May 19, 2008

Russia beats Canada in World Hockey Championships: The game was pretty good but the O.T. was 4 on 4. You play 60 minutes 5 on 5 and then settle the game in sudden death OT in a different format. A good or bad idea for international hockey?

posted by jc to hockey at 12:41 AM - 7 comments

It's how they settle things in the NHL (but not for a full period). It's better than jumping straight to a shoot-out, so I was fine with that. It was a HELL of a game, and exciting to watch even if the team you are cheering for lost it. As soon as Nash flipped the puck over the boards, I knew it was going to cost them. Federov + Kovalchuk + Semin + Ovechkin vs 3 defenders = probable goal It was good to see the emotional response from the Russians on winning the championship, especially on Kovalchuk. Getting his first two goals of the tournament in the 3rd and OT? The tears running down his face while celebrating the OT goal made it almost worth it for Canada to lose. Almost. Other things I noticed while watching: - How cool is it that the leader (Stephen Harper) of a country comes to watch the "big game", and gets regular seats with the common folk, instead of some glass-enclosed luxury booth (or press box)? As well, I couldn't see any people sitting around him that LOOKED like security. Did he pass drinks down the aisle when the vendors came by? - 2010 Olympics: Canada: Nash, Heatley, Spezza, Crosby, Toews Russia: Ovechkin, Malkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Radulov Holy f*ck, that's gonna be a hell of a matchup. - They kept talking about how Quebec City should have an NHL franchise, but their best building for playing ice hockey doesn't have any air conditioning. The ice was in terrible shape (as the puck was bouncing like crazy and they had to stop a couple of times to bring out someone to repair the really bad spots).

posted by grum@work at 02:43 AM on May 19, 2008

I'm ok with 4 on 4 in a round robin + elimination tournament, but I would argue against it for the Gold Medal game, after which it doesn't really matter if the players are exhausted. In a short tournament, a game going to double or triple OT would be a disaster for the winner as well. The 2010 Olympics should be a hell of a show. I live close by but fat fucking chance of getting tickets. Still, the sports bars will be hopping....

posted by rumple at 01:48 PM on May 19, 2008

I'm ok with 4 on 4 in a round robin + elimination tournament, but I would argue against it for the Gold Medal game, after which it doesn't really matter if the players are exhausted. I can agree with your logic on that but the rules have to be kept consistant throughout the whole tournament. It is only fair to all of the teams involved.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:39 PM on May 19, 2008

I agree with rumple, the Gold Medal game should be the exception. Hockey is intended to be played until there is a winner. In the interest of fairness, it makes sense to have the earlier rounds' OT rules altered to fit the format of the tournament. But the final game-the single most important game of the entire tournament-should be decided the way the hockey gods intended.

posted by captaincavegirl at 05:12 PM on May 19, 2008

The rules would be consistent throughout the tournament: all games do 4 on 4 OT until the Gold Medal game, which is 5 on 5. What's not consistent about that? The rules are the same for everyone who makes it to the same level in the tournament.

posted by rumple at 10:28 PM on May 19, 2008

It's like that in the NHL. It's 4 on 4 followed by shoot-out... until you hit the playoffs where the games really matter and it's "play to win". Period. Of course, historically with the IIHF they never did the full intermission and full OT period anyway... just 10 minutes and a shootout. Whatever. I'd rather the game be settled in a weird 4-3 powerplay than a shootout. Great game though.

posted by mkn at 12:19 AM on May 20, 2008

It was a really good game. Sometimes these things are snoozers, but everyone from both teams were really into it, and it's clear that Kovalchuk & Ovechkin (and Malkin, if his club team ever stops playing) are not just going to be the core of the Russian team for the next decade, but they also play together with such... glee. They're a lot of fun to watch. OT setup issues aside, I enjoyed the game, and they deserved to win the gold.

posted by chicobangs at 08:41 AM on May 20, 2008

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