Sunday, February 21, 2010

Updated Olympic Hockey Scenarios

Russia beat the Czechs 4-2 in regulation. Here's an updated look at the standings and how things are shaking out for the elimination tournament. Numbers next to the teams mean they are locked in to that seed in the tournament.

Group A
USA - 6 points (+7)
Canada - 5 points (+9)
8. Switzerland - 3 points (-2)
10. Norway - 1 points (-14)

Group B
Russia - 7 points (+7)
Czech Rep - 6 points (+3)
7. Slovakia - 5 points (+5)
12. Latvia - 0 points (-15)

Group C
Finland - 6 points (+9)
Sweden - 6 points (+4)
9. Belarus - 3 points (-4)
11. Germany - 0 points (-9)

Here's a look at how the bracket breaks down as of right now. The Czechs are still in contention for the #4 seed (more details below). The Russians will get one of the 4 byes, but can not get the #1 overall seed because the winner of the Finland-Sweden game will end up with at least 8 points (9 if the game ends in regulation).

Scenario 1: US beats Canada in regulation

In this, the most ideal scenario, we are guaranteed a bye and one of the top two seeds in the tournament. If the Finland/Sweden game is won in regulation, goal differential will decide the tiebreaker for the #1 seed between the US and the winner.

Scenario 2: US beats Canada in OT/Shootout

Under this scenario, it's a little more difficult for the US to get the #1 overall seed. Since the Czechs lost to Russia, the US would end up with 8 points in this scenario and finish ahead of Russia. In order to get the #1 seed, we would need Sweden to beat Finland in a shootout. If Finland wins either in regulation or OT or if Sweden wins in regulation, they will get the #1 seed and the US will get the #2 seed.

Scenario 3: US loses in OT/Shootout

This is the easier and more ideal case if the US loses. Obviously, the ideal would be for the US to beat Canada. But for argument's sake, let's say we lose in OT. We would wind up with 7 points and a +6 goal differential. Given that Russia beat the Czechs in regulation, the US would finish ahead of the Czechs in the standings in this scenario.

Finland/Sweden - If the game ends in regulation, the loser will have 6 points and the US will finish ahead of them. If Finland wins in OT, Sweden and the US will be tied with 7 points but the US will win on goal differential. If Sweden wins in OT, Finland beats the US on goal differential.

Scenario 4: US loses to Canada in regulation

In this case, it's a little harder for the US to get the last bye. The tiebreaker will likely be goal differential, which will be impossible to predict until after the games end. Since the Czechs lost in regulation, the US would have to lose by less than 4 goals in regulation to stay ahead of them in goal differential.

Finland/Sweden - If the game ends in regulation, goal differential will decide the tiebreaker between the US and the losing team. If the game goes to OT, the losing team will have a 1-point advantage on the US.

No comments: