2016 IIHF World Championship: Playoff Outlook


International hockey is an interesting version of the sport as there continues to be a big division between the haves and the have-nots.

In any league, it is a problem when a few teams hold all of the power and other teams can’t get ahead.

That is when things like the draft order and the salary cap come into play to even out the competition.

In international hockey, those things aren’t possible as the competition is simply left up to how many people are interested in the sport.

Some countries simply don’t have the resources to put into a hockey program and other simply don’t see the most athletic people in their country pick the sport.

In many cases, hockey is a secondary sport to soccer and the most athletic kids choose soccer over hockey.

Without the population to feed national teams they tend to be forgotten and as a result, the development is simply not good enough.

It doesn’t mean that these teams can’t find their way to the top but a commitment needs to be made to get there.

The best example may just be the USA where hockey has often been a secondary sport in most of the country.

They have ignored hockey for a long time and despite some successes in major tournaments, they don’t have the track record of their neighbours to the north or their biggest rivals, the Russians.

The Americans have always put a hockey team on the ice and there are pockets of the country that have continually produced good hockey players.

It wasn’t until recently though that the country began to really support their team and realized that they weren’t as good as they usually are.

As a result, the pressure was on for USA Hockey to put sohockey-sidebarmething together where the team could begin to compete.

With more focus on the sport more athletes began taking up hockey and as a result, the Americans have become one of the best hockey nations in the world over the last decade.

They are competing more often than ever but they do seem to struggle when it comes to the World Championships.

They haven’t won gold since 1960 despite their overall talent depth compared to those years.

The Americans are a team that continues to evolve and when they have their best players they are a force.

When they need to fill out a roster with other players, like at the World Championship, they often fall short in an expression of how important a country’s depth is in this tournament.

The two countries that have shown that in this tournament is the Canadians and the Russians who have some of the deepest talent pools with hockey being their biggest sport.

Both teams head into a new year without their best players but with a number of great young players.

They may not have the experience but many are counted among the best in the world.

Those are the players that will lead both of these teams to the gold medal game as the depth they possess will be expressed again.

They won’t run through the tournament as teams like USA, Sweden, and Finland once again will show the depth of talent in the international game.

The World championships are not the time that many of the second tier teams can compete without their star players.

For that, the big divide between the haves and have-nots will show up and the two teams standing atop the mountain will come out on top.

In what is sure to be a close game the Russians will be able to overcome the lack of Crosby or Spezza and will take the win on home soil to unseat the defending champions and keep their run of medals going.


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