Some good matches in the relegation round and sometimes funny seeing a big nation down there (USA last year ).
Last year Denmark was relegated. They lost in OT to Switzerland and in OT to Latvia, both games were great. In fact Switzerland would have avoided the relegation round and made the QF had they won the shootout against Sweden or not self destructed against Slovakia in the third period of group play (Led 4-2 and lost 4-6). This makes it always difficult to predict who will be in the relegation round especially as Switzerland are no push overs on the international stage in both Senior and Junior hockey. Switzerland could force a big nation down to the relegation round.
Teams who are expected to be in the relegation round
My relegation pick for now is Germany, question for the Germans will Dominik Kahun be representing Germany? is Draisaitl any chance for the team as he is a 17 year old doing really well in his first season in the WHL.
I'm not familiar enough with the depth of teams like Germany and Latvia, but Latvia is really getting screwed over by Buffalo with Girgensons. Losing an elite talent like that is crippling for a small country like Latvia.
On the other hand Germany might just have their best player there. The status of Tobias Rieder seems a bit murky but if they get him that's a big piece to winning ultimately the one or two at most games needed to really survive. Unlike Latvia Germany will have a true first round talent. Unfortunately that's probably going to be 2014 first round talent in Leon Draisaitl. I'm excited to watch this guy play. He is only 17 but in a game against a team like Latvia he could be a difference maker. If Germany gets Rieder and Draisaitl continues to show his solid promise, I think Germany would have a top line vs Latvia. Germany also has a fairly solid defense with some guys who have got playing time in the DEL. Their goaltending is pretty average with Marvin Cupper not really standing out on a bad Shawnigan team.
Slovakia are pretty weak, and I think Germany could beat them on their day. The likelihood is that Slovakia has a bit deeper team to keep the shallow German attack out of the net and won't be seriously faced with relegation.
I think it comes down to Latvia and Germany in essentially a one game sudden death scenario. My pick is Latvia to go down.
You shouldnt be too depressed most hfboards poster know only one thing about latvian junior hockey- Girgensons if he is in then we are almost 1/4 final worth if hes out we are division 1b team. I would like to remind that one player is not going to be the deciding factor. there are plenty of good players for us not to get relegated Rihards Bukarts potential 2014 first round pick, Lipsbergs top scoring rookie of WHL,Jevaplovs from qmjhl,Arturs Kuzmenkovs whos leading his team (playing in belorussian mens league) so yeah,dont be depressed