FanPost

Your Olympic men's post-preliminary playoff scenarios!

With only one game remaining for each team, the scenarios for what each team needs to have happen for a first round bye are as clear as they'll be.  I thought it'd be fun (in a nerdy way) to break down which teams would get a top four seed depending on how the remaining games go down.

 

 

First, a primer.  If you already know how standings tie-breakers work for the Olympics, you don't need to read this, but it should clear up any questions if you're unsure.

 

• The first step in establishing seedings for the playoff round is to rank teams within their groups.  Teams are ranked based on how many points they receive (duh), and if there's a tie, head-to-head result is the tiebreaker.

• Next, we seed all teams 1-12.  The first three spots go to the winners of each group (ordered by points).  Spots 4-6 go to the second place teams, 7-9 to the third place teams, and 10-12 to the last place teams.  Even if you finish third in your group with more points than another group's runner-up, you will be behind the runner-up team.

• If there's a tie at this point, we obviously don't have head-to-head to go by.  First tiebreaker is goal differential.  If that's a tie, it's most goals scored.  If that's a tie, it's the better IIHF world ranking for 2009 (1. Russia; 2. Canada; 3. Sweden; 4. Finland; 5. USA; 6. Czech Republic; 7. Switzerland; 8. Belarus; 9. Slovakia; 10. Latvia; 11. Norway; 12. Germany).  One note on the first two tiebreakers: the IIHF appears to award a goal for (even for the purposes of tiebreakers) for a shootout win.

• The top four teams (the three group winners and top ranked runner-up) receive byes to the quarterfinals.

• Why is a bye so crucial?  If you get one, you only have to win one game against a lower ranked team that will have played the previous day in order to advance to the medal round.

Before I continue, one caveat: it's possible some of this information will be wrong in some way due to an error of mine.  I did this quickly and double-checked, but if you think you spotted an error or something I didn't consider, let me know in the comments.

 

Alright.  So, as it turns out, Saturday's games have NO bearing whatsoever on which teams will receive first round byes.  The only results that matter for a bye are Sunday's three games: Czech Republic-Russia, United States-Canada, and Sweden-Finland.  This is because only these six teams are still able to finish as either their group winner or the best overall runner-up (note, however, that the six teams tomorrow will not necessarily be the top six, as Slovakia can get as high as number five).  Props to the IIHF for setting it up this way.  Additionally, Sweden and Finland are functionally the same team at this point—both have six points.  Therefore we can just refer to the winner or loser of this game as the S-F winner or loser (whichever team wins or loses would occupy the position indicated) without having to consider the possibility of either winning separately from other results.

 

Last note: if tiebreakers could be resolved (i.e., we know what both team's goal differentials would be because a game ending in overtime will raise the winner's GD by one and lower the loser's by one), I did so.  However, a game ending in regulation could be decided by anywhere from one to eighty-two(ish) goals, so we can make no assumptions of who will win most tiebreakers.

 

Enough talking.

 

FINAL SEEDINGS:

 

1. United States

2. Sweden

3. Russia

4. Finland

5. Czech Republic

6. Canada

7. Slovakia

8. Switzerland

9. Belarus

10. Norway

11. Germany

12. Latvia

 

 

Old news:

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker; U.S. wins tiebreaker if Sweden wins by fewer than five goals OR wins 7-2, 6-1, or 5-0; Sweden wins tiebreaker otherwise)

3. Russia

4. Czech/S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime


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1. United States

2. S-F winner

3. Russia

4. S-F loser

 

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation


1. S-F winner

2. United States

3. Russia

4. Canada/S-F loser tiebreaker (Sweden loses tiebreaker)

 

 

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime


1-2. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

3. Russia

4. S-F loser

 

 

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation


1. Sweden-Finland winner

2. Canada

3. Russia

4. U.S./Czech/S-F loser tiebreaker


Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation


1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Russia

4. United States


Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime


1-2. Canada/S-F winner tiebreaker

3. Russia

4. S-F loser


Russia beats Czech Republic in regulation

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime


1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Russia

4. U.S./S-F loser tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

 


Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Czech Republic

4. U.S./Russia/S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Czech Republic

4. United States

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2. Canada/S-F winner tiebreaker

3. Czech Republic

4. S-F loser


Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Czech Republic

4. U.S./S-F loser tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden beats Finland in regulation

 

1-2. Czech Republic/S-F winner tiebreaker

3. Canada

4. U.S./S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. Canada

3. Czech Republic

4. U.S./S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2. S-F winner/Czech tiebreaker

3. Canada

4. United States

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. Czech Republic

2-3. Canada/S-F winner tiebreaker (Sweden loses tiebreaker)

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. Czech Republic

3. Canada

4. United States

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. Czech Republic

2. S-F winner

3. Canada

4. United States/S-F loser tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

Canada beats United States in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2-3. Canada/Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

Canada beats United States in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2. Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

3. Canada

4. U.S./S-F loser tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker

3. Czech Republic

4. Russia/S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. United States

3. Czech Republic

4. Canada/S-F loser tiebreaker

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. United States

2. S-F winner

3. Czech Republic

4. S-F loser

 

Russia beats Czech Republic in overtime

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

3. Czech Republic

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2-3. U.S./Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker

3. Czech Republic

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1-2. Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker

3. United States

4. Canada/S-F loser tiebreaker (Sweden loses tiebreaker)

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2. U.S./Czech tiebreaker

3. S-F winner

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in regulation

 

1. S-F winner

2. United States

3. Czech Republic

4. Canada/S-F loser tiebreaker (Sweden loses tiebreaker)

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in regulation

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. Czech Republic

2-3. U.S./S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

United States beats Canada in regulation

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1. United States

2-3. Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, Sweden loses)

4. S-F loser

 

Czech Republic beats Russia in overtime

United States beats Canada in overtime

Sweden-Finland ends in overtime

 

1-2-3. U.S./Czech/S-F winner tiebreaker (Finland wins tiebreaker, U.S. wins tiebreaker if Sweden wins S-F)

4. S-F loser

 

 

So, what say you?  Which of these 64 (counting all Sweden-Finland results) scenarios will come to pass?

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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