Friday, February 13, 2009

OK, OK, so who's going to win the 2009 Worlds?

I was going to open this thread next week but as we already have a couple of predictions on another thread, maybe it would be better to have a place where the collective wisdom of the blog's readership can be more easily researched.

The countries competing at Vancouver's brand new Olympic and Paralympic curling centre from February 21 to 28th in the 2009 World Wheelchair Curling Championships are, in alphabetical order with place at the 2008 championships:

Canada (4th)

China (Q)

Germany (Q)

Italy (5th)

Korea (2nd)

Norway (1st)

Scotland (7th)

Sweden (6th)

Switzerland (8th)

USA (3rd)

119 comments:

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Norway

Anonymous said...

Norway
Canada
Great Britain

Anonymous said...

Korea
China
Canada

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Korea
Canada
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

USA
Canada
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Italy
Switzerland

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Norway
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

Canada
Swizerland
Italy

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Germany

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Okay, so we already see the Armstrong impact.

Should Canada win, which I think they will, Armstrong should be disallowed. His understanding of the game FAR EXCEEDS anyone who started the sport in 2003. Let's level the playing field.

Anonymous said...

TEAM CANADA
TEAM NORWAY
TEAM KOREA

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment regarding the advantage Canada has with Armstrong. I guess with that attitude, USA cannot field a swimming team in 2012.

Oh, and for the record:

Canada
Norway
USA

catester said...

Canada
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
KOREA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
KOREA

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier blogger. Jim Armstrong's presence provides an unfair advantage to Team Canada. If he were ineligible, the entire field would be on an even skill and experience level.

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
Korea

And Jim Armstrong deserves to be there...you cannot fault someone for being too god.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that would be good, not god, but who knowa?????

Anonymous said...

WHOA...he is GOOD, not GOD

Anonymous said...

Korea
Canada
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

Norway
Canada
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
Normay

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

I think you have to go with the proven:

Norway
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
NORWAY
KOREA

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
Great Britain
USA

Anonymous said...

I do believe that the game has advanced enough that Jim will be the difference with ice-reading and strategy.

Canada
Norway
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

USA
Canada
Norway

Anonymous said...

The new Team Canada has not been battle tested. Look for more next year.

USA
Great Britain
Korea

Anonymous said...

Just watched the BC Brier Final.

These guys miss under pressure, and we have a skip with no wheelchair experience for Canada.

Look for a Korea/Norway Final, and hopefully, Canada can catch bronze.

No slam, just reality

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

Do we really think that Team Canada is good enough to utilize Armstrong's tactical strength?

I hope so, but, as you have alluded to, Eric, the Team would have to be technically on a par to Korea to utilize these skills. I hope for Peckham's sake, they are at least close, but cannot see a win.

Norway
USA
Canada or Korea

Anonymous said...

CANADA
GREAT BRITAIN
SWEDEN......

Anonymous said...

Canada
Norway
USA

Anonymous said...

CANADA
usa
nORWAY

Remember, but for a blown hit in the Paige 1-2 game, Canada would have been in the final last year.

Anonymous said...

CAnada
USA
Norway

Anonymous said...

Team Canada (I hope)
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

The above blogger makes a good point. This Team Canada has little international experience. Look for more next year.

Norway
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

Sorry, don't think Canada's "inexperience" will show.

Jim ia well battle-tested, and VERY intelligent. Canada was close last year, and had no idea during the week who would play, let alone call the game.
THIS TEAM IS BETTER THAN LAST, AND THEY COULD/SHOULD HAVE MEDALLED LAST YEAR.

Look for the "Armstrong Factor" to show.

Canada over Korea in thefinal
Norway at third

Anonymous said...

What is with the voting? I am a true blue Armstrong supporter from the debacle regarding his medical approval last season. Now, it appears, everyone hateshim but wants him to win.

However, I know what he brings to the party.

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

Call it as you will.

Jim is a factor, and all positive, on a team that should have medalled last year.

armstrong to win, Norway to place and a no-show at third

Anonymous said...

I "enjoyed" what the Big Guy could do with limited support in the able-bodied game. He is a strategist bar none.

He will make the game as simple or as easy as necessary, depending on the opposition. How do I know? Because he did it to me time and time again.

Don't believe me?

Ask coach Joe Rae....he felt that same manipulation in his competitibe career.

Armstrong, barring bad luck will win. PERIOD.

CANADA
NORWAY
USA

Anonymous said...

Too much pressure on Canada at home with a new team. Cut them some slack. They are gearing for next year.

Norwy
Korea
Canada

Anonymous said...

Who would pick Canada without Jim Armstrong? What were the bets last year, Eric?

I say he is the lost piece of the puzzle.

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric:

Please make sure there is a highlight to this blog from your regular site. I found this by accident.

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

Canada
Great Britain (my heritage)
China

Anonymous said...

Hey, Eric:

You have talked to all the teams with their aspirations,

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Cabada is better than last year, when there was no skip.

Canada
Norway
China

Anonymous said...

I, too have been following Jim's adventure, and felt his strategic ability to my detrment. If he has any support, He simply will not be beat.

Look for a Canadian win, and the rest I have no idea

Anonymous said...

Hello, Eric,

I can't find last year's best guesses on outcome. I believe that Canada was chosen to be close, but not win. Yet this year, it seems they have brought on a ton of pressure.

Eric Eales said...

I wasn't doing the blog this time last year, though I did run an email version of "podium places." Ernie Comerford won, correctly picking Norway to win and USA to get bronze.

I'll be doing my pre-tournament assessment later this week, and hope to be live-blogging every draw during the tournament. Details when they are finalised.

Anonymous said...

Checking out Team Canada, I think there are good arguments both ways regarding their potential success. I do believe that Jim will have a positive result on a team that has been close before.

CANADA
KOREA
CHINA

Anonymous said...

Regarding Jim Armstrong---Jim has been qualified for wheel chair curling by the international authority--end of story. Curling at this level is about performance---not participation. Canada has a right and an obligation to field the very best team they can in accordance with the rules of the competition--and they have.

Canada
Norway
United States

Wayne F said...

Come on people, lets get over it... Jim's IN...... and it makes CANADA stronger for it.
Can't wait for the world's to start.

for the record Canada, USA, China and Korea, along with Norway... Four out of the five to make it to the playoffs, possibly with a tie breaker involved. Nothing short of a playoff spot and possible podium finish will do as Canada is expected to win in Hockey and Curling.
Sorry for the pressure Team Canada but we all know what we are getting into when you want to represent Canada in either sport.

GOOD LUCK AND GOOD CURLING.

Wayne Ficek
Northern ONT

Anonymous said...

Wayne, you are right. Jim's inolvememt is no longe an issue. But some earlier bloggers were suggesting that his knowledge and ability give Canada too big an advantage. On that asis, Michael Phelps should be banned from swimming.

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

I am sure Jim will help Canada but I don't think they have all the right players playing for them.

Korea (1st)
Usa (2nd)
China or Germany (3rd)
Canada 4th more over 5th

They just don't have the expereince or skills yet 2 hit the medals and I am not sure unless they make some changes will in 2010 either.

Coaching being one of the changes.

Anonymous said...

What changes would you suggest?

I agree that Team Canada is not yet set for 2010, and it's getting late. So, who should coach? And what team changes? Could be an interesting and colourful thread.

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

I heard that before Jim's approval,that given his background and on-ice throwing, plus his ability to reach other players, that he should be the coach. Iwonder if there is a possibity of a player-coach?

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

I believe Jim is the est improvement possible for Team Canada.

But cut him some slack. He needs to have at least one event to assess the other teams, and get used to the fact that everyone is looking at him in a crystal ball.

Let him figure it out this year, get used to the different types of play, and assert himself next year.

Team Canada will still make playoffs.

Korea
Norway
Canada

Anonymous said...

A lot of "ifs" this year.

Will Jim Armstrong handle the heat?

Will Team Canada handle the home team issue?

I think that if Team Canada get off to a decent start, they will be hard to beat. If they stumble early, it will be a long week.

I think they need more time together.

Korea
China
Norway

Anonymous said...

I think that Jim Armstrong has already been twice around the block in more stressful situations than this. He is intelligent and pragmatic. His throwing will continue to improve, but he is having such a positive impact on third, Darryl Neighbour, that they will be hard to beat. A bit of a question mark at front end, but as a team, good enough to win.

Canada
Korea
Norway

Anonymous said...

I was quite intrigued by the poster who suggested Team Canada changes, starting with the coach.

I hope he will expand his thoughts. Is he suggesting Chris Daw as coach?

Anonymous said...

Okay, Eric:

Out on a limb........what's your early assessment?

You have more contact with the teams than all of us.

Korea
Canada
Great Britain (beat Armstrong once)

Eric Eales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Eales said...

I will be sticking my neck out but I want to give others a chance before venturing my guess, er, I mean educated assessment.

Anonymous said...

Eric,

You will go with Norway to repeat, beating either Korea or Canada in the final.

Anonymous said...

Eric,

Give us your position on Jim Armstrong, and we will figure out your prognostication

Anonymous said...

Come on, Eric,

what say you?

Eric Eales said...

OK here's what I think.

Those of you who worry that Armstrong has not been tested have a point, but a small one. He throws well, at least as well as anyone throwing last rocks for Canada, or he would be doing a Ferbey and skipping from 3rd.

He's been curling 50 years, under pressure that none of the other curlers will know. And I think he has had enough success this season, not always with the best possible support, to have confidence in his own ability to draw to the centre of the rings when he has to.

That was what Canada has lacked with past skips; someone who could draw reliably with their last rock, though in fairness to Darryl, I would be comfortable with him throwing 4th.

Jim's understanding of the game is a huge advantage given that he knows that wheelchair curling is not able-bodied curling without the sweeping, but a different game requiring a completely different approach. He won't make the mistake of calling or attempting shots that are not there. He will also understand the point that Linda Moore stresses; assessing risk and reward, and calling for the shot likely to be made.

That's the area where I think he gives Canada its real edge, not so much the ice-reading, or overall strategy which are so susceptible to the fallibilities of throwing without sweeping.

He has also spent a lot of time practicing with Darryl which will help.

Ina is a very strong second. She (and Darryl) threw top of their positions last year. She can throw weight, and also throw guards if as I expect Canada comes into the rings with lead stones.

Chris at lead is the unknown. He has worked hard to earn his place and I suspect that his ability to throw takeouts at opposing leads stones in the rings is the reason he edges out Sonja. If he fails to overcome his nerves, then Sonja is a more than adequate alternative.

The entire Canada squad have improved over the past year, but we won't know until the weekend how much the other teams have improved also. Korea shocked everyone in 2008 by how accurately they threw weight. This year we'll be seeing how accurate they are on their draw game, and how able they are to manage ends with lots of rocks in play,

USA have a team spirit and a confidence that will carry them past other sides, though I don't think they have the opportunity to play enough to challenge Canada and Korea. China is a complete unknown. I suspect they will be too inconsistent to challenge at this level, which is a big step up from the Qualifying Tournament.

I don't think Norway will emulate their recent successes. They have never been a statistically impressive side, but have big game experience. If they get to the semis they could win again, but I don't think they'll get that far.

Strange to leave Scotland so late. They have the most experienced side, but they have shown no form this season, and while I know from firsthand experience just how good a curler Michael McCreadie is, I fail to see how throwing from far behind the hogline helps their cause. Unless Michael gets some early success I fear self-doubt will scupper his team's chances.

Switzerland arrive with a reworked team, Sweden bring Torino medal experience, Germany equaled China at Qualifying, and I'm afraid it will be Italy, despite losing a tie-break for a playoff spot last year, doing a Mike Harris and wondering where the easy games are.

So, as I posted at the top of this thread:

Canada
Korea
USA

I'll have a better idea when I have the chance to watch practice next Friday.

Anonymous said...

Eric:

Very thoughtful, and well presented.

I, too, believe that Jim is the missing piece to Team Canada's success.

Good thing for Canada he didn't simply throw his hands up in disgust last year.

Anonymous said...

HELLO, ERIC.

Are you just a "Homer" or is that your real present position? Just kidding!!!

I, too, believe that the back end of Canada will persevere, with Jim and Darryl outstripping all others. I watch these guys train in Richmond, and they are good, and Darryl has learned so much in the past year with Jim.

Don't look for Darryl to 'BLOW'. Jim has taught nim a ton on emotional control, and there is the big advantage, Darryl at third, not conerned with game or game strategy. Canada's success will turn on Darryl, with Jim a perfect finisher.

Canada
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

I agree, Eric.

Jim provides the big edge in all the mental aspects of the game, and he has simplified this game to account for no sweeping and limited big weight hits.

He has an intrinsic understanding that showed in his able-bodied game, as well as in wheelchair curling now.

He has improved Darryl significantly, and I suspect the entire team has confidence in him.

LOOK FOR THE START OF Canadian dynasty.

Canada
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

Well presented, Eric.

I agree that Jim is the big difference. He cannot do it alone, but Canada has been close the past couple of years, with NO SKIP AT ALL. No disrespect to Gerry Austgarten, or Gary Cormack, but they are not even close to Jim for understanding the game, and I am sure, if asked, they would agree.

I am sure Coach Joe Rea would also admit that his teaching strategy and ice-reading has had a well desrved rest since Jim hit the ice.

Jim is bringing much needed credibility to the entire Sport, and I hope the WCF understand that.

Anonymous said...

The Armstrong factor.

Over 90 blogs on this site.

Congratulations to Jim, and Eric for optimizing the exposure of the sport.

For the record:

Canada
Korea
Great Britain

Anonymous said...

Eric,

Once again, most discussion turns on Jim Armstrong, far more than in the Chris Daw days focusing on Chris. What do you think of Jim as a player, and unoffical promoter of our game?

Does he deserve the notoriety? Personally, I do admit that he has brought a lot of well needed media exposure. Are we at risk of this being the Armstrong show? I am not even suggesting this is wrong, but certainly unique.

And, I agree, he does provide the appropriate punch to Team Canada.

Canada
China
Germany

Anonymous said...

Lt's not ask too much of Team Canada/Jim Armstrong.

They are a new team with a ton of expectations on them.

They will win next year, and hit the podium this year.

Norway
Korea
Canada

Anonymous said...

I trust he earlier blogger wanting Jim banned because he is too good is not in the equation. Can the WCF recant their approval?

Anonymous said...

Seems even in your interviews with Team Canada that they are quietly confident of at least reaching the podium.

Good on the team, the coaching staff and CCA for developing the attitude.

Let's hope Jim can dekiver for the Proram.

Anonymous said...

I think that Jim will get Canada to a podium finish, and better next year when he can continue to work with the team.

Korea
Scotland
Canada

Anonymous said...

Team Canada all the way,

Canada
Norway
Sweden

Anonymous said...

I believe that Armstrong will be the factor to take Canada at least to the championship game.

Once there, it will be a coin toss

Korea
Canada
USA

Anonymous said...

Too much pressure, and no experience winning, yet, never mind at home, for Team Canada.

Look for better next year.

Korea
USA
Norway or Canada

Anonymous said...

I have to think that there is too much pressure on Team Canada this year.

They are a completely nex team, with no real experience. Let them get through this year, and I suspect Jim can do woders with an entire season to work with.

LOOK FOR A PODIUM FINISH THIS YEAR AND A BIG WIN WHEN IT MATTERS NEXT YEAR.

Korea
Norway
Canada

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Korea

Anonymous said...

Canada next year, after seasoning.

USA
Korea
China

Anonymous said...

Canada this year, because of JIM ARMSTRONG.

Canada
China
Korea

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Canada next year. They need some time together. That said, Jim will take them to the podium this year.



Korea
Norway
Canada

Anonymous said...

Podium for Canada this year, Gold next year.

Korea
China
Canada

Anonymous said...

Canada this year, at least to the final, and then who knows?

Canada or Korea

Norway

Anonymous said...

Saw Jim play today against able-bodied players. Jim had limited front end support, and called an appropriate game. three up going home and it was no contest.

Therein lies Canada's big advantage, with Jim calling the game that works as necessary, not what is written in some strategy book.

Canada to win, or at least be very close.

Canada
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

Jim Armstrong will set a new standard for ice-reading, strategy, and over-all ability to convert the able-bodied game to wheelchair.

Look for Canada to medal, and with no bad breaks, win.

Canada
Norway
Korea

Anonymous said...

Have to agree. Canada's run without a medal is over. I wonder how much easier Coach Rea's job is now?

CANADA
KOREA
CHINA

Anonymous said...

Nope................

Canada is not ready. This is the last year of the upset.

Scotland (as berfore)

USA

China and Korea

Anonymous said...

CANADA
china
USA

Anonymous said...

Canada
USA
Scotland

Anonymous said...

Don't know how you could bet against Armstrong. The rest of the team should be competitive, based on last year, and Jim finishes it off.

Canada
Korea
USA

Anonymous said...

If the ice is straight, or too much curl, it will be an equalizer. Otherwise, Team Canada all the way.

Canada
Norway
USA

Anonymous said...

Previous poster makes a good point. Bad ice is a great equalizer, and this is a NEW arena. If ice is REASONABLE, Armstrong will be the difference.