Hockey betting preview 1 IIHF World championship 2012 Group B
In our previous hockey betting preview we focused on expected placings 5-8 in Group A. You find the article HERE. Now we move on to the percieved 5-8 placings of group B. If you want some hockey betting success during this 2012 IIHF World Championships we suggest you read our previews thoroughly. This group is playing out in the beautiful Globen arena in Stockholm. As Denmark, Norway and Latvia all should send thousands of hockey crazy fans this will be a spectacle. The group places 4-7 at least seem fairly open, and at least three of the teams here could even sneak a third place if everything goes their way.
This is perhaps the weakest team of the tournament. They deservedly gained qualification from the Championship level, but this is a notch too high at the moment. They do have quite a bit of young talent in Italy, and they do have quite a lot of North Atlantic journeymen taking advantage of very liberal citizenship rules.
Defensively they will still rely on goalie Daniel Bellisimo who originates from Canada. He currently plays for Karlskoga. SaiPa youngster Andreas Bernard (21) is pushing him all the way and could take over the goalie role during or after this tournament. Thomas Larkin is perhaps their brightest prospect. He is tall and strong. He is owned by Columbus Blue Jackets, but currently plays for Colgate University. Other than that things in our opinion look mighty thin.
Offensively Giulio Scandella of Tirol team Pustertal Bruneck is the brightest light among an ordinary group of hockey players. Patrick Iannone of SG Pontebba has some WHL experience and can also be mentioned, but at this level of competition he is not what the rave is about.
We can’t see them survive in this group as they have been drawn with a string of “second tier” teams that all should be a lot better. They could have been a lot luckier with the draw. Howtobet.net loves betting hockey so we start out with taking handicaps against Italy, and then see how we proceed from there.
Danish dynamite has so far been found on football pitches, but the small scando nation has started to leave its mark also in the frosty rinks around the world. Hockey betting wise they have made our lives a little bit more confusing with their advancements, but hey, we got to give it to them. High Five Denmark!
Defensively they got Frederik Andersen who is drafted to the NHL and currently plays for Frölunda. He was perhaps the best keeper in the Elitserien this time around. Furthermore they line up Philip Larsen of the Dallas Stars. Add to that Frans Nielsen (New York Islanders) who is a defensive centre of high class and they look relatively solid. It should however say that these bright lights aside, their defense doesn’t exactly shine. The mentioned players better stay on the pitch, or else they will be weakened quite noticeably.
In the attacking end of things the Danes have Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadians and Jannick Hensen of Vancouver Canucks leading way with the mentioned Nielsen. We should also mention Nichlas Hardt of Jokerit and Morten Madsen of MoDo as players who regularly play at a very high level. The Danish league has also improved greatly over recent years, so don’t expect the rest of the team to be weak either.
We have a feeling there is a bit of a difference between the very best and the rest in this team. If they all pull together and the leading figures can get everyone going Denmark will create major hockey betting upsets for sure. The difference between Germany, Denmark, Latvia and Norway is most likely tiny so they might even advance from the group. That said, they can also end up in 7th just in front of Italy. Check team news, as mentioned they will need their key NHL men. Also; if they pick up momentum, they can be a handful for everyone in this group. Especially since a lot of Danes will go to Stockholm to support their team.
Another scando nation coming out of their 100 years of Hockey sleep this. Norway hasn’t got any NHL players in the squad, but boasts a strong rooster still.
Defensively they got NHL drafted Lars Haugen in goal. He currently plays in Belarus for Shakhtyor Soligorsk where he had a fine season. Pål Grotnes of Stjernen (Norway) and Lars Volden of Espoo Blues (SM-Liiga) are other keeper who might get the nod. Although these are good keepers, they are no world beaters at this moment in time. This is perhaps Norway’s weak spot.
Former NHL players Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of Modo (Elitserien) and Jonas Holøs of Växjö (Elitserien) are solid stand-out players for their teams in Sweden. Mats Trygg of HV71 (Elitserien) is an experienced player who usually comes good for Norway when the occasion demands it.
The Norwegian forward lineup is interesting indeed. The best player in the squad is Ex NHL player Patrick Thoresen of KHL powerhouse SKA. With him he has got good players like Mathis Olimb of Frölunda (Elitserien) and Per-Åge Skrøder of Modo. Marius Holtet and Anders Bastiansen of Färjestad (Elitserien) are two other solid players with high potential. The wife of Holtet might give birth during the games and if so he has said he is leaving. He does have good replacement though.
There are more Elitserien players in the forward line-up to so Norway is definitely on the way to improving, and as of now they are directly qualified for the Olympics in 2014. They do however need to remain among the nine highest ranked countries. If not they will have to qualify. It will be a close call here. Norway should have enough fight to give everyone a tough game (perhaps with the exception of home nation Sweden). Like the Danes, Norwegians will go to Stockholm to support their team. Especially vs Germany and Italy that might be an advantage.
Latvia has perhaps the wildest hockey fans, and even if the country is still struggling from all kinds of financial shocks many are expected to cross the Baltic sea and cheer on their beloved team in Globen. They are sending a team mainly built around their KHL entry Dinamo Riga, so they should have good team spirit, and a very gelled team.
Normally Latvia should be a better team than Denmark and Norway. They should really be on par or even better than Germany who also is in the group all things considered. That is however in the world of statistics. In the real world things are a different as the Danes and the Norwegians look sharper every year so with the wrong kind of momentum and a wee bit of misfortune the Latvians can easily stare down the barrel of failure. With this player material however relegation should be avoided.
Defensively Latvia relies on Edgars Masalskis of Yugra Khanty-Mansisk in goal. He might not have the stability of the very best, but on his day his quick reflections and general goalie play can be out of this world. They got other good keepers in the squad too. Their solid and rock hard defensive style will be looked over by Georgijs Pujacs of Avangard and Oskars Bartulis who is owned by Philadelphia Flyers but currently plays in the AHL. Besides them the rest is Dinamo Riga material.
In the forefront oftheir attack we find Kaspars Daugavins of the Ottawa Senators. He will obviously be very important for the Latvians, so be sure to check if he is in the team before your hockey betting trigger finger is activated. They will also rely heavily on Janis Sprukts and Mikelis Redlihs of Dinamo Riga.
Now; enjoy your hockey betting and take a look at our preview of the expected top teams of each group.