What if Canada Had Won?

Let's say, by the same score, just flipped to favor Canada. What would we be looking at now?

Well, US v. Latvia, for one thing. Assume the US wins that one, along with the Czechs, Slovaks and Swiss, in the qualifying round. Meanwhile, Sweden would have been the #1 seed, followed by Canada, Russia and Finland. Quarter-final match-ups would have been:

Sweden v. Switzerland

Finland v. US

Canada v. Slovakia

Russia v. Czechs

For Canada, right now, in reality, they're looking at this "tune-up" game against Germany, followed by Russia, then let's say Sweden and let's say the US. In this alternate reality, where Canada won last night, they would have to beat Slovakia, then the Russians, then either Sweden or the US. So, in other words, they could have played Slovakia and only one of Sweden or the US, now they likely have to beat both Sweden and the US. So, yeah, if they won last night it would have been maybe slightly easier for Canada, if you assume Slovakia is easier to play than Sweden -- which if you ask me could go either way. But we'll see. Slovakia likely will play Sweden in two days, and they might win. They do have Handzus, Stumpel and Palffy.

In terms of the actual schedule and opponents, how much did Canada just hurt their chances at gold?

Not at all. Either way, Canada has to beat the Russians. And there will be other upsets to even the playing field. Better to lose now than in single-elimination.9
A little. The back to back games will make them tired against mighty Ovechkin.21
A lot. No way Canada beats Russia, then Sweden, then the US.14