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There are no Top 7 anymore

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Old
05-17-2010, 04:35 AM
  #1
swissexpert
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There are no Top 7 anymore

Based on recent success, potential top Players and potential Number of Hockey Players I would say in 5 years it will be as follows:

Gold Group: Canada, USA, Sweden, Russia
Medal Group: Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia
Upset Group: Norway, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Danmark

While I see Norway with a big potential in this sport close to the Medal Group, Slovakia is nearly falling to the Upsets...
This is just my opinion, I want to hear your thoughts!

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05-17-2010, 04:44 AM
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Lapa
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I disagree. As we saw in the Olympics, there still is a TOP7.

TOP7 countries all have many many players in the NHL and the quality of the national league is higher than the smaller hockey nations' ones.

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05-17-2010, 04:53 AM
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slovakiasnextone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
Based on recent success, potential top Players and potential Number of Hockey Players I would say in 5 years it will be as follows:

Gold Group: Canada, USA, Sweden, Russia
Medal Group: Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia
Upset Group: Norway, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Danmark

While I see Norway with a big potential in this sport close to the Medal Group, Slovakia is nearly falling to the Upsets...
This is just my opinion, I want to hear your thoughts!
LOL, Norway? IMO they are the weakest out of the third group. They can make one upset in a tournament, but they´re gonna get killed in the rest. And if MZA is in the NHL next year and unavailable, they will most probably have trouble to make that one upset. They´ve got a very long way infront of them.

Denmark is currently the highest of the group together with Germany, but I think Denmark has a bit more potential for the future than the Germans do.

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05-17-2010, 05:03 AM
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swissexpert
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Originally Posted by slovakiaforever View Post
LOL, Norway? IMO they are the weakest out of the third group. They can make one upset in a tournament, but they´re gonna get killed in the rest. And if MZA is in the NHL next year and unavailable, they will most probably have trouble to make that one upset. They´ve got a very long way infront of them.

Denmark is currently the highest of the group together with Germany, but I think Denmark has a bit more potential for the future than the Germans do.
I just think the Scandinavians have more potential than any other european nations, because of their environment, population, interesting in winter sports, etc. Look at the Swedes and Finns, what do they have more beside history?
Maybe it takes more than 5 years, but I see them there for sure.

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05-17-2010, 05:10 AM
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swissexpert
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Originally Posted by Lapa View Post
TOP7 countries all have many many players in the NHL and the quality of the national league is higher than the smaller hockey nations' ones.
1. Switzerland (not TOP7) has the better national League than Slovakia and Czech Republic.
2. Slovakia (TOP7) has maybe some NHLers but at what age? How many Draft Propects and successful junior teams do the have?
3. There is a gap between the medal group and the gold group, which all have many NHLers and are untouchable also long-term.
4. TOP7 was so clear and sure for years, but I would call it the top 4, the next 4 and the rest now.

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05-17-2010, 05:17 AM
  #6
slovakiasnextone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
I just think the Scandinavians have more potential than any other european nations, because of their environment, population, interesting in winter sports, etc. Look at the Swedes and Finns, what do they have more beside history?
Maybe it takes more than 5 years, but I see them there for sure.
As a Swiss you should known best how long it takes to make it there and it is definitely more than 5 years. Denmark for example has 3 1989 born players alone who might be playing in the NHL , Norway on the other hand will be glad if at least Zucarello-Aasen makes it, which is not a given. And despite the fact that Norway beat Denmark for the place in the U18 WHC top division, even at the youner levels the individual talent is higher.

I don´t get that SWE/FIN comparison, if it was just about that, both would have been hockey poers for a long time now. The only thing they get out of that is that their players can play in Swedish junior/SEL, which of course has been help in their progress.

Also, I believe there are other nations not mentioned yb you making the progress, for example Hungary, who started working later tha NOR/DEN, but have made incredible progress and if Latvia for example doesn´t start doing something about their youth development soon, a team like Hungary could easily overtake them.

Also, while I think that 5 years is a bit of a too short time to get on the top, it might not be such a short time for other nations to get back on track as it was shown by Sweden. After this WHC, if Jágr keeps on with his rants, something serious miht happen in the Czech republic for example. He´s a God there after all.

And btw as for Slovakia falling out of that group, but when I look at the nations in that group and future prospects none of them seems to have significantly more prospects than Slovakia and out of that upset group only Denmark and Germany has about as much or more top prospects. I wouldn´t really call it a medal group though.

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05-17-2010, 05:30 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
1. Switzerland (not TOP7) has the better national League than Slovakia and Czech Republic.
2. Slovakia (TOP7) has maybe some NHLers but at what age? How many Draft Propects and successful junior teams do the have?
3. There is a gap between the medal group and the gold group, which all have many NHLers and are untouchable also long-term.
4. TOP7 was so clear and sure for years, but I would call it the top 4, the next 4 and the rest now.
1. Definitely tru for Slovakia, not so sure about CZE though


3. Agreed
4. Not at all, it existed only for very short, somewhere inbetween 2002-2006 maybe....


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05-17-2010, 06:09 AM
  #8
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swissexpert, as for your point 3. These are the numbers of Slovak, Czech and Finnish players, born 1984 or later and who played at least 1 NHL games this season:

Slovakia
G Jaroslav Halák 1984
D Boris Valábik 1986
D Andrek Sekera 1986
D Andrej Meszároš 1985
D Vladimír Mihálik 1987
F Mário Bližňák 1987
F Peter Olvecky 1985

Finland
G Tuukka Rask 1987
D Oskar Osala 1987
D Teemu Laakso 1987
D Ilkka Heikkinen 1984
D Anssi Salmela 1984
D Sami Lepisto 1984
F Jesse Joensuu 1987
F Perttu Lindgren 1987 (1 game, playing in SM-liiga next year)
F Mikko Lehtonen 1987
F Valtteri Filppula 1984
F Petteri Nokelainen 1986
F Sean Bergenheim 1984
F Lauri Korpikoski 1986

Czech republic
G onderj Pavelec 1987
G Alexander Salák 1987
G Michal Neuvirth 1988
D Jakub Kindl 1987
D Ladislav Šmíd 1986
D Roman Polák 1986
F TomᚠKáňa 1987
F Petr Kalus 1987
F Radek Smolánek 1986 (1GP, playing in CZE next season)
F Michal Repík 1988
F Jiří Tlustý 1988
F David Krejčí 1986
F Vladimír Sobotka 1987
F Michael Frolík 1988
F Kamil Kreps 1984
F Rostislav Olesz 1985
F Milan Michálek 1984
F Martin Hanzal 1987
F TomᚠFleischmann 1984

It´s quite obvious that compared to the other nations, Slovakia is missing the late 80´s generation, especially players born in the years 1987-1989. That is because in these years Slovakia has produced 0 top prospects and I don´t mean that there were prospects who never developed, because there was noone who might be considered as a top prospect (in their draft ear at leats). I don´t really consider that Mihálik was a top prospect despite the fact that he was picked in the first round. So all in all the last top prospect born in Slovakia who was born in the late 1980´s was Marek Zagrapan, borin in December 86´. All other Slovak players who were picked in the NHL draft born in the late 1980´s were pretty much just depth players, not saying they couldn´t surprise, but they were not considered top prospects at the time of their drafts. Compared to that in the early 1990´s each year seems to have at least one or two top prospects and to that usually some depth players. Definitely not sayin that everything is ideal, actuall very far from it, but from my point of view Slovakia with it´s 1990´s born players is currently hardly doing any worse prospectwise than in the late 1980´s. The question whether these players will develop is a totally different matter though.

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05-17-2010, 06:31 AM
  #9
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Perhaps not at the IHWC, which is not a best-vs-best tournament, but at the world stage with the best players available, there is clearly a top 7.

On a second note: Denmark has far more potential than Norway right now.

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05-17-2010, 06:39 AM
  #10
swissexpert
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many thanks for that list, slovakiaforever!
It's about what I expected, slovakia is really comparable to switzerland, but their best players are getting older while the swiss are coming more and more. And that's exactly my point saying there is no TOP 7 anymore.

The swiss list looks as follows by the way:

Luca Sbisa 1990
Yannick Weber 1988


not really impressive but there will be more every year...

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05-17-2010, 06:44 AM
  #11
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We've been hearing this for the last 15 years. First it was supposed to be Germany closing the gap, now it's Switzerland. Yet a remainder for you, in the last 50 years (more or less) no one other than the big 7 countries won a medal! Until someone else medals there is no discussion about this.

And no, Swiss are not about to overtake Slovakia or Finland or Czech rep. Just check the number of NHL players, number of NHL stars and number of recent drafted players.

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05-17-2010, 06:46 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
Perhaps not at the IHWC, which is not a best-vs-best tournament, but at the world stage with the best players available, there is clearly a top 7.

On a second note: Denmark has far more potential than Norway right now.
And yet even at IHWC which is not best vs best, the top 7 exists. What was the last time someone even made the medal round (other than big 7)? If I am not mistaken it was Switzerland in 1996. Some 14 years ago and still no medal.

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05-17-2010, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
Based on recent success, potential top Players and potential Number of Hockey Players I would say in 5 years it will be as follows:

Gold Group: Canada, USA, Sweden, Russia
Medal Group: Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia
Upset Group: Norway, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Danmark

While I see Norway with a big potential in this sport close to the Medal Group, Slovakia is nearly falling to the Upsets...
This is just my opinion, I want to hear your thoughts!
I disagree in every way.

1. How an earth can u put switzeraland in medal group. correct me if I'm wrong but they got 0 medals in any competitions and hardly make it to the relegation rounds.

2. Did you see the olympics. I would say on best vs best the gap has even grown bigger. the teams outside top7 didnt have a chance unlike some previous olympics.

3. Denmark is way ahead of norway right now(thanks to sweden). they've got more prommisng players.

4 How can u not put finland in the gold group. Okay they won it just once in the last 15 years but they been like 7 times in the final. Some really bad luck. And placing Usa infront of Finland? Look at the best vs best on 21th century. Finland was second in world cup. second in torino. third in vancouver. And we have done a lot better in the WC's too.

5. slovakia might not be as storng in the world's but when they get their stars they are on a completly different level than swizz. They also got some world class talent in Tatar and Panik and so on...

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05-17-2010, 06:56 AM
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slovakiasnextone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
many thanks for that list, slovakiaforever!
It's about what I expected, slovakia is really comparable to switzerland, but their best players are getting older while the swiss are coming more and more. And that's exactly my point saying there is no TOP 7 anymore.

The swiss list looks as follows by the way:

Luca Sbisa 1990
Yannick Weber 1988


not really impressive but there will be more every year...
Yes, the Slovak stars are getting older, however I think that both Marán´s Hossa and especially Gáborík are way too young to be missed just yet. Just two player, but game changers.

And until they are gone there is a chance that they will be replcaed by some younger players, who might not be as huge stars as they are, but still.

Yes, Switzerland has a nice D shaping up with Weber, Sbisa and Josi, however the number of Slovakia´s relatively young deffensmen are not much older than the Swiss are. Plus there is Martin Marinčin (1992) for Slovakia, who will most probably go Round 2 this year.

On, forward, Niederreiter might be picked top 10 this year and he might be the first Swiss star forward in the NHL. However, does he really have more potential than for example Tomáš Jurčo, a possible top 15 pick next year, does? Or more potential than all three of Richard Pánik, Tomáš Tatar and Jurčo together do? I have some doubts about that. Maybe, you´ll prove me wrong, but I personally don´t know about any other Swiss 1990-1992 born forward aside from Niederreiter who looks like a future star right now or at least a top 6 player.

EDIT: Also, in goal Halák is 3 years younger than Jonas Hiller and there still is Peter Budaj, although most probably a career back-up. Yes, Benjamin Conz might get drafted into the NHL this year, but his story in that case won´t be much different than the story of Jaroslav Janus, who right now as an 1b goalie in the AHL is closer to the NHL than Conz is, althouh of course Conz is about two years younger.

EDIT2: Corrected now, of course Hiller not Gerber.


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05-17-2010, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Brun0 View Post
5. slovakia might not be as storng in the world's but when they get their stars they are on a completly different level than swizz. They also got some world class talent in Tatar and Panik and so on...
Switzerlands B-team outplayed Team Canada with top notch NHL talents (Stamkos, Tavares, Duchenne, Perry, Myers). I'm pretty sure they could take on any team that Slovakia can ice.

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05-17-2010, 07:05 AM
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Switzerlands B-team outplayed Team Canada with top notch NHL talents (Stamkos, Tavares, Duchenne, Perry, Myers). I'm pretty sure they could take on any team that Slovakia can ice.
All 3 Šťastný brothers in their prime could suit up for us and still we´d most probably lose to Switzerland. Never knew how to play against them.

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05-17-2010, 07:08 AM
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swissexpert
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I disagree in every way.

1. How an earth can u put switzeraland in medal group. correct me if I'm wrong but they got 0 medals in any competitions and hardly make it to the relegation rounds.

2. Did you see the olympics. I would say on best vs best the gap has even grown bigger. the teams outside top7 didnt have a chance unlike some previous olympics.

3. Denmark is way ahead of norway right now(thanks to sweden). they've got more prommisng players.

4 How can u not put finland in the gold group. Okay they won it just once in the last 15 years but they been like 7 times in the final. Some really bad luck. And placing Usa infront of Finland? Look at the best vs best on 21th century. Finland was second in world cup. second in torino. third in vancouver. And we have done a lot better in the WC's too.

5. slovakia might not be as storng in the world's but when they get their stars they are on a completly different level than swizz. They also got some world class talent in Tatar and Panik and so on...

You maybe missunderstood me. This list represents how I see it in 5 years, not the history of each country.
And yes, I see switzerland as much a medal candidate as Slovakia then. We never won a medal for over 50 years, you're right, but we also didn't beat Canada in Olympics before 2006 and in WHC before Wednesday. We also never had a Stanley Cup here before 2001, an All-Star before 2009 and no (possible) Top 10 Draft Pick before 2010.
Switzerland has reached more in the NHL during the last 8 years than in its hole history.

And for Point Nr. 2 I have to ask you the same question: Did you see the olympics?
Swiss games were very close, also against Canada and the US with their best Players and NHL-Superstars.

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05-17-2010, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by slovakiaforever View Post
EDIT: Also, in goal Halák is 3 years younger than Martin Gerber and there still is Peter Budaj, although most probably a career back-up. Yes, Benjamin Conz might get drafted into the NHL this year, but his story in that case won´t be much different than the story of Jaroslav Janus, who right now as an 1b goalie in the AHL is closer to the NHL than Conz is, althouh of course Conz is about two years younger.
There is a difference of 11 years, I'm sure you mean Jonas Hiller I don't know who of them is better but Hiller is more proven and by all the actual Halak hype, don't forget Hiller's last year playoff run was even better.
IMO Gerber and Stephan are also at the level of an NHL-Backup.

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05-17-2010, 07:18 AM
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I don't think you can put Switzerland in the medal group. SUI can play good in a tournament like this year: I'd say the core of the national team (from the own national league) is in Switzerland as good as the ones from the Czech, Slovakia etc. if not even a bit better. But in Switzerland, we lack of top-end talent. Outside of Streit we don't have a star player. If more players can crack NHL roster (Niederreiter, Josi, Sbisa) we can move closer to the top nations. But as for now, I don't think we can play like that regulary.

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05-17-2010, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
You maybe missunderstood me. This list represents how I see it in 5 years, not the history of each country.
And yes, I see switzerland as much a medal candidate as Slovakia then. We never won a medal for over 50 years, you're right, but we also didn't beat Canada in Olympics before 2006 and in WHC before Wednesday. We also never had a Stanley Cup here before 2001, an All-Star before 2009 and no (possible) Top 10 Draft Pick before 2010.
Switzerland has reached more in the NHL during the last 8 years than in its hole history.

And for Point Nr. 2 I have to ask you the same question: Did you see the olympics?
Swiss games were very close, also against Canada and the US with their best Players and NHL-Superstars.
Didn't see "in 5 years" but the thing is that its a short time and nothing dramatical wont happen. If you compair torino and and vancouver was there a such a dramatical change. It takes alot of work and time to get a solid working system and its not about few star players its about the way of play and everything. And specially good work in juniors pays off(sweden). Also the transition from juniors to men is probably the most important and this is where ur national league should help. And ofcourse it takes a lot of resources.

Still i dont get why finland would fall in the next 5 years? I'd say finland is right now on a downside and in a middle of generation change but there are some great players coming Granlund, Pulkkinen, Hartikainen, Vatanen and so on... plus some sharp goalies.

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05-17-2010, 07:22 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by swissexpert View Post
There is a difference of 11 years, I'm sure you mean Jonas Hiller I don't know who of them is better but Hiller is more proven and by all the actual Halak hype, don't forget Hiller's last year playoff run was even better.
IMO Gerber and Stephan are also at the level of an NHL-Backup.
Yeah, sorry, of course I meant Hiller. Dunno what I was thinking about.
Well, yeah, he is more proven however he has those 3 years on Halák and this is pretty much the first season for Halák as a No. 1 and even that not right from the start of the season. While I of course don´t expect him to be as great as he has these play-offs, he has excelled at all levels he has every played at, so I expect him to be real good in next seasons as well.


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05-17-2010, 07:47 AM
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The upset teams are getting closer in the WC's. Switzerland and Germany aren't that far behind some teams in tournaments like this one. But the olympics are another story.

Gaborik, Hossa, Chara, Halak will all be around in 2014. They won't make Slovakia a top candidate for gold. But still clear favourites over Switzerland. Tatar, Panik, Janus all look like solid prospects as well.

Do I think that Switzerland, Denmark and Germany are closing in on the others? Yes. But until they have 15-20 established NHL players, they still have a long way to go to be counted on a regular basis.

Palffy, Stumpel, Satan etc are soon history yes. But I wouldn't worry too much. Sweden barely produced anything between 1981-1986 with a few exceptions. And with that I mean we didn't produce any guys to take over from Forsberg, Sundin, Alfredsson, Naslund and Lidstrom. And look now from 1987-1991: Backstrom, Hedman, Karlsson, Markstrom, MSP etc.

They might not develop that much right now, but Slovakia could very well get their new Palffy and Satan in 4-5 years.

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05-17-2010, 08:03 AM
  #23
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There is Canada. Then everyone else.
Russia, Sweden are 2nd and 3rd.

USA is only good during the Olympics.
Czech rep., Finland and Slovakia are getting weaker, but still much better than Denmark, Norway, Germany etc.
Switzerland is above Germany etc. but behind Finland etc.

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Old
05-17-2010, 08:13 AM
  #24
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Originally Posted by slovakiaforever View Post
Yeah, sorry, of course I meant Hiller. Dunno what I was thinking about.
Well, yeah, he is more proven however he has those 3 years on Halák and this is pretty much the first season for Halák as a No. 1 and even that not right from the start of the season. While I of course don´t expect him to be as great as he has these play-offs, he has excelled at all levels he has every played at, so I expect him to be real good in next seasons as well.
I agree on that, Halak did fine since he arrived, now he has a season to prove and then we can call him a top 10 NHL goalie.
The thing I was trying to say, is that a swiss or a german win over a Top 7 nation doesn't really upset anymore. If someone before a SLO-SUI game says it could end as a swiss win he won't get out laughed. Of course, a top-end player like Hossa or Gaborik won't play for Switzerland in the next years, we're very lucky if our century-talent Niederreiter will be in the near of them. But again, the gap between the 7th nation to the others isn't a gap anymore, it's a difference of a few elite players.

btw: Your list of '84 and younger players in the NHL shows very good the difference between the top 4 and Czechia, Finland because their lists would be a lot longer.

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05-17-2010, 08:19 AM
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Still i dont get why finland would fall in the next 5 years? I'd say finland is right now on a downside and in a middle of generation change but there are some great players coming Granlund, Pulkkinen, Hartikainen, Vatanen and so on... plus some sharp goalies.
Their actual draft year is really strong, I like to see that because I cheered for them all life. But look at that list slovakiaforever listed above, all of the top 4 nations would have at least 30 players on it than just 13.


Finland
G Tuukka Rask 1987
D Oskar Osala 1987
D Teemu Laakso 1987
D Ilkka Heikkinen 1984
D Anssi Salmela 1984
D Sami Lepisto 1984
F Jesse Joensuu 1987
F Perttu Lindgren 1987 (1 game, playing in SM-liiga next year)
F Mikko Lehtonen 1987
F Valtteri Filppula 1984
F Petteri Nokelainen 1986
F Sean Bergenheim 1984
F Lauri Korpikoski 1986

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