The Medal Round Preview

Ryan Pike
February 17 2014 10:04AM

Eriksson_Seger_960x540_slide
(photo courtesy the NHL)

All the shenanigans and tom-foolery at the 2014 Winter Olympic games are now over when it comes to the men's hockey tournament. Now? It's lose and go home.

Welcome to the medal round, folks.

This is the fifth men's tournament of the NHL Era in the Olympics and the second under the present format. Belarus famously upset Sweden in the 2002 quarterfinals before getting stomped by Canada in the semis. And the Czechs beat the higher-seeded Slovaks in the 2006 quarters. But this isn't a tournament where traditionally the Cinderella stories happen. But with the Russians and Swiss playing into the quarterfinals potentially, there could be some drama on Wednesday.

If the higher-seeded teams always win, which is the general trend, we're looking at Finland/Russia and Canada/Switzerland in the quarters, and we have the potential for a Canada/USA semi-final and either a Canada/Sweden or Canada/Russia final. Lots of fun possibilities.

Here's the schedule from here on out. Higher-seeded teams are listed first.

QUALIFICATION GAMES: TUESDAY

  • 1am MT: Slovenia vs. Austria [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
  • 5:30am MT: Russia vs. Norway [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
  • 10am MT: Switzerland vs. Latvia [Bolshoy Ice Dome]
  • 10am MT: Czech Republic vs. Slovakia [Shayba Arena]
    One of the 10am games will be on CBC.

    QUARTERFINAL GAMES: WEDNESDAY

    • 1am MT: Sweden vs. Slovenia/Austria winner [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
    • 5:30am MT: Finland vs. Russia/Norway winner [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
    • 10am MT: Canada vs. Switzerland/Latvia winner [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
    • 10am MT: USA vs. Czech/Slovakia winner [Shayba Arena] [TSN2]

      SEMI-FINAL GAMES: FRIDAY

      • 5am MT: Sweden/Slovenia/Austria winner vs. Finland/Russia/Norway winner [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [TSN]
      • 10am MT: Canada/Switzerland/Latvia winner vs. USA/Czech/Slovakia winner [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]

      BRONZE MEDAL GAME: SATURDAY

      • 8am MT: Semi-Final Losers [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]

      GOLD MEDAL GAME: SUNDAY

      • 5am MT: Semi-Final Winners [Bolshoy Ice Dome] [CBC]
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      Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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      #1 Bean-counting cowboy
      February 17 2014, 10:42AM
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      I don't see Sweden or USA getting upset on route to semis. Canada vs. Switzerland and Russia vs. Finland however could be interesting and provide some drama.

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      #2 Sean Bennett
      February 17 2014, 12:19PM
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      I highly doubt there will be any drama if the Swiss proceed to play Canada in the quarters. Indeed, the Swiss drew the worst possible matchup amongst the big four, as Canada has played stifling and patient defense throughout the tournament, and have far more offensive weapons.

      The Canadians have also allowed the fewest shots against.

      Considering they are outshooting their opponents almost 2-1, and dominating the puck-possession game, you would have to think they are due for a few more bounces. Regardless of whether they blow out the Swiss or win a patient 1-0 game, the Canadians will win. If you're looking for potential upsets (albeit on a lesser scale) watch the Finland/Russia game. The ingredients are all there for some hand-wringing in Moscow.

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      #3 mattyc
      February 17 2014, 11:02AM
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      yuck, 4am PST start for the gold medal game... Not sure if that counts as staying up late, or getting up early.

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      #4 RKD
      February 17 2014, 12:38PM
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      Really hard to predict at this point, but outside of Carter and Doughty I get an uneasy feeling about the offense. The back end has been doing most of the heavy lifting and now they have to turn it on. This will be the real test for Crosby whose been ordinary so far. They've tried like three or four different guys with Crosby to find some chemistry.

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      #5 coachedpotatoe
      February 17 2014, 11:27AM
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      Maybe that the Czech/Slovac game may lead to a war or possible to reunification. The 1 a.m. will probably draw the same NA audience as watching paint dry. The Swedes look to have the sweetest draw.

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