Seedings are set, but who brings home the gold?

Seedings are set, but who brings home the gold?
February 16, 2014, 4:15 pm
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(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Now that Canada’s Drew Doughty has become the latest Olympic hero with his overtime goal against Finland, how does the men’s tournament bracket shake out?

Let’s take a look.

With the preliminary round concluded, here are the rankings, with the top four teams earning byes until Wednesday:

1 Sweden

2 USA

3 Canada

4 Finland

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5 Russia

6 Switzerland

7 Czech Republic

8 Slovenia

9 Austria

10 Slovakia

11 Latvia

12 Norway

With all teams off on Monday – and there’s a good chance the coaches from Sweden, USA, Canada and Finland will give their players a complete day off – elimination games begin on Tuesday with these matchups:

Russia vs. Norway

Switzerland vs. Latvia

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia

Slovenia vs. Austria

As for the four teams that earned playoff byes, they’ll be back in action on Wednesday and these are their potential matchups:

Sweden vs. Slovenia-Austria winner

USA vs. Czech Republic-Slovakia winner

Canada vs. Switzerland-Latvia winner

Finland vs. Russia-Norway winner

[RELATED: Who will get Russia's starting job in goal?]

The biggest surprise of the preliminary round is that Finland earned a bye and host Russia did not. Four years ago, the Canadians also had to come out of the “losers’ bracket” after falling to the Americans in the preliminary round. Canada went on to win four straight elimination games to win gold on home soil.

“Playing is better than training,” Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk told reporters after Team Russia’s shootout win over Slovakia. "We'll go out and focus. Now we can't lose, all the games could bring elimination.”

Now that the seeds are set, who will win and who will go home?

Based on what I’ve seen so far, here’s my Olympic bracket sheet. What’s yours?:

Quarterfinals

Sweden over Slovenia

USA over Slovakia

Canada over Switzerland

Russia over Finland

Semifinals

Russia over Sweden

Canada over USA

Bronze Medal Game

USA over Sweden

Gold Medal Game

Canada over Russia

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