IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2019
This year the IIHF ice hockey World Championship tournament is held in Slovakia. Bratislava and Kosice host the 16 best nations in world ice hockey in a tournament starting on the 10th and finishing on the 26th of May.
Despite the competition being held at the same time as the NHL playoffs are still on, there’s a plethora of superstar level NHL players attending and representing their native countries. The world ice hockey powerhouses such as Canada, Russia and Sweden are once again full of world-class players from the NHL, with addition to the top notch individuals from European rinks.
While the tournament is less appreciated than the Olympic Games or the World Cup of hockey, there’s a huge following on the World Championships as well. For many fans and professionals alike, it’s a great way to finish off the long season and battle for the coveted World Championship trophy.
Tournament format is simple enough: two groups of eight play each other once within the groups, with top four teams gaining a spot in quarter-finals played across the groups. After the group stage it is do or die until the best team remains. The last teams in the group stage are relegated to 2nd level for the next year, whereas two best of the 2nd tier get promoted up with the big boys.
This year the newcomers feature exotic Great Britain – last seen on this level 25 years ago – and yo-yoing Italy, who are sailing between the A and B series. We’ve seen plenty of surprises in the past years, for example Switzerland heading to the final last year and only losing to Sweden after the shootout. That being said, the big teams are still the favorites: Canada, Russia, Sweden, USA, Finland and Czech Republic for the big six and are challenged by Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany and emerging Denmark.
The previews and predictions to all the games can be found from Accuscore.com for the subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, JOIN NOW for limited time offer of -25% all the memberships with a code NHL25!
With the games only a day away, it’s time for Accuscore to simulate the whole tournament and provide the most likely scenario heading into the day 1!
Accuscore simulations on World Championship 2019 Group Stageclick to enlarge in a new tab
Not any remarkable surprises are expected this time around, but a tough battle with the hosts Slovakia and Germany in Group A might be the talking point of the tournament. Relegated teams are not raising any eyebrows either, since Italy has been there done that several times and Great Britain is a massive question mark at this level. The challenger group of Denmark, Latvia and Austria fight for scraps, but it does seem they still don’t have what it takes to upend any of the big six nations – despite Finland and perhaps Switzerland going with a bit less star studded teams than we’ve used to.