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Why Russians can never avenge ‘Miracle on Ice’ - Brooks NY Post

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This one won’t be given a stunningly singular place on the international geopolitical stage like the one in 1980 in New York State.


This one merely provides the platform for one-time Devils teammates and linchpins Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk to appear on the same sheet of ice for the first time since Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final in Los Angeles, before each fled New Jersey to go home again; Captain America Parise to Minnesota and Russian winger Kovalchuk to the KHL.


http://nypost.com/2014/02/14/why-russians-can-never-avenge-miracle-on-ice/


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Who needs Parise / Kovalchuk when we have Henrique / Zajac / and Joe Whitney... :giggle:

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I'm waiting for Brooks' next article "Why Germany Can Never Avenge World War II"

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Yeah, players who weren't even born care a lot about getting revenge for those games. /sarcasm

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"I am Enigo Montoyavich, you beat my country, prepare to die!"

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Once again brooks is writing for writings sake- what does Russia need to avenge? Since 1980 they've won 3 golds, a silver and a bronze. The US in that same time only has two silvers... Am I missing something here?

I think the pressure is on the Russian team simply because they're the host, but I don't really think any Russians are thinking about 1980 at all.

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This is one hell of a skilled Russian team.

They're not as deep as Canada imo, but a skilled team nonetheless

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This is one hell of a skilled Russian team.

They're not as deep as Canada imo, but a skilled team nonetheless

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Their top 6 is the definition of world class fowards,  Radulov(ehh)-Datsyuk-Kovalchuk, Ovie-Malkin-Semin.  Besides that core, they also have Kulemin, Tikhonov, Tarasenko, and Nichuskin to jump up into the top 6.

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Russia has the 3 best shooters in the world imo.  I'm still not sold on their defense though.

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Shouldn't the Finnish be wanting vengeance since they lost the Gold Medal game?

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Shouldn't the Finnish be wanting vengeance since they lost the Gold Medal game?

 

The game against Finland itself wasn't the "gold medal game".  While it was the clinching game for the US, I do believe it was still possible for the US to win gold even if they had lost.  It was also possible for them to end up with no medal had they lost.

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The game against Finland itself wasn't the "gold medal game". While it was the clinching game for the US, I do believe it was still possible for the US to win gold even if they had lost. It was also possible for them to end up with no medal had they lost.

This is correct, although no one ever mentions this. The tournament format called for pool play in the medal round, not single elimination. In the medal rounds The top two teams in each group played each of the top two teams in the other group. Points from opening round groupings carried over. Soviet game was not a semifinal and the Finland game was not a final. In fact, Finland didn't even medal. The soviets got silver and Sweden bronze

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This is correct, although no one ever mentions this. The tournament format called for pool play in the medal round, not single elimination. In the medal rounds The top two teams in each group played each of the top two teams in the other group. Points from opening round groupings carried over. Soviet game was not a semifinal and the Finland game was not a final. In fact, Finland didn't even medal. The soviets got silver and Sweden bronze

 

It is funny...if asked, I think a lot of people would tell you that the US beat the USSR to take the gold, while some others would tell you that the US beat Finland to take the gold (thinking that the US-Finland game was the gold medal game).  The tournament format used in the '80 Olympics is a little complicated if one isn't familiar with it, but it does make some sense (though that part of the story...how exactly the US earned their goal medals...has been largely forgotten or overlooked by many). 

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It is funny...if asked, I think a lot of people would tell you that the US beat the USSR to take the gold, while some others would tell you that the US beat Finland to take the gold (thinking that the US-Finland game was the gold medal game). The tournament format used in the '80 Olympics is a little complicated if one isn't familiar with it, but it does make some sense (though that part of the story...how exactly the US earned their goal medals...has been largely forgotten or overlooked by many).

while this is true, isn't it also true that the US had to win both games in order to win gold... I know it wasn't necessarily a gold medal game, but going into the soviet game we knew we had to win the next two to take gold. Otherwise I think the soviets still could have won if the US lost to Finland.

Or maybe my math is off...

Edited by dmann422

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Next month's Brooks article: "Why Devils can never avenge 'The Guarantee'"

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Next month's Brooks article: "Why Devils can never avenge 'The Guarantee'"

 

Nah, Neverson will come out of retirement to write that one, then promptly re-retire. 

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Nah, Neverson will come out of retirement to write that one, then promptly re-retire. 

 

Haha that's right!  Wrong guy.

 

Idk it seems Brooks has been going soft on the Devils lately though.  However, Neverson was at times just outright brutal and I don't think Brooks ever reached that level.

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To be honest, the past week I've felt the way an honest Rangers fan must feel with the constant harping over the 1994 Stanley Cup. The way the nationwide media are framing this team (and the USA-Russia matchup) in constant reference to the "Miracle" team just reminds me (an honest-to-myself hockey fan) that our American Olympic teams haven't really accomplished all that much in a really really long time. 

 

A couple silvers since then is nothing to write home about. We have a very mediocre history on the world stage when you really step back and look at it. Constantly referencing 1980 just reminds me that this year is gold or bust, I don't think they should be aiming for anything less, considering all the hype we give our national team.

 

 

Once again brooks is writing for writings sake- what does Russia need to avenge? Since 1980 they've won 3 golds, a silver and a bronze. The US in that same time only has two silvers... Am I missing something here?

 

Rangers logic.

Edited by DJ Eco

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To be honest, the past week I've felt the way an honest Rangers fan must feel with the constant harping over the 1994 Stanley Cup. The way the nationwide media are framing this team (and the USA-Russia matchup) in constant reference to the "Miracle" team just reminds me (an honest-to-myself hockey fan) that our American Olympic teams haven't really accomplished all that much in a really really long time.

A couple silvers since then is nothing to write home about. We have a very mediocre history on the world stage when you really step back and look at it. Constantly referencing 1980 just reminds me that this year is gold or bust, I don't think they should be aiming for anything less, considering all the hype we give our national team.

.

Stated perfectly. The press needs a narrative. Its even worse now that you have people who couldn't tell you what offsides is, trying to add to the narrative.

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while this is true, isn't it also true that the US had to win both games in order to win gold... I know it wasn't necessarily a gold medal game, but going into the soviet game we knew we had to win the next two to take gold. Otherwise I think the soviets still could have won if the US lost to Finland.

Or maybe my math is off...

Wikipedia does a great job of explaining the format.  After spending some time playing out various scenarios, it turns out USA actually did not need to win both, but things would have been very tricky otherwise, it's interesting to see what else could have happened though.  There were two groups of six teams, and the top two in each group advanced to the final round.  Turns out their second game of the tournament, a 7-3 win over Czechoslovakia was of utmost importance because a loss there would have resulted in USA finishing third in the pool and Czechoslovakia advancing to the final round while USA would have played Canada in a game to determine fifth place for some reason.

The game against the other team in your group that advanced with you to the final round carries over.  USA tied Sweden and USSR beat Finland, so before the final round started, the standings looked like this:

USSR 2

Sweden 1

USA 1

Finland 0

 

The Miracle on Ice game was the first game of four in the final round, and if USA would have lost, they would have had no chance at a gold medal.  If the Soviets would have tied it up, USA would no longer have control over their own destiny.  They would have had to beat Finland and also hope for Finland to beat Sweden and Sweden to pull off a big upset over the Soviets.  Finland tied Sweden later that day, so if USA and USSR tied, the standings would have been spaced out the same with each team having one game left. 

This would have meant that going into the last day, USA against Finland was a must win but for the final game of the tournament, Sweden-USSR, things would have been pretty tough.  A USSR win would have meant silver for USA.  Another unlikely Soviet tie would have meant a standings tie at the top between USA and USSR which could have resulted in a gold for USA if they would have beaten Finland by three (or maybe two depending on what the next tiebreaker was).  A very unlikely Sweden win over USSR would have resulted in a tie between the Swedes and Americans, and since their goal differentials would have been the same going into that last day (again, this is all a hypothetical situation in which USA and Russia tied) the gold medal would have been decided by who won their game on that last day by a larger margin--USA over Finland or Sweden over Russia.

 

So at the end of the day, USA vs. USSR wasn't 100% a must-win, but it was a must-not-lose.  However, even with a tie there, gold would have been very unlikely because they would have needed USSR to falter again with either a loss or a tie against Sweden, and even then USA would have needed a wide enough goal differential.  By holding off the Russians for those last ten minutes after Eruzione's goal, it put USA in first place in the pool and all they needed to worry about was beating Finland.  As long as they took care of business against Finland, none of the other teams could have caught up to them in the standings, it didn't matter what the goal differentials were or what happened in any of the other games.

 

NOW, since this is my first free day in over two months and I'm up relatively early, let's see what would have happened with a different result against Finland.  Going into the final day, the standings looked like this:

USA 3

USSR 2

Sweden 2

Finland 1 3

A loss to Finland would have really complicated things.  Finland would have pulled into a tie with USA and would have had the tiebreaker.  Going into that last game between Sweden and USSR, things would have been very interesting.  With Sweden and USSR both only one point behind, the winner of that final game would have won gold (ended up being USSR by the score of 9-2) and the loser would finish in fourth and go home with nothing while Finland would leave with silver and USA the bronze.  However, if that Sweden and USSR game would have ended in a tie, it would have resulted in all four teams finishing with three points.  Now I'm not sure if wins was a tiebreaker or if it went straight to goal differential after points, but if it was wins then Sweden would have been gone because they would have ties against all three other teams and no wins.  If it's goal differential, theirs was zero and USSR's would have been -1.  Going into the USA/Finland game, USA's was +1 and Finland's was -2. 

 

If USA would have lost to Finland by anything more than one goal and Sweden and the Soviets tied, USA would not have won gold.  If it was a one goal game, USA would have still had the higher goal differential than Finland and USSR, but would have been tied with Sweden.  I'm not sure what would have happened then, because head-to-head wouldn't solve anything since USA tied Sweden head-to-head.

 

If USA and Finland tied, a winner in the USSR-Sweden game would have tied with USA for first place.  If Sweden wins by one or Russia by two, then their goal differential ties USA and I'm not sure what happens next.  If Sweden wins by more than one or Russia by more than two, then that team wins gold.

 

If anyone knows more about what the tiebreakers were back then or if I am incorrect about anything, please let me know!

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To be honest, the past week I've felt the way an honest Rangers fan must feel with the constant harping over the 1994 Stanley Cup. The way the nationwide media are framing this team (and the USA-Russia matchup) in constant reference to the "Miracle" team just reminds me (an honest-to-myself hockey fan) that our American Olympic teams haven't really accomplished all that much in a really really long time. 

 

A couple silvers since then is nothing to write home about. We have a very mediocre history on the world stage when you really step back and look at it. Constantly referencing 1980 just reminds me that this year is gold or bust, I don't think they should be aiming for anything less, considering all the hype we give our national team.

 

 

 

Rangers logic.

I think it's apples and oranges when comparing international sports to pro sports.  The NHL is designed to create parity and result in rotating success by having the less successful teams draft higher and allowing struggling teams to trade valuable current players for picks and prospects.  All teams are much closer to each other skillwise than in international competition, where you can not rely on a draft, trades, or free agency to construct a roster.

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Wikipedia does a great job of explaining the format.  After spending some time playing out various scenarios, it turns out USA actually did not need to win both, but things would have been very tricky otherwise, it's interesting to see what else could have happened though.  There were two groups of six teams, and the top two in each group advanced to the final round.  Turns out their second game of the tournament, a 7-3 win over Czechoslovakia was of utmost importance because a loss there would have resulted in USA finishing third in the pool and Czechoslovakia advancing to the final round while USA would have played Canada in a game to determine fifth place for some reason.

The game against the other team in your group that advanced with you to the final round carries over.  USA tied Sweden and USSR beat Finland, so before the final round started, the standings looked like this:

USSR 2

Sweden 1

USA 1

Finland 0

 

The Miracle on Ice game was the first game of four in the final round, and if USA would have lost, they would have had no chance at a gold medal.  If the Soviets would have tied it up, USA would no longer have control over their own destiny.  They would have had to beat Finland and also hope for Finland to beat Sweden and Sweden to pull off a big upset over the Soviets.  Finland tied Sweden later that day, so if USA and USSR tied, the standings would have been spaced out the same with each team having one game left. 

This would have meant that going into the last day, USA against Finland was a must win but for the final game of the tournament, Sweden-USSR, things would have been pretty tough.  A USSR win would have meant silver for USA.  Another unlikely Soviet tie would have meant a standings tie at the top between USA and USSR which could have resulted in a gold for USA if they would have beaten Finland by three (or maybe two depending on what the next tiebreaker was).  A very unlikely Sweden win over USSR would have resulted in a tie between the Swedes and Americans, and since their goal differentials would have been the same going into that last day (again, this is all a hypothetical situation in which USA and Russia tied) the gold medal would have been decided by who won their game on that last day by a larger margin--USA over Finland or Sweden over Russia.

 

So at the end of the day, USA vs. USSR wasn't 100% a must-win, but it was a must-not-lose.  However, even with a tie there, gold would have been very unlikely because they would have needed USSR to falter again with either a loss or a tie against Sweden, and even then USA would have needed a wide enough goal differential.  By holding off the Russians for those last ten minutes after Eruzione's goal, it put USA in first place in the pool and all they needed to worry about was beating Finland.  As long as they took care of business against Finland, none of the other teams could have caught up to them in the standings, it didn't matter what the goal differentials were or what happened in any of the other games.

 

NOW, since this is my first free day in over two months and I'm up relatively early, let's see what would have happened with a different result against Finland.  Going into the final day, the standings looked like this:

USA 3

USSR 2

Sweden 2

Finland 1 3

A loss to Finland would have really complicated things.  Finland would have pulled into a tie with USA and would have had the tiebreaker.  Going into that last game between Sweden and USSR, things would have been very interesting.  With Sweden and USSR both only one point behind, the winner of that final game would have won gold (ended up being USSR by the score of 9-2) and the loser would finish in fourth and go home with nothing while Finland would leave with silver and USA the bronze.  However, if that Sweden and USSR game would have ended in a tie, it would have resulted in all four teams finishing with three points.  Now I'm not sure if wins was a tiebreaker or if it went straight to goal differential after points, but if it was wins then Sweden would have been gone because they would have ties against all three other teams and no wins.  If it's goal differential, theirs was zero and USSR's would have been -1.  Going into the USA/Finland game, USA's was +1 and Finland's was -2. 

 

If USA would have lost to Finland by anything more than one goal and Sweden and the Soviets tied, USA would not have won gold.  If it was a one goal game, USA would have still had the higher goal differential than Finland and USSR, but would have been tied with Sweden.  I'm not sure what would have happened then, because head-to-head wouldn't solve anything since USA tied Sweden head-to-head.

 

If USA and Finland tied, a winner in the USSR-Sweden game would have tied with USA for first place.  If Sweden wins by one or Russia by two, then their goal differential ties USA and I'm not sure what happens next.  If Sweden wins by more than one or Russia by more than two, then that team wins gold.

 

If anyone knows more about what the tiebreakers were back then or if I am incorrect about anything, please let me know!

Welp after doing all this work, I came across these pages that seem to do a better job of explaining some things.  Also it looks like the tiebreaker after goal differential was goals scored.

http://firstroundbye.blogspot.com/2011/01/frb-flashback-1980-olympic-ice-hockey.html

 

 

The U.S. could clinch it with a win, but if Finland beat the U.S., the winner of Sweden -U.S.S.R. would take gold. And it's not hard to construct a scenario in which Finland wins the gold medal. Imagine if Finland beat the U.S. by 3-0 and the Soviets and Sweden played a 3-3 tie. Then we'd have these standings:

 

Team record pts. goal diff. goals Finland 1-1-1 3 +1 8 USSR 1-1-1 3 0 9 Sweden 0-0-3 3 0 8 USA 1-1-1 3 -1 6

Finland would have been gold medalists, and despite the miracle on ice, the United States would have gone home with nothing.

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/olympics1998/history/memories/80-hock.htm

A victory against Finland by the United States Sunday would clinch the gold for the Americans regardless of the outcome of the Soviet Union-Sweden game. If the U.S. and Finland tie, a tie in the other, later game would give the gold to the U.S., as would a victory by the Soviets. A win by Sweden in that game, however, would give the gold to that country on the basis of goal differential.

21st century lesson learned:  never use your brain before using Google. :argh:

What do you guys think of that format though (round robin final round compared to elimination tree that is currently used)?  The knockout games give each game a more tangible meaning and is less complicated, but I think the round robin is a more accurate method of determining a champion because it incorporates each team's performance throughout the entire tournament and it ensures that every good team meets each other face-to-face.  It also eliminates the dilemma we have now where a team wins the silver medal without facing the team that the gold medalist eliminated.  How do we know the bronze medalist wouldn't have beaten the silver medalist if they ended up on that side of the bracket?

Edited by devilsfan26

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You have to have elimination games and a gold medal game, period. The 1980 format could have resulted in a number of oddities like the last game or two meaning nothing towards the gold or someone backing into gold losing the last game, among other things.

Your silver/bronze argument doesn't hold because of the other what ifs - what if for all intents and purposes a team has the gold clinched by their last game (especially since this isn't soccer, you can't play two games in different locales at once), and then sends out their B team and loses a meaningless finale giving someone else the silver as opposed to the bronze that way...or bronze as opposed to no medal at all. Or if one team is totally eliminated by their final game and just packs it in, giving another a goal difference bonanza?

Edited by NJDevs4978

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You have to have elimination games and a gold medal game, period. The 1980 format could have resulted in a number of oddities like the last game or two meaning nothing towards the gold or someone backing into gold losing the last game, among other things.

Your silver/bronze argument doesn't hold because of the other what ifs - what if for all intents and purposes a team has the gold clinched by their last game (especially since this isn't soccer, you can't play two games in different locales at once), and then sends out their B team and loses a meaningless finale giving someone else the silver as opposed to the bronze that way...or bronze as opposed to no medal at all. Or if one team is totally eliminated by their final game and just packs it in, giving another a goal difference bonanza?

Your second paragraph I think is why they changed it.  Still though, I think it is a better way to decide a champion for a tournament like this because it stresses the entire tournament as a whole body of work.  It could make for less exciting stories, but I think it is more accurate.  Similarly, I feel that overtime is unnecessary for non-elimination games, but of course it makes for more exciting games which is why we have it.  Obviously getting rid of knockout games and overtime are not even going to be discussed by anyone of importance, but from a pure fairness and accuracy standpoint I think the old way makes more sense.  When you think about it, I think it makes the Miracle on Ice even more impressive because they couldn't rely on top teams being knocked off by others to create an easy road to a gold medal game.  USA had to be top notch throughout the entire tournament.

 

I think the format they use now is horrendous.  Every team advancing makes the round robin almost meaningless, and the seeding for the qualification and quarterfinals is more complicated than it needs to be.  Having three pools forces them to give the fourth bye to a wild card team, which to me isn't fair because it is difficult to compare second place teams in three different pools after playing just three games with no opponents in common.  If they insist on having twelve teams, the most sensible way would seem to have two pools of six and then have the top two to four in each pool advance.  In order to fit a round robin that long, they would have to start the tournament sooner rather than waiting a few days after the Olympics begin, so the NHL probably wouldn't be too happy about that.

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