For ordinary Olympic ice hockey fans, the draw probably makes good sense. It is exactly the same format as 2018.
But for Danes enjoying their first tournament of this kind – the men have never qualified for an Olympics before – the concepts ‘could not organize a piss-up in a brewery’ and ‘as useless as a cat clap in an elephant house’ appear.
Easier to qualify for Navy SEALs
In a nutshell, the Danes have performed excellently. Faced with a tough group, they surprisingly beat both the Czech Republic and Switzerland, 2-1 and 5-3, both clinically undulating in early leads and defending resolutely.
In the world rankings, the 12th best side in the world defeated the teams in sixth and eighth place.
Their reward? Pretty much exactly the same as the teams they defeated. They are all through to the playoffs: a round of four eliminator matches that will determine who meets the four teams already advancing to the quarterfinals.
Like West Germany-Austria, World Cup in 1982, again
The winner of Denmark’s group was Russia’s latest alias, ROC (The Russian Olympic Committee) – in 2018 they were OAR (Olympic athletes from Russia).
So they are there along with the other two group winners, Finland and the USA. But it is also Sweden that, like Denmark, also came second in their group.
The teams they beat were ranked lower than Denmark’s opponents, but they came through thanks to two wins and an overtime loss… a match played one day after Denmark’s group ended, which guaranteed both sides a last-eight place, provided that it went to overtime!
Well rested, hopefully with needles and needles
Still, Denmark can take heart from Germany’s performance in 2018. After finishing in the playoffs, they came all the way to the final.
As the big football tournaments regularly show, a team can sometimes boil while waiting.
Denmark’s final 12 match against Latvia (ranked 10th in the world; zero victories from three so far) is in the early hours tomorrow morning: at. 12:10 local time, ie 03:10 CET.
Groundhog Day was February 2nd…
Should they win, they will play their quarter-final at 14:00 on Wednesday, which is again quite early according to Danish conditions (07:00), but almost manageable – many people will work at home, ie. of course.
their opponents? The good old ROC again! And should they break through, it could very easily become Switzerland or the Czechs if one of them should disturb the Finns.
Piss-up? Brewery? The nation may need one to get its head around the nature of this lottery.
Source: The Nordic Page