Monday, February 19, 2018

Olympic Pool Preview (Day 6, Feb 20)

The men's ice hockey tournament resumes tonight in PyeongChang, with the qualification round, which is made up of the eight teams that didn't earn a bye into the quarterfinals and the tournament has now become a win and you stay in format, bracketed down the line.

With that being said, now the game-winning goals gain an extra bonus point, so not only do you get a point for the goal itself, it's now 2 points for a game-winner.

The USA will get the Slovakians in the early game of the day in Korea, our 8:10pm start tonight.  Both teams were 1-0-1-1 in Pool B and they'll face each other once again in the qualification round.  The Americans won their round robin game, 2-1, so it was close enough not to sleep on it this game being one-sided.

The hockey pool would prefer the Americans to go through, as their picks outnumber the Slovaks, 15-3, but the pool leader, Chris, doesn't have any Americans and he has one Slovak, Ladislav Nagy.  If you could call a Slovak win an upset, Chris would be okay with it.

The winner of this one will go on to face the Czech Republic in the quarters.

The midnight game in the Mountain Time zone will feature Slovenia and Norway, the 2nd-best team in Pool B against the last place team in Pool C.   Slovenia had a record of 0-2-0-1, winning both their games in overtime, while Norway didn't register a win, but did get an overtime loss, going 0-0-1-2.  This match-up clearly favours the Slovenians, since Norway only scored a couple of goals in their round robin games.

Only two players in this game are featured in the pool, Patrick Thoreson of Norway, belonging to Don, and Jan Mursak of Slovenia, belonging to Steve.  Don starts the night only 2 points out of the lead, while Steve is 8 points back.

The winner here gets Russia in the quarters.

Finland will get the host team from Korea in the qualification match, as the Finns held the best record, not to get a bye, and the Koreans scored one goal in their round robin games.  The expectation here is that this game won't be close.  Finland has been very good, so far, scoring 11 goals in three games, but just fell short of the bye, while Korea allowed 14 goals.

This is the best represented qualification game, thanks in large part to the mandatory Korean rule, where everyone is now expected to lose a player after this game, and this could be a game where a few teams make some hay on the leaders, since Chris only has one Finn... but it is the best Finn, Eeli Tolvanen.

Canada awaits the Finns... errr, I mean, the winner of this game.

The last of the four qualification games is between Switzerland and Germany and much like the USA and Slovakia game, this could be a evenly-matched game here too.The Swiss were 1-0-0-2 and the Germans were 0-1-0-2, with the Swiss having the better of the two goal differentials too.  This could be well played and if you had to pick a favourite, it could be the Swiss and the Germans could very well upset this one.

The two countries each have three players taken in the pool, six pool teams spread out the wealth in this one and Chris doesn't own one of those teams.  I'm sure the six teams represented in the pool are hoping for a barn burner!

Sweden is the lucky recipient of the winner in this game.

There you have it!  Tune in... there could be some good games!

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