Winter Olympics Ice Hockey Events - FORUM PRIZE THREAD!

Who Will win the Men's Olympic Ice Hockey?

Canada
7
30%
Russia
7
30%
Sweden
3
13%
United States
3
13%
Finland
1
4%
Czech Republic
0
No votes
Switzerland
0
No votes
Slovakia
1
4%
Other
1
4%
 
Total votes: 23
botev1921
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Postby botev1921 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:21 am

My biggest concern with the US is their behavior in the Russia game, which considering the state of the Russians over the course of the entire event makes them underdogs against Canada. The Canadians will enjoy a real back and forth match more than the US in my eyes and I am just not convinced the US can actually win it.
The other semi-final is what interests me more as I have bets on both teams - Sweden to win the gold and Finland to win a medal. Both teams have strong arguments and looking at the head to head, Finland do have a good enough record against the Swedes to consider them seriously. There is some market support already for Suomi as the odds dropped in the last few hours. They have showed us both offense and amazing defensive consistency when needed, so my observation is that they have been the most balanced team out there.

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Postby undertherobe » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:33 pm

Incredible stuff in the women's ice hockey. USA 4 minutes away from Gold with a 2-0 lead but instead of currently celebrating their first Olympic Gold for 16 years, they're now trying to compose themselves for overtime.

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Postby botev1921 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:09 pm

There is a saying - "If you don't know how to win, you eventually lose". The women final is prove to that. Well done Canada.

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Postby undertherobe » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:21 pm

Stats
5 of the last 6 competitive matches were settled by one goal.
3 of the last 6 competitive matches have gone to overtime.
In the last 3 meetings, the team who has scored first has lost.
So in the end Canada prevailed and the stats rang true. Now the women's event is over, the attention turns to the men's semi finals tomorrow.

I see the Canada vs USA match being very similar to an NHL game in physicality. I genuinely can't split these 2 sides. I think Canada have the more skilled players, whereas USA look to be more versatile.
The Americans have answered every question that has been asked of them and in some style since blowing away a potentially tricky opening match against Slovakia with a 6 goal second period.
My one concern for Canada is the lack of offense their opposition has produced. Carey Price has faced just 55 shots in 3 games and it's been more down to a lack of quality opposition rather than excellent defensive work.
8 of the last 12 meetings between these sides have been settled by one goal or less including 5 of the last 6 and that's where I would be heading tomorrow. Paddy Power offer both sides to win by 1 goal @ 11/2 each

As for the Sweden vs Finland game I'm looking towards an alternative market for some value. I've said a couple of times that Finland's lack of offense against the top teams concerns me and that whether it be tomorrow or in the final, I think it will come back to haunt them.
With 4 regulation wins, the no. 1 seed and current World Champions, Sweden certainly tick the box as a top team for me.
Finland have managed just 37 shots in their games against Canada and Russia and I see them around the 20 shot mark again tomorrow.
Sweden have made mincemeat out of my suggestions that they would struggle on offense with some key players out through injury by scoring 10 goals in their last 2 games. However, Finland have proved to be a very well organised side and I'd be surprised to see Sweden posting north of 35 shots tomorrow. BWin off 11/13 for under 58.5 shots in the game (excluding overtime) which I'm going to take a piece of.

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Postby botev1921 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:26 pm

It is a real Scandinavian battle right now between Sweden and Finland and Suomi seem to have given it more though as to how to approach the game - they have been sitting back a bit too much for my liking, but had the best chance to score on one two to one situation, which they wasted. Sweden looking a bit lost in terms of strategy - maybe they expected Finland to try and press forward. So far this looks set to be an under.

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Postby botev1921 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:33 pm

Horrible offense by Finland in the double power play. Selanne wasted a perfect opportunity and that could eventually cost Suomi to me. It appears nerves are dictating things for both teams way too much but maybe that is normal considering the stake.

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Postby undertherobe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:46 pm

Huge stakes indeed. We also need to consider that for most of these players this may be their last chance of Olympic glory. The NHLs participation in 2018 wasn't guaranteed before the start of the tournament and reports in the US suggest that the owners aren't best pleased with the number of injuries being picked up.

From Finlands point of view the decision to start Lehtonen over Rask seems very illogical given Rasks 37 save performance aagainst Russia.

Sweden to win by 1 holds a little value for me @ 2/1

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Postby botev1921 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:55 pm

Personally I understand why they went with Lehtonen - something of a surprise package considering Rask had some issues, especially against Austria. The entire setting of Suomi for this is changed as they were probably not confident enough what worked against Russia and in the group would work here too. Sweden certainly looking more offense-minded, but at the end of the day it should have been Finland up if we take into account the amount of real chances.

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Postby undertherobe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:03 pm

Apparently their hand was forced due to illness to Rask but Lehtonen proving a worthy deputy so far.

Do you think the NHL players need to be involved to make this a respected tournament? It would certainly make some teams a lot weaker.

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Postby undertherobe » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:10 pm

Game on. From a neutral point of view, it's always better when the underdog scores first

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Postby botev1921 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:12 pm

I have very firm opinion on the topic! Business should never have more weight than national pride and the Olympic spirit. This is like not allowing the best football players to play at the World Cup - complete nonsense. If I were a player and my employer tries to forbid me from playing for my country, I would seriously consider leaving my job.

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Postby botev1921 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:14 pm

Game on. From a neutral point of view, it's always better when the underdog scores first
To be honest, Finland look nothing like an underdog - more composed and more determined so far, following their game plan perfectly...is it obvious how biased I am with two very solid bets on Finland to win the gold and finish in top 3 :D :D :D

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