Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 World Junior Hockey Championship
The relegation delegation

Relegation standings (prior to Thursday's games)

Thursday's relegation games
10 a.m. Belarus v. Slovakia (in Mora)
1:30 p.m. Germany v. Switzerland (in Mora)

"Relegation standings!" I can hear you say. "Who cares about that?"

Ah, that's the beauty of the blog — if you don't care, you don't read. And if you don't read, well, no biggy.

Two teams from the 10-team tournament won't be back next year in the Czech Republic, and for once, it might not be the usual suspects. Both Germany and Belarus had some strong performances in the round-robin portion of the event this year, and depending on what happens tomorrow, one or both of them could stick around for 2008.

Slovakia's really in tough here, as their only hope is to win big over Belarus and then hope Switzerland topples Germany. A Slovak loss or a win for Germany means Slovakia will be relegated for the first time in a long time (sorry Jes).

Switzerland is setup nicely heading into tomorrow's game against Germany, as a big hit to their goal differential (currently at +4) would be needed to relegate them. Germany, meanwhile, is going to need to win their game if Belarus defeats Slovakia.

Anyway, I'll update tomorrow with the results of these Toilet Bowl games. After all, the hockey world's dying to know who Kazakhstan and Denmark will be replacing at the relegation portion of the event next year.

UPDATE Well, the Slovaks woke up and pounded Belarus 9-0, which, if Switzerland defeats Germany, will make things interesting with a three-way tie at the bottom of the relegation standings.

There's one problem — given the Swiss have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the main tournament next year with two relegation wins, and have little to play for today against Germany. If they let up and the Germans win, Slovakia and Belarus will be relegated for 2008.

UPDATE Switzerland hangs on for a 5-3 win over Germany, which results in the Germans and Belarusians getting the boot back to Divison I. At least it was a competitive tournament for both the promoted teams.


At 9:51 AM, January 04, 2007, Blogger girlysportsrant said...

The NHL should have relegation!

A) It would mean the NHL could have 40-50 teams.

B) Teams like Quebec, Winnipeg would exist and even Saskatoon and Hamilton added in the 90s and they would be bouncing back and forth between divisions.

C) A relegation battle can be even more exciting than the championships themselves. If you lose the Stanley Cup final you can try again next year. You lose the relegation final, you're toast! :)

At 11:03 AM, January 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be amazing to have European soccer-style relegation with the AHL and ECHL and maybe even lower leagues. Imagine the Flyers being relegated to division 3 much like Nottingham Forest's decline after winning back-to-back European Cups.

Also, I read that the IIHF was thinking of expanding the tournament so the last two teams might not even get relegated.

At 1:27 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

Wow, Slovakia KILLED Belarus 9-0! I didn't see that coming at all. Belarus vs. Slovakia

At 1:31 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

Now, if Germany wins over Switzerland, all "toilet" teams will be tied with one loss and one tie. Even if they lose, how is the second team to be booted decided?

At 1:39 PM, January 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember watching a relagation game in Grand Forks two years ago and it was a fun game. The Germans won over the crowd as the Slovaks got chippy (turning the sparse crowd against them), and then the Germans came from behind in the third period to win a real fun one for the fans.

At 2:13 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

The Swiss have two wins? They've only played Slovakia, which they won, and are currently playing Germany (tied at the moment). Where did the 2nd win come from? Do they count the prelim games as part of the elimination process?

At 2:24 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Games between relegation round teams that took place in the round robin count in the relegation standings.

They do it so teams that have already faced one another don't do so again.

At 2:39 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

As badly as it screwed the Slovaks, I'm glad to see that the previous RR games count for something like this. Why should Germany beat some big guns and then have nothing to show for it later?

At 3:34 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

Damn... I was really hoping for a German win over the Swiss. For no better reason than they gave anyone ever labeled the underdog serious hope. One OT goal (or penalty, whichever way you look at it) away from contention and they couldn't beat Switzerland? I'm disappointed.

At 6:53 PM, January 04, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

Ok, nevermind my comment. I've been drinking too much.

Slovaks survive *phew*, and it's likely to continue to be that way for some time


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