If you place any stock in the IIHF World Ranking, then, pragmatically speaking, the best case scenario for Canada would be:
The worst case would be:
Here are the ramifications for each:
Thanks to their putridity in the round robin, both Sweden and the Czech Republic will surpass Canada no matter what happens. Canada will have an opportunity to redeem herself at the '06 WHC in Latvia and salvage the #1 spot for this year, but they'll need help.
Personally, I'm pulling for the newest member of the IOC's Athletes' Commission and his Team Finland.
Here's a new one: Klauss Zaugg (the Swiss Don Cherry) says it was the obstruction crackdown that led to the early exit by the North American teams.
From Bucci's latest:
"This year will go down as the winter that wasn't for a majority of backyard rink owners in the United States (at least, in the Northeast). I have yet to step on my rink. Warm temperatures have reigned in the Northeast and, except for a couple of twirls by a 40-pound 6-year-old, the rink has stood as a quiet, economic disaster."
Indeed, this winter has not been great for my rink either. Here in NB we get similar weather to New England, only a bit colder. In fact we usually get the very same weather systems a day or two later. December was surprisingly cold, and we managed several good skates. January was bizarrely warm. A long stretch of spring-ish weather did irreparable damage to the rink (damn you, Global Warming!), but cold snaps in February allowed me to salvage a good portion of skatable ice. I'll try to get another pic up soon.