Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Olympic hockey rankings updated

Just a short note that I've updated the Winter Olympics hockey rankings, which you can read here.

Canada, of course, comes on top of the list, followed by the United States, Sweden, and Russia. But how do the teams compare to one another? Who will be the important players? And how do the line combinations stack up? Check it out.

The men's games begin tomorrow at noon, eastern time, with the Czech Republic taking on Sweden and Latvia up against the Swiss.

16 comments:

  1. :( re: the "value" of Luongo. LUUUUUUU. Winning the gold medal in 2010 counts for nothing in these rankings, doesn't it. :/

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  2. Here is an interesting observation since the modern era of Olympic hockey in 1998. 2002 and 2010 games had Canada US finals, both were in North America. In the 1998 and 2006 games outside of North America neither Canada nor the US managed any medal at all.

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    1. As readers of this site probably know, that isn't much of a sample size!

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    2. Shh. My superstitions don't need a sample size! :/

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    3. Lots of people have made a big deal of the ice size as the causal effect, as if twenty extra feet between the sideboards made a huge difference. I would rather think that the normal things that affect hockey teams' performances in the NHL: home crowds, long trips, time zone differences, etc. would have much more to do with it.

      Anyway, not only is the sample size too small (4 tournaments) but those tournaments consist of only 5-7 games per team each, or 25 or so games over 12 years. One lucky reflex in the semi-final shootout in 1998 and Canada would have played for gold while Czech Republic would have likely gone home with nothing, instead of the other way around.

      Your team rankings happen to coincide nicely with the number of registered hockey players in each country. It is not surprising that Canada, with 600,000 registered senior male hockey players, would have more depth at the elite level than Czech Republic, with 100,000 registered registered senior players or Finland with 24,000 registered senior players.

      That same stat is fascinating in showing the growth of women's hockey -- in its first Olympic tournament in 2002, Italy made the Olympics even though it only had 200 registered female hockey players in the country - each registered player had a 10% chance of making the Olympic team! In 12 years, Italy has doubled its registration to 400 players but doesn't come anywhere near qualifying for the Olympics anymore.

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    4. I think the larger rink may be to Canada's advantage. My theory is NHLers will be in better physical condition than Swedes or Russians or Czechs. The larger rink then would have the effect of taxing those teams whose conditioning is not as strong more than NHLers.

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    5. Honestly I think the whole thing is rather silly. Where did the majority of the players on each of these teams come from? The NHL. :/

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    6. It will be interesting to see how it plays out - yes, it is a very small sample size which is why I said it was an observation

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  3. And how about women's hockey?? They have been dominant for years but lately the USA has been beating us ??

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    1. It is difficult to do something similar for women's hockey because they don't have comparable professional leagues.

      But it is easy enough to make a forecast: Canada and the United States will play for gold. Toss a coin to figure out who will win! It is that close, folks.

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    2. Fingers crossed I guess ?

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    3. Team USA has played Team Canada 115 times in international competition with Canada holding a 67-47-1 edge in the series.

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    4. And Darren we've lost FIVE in a row. Today breaks the "curse" !!

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    5. I'm rooting for Japan in their game against Germany. :)

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  4. Canada Wins 3-2

    First win over the USA in 6 games !!

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  5. The Big Question is... who starts in net against Finland?

    Luongo obviously has the better save per centage and GAA but, Price faced the stronger team.

    I think Luongo will get the start since, he is the "senior" goaltender but, I wouldn't be disappointed to see Price in net come Sunday.

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