After three games of group play, it's now down to do-or-die mode. Win or go home. All 12 teams have been seeded, with the US, Sweden, Russia, and Finland given byes to the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Two of the pre-Olympic contenders, Canada and Czech Republic will have to win an extra game in the qualification round tomorrow if they're to take home gold.
Here's the bracket courtesy of Dirk Hoag from On the Forecheck:
So the US awaits Belarus or a rematch against Switzerland, while a Sidney Crosby(notes)/Alex Ovechkin quarterfinal match-up could be on the horizon if Canada defeats Germany. (How soon does that game get moved from CNBC to NBC primetime to try and build on the large rating the Pittsburgh-Washington game drew on February 7th?) The Russians and Canadians were favorites by many, but now only one of them will even get the opportunity for a medal.
USA Hockey announced last night that the game against Switzerland/Belarus will be broadcast on NBC on Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST. With the amount of buzz the US win over Canada last night has generated, we're pretty sure there won't be any ice dancing being held threatening to punt the game to one of NBC's cable channels.
- Czech Republic