Posts Tagged ‘russia’

Who are the best national ice hockey teams?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 | Sport


The ice hockey world championships are currently taking place in Moscow. No prizes for guessing who the Worfolk household is supporting. Finland won gold in 2011, and took a silver in 2014, but failed to score any medal last year.

To predict our chances, I took the medal data from the past ten years and graphed it.


The competition has been going for almost a hundred years now. In comparison to the early days, it is a pretty open contest. In the first 26 years, Canada took gold in 18 of them. Great Britain also took a gold in 1936! From 1963 onwards, the Soviets were unbeatable. Until 1987, when Sweden took gold, the only other team to beat the Russians were Czechoslovakia: the Soviet Union took the other 18 golds.

Today, Russia remain the dominant force in ice hockey. In the past decade they have taken as many golds as their nearest rivals, Sweden and Canada, put together. They are far from unbeatable though. In three of those years, they failed to bring home a medal. Sad as I am to admit it, Sweden has the edge over Finland at the moment. Though a gold at this year’s event would put them clear ahead.

The “big five”: Russia, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Czech Republic win basically everything. This is a suprise to many people, who assume that because the United States’s NHL is the biggest ice hockey league in the world, their national team must be really good. But they’re not. Two bronzes, and a silver each for Slovakia and Switzerland are the only medals to go elsewhere.

2016 ice hockey world junior championship

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 | News, Sport


We’re only a week into 2016 and there is already reason to celebrate. Earlier this week the world junior championship of ice hockey took place in Helsinki. The winners? Finland! Triumphing 4-3 over Russia in the final. To top all of that off, Sweden lost to the US in the play-off game as well.

Unfortunately ice hockey is not well covered in the UK. BBC Sport do have a section, but only if you go to All Sports, then A to Z, and then find Ice Hockey. Sky Sports require you to go to More Sports, then Filter, then Ice Hockey. Neither even mentioned the junior world champions when I checked. Similarly, to watch the adult world championships we had to buy Premier Sports for a month.

Finland’s victory in the juniors suggests they will continue to field a good team in the coming decade, and hopefully many more world championships to come.

Anna Karenina

Sunday, January 25th, 2015 | Books

Good novel. I really enjoyed the sections on Levin’s farm management. There was also some stuff with someone called Anna, shagging around, which was less interesting, but she did provide an important message that you should always follow your heart. You know, until the train scene.

I finished it inside a week. This replaces finishing War and Peace as the greatest achievement of my life.


War and Peace Volume 2

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 | Books

Pin a fucking medal on me, I have finished War and Peace. As Mark from Peep Show would say, I am not directly comparing my struggle reading it to the French invasion of Russia and subsequent retreat, but it was very difficult. Well, not so much difficult, but long.

I really got into it at the end. To say the first 800 pages were slow going but then it picked up sounds like a joke, but it did feel a little like that. As you get to know the characters more and more you become more involved with them, and in a novel this long, that is quite a lot.

The epilogues were huge. Normally an epilogue a chapter at the end of a book. Tolstoy had two epilogues, each with a dozen chapters in.

The fact such a book managed to maintain my interest all the way through is praise worth in itself. But this is to assume that the man, in this case “I”, had a choice in continuing to the end. However, history has shown us that once something is set in motion, it is not the will of a single man that moves it. Or something…


Crime and Punishment

Saturday, July 26th, 2014 | Books

When I started on Crime and Punishment I expected a rather long and drawn-out exploration of human psychology. What I found was a rather short story about a murderer. Perhaps it would have been longer if I had not have stopped reading after the murder itself, but with the main event over, I assume the rest was just a conclusion (it is difficult to tell with Kindle editions).

The important thing is that I learned murdering people can be bad, because you might feel about it afterwards.

Elina said that Sofia Semyonovna was her favourite character when she read it. She was quite offended when I suggested that might be because they are both of a similar personality. I am not sure whether there was a tension point because of the home truths in this statement, or because Sofia had worked as a prostitute, while Elina never has (to my knowledge).

crime and punishment

Driving in Russia

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 | Video