Hockey world rankings and IIHF Championship in 2022
Desc: The Hockey World Championships are slowly returning after a long break occasioned by the spread of COVID-19. The 2021 World ranking is out as well as the groups in the 2022 IIHF tournament. This article explores these two events with a focus on the top sides.
Ice Hockey, which is typically a sport that is dominated by countries that experience the winter season, has continued to draw fans worldwide. It is now a worldwide game where even countries that do not experience snowing are currently participating in international competitions. Likewise, it has drawn online betters with the number of hockey bookmakers increasing in the recent past. Those who would want to participate in hockey betting will get valuable information that will influence their decisions. In the article, you will find the recently released International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) 2021 ranking as well as groups for the 2022 IIHF Championship.
IIHF World Ranking 2021
IIHF World Ranking is a list that highlights the performance of the ice hockey national teams. The list is drawn from the member countries that form the IIHF. The ranking is based on the performance of the national teams in IIHF-organized competitions in four years based on a formula where the teams are awarded points for each tournament. Canada’s men’s team is currently topping the list with 3235 points followed closely by Finland with 3125 points and Russia closing the top three with 3050 points. Other teams in the top ten slots include United States (2945), Germany (2905), Czech Republic (2895), Sweden (2880), Switzerland (2815), Slovakia (2670), and Latvia (2560).
The Czech Republic, Russia, and Sweden have recorded a dip while Finland, United States, and Germany saw their teams ranking higher than the previous listing. Women’s side has the United States topping the list with 3600 points, followed by Canada which has garnered 3450 points, other teams in the top ten are Finland (3390,) Russia (3290), Switzerland (3170 with Japan (3070) closing the list of the teams that have remained unchanged for the second year ranking. The Czech Republic is ranked seventh with 3030 points while Germany (3000), Sweden (2920), and France (2960) closing the top ten list respectively.
Men’s Rankings in 2021
Men’s ranking for 2021 was based on the national teams’ performance at 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 World Championships as well as in the 2018 Ice Hockey tournament in South Korea in 2018. With the tournaments in 2020 being canceled due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the ranking was affected as the teams were awarded the points based on their seeding in given competitions. The champion division got points on the basis of the 2019 performance while the remainder was derived from the previous year’s score.
Women’s rankings 2021
Like Men’s rankings listing of the teams was based on the World championships between 2016 and 2019 together with the Olympic Tournament which was held in South Korea. With the effects of COVID 19, crucial tournaments were canceled, the teams were seeded for their given competitions where the champion Division got points based on the previous year’s ranking.
Groups for the 2022 IIHF Championship
Finland’s cities of Tampere and Helsinki will play host to the 2022 IIHF World Championship starting 13th May 2022 running all the way to 29th May. The following teams will participate in the games with seeding in the preliminary level being based on the current IIHF rankings. The serpentine system was used in the seeding of groups. The serpentine method involves defining the teams and arranging them in a pool. The grouping has been done and, it will look like this:
- Group A, the Helsinki squad will have Canada, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia Denmark, Kazakhstan, and Italy
- Group B which will be played in Tampere includes: Finland, United States, Czech Rep, Sweden, Latvia, Norway, Belarus, and Great Britain
Group A favorite is Canada, the top-ranking team as per the IIHF World Ranking released recently. However, it is expected to receive stiff competition from Russia which is placed third in the rankings as well as from Germany, Switzerland, and Slovakia the other teams in the top ten of the world rankings. The seventeenth placed Kazakhstan and Italy are equally expected to show good performance as the sides have continued to show great strength in the recent past.
While the COVID 19 related break may have given the teams time to prepare it is acknowledged that it might have impacted the teams negatively. The restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread meant that the team would not even meet for practice. However, since the restrictions have been eased due to the strong vaccination campaigns it is expected that the teams will be well prepared for the tournament. Also, the fact that fans may be allowed into the fields also signals boosted confidence for the team players.
Group B may be dominated by Finland owing to its position in the World rankings. The team which is ranked in position two also has a home advantage. The United States and Czech may give Finland a run for her money given their latest shows. Sweden the Finland arch-rivals are expected to perform well given that her games may attract a huge turnout given the proximity to the hosting cities.
One cannot rule out the eleventh-placed team, Norway and Belarus which is at the fourteenth place. Great Britain may also surprise many as it is coming in as the underdog in the group. Given the history of the underdog’s performance, this is a team that hockey bookmakers will be following closely.
Many are betting for a Canada –Finland final, but this is subject to change given that all the teams especially those at the top of the IIHF World Rankings as of 2021 will show a good fight.
The IIHF Championship in 2022 is a crucial tournament for all the participating teams as it will be one of the competitions that will be used in determining the 2022 rankings. Any team that wants to rank high will have to put extra effort and perform well in the tournament. It is expected that the top ten lists in the world rankings may remain unchanged. However, anything can happen especially taking into consideration that we are coming from a long break occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic.