tässä alla on yksi kisojen parhaista otteluennakoista tähän asti, jollei jopa paras. nämä on kaikkien syytä käydä lukemassa aina ennen vetojen lyömistä, jos ei korjaakaan omaa näkemystään niin saapahan ainakin lisää pohdittavaa.
mulla oli Latvia hieman alle 55% suosikki Ukrainaa vastaan, siihen perustui tuo Ukraina over 1,5 maalin vetokin. ja esim. tästä alla olevasta otteluennakosta käy hyvin ilmi se mitä rupesin ajattelemaan omissa lukemissani -> annoinko niissä liikaa mahkuja Ukrainalle, se kun ON JO VOITTANUT näissä kisoissa kun vältti putoamiskarsinnat. suurin taistelutahto voi joskus kadota siinä. vapautuneisuus tekee auttaa monesti esim. hyvää joukkuetta, jos paineet on kadonneet se voi yltää hyviin suorituksiin. mutta jos heikko joukkue, kuten Ukraina, vaan "pelailee", se voi olla jo aika suupala kaikille kovemmille. Latviallahan tavoitteet on selkeästi vielä edessäpäin, ja jatkoon mennäkseen tämä peli on voitettava.
Preview: Latvia vs. Ukraine
Matchup: Latvia vs. Ukraine, 16.15, Olympiahalle
Heading into the Qualifying Round, many players have contributed for the Latvians, but Girts Ankipans has been a standout. He leads the way in team scoring with two goals and two assists. Ankipans, who was the top scorer in Latvia for 1996-97, is representing Latvia for the second time at the IIHF World Championships. Against Slovenia in the Preliminary Round finale, Janis Sprukts was once again involved in many plays. His maturity and confidence are apparent. Grigors Panteleyjevs could be found in almost every part of the ice, breaking up plays, starting them, or generally getting in the face of Slovenia's top players. Viktors Ignatjevs picked up two assists and has worked digiliently in his zone to ensure Irbe can see shots. Atvars Tribuncovs was the hero of the game against Slovenia. Tribuncovs has usually been in the background for Latvia, but he found himself in the spotlight thanks to his game-winning tally. And Arturs Irbe once again carried the team through with his superb play in goal. Latvia plays hard and hustles. Head Coach Leonids Beresnevs has done a masterful job in getting the most out of his team. He has put together solid line combinations, relying on longtime members of the national team as well as incorporating younger members, giving them a bigger role. Beresnevs has also demonstrated that he prepares his team fully for the challenges ahead. Against Canada and the United States, Latvia played well within their means but aggressively took the play to their opponents. That strategy could pay off against a lesser foe like Ukraine.
After losing their first two games, Ukraine rebounded nicely to beat Denmark and advance to the next round of serious hockey in the tournament. A couple of lucky bounces helped Ukraine avoid the Relegation Round. Head coach Oleksandr Seukand sounded ominous tones after the game concerning the state of Ukrainian hockey and what fighting for relegation would have meant. Since they receive almost no support from the state, the team is left virtually on its own to raise cash. In a country with little infrastructure and so few rinks, there could eventually be a shortage of quality players to help compete at this level. And if they were relegated, then many of the top players who have been a part of the national team for so long might not be available again. Sergei Varlamov has become a leader on this team. His attempts at making something positive happen turned the game against Denmark around. Varlamov leads the team with two goals and usually gets Ukraine's best chances in each game. Varlamov showed the value of what can happen when you throw shots on net. From behind the Danish goal, Varlamov sent the puck on goal that hit Peter Hirsch's skate and found its way to the back of the net. Konstantin Simchuk shut the door on Denmark again, keeping his team from suffering towards the end. Simchuk proves how important goaltending can be for a team like this, keeping his squad in games with a chance to possibly win--or at least make things respectable. While the Ukrainians have cut down on the number of penalties they're taking, it is still nowhere near where it should be. Ukraine must play smart hockey because otherwise, opposition power plays may end up killing their hopes at this tournament.