Feb 16, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT
The group stage is over and the seeding for the playoffs has been determined. Every team still has a shot at the gold medal but, from this point onward, it’s win or go home.
Seeds five through 12 will play in the qualification round while one through four get byes to the quarterfinals. The bracket is now locked and will not be adjusted per round to assure that the highest seed team always plays the worst squad. For example, if the 12th seed Norwegian team defeats Russia, the Norwegians will still face the fourth seeded Finnish squad, not the first seeded Swedes.
No. 8 Slovenia vs. No. 9 Austria
Just getting to this point is a victory for both teams, as Slovenia won its first-ever Olympic game in the group phase (over Slovakia) while Austria won at the Winter Games for the first time in 12 years (against Norway). This game won’t have much in the way of star power as Slovenia has just one NHLer — Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar — while the Austrians have three in Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl.
Winner plays Sweden
No. 5 Russia vs. No. 12 Norway
The Russians have been underwhelming so far. They lost in a shootout to the United States and barely beat Slovakia, the latter result costing them a bye to the quarterfinals (but that might not be such a bad thing.) If nothing else, Russia can take comfort in the fact that Canada followed a similar path in the 2010 round robin and still ended up winning the tournament. As for the Norwegians, they’ve fallen on hard times since hanging tough with Canada in the tournament opener and were outscored 9-2 in losses to Finland and Austria.
Winner plays Finland
No. 6 Switzerland vs. No. 11 Latvia
A rematch from the opening game of the group stage, in which Simon Moser scored with eight seconds remaining to give Switzerland a 1-0 win. The Swiss have been air-tight defensively — allowing just one goal all tournament — but the Latvians have been competitive in every game thus far and, four years ago in Vancouver, nearly pulled a huge opening-round playoff upset by taking the Czechs to OT before losing.
Winner plays Canada
No. 7 Czech Republic vs. No. 10 Slovakia
Group mates at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the Czechs beat the Slovaks 3-1 on goals from their big guns: Patrik Elias, Tomas Plekanec and Jaromir Jagr. Neither team has been very impressive in Sochi, though the Slovakians gained a measure of confidence by taking Russia to a shootout in their final group game. The Czechs have been hampered by illness and questionable coaching decisions, but are getting good tournaments from Plekanec (two assists in three games) and Jagr (two goals in three games).
Winner plays U.S.
If you want to see all the potential matches at a glance, the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle has drawn up the bracket:
Mar 13, 2014, 1:47 AM EDT
Memorable moment for him.
Mar 13, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT
Two teams separated by 34 points in the standings.
Mar 13, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
Mar 13, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT
There’s a new No. 2 seed in the Central Division.
Mar 12, 2014, 11:52 PM EDT
No call on the play.
Mar 12, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
The climb gets a little steeper.
Mar 12, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
Mar 12, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
Mar 12, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT
Closing in on career-high in points in first season with Edmonton.
Mar 12, 2014, 9:33 PM EDT
In his 36th game of the season.
Mar 12, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT
This is a beauty.
Mar 12, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Hockey’s most historic Original Six rivalry.
Mar 12, 2014, 8:14 PM EDT
Spirited start in Winnipeg.
Mar 12, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT
Out with a high ankle sprain since Dec. 21.
Mar 12, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
Mar 12, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT
Had nice weather in Boca, though.
Mar 12, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT
“We have numbers, but we’re not ready to give them out.”
Mar 12, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
Still unknown whether he’ll be able to play hockey again.
Mar 12, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
During the first intermission of the Canadiens-Bruins game.
Mar 12, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
Yet another boarding suspension in the NHL.
- Video: Ryan Kesler injured on knee-on-knee collision, on his way back to Vancouver 3
- Discuss: Bruins run over Habs in newest chapter of historic rivalry 15
- Peverley to undergo heart procedure, will miss rest of season 13
- Comeau gets two games for boarding Smith 9
- Three things the Canucks haven’t done well under Torts 22
- Gillis won’t say if Tortorella’s lost Canucks room 31
- Stars win one night after Peverley collapse, give Miller first Blues loss 6
- Crosby, Pens continue recent dominance of Ovechkin, Caps 30
- Terry Trafford’s body found in Michigan on Tuesday 8
- PHT Extra: What happens if the Caps miss the playoffs? 18
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (72)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (61)
- Flyers’ Luke Schenn on first-period brawl: ‘That’s the way it goes’ (57)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)