ZURICH – Defending IIHF World Champion Canada is 50 ranking points behind Sweden and 15 points behind Finland going into the 72nd IIHF World Championship in Canada (Quebec City & Halifax, May 2 – 18, 2008).
Sweden tops the Pre-Championship Ranking with 2300 points, followed by Finland with 2265 points and Canada with 2250. Click here for the full ranking and complete understanding of the IIHF World Ranking formula.
The IIHF World Ranking is based on the performance at the last four IIHF World Championships, including the last Olympic men’s hockey tournament (in Turin 2006).
The final 2008 IIHF World Ranking (calculated immediately following the Gold Medal game in Quebec City on May 18) will determine the top nine national teams which will earn automatic qualification for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and also the seeding for the Preliminary Round groups in Vancouver 2010.
For clarity: It will be the IIHF World Ranking following the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada that will have bearing on the 2010 Olympic qualification and group seeding – not the placing which the teams will achieve in Canada 2008.
The final 2008 IIHF World Ranking will thus be based on the performance at the 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 IIHF World Championship and at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
The reason why Canada, despite the gold medal in Moscow, is third in the ranking is that Canada’s 7th place finish in Turin 2006 and the 4th place finish in Riga 2006 still affects the ranking calculation. In those two events, Sweden was placed first while Finland was second and third, respectively.
The countries which right now hold on to the top nine IIHF World Ranking positions (and thus automatic Olympic qualification) are: Sweden, Finland, Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, USA, Switzerland and Belarus. The difference between ninth-placed Belarus and tenth-placed Latvia is 65 points which amounts to three placing positions at the upcoming World Championship.
- For Latvia to overtake Belarus, they need to finish three positions higher than Belarus in Canada 2008.
- If Latvia (now with 1820 points) finishes 6th (1040 points) in Canada, they will earn a total of 2860 points in the final 2008 World Ranking.
- If Belarus (now with 1885 points) finishes 9th (960 points) in Canada, they will earn a total of 2845 points in the final 2008 World Ranking.
The Olympic men’s tournament in Vancouver 2010 will be played with 12 teams seeded into three groups. The teams placed 10th and below in the final 2008 IIHF World Ranking will have the opportunity to qualify to Vancouver via the Olympic qualifications which will commence in the autumn of 2008 and which will determine the three remaining Olympic participants in the Final Olympic Qualifications in February 2009.
For Canada to top the 2008 IIHF World Ranking and thus become the top seed for Vancouver 2010, the host nation must finish two positions ahead of Sweden and one position ahead of Finland the upcoming event.
- If Canada (now with 2250 points) finishes 1st (1200 points), they will earn a total of 3450 points in the final 2008 World Ranking.
- If Sweden (now with 2300 points) finishes 3rd (1120 points), they will earn a total of 3420 points in the final 2008 World Ranking.
- Canada, which won its record 24th IIHF World Championship in Moscow in 2007, will try to become the first team since Soviet Union 1986 to win a World title on home ice.
Click here for a list of all exhibition games leading up to Canada 2008.