Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2014 Olympic Hockey Rankings, Groups and Format

Assuming NHL players will be allowed to participate in the Olympics, now is as good a time as any to look at the tournament, the format, and the rosters of the teams that will be playing in it. 

We'll begin with the World Rankings:
1) Russia
2) Finland
3) Czech Republic
4) Sweden
5) Canada
6) Slovakia
7) USA
8) Norway
9) Switzerland
10) Germany (Only the top 9 teams are already in the Olympics though)

You know those tournaments that people think don't matter? Namely the World Championship? Clearly, they matter.

For example, had Canada got to the medal round in this years World Championship they could have secured third place, instead they sit at five.

The World Rankings may not matter to you from an actual informative perspective of whose the best, but they do matter when it comes to Olympic seeding and they are what is used to make the groups. So when it comes to the Olympics in Russia, this is what the groups will be: 

Group A: Russia (1), Slovakia (6), USA (7), Qualifier 3
Group B: Finland (2), Canada (5), Norway (8), Qualifier 2
Group C: Czech Republic (3), Sweden (4), Switzerland (9), Qualifier 1

The Rules read, for those curious, that:

The eight teams with the best records (the best two teams of each group and the two teams ranked third with the best record) advance to the quarter-finals.

With the Tournament format, seeding and groups established, we can now begin to look at rosters. We'll do so by looking at the teams and lineups of the top 10 teams in the world starting with Germany at 10, all the way up to Russia at number one. 

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