As of last night, all 12 men’s Olympic Hockey teams have completed their first game. Where do we stand and what have we learned from the teams this early based on the On Goal Analysis Olympimentum file?
In using the Olympimentum file to measure rankings based on who had a combination of the best goalie win percentage and average goals scored per man, per game, the rank ordered teams by the tabs at the bottom of the page should have told us the winners of the early games would have been:
The Czech Republic
All of these teams in fact won game number one. For Game 2, if the momentum-because-there-isn’t-yet-chemistry theory holds out, the winners should be:
USA over Norway
Canada over Switzerland
Russia over Slovakia
Sweden over Belarus
The Czech Republic over Latvia
Finland over Germany
These predictions being correct would be because the talent in terms of goalies' ability to win and players ability to score on the 'winning' teams out paces that of the predicted losing team.
The predications above being wrong could be for the projected losing team’s goaltender coming up unsolvable. Of the goalies listed on losing teams, the best is Jonas Hiller for Switzerland who came into the tournament 5-2 in NHL play since 1 February.
Second would be Edgar Masalskis of Latvia who was 3-1 with the one loss being in a shootout. His only issue would be that he absorbed all eight goals in the team’s 8-2 loss to Russia which he would have to mentally overcome to beat a Czech team that has a rejuvenated Jaromir Jagr and a sharp Tomas Vokoun in net playing on it.
For all 28 players scoring at least one goal in their first game, only Jagr, Ohlund and Malone did not score any goals in the games they played between 1 – 14 February. The average for all scorers before the games was two goals scored. Only 10 of the 28 (35.7%) scored one or none pre-tournament.
Look for the game winners to be USA, Canada, Russia, Sweden, The Czechs and Finland. If there is to be any upset, it could be Latvia over the Czechs and the Swiss over Canada, but only if their goalies pitch at or near a shutout.
And check the Olympimentum file for players notching over two goals through the first two weeks in February for the potential goal scorers in these upcoming 2’s.
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