I could see it coming when the World Cup of Hockey rosters were officially announced for each team. I looked at the United States, and said to myself, “there is no way this team is going to win anything.”
The American 2-game snowball began when the tournament started last weekend. While Team USA managed to get 35 shots against Team Europe’s Jaroslav Halak, Halak made all of the key saves necessary to shut out the Americans. Team Europe was outshot heavily by Team USA in the game, but Team Europe managed to capitalize and finish on all of their best chances. It was a game that the United States needed to win, but it appears that they overlooked Team Europe, and looked ahead to their matchup versus Team Canada.
Patrick Kane last night said US wasn’t prepared for Game 1 vs. Europe. David Backes today said US got ahead of itself, thought it’d win.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 21, 2016
On Tuesday, Team USA got the start that they needed and got the first goal in the game against Team Canada. It became quickly shadowed when Canada followed it up with 2 quick goals, and then a 3rd goal later in the period. Team USA quickly fell behind and never recovered. Their chances of winning the World Cup of Hockey Tournament were gone in a flash.
The disturbing part about the Canada versus USA matchup was that the game did not seem close. While the shots on goal numbers between each team were very close, it seemed that Team Canada was just one step ahead of Team USA on the ice. The Canadians controlled the puck with their tremendous level of speed and skill, and the American players simply could not hang at the same level.
TEAM USA ROSTER FLAWS SHOWED
The major differences between Team USA and Team Canada were speed and skill. The Americans looked older and slower on the ice. Team Canada won more puck battles and races to the puck.
It was very frustrating to see Carey Price act like a third defenseman during the game. When Team USA would dump the pucks in on Carey Price, he would freely hand the puck to one of his two defensemen, rather uncontested. The lack of speed was an issue for Team USA, and it is something that the Americans will have to think about in future international hockey competitions.
TEAM USA ROSTER ERRORS
There were several players for Team USA that did not impress during this tournament. I am not one that likes to single out certain players, but there are several American players who should not be on any future World Cup or Olympic teams.
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn’t put my finger on it.
— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
I do not mind seeing gritty Tortorella-approved players like David Backes, Ryan Kesler, or Brandon Dubinsky on Team USA. However, Team USA needs to find better balance in the future. Speed and skill are needed. Team USA needs to change the makeup a little bit. The Americans need the speed and skill of players like Tyler Johnson, Johnny Gaudreau, Auston Matthews, and Jack Eichel in future international events.
THE STATS ARE UGLY
Out of the 20 players on Team USA, 14 of them did not register a single point in the first 2 games against Team Europe and Team Canada. 8 of Team USA’s forwards did not register a single point in the first 2 games:
Ryan McDonagh was the only Team USA defenseman to register a goal in the first 2 games. Everyone else looked like this:
Team USA looked like a defeated team in the 2nd half of the game against Team Canada. It was not good seeing their team play like this, considering all of their players play the game with such tremendous passion.
Patrick Kane on the verge of tears after Team USA loss https://t.co/w793E6xtFw
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) September 21, 2016
Team USA will have to learn and adjust. Canada is not the only team they should be motivated to play against in international events. They should be motivated to play against any other country. It should not matter who the opponent is. Motivation is needed to gain success. They will need to become a tougher program, and a program that is ready to take on all opposition around the world. No hockey team can overlook their opponent, and expect to have guaranteed success. If the Americans put all of their eggs in the Canadian basket for the World Cup of Hockey Tournament, it was a strategy that ultimately failed.
— Peter Alper (@peteralper99) September 21, 2016
NAME MY WEEKLY COLUMN
Here is an update on the name of my new weekly column. There was a 3-way tie that took place last week in the poll.
Here is what I am going to do. The top 3 names for my column from last week’s poll will be placed in a new poll this week. There must be a winner. Once again, I am letting you decide! Please vote, and let’s try to get a clear cut winner this week! The possible names of my potential weekly column include:
Something to Fouss About
What’s the Fouss?
By: George Foussekis