Sweden Loses to Gain Advantage


Apparently, setting up a favorable playoff match up is wrong.

The International Ice Hockey Federation sent officials to Sweden’s final pool play game yesterday with Slovakia to monitor the team’s play after head coach Bengt Gustafsson suggested that his team might be better off losing.

While the IIFC found no evidence they lost on purpose, the Swedish team did go on to lose the game 3-0 and will now face Switzerland in its quarterfinal game instead of playing defending gold medalist Canada.

I understand that intentionally throwing a game might be morally wrong, but can it not also be construed as a smart coaching move? Switzerland is seeded higher than Canada but they have just three NHL players and are probably the least talented team remaining outside of the United States.

I would compare this to when Major League Baseball teams sit their players at the end of the season in effort to fix their starting rotation for the post season. Although Sweden did not sit any of its players, I’m sure they were not exhausted after the loss.

Sweden is now on the side of the bracket opposite unbeaten Finland, Canada and the talented Russian team.

Time will tell if getting hammered by the Slovakians will pay off.


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP