While spring is here and the days are starting to get warmer the hottest game on ice is still running. In North America the Stanley Cup is reaching the conference finals and in Belarus the World Championships in ice hockey has just passed half of the group stage.
In the world champs there are two groups with 8 teams each fighting for the top 4 spots which will secure a spot in the playoffs. So far Sweden and Canada is at the top of group A while group B is a hornets nest with Russia in top followed by Latvia (!), Finland, USA and the home nation Belarus.
Three games to go in the group stage
All teams have 3 games to go before the playoffs begin. As usual, Russia has a strong team that consists of KHL-players mixed with some superstars from the NHL. Latest news is that Malkin will fly in from Pittsburgh after being defeated by New York Rangers in the Stanley cup. While russia is dominating their group, there are always concerns if they will make it as a team in the playoffs.
Canada is looking good except for shootout-loss to France (!) while Sweden has won their games so far but not without trouble. Many of Sweden’s players from the NHL has turned down playing in the national team which raises doubts if they have the individual quality needed to go all the way.
Our bet – Canada!
At Chicken Swedes we think it’s Canada’s time to win this year. They haven’t won the tournament since 2007 and probably want to be the second team in the world that takes olympic gold and the world championship title the same year. Sweden was the first country to do so in 2006 when they won the olympic final over Finland in Torino and beat the Czechs in the world championship final in Latvia.