Sunday, May 15, 2005

Canada's silver lining

OK, so Canada lost to the Czech Republic today. That said, considering the high calibre of hockey being played by so many other countries now, there's no shame in silver. Congrats to the Czechs for being the best team this time around, but when the IIHF releases its updated world rankings for 2005 (which are scheduled to come out soon after the conclusion of this tourney), Canada will remain on top.

Oh, and how about Tomas Vokoun, who was voted the tournament's top goaltender. His status as one of the best goaltenders in the world has been cemented. If Nashville can get him some help on defense, they've certainly got a shot to move up the standings in the West.

I'm short on time, so that'll have to do for analysis for now. Look to guys like Jes Golbez, Tom Benjamin, and others for more.
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Postscript: Speaking of the IIHF World Rankings, here's a full listing of the previous rankings (for 2004). The list is interesting for two reasons: 1) you can plot based on teams' finishes at the World Championship where they will rank for 2005, and 2) because there are a ton of oddball countries in the mix here. When's the last time you heard about the South African hockey program (and how long until they advance to the A Pool)? Also, expect Germany to fall considerably after they were relegated at this year's tournament.

The list follows below (with 2003's rank in brackets), but I'm going to offer an extensive breakdown in the near future.

1. Canada (1) *silver
2. Sweden (2)
3. Slovakia (5)
4. Czech Republic (3) *gold
5. Finland (4)
6. USA (7)
7. Russia (6) *bronze
8. Germany (8)
9. Switzerland (9)
10. Latvia (10)
11. Austria (12)
12. Ukraine (11)
13. Belarus (13)
14. Denmark (14)
15. Japan (15)
16. Slovenia (16)
17. Kazakhstan (21)
18. France (18)
19. Italy (17)
20. Poland (19)
21. Norway (20)
22. Hungary (22)
23. Netherlands (25)
24. Estonia (24)
25. Great Britain (23)
26. Romania (26)
27. Lithuania (27)
28. China (28)
29. Serbia Montenegro (29)
30. South Korea (32)
31. Croatia (31)
32. Bulgaria (30)
33. Belgium (33)
34. Spain (34)
35. Australia (36)
36. Israel (35)
37. North Korea (41)
38. South Africa (37)
39. Iceland (38)
40. New Zealand (40)
41. Mexico (39)
42. Luxembourg (42)
43. Turkey (43)
44. Ireland (NR)
45. Armenia (NR)

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