12:17 PM
  #461
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
It was to the claim of "biggest hockey nation".
Is it not true?

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12-07-2012, 12:18 PM
  #462
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Sorry, but the European championship in football is easily one of the biggest tournaments in the world, all sports/tournaments counted. Most of the best football countries in the world in in Europe.
I'm sure that Argentina and Brazil agree.

I watch the Euro tournaments religiously but as far as world ranking goes, it's like the World Championships of hockey.

It's a tournament with restrictions that impact on any kind of conclusions that can be drawn about world ranking.

Like the World Juniors in hockey, it's also hard to generate conclusions based on Olympic soccer because of similar restrictions on access to players.

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12-07-2012, 12:21 PM
  #463
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And if Russia wins in 2016, they will be the best for four years.
What would they win in 2016?

I do not agree the winning 1 single elimination tournament makes you the best for 4 years. You need to continue to prove that. They will be Olympic champions for 4 years, but, without consistent dominance over a period of time they will not be the number 1 hockey country.

We could also add womens hockey, which we are also the most dominant. At every level we are consistently the best, the results show that.

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12-07-2012, 12:21 PM
  #464
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
I'm sure that Argentina and Brazil agree.

I watch the Euro tournaments religiously but as far as world ranking goes, it's like the World Championships of hockey.

It's a tournament with restrictions that impact on any kind of conclusions that can be drawn about world ranking.
What is this I don't even. Out of the 10 best countries in the world, 8 of them are European. The WC holds more prestige, for sure [mod]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
What would they win in 2016?

I do not agree the winning 1 single elimination tournament makes you the best for 4 years. You need to continue to prove that. They will be Olympic champions for 4 years, but, without consistent dominance over a period of time they will not be the number 1 hockey country.

We could also add womens hockey, which we are also the most dominant. At every level we are consistently the best, the results show that.
How has USA been consistant enough to be put ahead of Sweden then? They have 2 2nd places, and 1 6 and an 8 place. Both tournaments were more or less home ice.


Last edited by Fugu: 12-07-2012 at 01:59 PM. Reason: flaming
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12-07-2012, 12:22 PM
  #465
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
What would they win in 2016?

I do not agree the winning 1 single elimination tournament makes you the best for 4 years. You need to continue to prove that. They will be Olympic champions for 4 years, but, without consistent dominance over a period of time they will not be the number 1 hockey country.
Where is Canada's consistent dominance since 2010?

You can't change the rules so that Canada is always the best...

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12-07-2012, 12:22 PM
  #466
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
The peaks and valleys of annual player development are offset by having access to more than a couple of years in the case of senior tournaments.

A team like Switzerland generally competes well at the senior level because it can manage a potentially weak year or two in talent development with its team selection.
This is true, obviously they are a smaller country so they have much less talent to draw upon on a year to year basis at the jr. level.

However I think we can all agree that the Swiss jr program has emerged over the last half decade or so. Beyond just a good birth year or two. They are not mainstays in the top group of jr hockey, avoiding relegation and getting into the latter stages of the tournament with regularity.

That type of success at the jr. level can only grow the game. The hope is that one day the sport in each country grows to a level where at every tournament level be it Olympics or WJ's, U18's etc. each of the "hockey nations" will be able to field a team that has a chance to win Gold.

I know as a Canadian I don't enjoy watching blow out games, whether it be us vs. a nation or russia/sweden etc. vs a nation. I'd be much more thrilled, and I think the tournament would grow internationally in popularity, if jr programs grew to a level where every game was competitive.

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12-07-2012, 12:24 PM
  #467
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Where is Canada's consistent dominance since 2010?

You can't change the rules so that Canada is always the best...
What have I changed? We are always a top team, and more often than not the winning team. We have more big wins than most teams have wins in general.

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12-07-2012, 12:27 PM
  #468
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Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes View Post
What have I changed? We are always a top team, and more often than not the winning team. We have more big wins than most teams have wins in general.
Explain to me this statement in the context of Canada:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessly Snipes
without consistent dominance over a period of time they will not be the number 1 hockey country.
1. What is the period of time that you are outlining?

2. What has Canada accomplished over that period of time in hockey to be inarguably the number 1 hockey country?

I am trying to get a sense of your methodology so that it can be applied consistently moving forward. As it is, it looks like you just arbitrarily decide that Canada is the best without any concrete reference.

I've been quite clear in my arguments as to the flaws inherent to the WHC, the World Cup/Canada Cup, and the WJCs as any measure to evaluate a team's world ranking.

That leaves the Olympics as the most objective on-ice measure remaining.

Thus, I'm happy to cede that title to the Olympic champion every 4 years. We had the benefit of the home crowd and we won the Gold in 2012. I'm curious to see whether we can do it overseas. Hopefully the NHL will allow us to see that.

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12-07-2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post



How has USA been consistant enough to be put ahead of Sweden then? They have 2 2nd places, and 1 6 and an 8 place. Both tournaments were more or less home ice.
As of recent years they have been better. I don't know what you want me to say.

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12-07-2012, 12:59 PM
  #470
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As of recent years they have been better. I don't know what you want me to say.
Well I guess we could agree to disagree. I personally see Swedens 1st place as a bigger achievement than USAs two 2nd places with an 8th place inbetween, but that obviously differs from person to person. I would also say that Russia is better, but it's harder to claim because the olympic results has not been there, not even close.

I do however agree, Canada is at their own level right now.

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12-07-2012, 01:03 PM
  #471
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As a Canadian who firmly believes in our sort of cultural maxim of hockey of "Gold or nothing", I'd say that a single gold has a lot more meaning than a couple of silver medals.

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12-07-2012, 01:03 PM
  #472
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Nobody outside of Canada gives a **** about Junior championship, but somehow, since Canada cares, it has high prestige? Until 2 years ago in Sweden we barely knew the tournament was being played.
You are free to disagree with the "prestige" of any tournament.

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12-07-2012, 03:22 PM
  #473
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Originally Posted by NyQuil View Post
Where is Canada's consistent dominance since 2010?

You can't change the rules so that Canada is always the best...
Here's the thing, who wins tournaments and stuff can vary from year to year, in single elimination tournaments, anything can happen. Slovakia is not the 4th best hockey country in the World until Sochi just because they did well in Vancouver.

I feel like we're asking two different questions. What country has produced the best results lately, and what country is the best? That might sound weird, but it's really the only way to approach the question IMO. It's completely possible that Russia could produce more at the international level for a few years, but this does mean they're definitively better. I mean, it's not really debatable that any country other than Canada has the strongest pool of hockey players, their B-team could rival any other country's roster, and their C-team would probably be competitive too. I know this is probably a frustrating answer for fans of other countries, but it's the honest truth. Hats off to the Slovakias of the World who can overachieve for a single tournament, but ultimately 'which country is the best' is not a question that we can simply answer with single game elimination tournaments. It would be one thing if it was an annual thing with 7 game series, but I do not think that a single game elimination tournament can determine objective rankings of the best hockey nations.

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12-07-2012, 03:41 PM
  #474
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The only competitions that matter in this discussion are the ones that feature every nations top talent without limitations and the only tournaments that do that are the Olympics and World Cup. For Russia to be considered the top nation they would have to win in Sochi

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12-07-2012, 06:39 PM
  #475
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Originally Posted by MastuhNinks View Post
Here's the thing, who wins tournaments and stuff can vary from year to year, in single elimination tournaments, anything can happen. Slovakia is not the 4th best hockey country in the World until Sochi just because they did well in Vancouver.

I feel like we're asking two different questions. What country has produced the best results lately, and what country is the best? That might sound weird, but it's really the only way to approach the question IMO. It's completely possible that Russia could produce more at the international level for a few years, but this does mean they're definitively better. I mean, it's not really debatable that any country other than Canada has the strongest pool of hockey players, their B-team could rival any other country's roster, and their C-team would probably be competitive too. I know this is probably a frustrating answer for fans of other countries, but it's the honest truth. Hats off to the Slovakias of the World who can overachieve for a single tournament, but ultimately 'which country is the best' is not a question that we can simply answer with single game elimination tournaments. It would be one thing if it was an annual thing with 7 game series, but I do not think that a single game elimination tournament can determine objective rankings of the best hockey nations.
I guess I think that this is an unfair response (as you've pointed out) because it leaves no room for anyone to be the best except for Canada.

The Olympics is the ONLY tournament where teams have access to their best players (across all age groups).

As a proxy, it's important.

On the one hand, anything can happen in a single game.

On the other hand, everyone involved knows what is riding on that single game.

Playing well under pressure is equally important.

So I still stand by my Olympic Champion = World Champion perspective.

There's no other on-ice mechanism to determine the best. We can postulate about 7 games series or whatever, but the fact remains that they don't exist.

Personally, I think it's only fair for Canadians to determine what the criteria are for "best hockey nation". Whatever they may be.

Just saying it isn't sufficient.

I've been very vocal about my criteria, and obviously it's a perspective that isn't shared by everyone.

But at the same time, if you're prepared to make that statement, you should have some kind of factual foundation by which to back it up, no matter what it is, and that it's independent of the nationality of the players.

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