Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Solution to Blow Outs?

Everyone has been talking about all the blowouts happening at the World Junior Hockey Championship. The 2 most popular solutions so far have been scaling back the teams from 10 to 8, or limiting the goal differential to 5 or 7 max. I'm not a big fan of blow outs, but I'm not a huge fan of only scaling back the amount of games either. As for the goal differential solution, I think once a team gets up by the max, they start letting up, and that's when bad habits and injuries come into play.

One solution I hadn't heard until our show tonight was from Sam Cosentino of Rogers Sportsnet. Sam thinks maybe the big 4 nations should send more than one team. The way I understand it is, Canada, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.A would send an A and B team. The A team would play in the top pool with teams like Finland, Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia or Switzerland depending on the year. The 2nd pool would have the 4 B teams along with countries like Latvia, Kazakhstan, France etc. But to make this work, teams should have to play in November to try and qualify for the top pool, that way the team that qualifies is the team that participates, instead of qualifying the year before and losing most of the older and better players.

It's an idea I really like, but I'm not sure if the big 4 as they are will want to spend money to send 2 teams to the event, especially with the U-17 and U 18 tournaments going on as well.

One thing is for sure, something has to be worked out, because I don't see a ton of development for a country like Kazakhstan when they get outscored 36-0 in 3 games by Canada, U.S.A and Germany.

Thoughts?

1 comment:

Eetu said...

You have to remember that Kazakhstan beat Switzerland, so they were the eight best U20 national team last year. Whether that should automatically qualify them for this year's tournament is a good question.

Jenny Wiedeke went through some ideas for changing the tournament format in her column at iihf.com.

Maybe the relegation league should be replaced with a qualification tournament which would feature the bottom four of the top division and the top two or four of the division I. It is, however, hard to find room for this kind of tournament in the international competition calendar.