11 February 2014

Roaring Russian Rings: Part III

Curling is now in full swing at the Sochi Games. Here are the updated power rankings through three draws per both the men's and women's round robin.

MEN'S draw
1. Norway (PR: 1)
Though they got a brief scare from the US in the opening draw and an even bigger one from Russia, they are undefeated at 2-0.

2. Great Britain (PR: 4)
Despite a bad loss to the Swedes and two easy wins against Russia and Germany, the two wins show what Murdoch's team has been capable to produce in the past.

3. Sweden (PR: 3)
Niklas Edin and company gave the Brits from Scotland a good licking outside of their saving grace (a three point 7th end vs SUI) and their swapping ends with Canada.. They're so far a perfect 3-0

4. PR China (PR: 9)
The fortune cookies have been kind with some great shotmaking all around, despite a poor accuracy percentage, particularly against an improved American side.

5. Canada (PR: 5)
Canada has already lost two after having not lost once in the Vancouver round robin. They need to at least beat the Danes with a scrappy and resilient Russia side awaiting them next.

6. Switzerland (PR: 6)

The Swiss are entering a difficult affair with a hot team from China. Their schedule doesn't get any easier with the British and host Russians on the horizon.

7. Denmark (PR: 5)
It will be interesting to see how the Danes play the US tomorrow having had the day off today. They ran up the score with Russia for an 11-10 win but were one of the victims of the Chinese run of good fortune.

8. Russian Feederation (PR: 7)
The hosts have shown that they can put together a good fight. Their hard work will eventually payoff if this continues and should be a contender for the medal round.

9. United States (PR: 10)
While they are not playing terribly, the US has lost their first two matches. if they can beat Denmark, they will get to enjoy the day off and have more time to focus on the British.

10. Germany (PR: 8)
Despite putting quite a few points up against Canada,  they still couldn't win the match. Jahr's absence from tournament play is very prevalent.

WOMEN'S draw
1. Switzerland (PR: 1)
Despite not being able to string up convincing wins, the Swiss are doing what they need to get the job done. It's the reason why they're the only 3-0 team right now.

2. Great Britain (PR: 2)
The win against the US has to be the game of the tournament so far with that 7 point 5th end. The loss in their other match to the Swedes should be a mere bump in the road for Muirhead's rink.

3. Russian Federation (PR: 4)
Despite the loss to China, the team's two wins are showing what Russia can offer going forward. They should be able to contend for the medal rounds already a win from matching the Vancouver win total.

4. PR China (PR: 5)

Considering that they are not as good as they were four years ago, it has shown - against Canada in particular. But even their win against Russia wasn't too convincing.

5. Canada  (PR: 5)
Jennifer Jones' side put on a clinic against the Swedes with a six point win and a seven point win over China.  Already, Jones is doing significantly better against those two countries than Cheryl Bernard did when Canada was hosting in Vancouver.

6. Sweden (PR: 3)
While it isn't a surprise that they aren't as dominant as Annette Norberg's teams, they showed that they can play with the big dogs. Unfortunately it isn't consistent at the moment with Jennifer Jones showing her prowess.

7. Korea (PR: 10)
Korea has also tested the Swiss in their match. But an impressive first ever Olympic match (a 12-7 win over Japan) is a possible glimpse of what's to come. However let's not get ahead of ourselves.

8. Japan (PR: 9)
Japan is here only by virtue of beating the Danes, otherwise their rather big loss to the Koreans would have a much more significant impact.

9. Denmark (PR: 7)
Despite almost holding off the Swiss, being trounced by Japan doesn't help the cause. As a result, they are winless with three losses.

10. United States  (PR: 8)
Erika Brown needs to improve her accuracy percentage the next few matches. Only one team has made the medal round after starting 0-3, no team has done it at 0-4 or worse. If not, we may see another low win performance at the Games.

Another day, another curling stone. It should be an entertaining tournament. For a complete listing of the draw schedule, visit the links from Wikipedia posted last Wednesday and Thursday. Remember, Sochi is 9 hours ahead.

-Ricky
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