Win-and-in for Germans, Slovaks; Russia, Finland vie for first




The schedule

Germany vs. Slovakia (4:15 pm CET, 10:15 am ET, 7:15 am PT)
Finland vs. Russia (8:15 pm CET, 2:15 pm ET, 11:15 am PT)


The standings

1 | Russia | 4 GP | 12 points
2 | Finland | 4 GP | 9 points
3 | Denmark | 5 GP | 6 points
4 | Belarus | 5 GP | 5 points
5 | Germany | 4 GP | 4 points
6 | Slovakia | 4 GP | 3 points


Possible scenarios: Germany-Slovakia

  • Germany wins
    With a regulation victory over Slovakia, the host nation will finish with 7 points, leaping over Denmark and Belarus. A victory in overtime would give the Germany 6 points, still enough to move on to the next round. Their 3-1 victory over Denmark last Wednesday means they'll get the third seed. Either way, they'll finish third in the group if they can get by Slovakia. They will travel to Mannheim and play the loser of tomorrow's Sweden-Switzerland match in the quarterfinals.
  • Slovakia wins in regulation
    A regulation win by the Slovaks tomorrow would give them 6 points. Their 6-0 loss to the Danes earlier in the qualification round, however, will mean that they will be the fourth seed. If they win, they'll play the winner of Sweden-Switzerland in Mannheim.
  • Slovakia wins in overtime
    An overtime win by Slovakia would create a three-way tie for the last playoff spot between Germany, Belarus, and themselves. Slovakia would win the tie-breaker as their 4-2 victory over Belarus last Tuesday, combined with what needs to be a win tomorrow against Sweden, gives them the edge in the head-to-head matchup.


Possible scenarios: Russia-Finland

  • Finland wins in regulation
    Regardless of tomorrow's result, Finland will stay in Cologne for the quarterfinal round; it's just a matter of finishing first or second. With a regulation win over Russia, they'll be tied atop the group with 12 points apiece. Finland would then win the group by virtue of their head-to-head victory against the Russians.
  • Russia wins, or Finland wins in overtime
    The Russians need to pick up just one point against the Finns to hold on to first spot in Group F. However, their 23-game winning streak will be on the line, so expect Russia to put the pedal to the metal.


My predictions

Germany 3, Slovakia 1
GER goal(s): Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Felix Schutz
SVK goal(s): Marek Svatos

Russia 5, Finland 2
RUS goal(s): Pavel Datsyuk, Alexei Emelin, Alex Ovechkin 2, Sergei Mozyakin
FIN goal(s): Antti Miettinen, Antti Pihlstrom

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