Feb 16, 2014, 2:17 PM EST
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 6, 2015, 11:14 PM EST
Minny has lost only three times since start of February.
Mar 6, 2015, 10:24 PM EST
They had 37 shot attempts all game.
Mar 6, 2015, 9:49 PM EST
Ottawa hosting Buffalo.
Mar 6, 2015, 9:08 PM EST
Mar 6, 2015, 8:22 PM EST
More reaction to what transpired earlier this week.
Mar 6, 2015, 7:37 PM EST
Yeah, not a very good effort in Arizona on Thursday.
Mar 6, 2015, 6:39 PM EST
Those contract extensions were announced Friday.
Mar 6, 2015, 5:00 PM EST
Meaning Anders Lindback looks to play against Ottawa tonight.
Mar 6, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
“There’s no such thing as a ‘must-win.’ Nobody gets locked up or thrown in the ocean or anything like that.”
Mar 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EST
Gritty forward will miss most of the remainder of the regular season.
Mar 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EST
“There’s no question Chiarelli would have a chance to work as soon as he wanted to.”
Mar 6, 2015, 2:03 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Mar 6, 2015, 1:43 PM EST
Not the best timing for Winnipeg.
Mar 6, 2015, 1:13 PM EST
Making it virtually impossible for him to play again this season.
Mar 6, 2015, 1:10 PM EST
However, “We’re not hearing that from fans. Fans like the way the game is.”
Mar 6, 2015, 12:41 PM EST
The Scotiabank Saddledome opened in 1983.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:38 PM EST
It’s likely he’ll take the morning skate on Saturday.
Mar 6, 2015, 12:08 PM EST
“It was a mutual agreement between both parties.”
Mar 6, 2015, 11:50 AM EST
Hence, all the trades.
Mar 6, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
Huge blow to Colorado’s already slim playoff chances.
- Byfuglien out 2-4 weeks with upper-body injury; Little hurt, too 9
- Bettman concedes there are ‘some members of the NHL family who would like to see fewer shootouts’ 48
- Season over: Avs lose MacKinnon to broken foot 19
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 20
- Bruins sign Krug and Smith to contract extensions 36
- Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated) 15
- In praise of the Hamburglar 14
- Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving 9
- Connor McDavid is just on fire right now 21
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 32