The Latvia hockey team, seen celebrating a 3-0 loss
They're not that bad. Kristian Pelss is a decent prospect for the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he has been seen to score some pretty goals. Plus, Latvia has had some history with goaltending in the past, and has been known to produce some quality players!
They're not that good. Besides a few standouts, they're not excellent by any means of the measuring stick. They're better than most of the world, but where it counts, they aren't going to be able to compete... You say they kept the game between Sweden close? Damn!
I don't give the Latvians enuff credit here. If anyone can pull off an upset, it's these guys!
Remember that Kristian Pelss I had mentioned above?
This goalie exhibits an exceptional ability to grasp air
They qualified for this tournament. They beat out Germany, France, Italy and Austria. Good for them!
Their powerplay is well coached - see that they scored two goals against He-Man and "young-gun" Jack Campbell.
They, in fact, kept it close against the Americans for a whole period!
But, unfortunately, they may be looking at regulation. Aside from the 'Nucks prospect, who, in fact, is fantastic (insert Great Dane joke here), they're simply not good enough to compete with the big boys. As displayed by the Americans, they aren't big enough, skilled enough, or trained enough to keep up in long bursts.
Best of the Worst?
Really, nothing much to add besides "Sorry Denmark". These Latvians almost made it into the Dark Horse pile. They have some good prospects, they played solid hockey, mind you, against the Swedes, and I would mark them down as a team who might actually make games entertaining against the medium skilled teams!
Plus, their fans are kind of awesome.
4 Czech Republic
If you're wondering where the playoff schedule is, it's not here... yet. Because, of course, some team (CANADA) could get a bye (not joking, its Canada). When that hullabaloo is sorted out a post shall come with the bracket predictions.