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Rank the European teams...

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Old
06-28-2014, 02:20 PM
  #1
Lollipop
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Rank the European teams...

Right now there's too much talking about Russia vs Canada on HF, at least in one thread. There have always been that. But now I don't think Russia even is the best European country. I rank both Finland and Sweden ahead of Russia.

My ranking of European teams:

1. Sweden
2. Finland
3. Russia
4. Czech Republic
5. Switzerland
6. Slovakia
7. Slovenia
8. France
9. Denmark
10. Norway

The first four ones are clear for me. I'm not sure about Switzerland and Slovakia. After them three us even more tricky. But this is how I feel right now.

I don't know how Russia can be compared so much to Canada? In the Soviets time perhaps, but now? Sorry I don't see it since I don't even think Russia is the best European country.

What do you think?

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06-28-2014, 07:15 PM
  #2
True Hockey Fan
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On paper, Russia should be ahead of Finland, but in reality, Finland has better results on international (best-on-best) tournaments.

It always comes down to what kind of factors do you take into the consideration when making such a ranking. Only best-on-best tournament results? Or do you consider how good the teams look on paper? And what about World Championships, U-20, U-18? producing talents..........and results from only last 4 years or last 10..... and also it depends how much of a value you give to any of these things.

All in all, I think Russia is better than Finland, but if you give some extra-value to those olympic results (which is understandable), then Finland should be seen as the better nation.

In my opinion, the best european TEAM, is Sweden. When you think everything into the discussion, Sweden is still #1, and I think Russia is 2nd at worse. The results at olympics, unfortunately for Russia, are bad enough for making a case to place Finland ahead of them.

My opinion, maybe someone else have a different view on that, I'm interested in other opinions, there is nothing wrong to have a different one.

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06-29-2014, 01:36 AM
  #3
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I'm fine with OP's rankings, including Finland > Russia.

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06-29-2014, 02:43 AM
  #4
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Denmark, France, Slovenia and Norway ahead of Germany?

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06-29-2014, 09:51 AM
  #5
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Slovenia is tenth at best, and Germany should definitely be up there around seventh.

edit: Yeah, you definitely need to drop Slovenia and France from that list, and add Germany and Belarus in their place.

edit2: Haha, I see I forgot to mention Latvia, too! But they should also be in the top 10, necessitating the omission of one of Denmark or Norway. Hard to pick between the two, though.


Last edited by Ryker: 06-29-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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Old
06-29-2014, 10:24 AM
  #6
Urbanskog
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1. Sweden
2. Finland
3. Russia
4. Czech Republic
5. Switzerland
6. Slovakia
7. Latvia
8. Germany
9. Norway
10. Belarus

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06-29-2014, 11:20 AM
  #7
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1. Sweden
2. Russia
3. Finland
4. Czech Republic
5.(6.?) Slovakia
6.(5.?) Switzerland
7. Germany
8. Denmark
9. Norway
10. Latvia/Belarus

My personal opinion when we consider the teams being at full strenght. Not sure about Slovakia and Switzerland, but I would say that right now at full strenght Slovakia seems to be a bit over Switzerland, although (sadly ) it is very probable that Switzerland will be ahead of Slovakia in a couple of years. Regarding the teams below SWI, I find it really hard to rank them, as their results tend to be very shaky. Not even possible to rank them IMO, just personal preference.

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Old
06-29-2014, 11:30 AM
  #8
Lollipop
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TBH, I totally forgot Germany and Belarus( every Swede wants to forget Belarus, ha ha ).

After, top 6 it's very hard to rank the teams.

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Old
06-29-2014, 11:34 AM
  #9
Lollipop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Hockey Fan View Post
On paper, Russia should be ahead of Finland, but in reality, Finland has better results on international (best-on-best) tournaments.

It always comes down to what kind of factors do you take into the consideration when making such a ranking. Only best-on-best tournament results? Or do you consider how good the teams look on paper? And what about World Championships, U-20, U-18? producing talents..........and results from only last 4 years or last 10..... and also it depends how much of a value you give to any of these things.

All in all, I think Russia is better than Finland, but if you give some extra-value to those olympic results (which is understandable), then Finland should be seen as the better nation.

In my opinion, the best european TEAM, is Sweden. When you think everything into the discussion, Sweden is still #1, and I think Russia is 2nd at worse. The results at olympics, unfortunately for Russia, are bad enough for making a case to place Finland ahead of them.

My opinion, maybe someone else have a different view on that, I'm interested in other opinions, there is nothing wrong to have a different one.
Thank you for the answer.

I wonder why you think Russia is ahead of Finland on paper. Russia has the best top 6. But after that they have nothing on Finland. Finland's goalies are superior and the defencemen are at least as good as Russia's. IMO Russian players are way to overrated because of their stars Ovechkin, Malkin ect.

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06-29-2014, 11:49 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post
Thank you for the answer.

I wonder why you think Russia is ahead of Finland on paper. Russia has the best top 6. But after that they have nothing on Finland. Finland's goalies are superior and the defencemen are at least as good as Russia's. IMO Russian players are way to overrated because of their stars Ovechkin, Malkin ect.
Thats true, I think Russian players are overrated, too. I placed them ahead of Finns, but Finland may be stronger as a team.

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Old
06-29-2014, 02:00 PM
  #11
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1. Sweden
2. Finland
3. Russia
4. Czech Republic
5. Switzerland
6. Slovakia
7. Germany

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Old
06-29-2014, 02:23 PM
  #12
Ryker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post
Thank you for the answer.

I wonder why you think Russia is ahead of Finland on paper. Russia has the best top 6. But after that they have nothing on Finland. Finland's goalies are superior and the defencemen are at least as good as Russia's. IMO Russian players are way to overrated because of their stars Ovechkin, Malkin ect.
I don't think Finland's goalies are superior. Maybe in terms of depth, but I think the pairing Varlamov/Bobrovsky is better than Rask/whoever. Even in terms of depth there are plenty of excellent goalies in KHL. I agree in regards to defensemen, though.

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06-29-2014, 04:32 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post
Thank you for the answer.

I wonder why you think Russia is ahead of Finland on paper. Russia has the best top 6. But after that they have nothing on Finland. Finland's goalies are superior and the defencemen are at least as good as Russia's. IMO Russian players are way to overrated because of their stars Ovechkin, Malkin ect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryker View Post
I don't think Finland's goalies are superior. Maybe in terms of depth, but I think the pairing Varlamov/Bobrovsky is better than Rask/whoever. Even in terms of depth there are plenty of excellent goalies in KHL. I agree in regards to defensemen, though.


I think Finland have a better overall goaltending (the top three, which is IMO Rask, Rinne, and one of Niemi/Lehtonen/Backstrom). But it's true that the one who's actually in net can be compared with Bobrovsky or Varlamov. But I still think that even then, Rask or Rinne are slightly better.

Anyway, on paper, Ovechkin, Datsyuk, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Radulov, Tarasenko, etc. - that's not comparable with M.Koivu, Filppula, J.Jokinen, Barkov, Granlund, and T.Ruutu. Even if the only difference was Ovechkin, Malkin and Datsyuk, it's still the difference for me.

On the other hand, results should matter more probably, Finland won 3-1 in Sochi, and Russia should have confirmed their qualities at that game. But they did not.

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07-03-2014, 02:55 PM
  #14
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Projected rankings when looking towards the near (next 4 years / OG cycle) future -

Top 4 / Elite
Sweden
Finland
Russia
Czech Republic

Sweden is just the most consistent, reliable performing team. Finland always does way better than expected, and expectations should accordingly rise for them in the next few years. Russia will continue to be part of the conversation for an elite team but really have to prove it on the biggest stage to be #1 or even #2. The Czechs are on a bit of a decline but should still belong here.

Dark Horses
Switzerland
Slovakia

Switzerland going up, Slovakia going down. Recent drafts have produced stronger Swiss prospects than the Slovaks, and when the current golden generation retires Slovakia will have a hard time keeping up the pace with the rest of the elite teams. Switzerland will have to put at least a few more medal finishes in the WC to be in the discussion of being a top team.


Good teams
Latvia
Germany
Norway
France
Denmark

Latvia made a decent splash at the OGs. Germany now has a No. 3 pick on their team complimented by a decent prospect in Rieder. Norway has traditionally been decent especially with MZA on their team but have had a pretty poor 2014 and 2013. France is actually pretty good and along with Germany the two best teams to have missed the 2014 OGs - Hopefully Bozon recovers and pans out as an NHLer. Denmark now has a solid talent pool from recent drafts that may soon push them into "Dark Horse" territory - I believe they have more players in NHL systems than any national team out side of the "Big 8" (8 players played in the NHL last year and they had a No. 9 pick in the 2014 draft).

Decent teams
Slovenia
Austria
Belarus
Italy
Kazakhstan

Slovenia punched well above their weight and I don't see them consistenly performing at that level - same with Austria, despite having stars like Vanek and Kopitar and some decent players in Grabner, Raffl and Mursak. Belarus did pretty well on home ice but hasn't done much else lately. Italy and Kazakhstan are relegation candidates every year (unless Larkin somehow becomes a huge defensive stud)

Teams below these aren't really relevant in the major international scene. At this moment in time there are really only 18 national teams that have any sort of major impact.


Last edited by garbageteam: 07-15-2014 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Moved Norway back up above France and Denmark
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Old
07-03-2014, 06:51 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbageteam View Post

Decent teams
Norway
Slovenia
Austria
Belarus
Italy
Kazakhstan

Norway has traditionally been decent especially with MZA on their team but have had a pretty poor 2014 and 2013.
Slovenia punched well above their weight and I don't see them consistenly performing at that level -same with Austria, despite having stars like Vanek and Kopitar and some decent players in Grabner, Raffl and Mursak. Belarus did pretty well on home ice but hasn't done much else lately. Italy and Kazakhstan are relegation candidates every year (unless Larkin somehow becomes a huge defensive stud)
I disagree. We struggled due to injuries on key players. Holtet, Tollefsen, Thoresen, Rosseli Olsen etc are key players on the national team. We are developing some rly good players that can replace the old vets. Players like Søberg, Olden, Volden, Rosseli Olsen, M. Søberg, Rasch and Nørstebø will be the future core of the Norwegian national team. Im not worried at all.

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07-04-2014, 07:24 AM
  #16
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Slovakia has sharper top players so I place them before Swiss.

1. Sweden (this is hard to like for anyone, but its true)
2. Russia
3. Finland
tiny, tiny gap? Ask Czech and there's no gap probably
4. Cze republic
tiny gap
5. Slovakia
6. Swiss
gap

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07-07-2014, 09:55 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QnebO View Post
Slovakia has sharper top players so I place them before Swiss.

1. Sweden (this is hard to like for anyone, but its true)
2. Russia
3. Finland
tiny, tiny gap? Ask Czech and there's no gap probably
4. Cze republic
tiny gap
5. Slovakia
6. Swiss
gap
Too early to rank, but with no Elias, Jagr and Zidlicky, we will finally see next big tourney where the czechs really are.....Anyway just speaking about top teams, you producing more medals and even from big tourneys so you definitely deserve 3. and maybe even 2nd spot. Direct game comparison is always hard to judge, for example Slovakia could be a problem for all teams with first line like Hossa-Tatar-Gaborik or smth. like this...On the other hand I can clearly say that we were totally outplayed by USA in last OG and played terribly against SWE which also signs a lot....

But I confirm we are 4.

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07-08-2014, 05:36 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbageteam View Post

Good teams
Latvia
Germany
France
Denmark

Denmark now has a solid talent pool from recent drafts that may soon push them into "Dark Horse" territory - I believe they have more players in NHL systems than any national team out side of the "Big 8" (8 players played in the NHL last year and they had a No. 9 pick in the 2014 draft).
We are still waiting on that breakthrough. Qualifying for the OG would certainly help so we could use all of our best players. The problem with Danish hockey is that the gap between the best players and those in the next tier is BIG. Hopefully that gap will close up somewhat in the next couple of years, where we now see signs of players signing up in KHL and SHL instead of DEL and Allsvenskan. The Danish league also seems to get a lot stronger this year compared to the last 5, where the level has been laughable.

Predicted team in 2018 if we manage to qualify for OG:

Mikkel Bødker - Lars Eller - Nikolaj Ehlers
Niklas Hardt/Oliver Bjorkstrand - Frans Nielsen - Niklas Jensen
Frederik Storm - Jesper Jensen/Kristoffer Lauridsen - Jannik Hansen
Patrick Bjorkstrand - Peter Regin - Mikkel Aagård

Philip Larsen - Oliver Lauridsen
Jesper B Jensen - Markus Lauridsen
Sonny Hertzberg - Stefan Lassen
Emil Kristensen

Frederik Andersen


Last edited by Bagge: 07-08-2014 at 05:46 AM.
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Old
07-08-2014, 08:40 PM
  #19
Urbanskog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagge View Post
We are still waiting on that breakthrough. Qualifying for the OG would certainly help so we could use all of our best players. The problem with Danish hockey is that the gap between the best players and those in the next tier is BIG. Hopefully that gap will close up somewhat in the next couple of years, where we now see signs of players signing up in KHL and SHL instead of DEL and Allsvenskan. The Danish league also seems to get a lot stronger this year compared to the last 5, where the level has been laughable.

Predicted team in 2018 if we manage to qualify for OG:

Mikkel Bødker - Lars Eller - Nikolaj Ehlers
Niklas Hardt/Oliver Bjorkstrand - Frans Nielsen - Niklas Jensen
Frederik Storm - Jesper Jensen/Kristoffer Lauridsen - Jannik Hansen
Patrick Bjorkstrand - Peter Regin - Mikkel Aagård

Philip Larsen - Oliver Lauridsen
Jesper B Jensen - Markus Lauridsen
Sonny Hertzberg - Stefan Lassen
Emil Kristensen

Frederik Andersen
Denmark could ice a rather decent team in a best-on-best tournament. It's just a shame that the number of participating teams is lower than what it is in the World Championship and you don't have your best squad for the Olympic qualification.

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Old
07-09-2014, 06:51 AM
  #20
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Originally Posted by Ryker View Post
I don't think Finland's goalies are superior. Maybe in terms of depth, but I think the pairing Varlamov/Bobrovsky is better than Rask/whoever. Even in terms of depth there are plenty of excellent goalies in KHL. I agree in regards to defensemen, though.
The Varlamov/Bobrovsky tandem was so good that Russia decided to play them both in the QF match.

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07-09-2014, 11:39 AM
  #21
Ryker
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Originally Posted by WinTheRightGames View Post
The Varlamov/Bobrovsky tandem was so good that Russia decided to play them both in the QF match.
Yeah, you're right, you can really determine the quality of goalkeepers based on a single game. What a knowledgeable hockey fan you are.

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07-09-2014, 08:44 PM
  #22
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Yeah, you're right, you can really determine the quality of goalkeepers based on a single game. What a knowledgeable hockey fan you are.
Sarcasm buddy

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07-09-2014, 08:45 PM
  #23
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Sarcasm buddy
Oh, I know, it was a good joke, no doubt, but I also took it as him opposing my opinion

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07-10-2014, 02:03 PM
  #24
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Finland always seems tough to play against even though on paper they don't seem that strong. Same with Switzerland, I guess it's the system they play but for best on best I would rank the best European teams not based on medals:

1. Finland
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Czech Republic
5. Switzerland
6. Slovakia
7. Latvia
8. Slovenia
9. Norway
10. Germany
11. Denmark
12. Belarus
13. Austria


Last edited by Ray Ferraro: 07-12-2014 at 09:40 PM.
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Old
07-10-2014, 04:33 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ferraro View Post
Finland always seems tough to play against even though on paper they don't seem that strong. Same with Switzerland, I guess it's the system they play but for best on best I would rank the best European teams not based on medals:

1. Finland
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Czech Republic
5. Switzerland
6. Slovakia
7. Latvia
8. Germany
9. Slovenia
10. Denmark
11. Norway
12. Belarus
13. Austria
What has Finland done to deserve being ranked 1? What in their play is so amazing that despite the results speaking against them would make you put them first? "They are tough to play against"?

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