This weekend the final preliminary games were played in the Olympics, and now the stage is set for the playoff round. Four teams won themselves a bye, and moved straight to the quarter-finals, the rest of the teams will have to battle their way into the next round. FanSided has been nice enough to put together a bracket for your viewing pleasure…
As you can see, the Swedes are ranked #1, with USA (2), Canada (3), and Finland (4) following closely behind. Hosts Russia sit uncomfortably in the 5th spot, and have to work their way into the next round. The Swiss have been putting up quite a fight, and could be a dark horse in the following rounds – netminder Jonas Hiller has been paving the way for Team Switzerland.
Team USA and Team Canada will not be in the gold medal game against each other this time around, but they could meet in the semi-finals, which would still create a very thrilling game. Anything can happen now though, and no team is to be taken lightly. All teams had the day off today, and the next round will begin tomorrow.
Slovenia and Austria will start the action off tomorrow, the 18th, puck drop is schedule for noon local Sochi time, 3:00 AM EST. Russia vs Norway will follow, 4:30 PM local Sochi time, 7:30 AM EST. Latvia vs Switzerland and Slovakia vs Czech Republic are the final games on the schedule for tomorrow, 9:00 PM local Sochi time, noon EST.