Assessing Team USA’s Chances at Olympic Hockey Gold

February 16th, 2010 by Will Jefferson Leave a reply »
It has been 30 years since the Miracle On Ice.

Since then a lot has changed.

The Cold War ended, hockey players from behind the Iron Curtain have come to America and earned millions playing for NHL teams, and Team USA is no longer the hockey underdog it was in 1980.

So, what are the chances this incarnation of the U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Team can bring home the gold medal?

Well, given the format of this Olympic tournament, the draw shouldn't be much of a factor. Every team in the Olympic hockey tournament will survive the preliminary round-robin.

Other than to allow teams that have never previously played together a chance to iron out kinks, the main purpose of the round robin is to establish seedings for the playoff rounds.

Whether a team, for example, ends up seeded first versus third, or fourth versus sixth will come down to a number of tiebreakers. So, it's impossible to predict who will face who in the playoff rounds. No one has an obvious advantage.

Likewise, there isn't much time for coaches to practice their players together in a system and mold a team into a cohesive u ...

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