2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 8)

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The World Championship has always been one of the biggest international tournaments in the year and with it running every year it becomes a great measuring stick.

There is no greater time for a measuring stick than this year though as international hockey begins to take after other winter sports.

For most of those sports, it is just about time for the Olympic year to start as next February all of the best winter sport athletes will gather in South Korea for the 218 Olympics.

With 2017 underway all of the greatest athletes in the world are getting ready for their final year to train and peak when they head to South Korea.

For most, it is a period of time where they kick their training into high gear and national programs begin trying to get their athletes ready to be their best at the right time.

Countless athletes will be looking to do that as they get going in their Olympic year but not everybody has the same type of training to go through.

Hockey has always been a bit of an outlier in the Olympics, as it has been regularly populated by professional athletes despite the fact that the Olympics is an organisation for amateur athletes.

These players don’t get anything to participate in the Olympics but they are still a different level of athlete.

The IOC doesn’t really care that much though as the Olympic hockey tournament has been one of the most popular events every four years.

It has even become one of the biggest prizes in the hockey world and is a part of the Triple Gold club.

For some players, it is right underneath the Stanley Cup as the ultimate prize in the sport and the IOC enjoys the attention that these players bring to the games.

This will be the final World Championship before that Olympic tournament and although the teams might not exactly look the same it is still a good measuring stick for the year to come.

As the World Championship continues to play out the focus is beginning to shift to the Olympics and specifically how different the teams might look in February.

Most of the time the teams in the World Championships would look different because the best of the best come out to the Olympics.

This year these rosters might look different because the best players on every team won’t be making the trip.

Last month the NHL announced that they would not allow their players to participate in the 2018 Olympics.

That came after years of negotiating between the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and the IOC in an attempt to get the NHL players back to the Olympics.hockey-sidebar

NHL owners have regularly spoken out against the use of their players in the Olympics with the fear of injury usually becoming the main factor for their reluctance.

When the NHL announced that they would not be participating the hockey world was in shock wondering how the teams would look and what the balance of power would be like without NHL players.

This week the IIHF president René Fasel said that the door isn’t entirely closed on the participation of NHL players in the Olympics next year.

He reportedly sat down with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to further discussions about the league allowing players to participate.

Although time is running out for the NHL to change their mind the IIHF is hoping that they will look at the tournament in a different way.

The Olympics is truly the only tournament in the world that pits the best players against each other.

The NHL usually takes time off to let their players go allowing the best in the world to attend the Games and play for their country.

Although the World Championships sees some great players and continues to add new great players they still won’t see the best players attend the tournament.

The NHL is attempting to establish the World Cup again, which could add another title to the best on best but the Olympics have always been a different tournament.

It seems like this week will be the final attempt for the IIHF to convince the NHL that they should attend the Olympics.

Although the World Championships has been good so far they have taken a backseat to the biggest international tournament of them all.

The focus will return but the Olympics is a big story and when the IIHF keeps the door open hopes continues on.

For now, players playing in the World Championship will look to take their own title just in case they won’t be headed to Korea next year.


Day 8:
Sweden 8-1 Italy
– Italy is running out of time to work their way out of relegation and they didn’t do themselves any favours as they were outmatched by the Swedes who took their second win in a row while finding their stride at the right time

Czech Republic 5-1 Slovenia
– The Czechs have not had the most consistent tournament so far but they took care of business against the Slovenians with an easy win that helped them move up the standings and helped them get closer to the playoffs

Denmark 3-2 Germany (OT)
– Germany has had a good year in front of their home crowd and they were looking to add to that against Denmark to get closer to a playoff spot but they couldn’t get the win even if they were able to take a point

France 4-3 Belarus (SO)
– The French were hoping to make a statement against the only team without a point in the tournament this year and they almost failed to do so as they were forced into a shootout where they took the win but lost a point

Day 9:
Latvia vs. USA (Saturday, May 13th; 6:15 am ET)
– Latvia has been having a great year but they are right in the heart of the toughest part of their schedule as they suffered their first loss in their last game and now take on the Americans hoping to launch an upset

Norway vs. Finland (Saturday, May 13th; 6:15 am ET)
– The Finns are not having the tournament that everyone thought they were going to and they are trying to climb back before the playoffs as they take on the Norwegians who are looking for their own playoff spot

Russia vs. Slovakia (Saturday, May 13th; 10:15 am ET)
– The tournament is going essentially as planned for the Russians and with a few reinforcements set to make their tournament debuts they are looking to kick it into another gear as they will likely head to the playoffs this year

Slovenia vs. Belarus (Saturday, May 13th; 10:15 am ET)
– This could be it for either team as this game might be the difference between one team staying in the top tier and the other being relegated as both are tied with one point and whoever wins this has the better shot of staying in the top tier

Italy vs. Germany (Saturday, May 13th; 2:15 pm ET)
– The Italians are still looking for their first win of the tournament while the Germans are continuing their pursuit of a playoff berth at home with a win for either team making a big difference

Canada vs. Switzerland (Saturday, May 13th; 2:15 pm ET)
– They are the most dominant team in the tournament so far as the Canadians have yet to drop a point and they will hope to continue that trend against Switzerland as the playoffs are right on the horizon

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