1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

2012 Ice Hockey World Championship

Discussion in 'Sports Talk' started by raketooy, May 3, 2012.

  1. raketooy

    raketooy professional Coke drinker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    Helsinki
    I know that this tournament doesn't attract a great deal of attention on the western side of the Atlantic, but at least here in Finland it is a huge deal.

    So, the games will begin tomorrow in Helsinki and Stockholm. Any predictions? Are you even going to watch any matches?

    Countries participating (2011 IIHF ranking in parentheses):

    Group H (Helsinki):
    Finland (2)
    Canada (4)
    USA (6)
    Switzerland (7)
    Slovakia (10)
    Belarus (11)
    France (14)
    Kazakhstan (16)

    Group S (Stockholm):
    Russia (1)
    Sweden (3)
    Czech Republic (5)
    Germany (8)
    Norway (9)
    Latvia (12)
    Denmark (13)
    Italy (17)

    Top four teams of each group will proceed to the playoff stage.

    IMO, the top 6 ranked teams are almost surely in the quarter finals (RUS, FIN, SWE, CAN, CZE, USA) and all the other teams will have a tight competition for the two remaining spots, except for Italy, Kazakhstan and France: I just don't think they will stand much of a chance.
     
  2. JJP

    JJP Great Player

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    627
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
  3. raketooy

    raketooy professional Coke drinker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    Helsinki
    No surprises during the first two days, if you don't count USA beating Canada as a small one. That match was by far the most entertaining one of those I have watched.
     
  4. wilycoyote

    wilycoyote King

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    USA beating anyone in anything should never be a surprise to anyone. :)
     
  5. raketooy

    raketooy professional Coke drinker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    Helsinki
    In the meantime, stuff has happened. In the preliminary round, no real surprises, but the biggest upset came in quarterfinals, when Slovakia beat Canada and is through to semifinals. Also, Czech Republic beating Sweden is a surprise and Finland beating the USA is probably a small one as well (at least considering that the USA destroyed us 5-0 in the preliminary round). Russia beat Norway as expected, though.

    I was there at the USA-Finland match, and it was awesome. I'd actually say it was the best match I've ever seen live, as Joensuu scored the winning goal with 9 seconds remaining. The other matches had kinda dramatic endings as well. Czech Republic scored the winning goal with half a minute on the clock and Slovakia scored on powerplay about two minutes before ending (after Getzlaf had got a deserved game misconduct for kneeing).

    The climax of USA-Finland with the Finnish commentator:

    Link to video.

    So, after today's drama, the semifinals are Finland vs. Russia and Czech Rep. vs. Slovakia
     
  6. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    Czech Rep. vs Slovakia semifinal will be a great game. There is a lot of friendly rivalry, so the emotions will run high :D

    Here's a recap of the Swe-Cze QF game. Veeeeery tense, I was nerve-wrecked in the final period, so many chances by both teams to decide the game. Michálek scored in the last half minute of the match, miraculously - the assist probably goes to the ghost of Karel Rachůnek (just put the name into YouTube search if you don't know why the Swedes know him ;) ).


    Link to video.
     
  7. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    33,999
    Location:
    USA #1
    The US-Finland game was a real heart-breaker. It's a shame the US defense forgot how to play hockey the last few seconds of the game. It is being discussed by the sports talking heads as much as Tortorella's press conferences are.

    I wonder why they don't wait until the Stanley Cup is over. Perhaps the NHL should even start their season earlier so all the NHL pros have a chance to play.
     
  8. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    If I understand it correctly, North Americans don't generally give a crap about this tournament. As a result, everybody hates them over here :lol:
     
  9. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    33,999
    Location:
    USA #1
    Most hockey fans around here certainly "give a crap" a lot more about the Stanley Cup. I don't think there is much doubt about that.

    It seems to me that the way it is held at present puts both Canada and the US at a huge disadvantage, since any hockey players and coaches participating in the Stanley Cup cannot compete unless they get eliminated quite early. This would also affect other countries whose players happen to be on those teams.
     
  10. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    It affects everyone - many national teams from Europe don't get all the players they'd have liked. Swedes did get them, but it didn't help them in the QFs. The true disadvantage is the time difference, which prevents fans in North America from enjoying these games at reasonable times of the day. Since WCs are mostly held in European countries, this is a problem.

    I think there is (perhaps a bit prejudiced) belief here that since Canada and the US don't really care, they deserve to get beaten and sent home ASAP to make room for teams who actually do give a damn about representing their countries.
     
  11. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,863
    Location:
    Sweden / France
    Yeah...

    Congrats to the Czechs.:)

    Swedes are really hacked off over this...:twitch:
     
  12. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    33,999
    Location:
    USA #1
    Only the vast majority of those players are Canadian and US. The same issue occurs in Olympics play which the IIHF is also responsible.

    It seems like Europe doesn't really want an even playing field for the "international" championship at all. If they did, they would arrange the schedules so everybody had an opportunity to play.
     
  13. raketooy

    raketooy professional Coke drinker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    Helsinki
    The NHL has been on break for the Olympic hockey tournaments 1998-2010, allowing all NHL players to play, and so the Olympic tournaments have been real best-of-the-best tournaments. The Olympic tournaments have also been a bit problematic, because they are sometimes hosted by places that don't have adequate arenas for great international tournaments, e.g. in Turin 2006 the arena only had a few thousand seats and they had difficulties with the ice quality. The status of NHL players in Sochi 2014 is unclear still, as the players' association and NHL don't have an agreement yet. If there won't be NHL players in the future Olympics, one solution would be to arrange World Cups (NHL rules, all the best players) more frequently. The last one was in 2004, and it was great hockey with great players.
     
  14. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    7,693
    Location:
    Europe, more or less
    World Cup needs to be every year so that the Association can pay the bills for the lesser world cups (e.g. second tier with exciting games such as Turkey vs. Kazakhstan, no offense) and Under-Age world cups. So it does make sense to place them where they make the most revenue. Thus in European Countries with European timelines.

    Olympics is different since the IOC can force the NHL to let the players go which is a good thing, as it is the Olympics that are the most valuable trophy in Ice Hockey. This is different from say Football where the World Cup is MUCH more valuable than the Olympics Gold Medal.
     
  15. raketooy

    raketooy professional Coke drinker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    Helsinki
    I mean there is the tournament called the World Cup of Hockey (formerly Canada Cup), with NHL rules and arranged in early fall so that all NHL players can take part as well. It's just that this tournament is held at irregular intervals and 8 years has passed from the last one, so many have probably forgotten about its existence. I guess that if the NHL, NHLPA and the IOC can't reach an agreement about freeing NHL players for the Olympics in the future (it is still unclear if there will be NHL players at 2014 Olympics), these World Cups will be played on a regular basis, as there is great interest in genuine best-on-best international tournaments. From NHL's point of view, it would probably make sense to have the best-on-best international games be played at NHL-sanctioned World Cups solely, as they likely make a nice amount of cash from those tournaments.

    In news relating to this ongoing tournament, Russia crushes Finland 6-2 to make the final :( and Slovakia upsets Czech Republic 3-1. So the final matchup is Russia-Slovakia, with Russia being the clear frontrunner. I'm going to be rooting for Slovakia at the final; they have had a nice feeling in their play and after a few rough years its nice to see them at the top level again. Many people, myself included, had already doomed them to having no future and playing for top 10 finishes along with teams like Belarus.
     

Share This Page