Olympics, Winter

Latvia prove to be underdogs as they face Canada

2/19/14 in Olympics, Winter   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

Feb 18, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Latvia forward Lauris Darzins (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring an empty net goal against Switzerland in a men's ice hockey playoffs qualifications game during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY SportsEverybody had been looking and expecting Canada to face Switzerland. It seemed as the Swiss would waste Latvia in the men’s hockey quarter finals in Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. However, Latvians proved to be the underdogs in the matchup and now Canada is set to face them.
The Latvians are an unmeasured quantity, an x factor in the match. The Latvians have already caused quite the upset by defeating sure shot Swiss in the match by 3-1 on Tuesday.
Although they might seem to be a challenge for the Canadians as they have defeated Swiss, common talk is that the match will still remain the same even though they will be facing a different team. Latvians played it smart against the Swiss by deploying tight checking and in case their cover failed, they had their goaltender Edgars Masalski to save the day.
The Canadians offense has really been dormant throughout the matches that they have played and since the Latvians have good cover combined with a great goaltender; this all means the Canadians will have to pay special attention to what is coming for them. The Canadian defense has been doing quite well and has actually racked more goals than the forwards so far.
Winger Corey Perry said that the offense was indeed a problem and they would have to pick the pace and forward would have to get in the pace of the game to solve the problem. He added that the team was doing well in the other parts though.
"Obviously, I think we want more goals from our forwards," said Perry. "But at the same time we're trying to adjust everything as well."
During the course of preliminary rounds team Canada made easy work of Norway and Austria and then faced a tough match against Finland in which they managed to get on top 2-1 in overtime. In the match against Latvia Canada will start Carey Price as their goaltender. If the Canadians defeat Latvia they will be facing the team that wins U.S. vs Czech Republic matchup.
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2/19/14   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

This is part of the problem when you have brackets that are locked in place.  If there is an upset, it has the potential to make things a little easier for a team.  In this case, it's Canada that gets the gift of an earlier upset. 
If they are to do brackets (which they shouldn't do, in my opinion) then it needs to be set so the highest advancing team always plays the lowest advancing team.  Like in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  In this case, the USA should be playing Slovenia and Canada the Czechs while Latvia should advance to play the Swedes.