FlamesNation's Guide to the Olympics

Ryan Pike
February 11 2014 03:03PM





sochi-2014-logo

For hockey fans, the Sochi Olympics really kick into high gear on Wednesday morning. While the women's tournament is already underway, the typically more-competitive (and high-profile) men's hockey tournament kicks off with a pair of games on Wednesday morning. Then it's four games per day until the weekend is over.

Here's a brief, Flames-centric look, at who's who in the 2014 Olympic men's hockey tournament.

THE TEAMS

AUSTRIA (Group B): 15th ranked by IIHF
Has never medalled; best finish was 5th in 1928
In Vancouver: Didn't qualify.
Flames Connections: Zero.
Odds to Win: 750/1

CANADA (Group B): 5th ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power, has won gold twice in NHL Era (but had sizable gold drought previously)
In Vancouver: Won gold in OT thrilller
Flames Connections: Many Calgary Flames have represented Canada. Jarome Iginla was a big part of the 2002 and 2010 gold medal wins. Ex-Flame Jay Bouwmeester is on this year's squad, as is ex-Flame Martin St. Louis.
Odds To Win: 19/10

CZECH REPUBLIC (Group C): 4th ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power, has won gold in NHL Era (in 1998)
In Vancouver: Finished 7th
Flames Connections: Several prominent Flames have represented the Czechs like Robert Reichel and Jiri Hrdina. This time there's no Jiri Hudler (boo!), but there is Ladslav Smid (yay!) and ex-Flame Roman Cervenka (meh!).
Odds To Win: 12/1

FINLAND (Group B): 2nd ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power, but hasn't won gold in NHL Era
In Vancouver: Won bronze.
Flames Connections: Many Flames have represented Finland, most recently the great Miikka Kiprusoff. Former Flame Olli Jokinen is on this year's squad.
Odds To Win: 11/1

LATVIA (Group C): 11th ranked by IIHF
Has never medalled, best-ever finish was 9th in 2002
In Vancouver: Finished dead-last (12th). They're bringing back 15 guys from that team, because Latvia.
Flames Connections: The legendary Raitis Ivanans is the only Flames player to hail from Latvia. He played two games.
Odds To Win: 400/1

NORWAY (Group B): 9th ranked by IIHF
Has never medalled, best-ever finish was 8th in 1972
In Vancouver: Finished 10th. They're bringing back 13 guys from that team, but not the great Thor Vikingstad, who (along with Jarome Iginla) was one of two guys to score a hat-trick in the 2010 tournament.
Flames Connections: None.
Odds To Win: 200/1

RUSSIA (Group A): 3rd ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power. Has several golds from their time as the Soviet Union and the short-lived Unified Team, who won their last gold in 1992.
In Vancouver: Finished 6th
Flames Connections: No current Flames on this squad, but past prominent Russian Flames include German Titov, Sergei Makarov and Valeri Bure.
Odds To Win: 12/5

SLOVAKIA (Group A): 8th ranked by IIHF
Has never medalled, best-ever finish was 4th in 2010
In Vancouver: Finished 4th
Flames Connections: Ronald Petrovicky is the only Flames Slovak ever.
Odds To Win: 33/1

SLOVENIA (Group A): 17th ranked by IIHF (the lowest-ranked team in the tournament)
Has never medalled, and this is their first-ever Olympic tournament.
In Vancouver: Didn't qualify
Flames Connections: None.
Odds To Win: 1000/1

SWEDEN (Group C): 1st ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power, has several golds (including their last one from 2006).
In Vancouver: Finished 5th
Flames Connections: Mikael Backlund is from this country, and may very well have been considered to join this squadron had he started being amazing earlier than mid-December. Guys like Kent Nilsson and Hakan Loob have also hailed from this great nation.
Odds To Win: 9/2

SWITZERLAND (Group C): 7th ranked by IIHF
Last medalled in 1948, but this team shocked the world and won silver at last year's World Championships. 18 members of that team return for the Olympics.
In Vancouver: Finished 8th
Flames Connections: Reto Berra is one of the Swiss goalies. Sven Baertschi was on the Swiss long list but didn't make the team.
Odds To Win: 25/1

UNITED STATES (Group A): 6th ranked by IIHF
Historic hockey power, last won gold in 1980 and made a bunch of movies about it or something.
In Vancouver: Won silver (or lost gold, depending on your perspective) in OT thriller.
Flames Connections: Many Flames have represented this nation, including Gary Suter, Craig Conroy and 1980 Miracle On Ice goaltender Jim Craig.
Odds To Win: 6/1

ROUND ROBIN SCHEDULE

Every team plays three times, once against the other three teams in their group. 3 points are awarded for a regulation win, 2 points for an overtime or shootout win, 1 point for an overtime or shootout loss, 0 points for a regulation loss.

The teams are then ranked 1 through 12 based on group position, total points, goal differential, most goals scored and, if needed, 2013 IIHF World Ranking. These are important for the next round, so every single game has a bearing on who plays who in the playoff round. (And if you're a "lesser" team, the final standings are used to determine the 2014 World Rankings, and ultimately will influence the qualification for the 2018 Olympics.)

  • Wed., Feb 12 - 10am MT: Sweden beat Czech Republic 4-2
  • Wed., Feb 12 - 10am MT: Switzerland beat Latvia 1-0
  • Thu., Feb 13 - 1am MT: Finland beat Austria 8-4
  • Thu., Feb 13 - 5:30am MT: Russia beat Slovenia 5-2
  • Thu., Feb 13 - 5:30am MT: United States beat Slovakia 7-1
  • Thu., Feb 13 - 10am MT: Canada beat. Norway 3-1
  • Fri., Feb 14 - 1am MT: Czech Republic beat Latvia 4-2
  • Fri., Feb 14 - 5:30am MT: Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0
  • Fri., Feb 14 - 10am MT: Canada beat Austria 6-0
  • Fri., Feb 14 - 10am MT: Finland beat Norway 6-1
  • Sat., Feb 15 - 1am MT: Slovenia beat Slovakia 3-1
  • Sat., Feb 15 - 5:30am MT: United States beat Russia 3-2 (SO)
  • Sat., Feb 15 - 10am MT: Switzerland beat Czech Republic 1-0
  • Sat., Feb 15 - 10am MT: Sweden beat Latvia 5-3
  • Sun., Feb 16 - 1am MT: Austria vs. Norway (Bolshoy Ice Dome) [TSN2]
  • Sun., Feb 16 - 5:30am MT: Russia vs. Slovakia (Bolshoy Ice Dome) [maybe Sportsnet]
  • Sun., Feb 16 - 5:30am MT: United States vs. Slovenia (Shayba Arena) [maybe Sportsnet]
    Note: Sportsnet is only airing one of the two 5:30am MT games.
  • Sun., Feb 16 - 10am MT: CANADA vs. Finland (Bolshoy Ice Dome) [CBC]

    STANDINGS

    Through the first two days of games:

    Team  GP
    Record
    GF
    GA
    Diff.
    PTS
    IIHF
    Rank
    Sweden (C)
    3
    3-0-0-0 10
    5
    +5
    9
    1st
    Finland (B)
    2
    2-0-0-0
    14
    5
    +9
    6
    2nd
    USA (A)
    2
    1-1-0-0 10
    3
    +7
    5
    6th
    Canada (B)
    2
    2-0-0-0
    9
    1
    +8
    6
    5th
    Switzerland (C)
    3
    2-0-0-1 2
    1
    +1
    6
    7th
    Russia (A)
    2
    1-0-1-0 7
    5
    +2
    4
    3rd
    Czech Rep. (C)
    3
    1-0-0-2
    6
    7
    -1
    3
    4th
    Slovenia (A)
    2
    1-0-0-1 5
    6
    -1
    3
    17th
    Norway (B)
    2
    0-0-0-2 2
    9
    -7
    0
    9th
    Latvia (C)
    3
    0-0-0-3 5
    10
    -5
    0
    11th
    Slovakia (A)
    2
    0-0-0-2 2
    10
    -8
    0
    8th
    Austria (B) 2
    0-0-0-2
    4
    14
    -10
    0
    15th

    PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

    The playoff schedule is set, although the teams and times are a bit fluid, as the IIHF tends to work with the local hosts to ensure some good times. For instance, Russia, Canada and the USA all play at the same times every day. That's not a coincidence. Anyhoo, based on standings, the qualifiers and quarterfinals are all played at 1am, 5:30am and 10am MT, with a pair of games in the 10am slot each day.

    • Tues., Feb 18 - time TBA: 5th place vs. 12th place [CBC]
    • Tues., Feb 18 - time TBA: 6th place vs. 11th place [CBC]
    • Tues., Feb 18 - time TBA: 7th place vs. 10th place [CBC]
    • Tues., Feb 18 - time TBA: 8th place vs. 9th place [CBC]
      Note: one of the qualification games won't be televised.
    • Wed., Feb 19 - time TBA: 1st place vs. 8th/9th winner [TSN]
    • Wed., Feb 19 - time TBA: 2nd place vs. 7th/10th winner [CBC]
    • Wed., Feb 19 - time TBA: 3rd place vs. 6th/11th winner [CBC]
    • Wed., Feb 19 - time TBA: 4th place vs. 5th/12th winner [TSN2]
    • Fri., Feb 21 - time TBA: 1st/8th/9th vs. 4th/5th/12th (Bolshoy Ice Dome)
    • Fri., Feb 21 - time TBA: 2nd/7th/10th vs. 3rd/6th/11th (Bolshoy Ice Dome)
      One game will be on TSN, the other game will be on CBC.
    • Sat., Feb 22 - 8am MT: Bronze Medal Game (semi-final losers) (Bolshoy Ice Dome) [CBC]
    • Sun., Feb 23 - 5am MT: Gold Medal Game (semi-final winners) (Bolshoy Ice Dome) [CBC]

    SUM IT UP

    We'll be keeping this page updated during the tournament, so bookmark it to keep track of who's won, who's lost and when games will happen.

    Go Canada Go!

    51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
    Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
    Avatar
    #1 beloch
    February 11 2014, 06:16PM
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    @Ryan Pike

    The World Cup is a nice diversion for NHL'ers who missed the playoffs (or got swept in 4) before hitting the links if they don't feel like watching the real playoffs on TV. e.g. The 2013 WC team had 4 Oilers on it. The Sochi team has 0 oilers. That's a huge edge right there!

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    #2 Bean-counting cowboy
    February 11 2014, 04:11PM
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    Best chance to win = Canada

    Ranking = 5th

    ???

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    #4 schevvy
    February 11 2014, 07:01PM
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    Is it possible for Anze Kopitar to play all 60 minutes?

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    #5 piscera.infada
    February 12 2014, 08:54AM
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    I know this isn't the right article, but.... Apparently Gaudreau's made the decision to turn pro at the end of the season!!!!!! Huzzah!

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    #6 Rob Huck
    February 13 2014, 09:09AM
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    The greatest hockey name -- nay, the greatest name -- of all time: Thor Vikingstad!!!!!

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