With one day of competition left in the preliminary round at the 2014 Olympics, a lot is becoming clearer and it appears that Team Canada will have an excellent chance of securing the #1 seed in the quarterfinals.
Here is what we know so far:
Sweden wins the group with a record of 3-0, for 9 points. They finish with a goal differential of +5, which isn’t exactly stellar and will likely keep them from the #1 seed.
Switzerland finishes 2nd with a record of 2-1, for 6 points and a goal differential of +1. Their chances of getting the 4th quarterfinal spot is slim, unless Russia loses and either Canada or Finland get anihalated.
USA leads the group with 5 points, 1 ahead of Russia. USA can clinch the pool with a win, but with a goal differential of +6 (assuming the shootout goal doesn’t count towards goal diff) would likely end up seeded 3rd.
Russia’s point in the US game means that they can clinch a quarterfinal spot with a win over Slovakia and, depending on the result of the US-Slovenia game, still hold a slim hope of getting first in the division.
Canada sits tied atop the Group with the Finns, so the winner of their game Sunday will get the coveted quarterfinal berth, and if the game ends in regulation, the winner will get the #1 seed. Finland is +9, while Canada sits +8, meaning whatever team wins in regulation will have a higher goal differential than Sweden, who would also be tied with 9 points. If the game does go to overtime, both teams could advance directly to the quarterfinals unless Russia wins by more than 5 goals.
If everything in the other group goes according to plan, assuming the favorites win (Russia, Canada, USA) in regulation time, and the Norway/Austria game also ends in regulation here are the probable quarterfinal seeds and qualification rankings:
1. Canada (3W-0OTW-0OTL-0L) 9 points
2. Sweden (3-0-0-0) 9 points (+5)
3. USA (2-1-0-0) 8 points
4. Russia (2-0-1-0) 7 points
5. Finland (2-0-0-1) 6 points
6 Switzerland (2-0-0-1) 6 points (+1)
7. Czech Republic (1-0-0-2) 3 points (-1)
8. Slovenia (1-0-0-2) 3 points
9. Winner of Austria/Norway (1-0-0-2) 3 points
10. Latvia (0-0-0-3) 0 points (-5)
11. Slovakia (0-0-0-3) 0 points (-8)
12. Loser of Austria/Norway (0-0-0-3) 0 points
Pretty much what everyone expected going into the tournament.