Here's the delayed take on US-Canada....I went to bed right after this game and then got caught up in the day. I had 4 pages of notes on this game.....yikes.
Let me start by saying that I was very unimpressed by both teams in this game. Canada got too conservative after going up early by 2 goals and it nearly cost them. The US "hybrid" offense is a total joke IMO and should be abandoned immediately. The US "D" or shall I say "d" was attrocious-especially wonder spec Seth Jones. Todd was a good guy and chatted with me throughout this game-it was surprising how we saw many things the same in this game.
Again, the officiating was super dissapointing....this game started so promising....a nice couple of hits by both teams (players even seemed surprised) without a call and they let them play for a while......then the ticky-tack slashing calls started. A very dissapointing way to have a game called with 2 teams that prefer hockey and not basketball.
This game was a real let down for me. I was expecting (and needing) a high paced, hard hitting, traditional North American game....what I saw was 2 teams struggling after the first period to play within the confines of a european/international rule set. I'm a little angry that the Canadians didn't keep their foot on the gas and blow out the Americans as they should have, preferring to play a very conservative game in the 2nd and 3rd periods that nearly cost them.....the pairings and shift times seemed odd at the time and I think both Todd and I were thinking the Canadians were relying too heavily on their D that was struggling a bit later in the game.
Hindsight being 20-20, I can see from the Russia-Canada game today that instead of humiliating the US they chose to practice for the Russians.....some key elements that they could not execute in this game ended up being key components of a vicious transition game against Russia....but I'll cover that later...
Todd and I voted for Subban though we both noted that while he made many excellent saves, he is still giving up "juicy" rebounds waiting to be capitalized on by a team who can actually put a body in front of the net. To me he also still looks sluggish and very slow to react at times....
Todd and I both voted for Trouba....Gibson won. I think we both had Gibson second in our voting (I definitely did). He was outstanding in this game given the fact that his "d" got smoked time and time again hanging him out to dry....then later in the game, the need for the US to press and bring D men like Trouba deep into teh offensive zone left him facing many odd man rushes.
Let's start with the good, shall we:
Drouin-Strome-Mackinnon: Best O-line for Canada, IMO. When the bleep hit the fan in the second, this line seemed to be the only one capable of going out and doing anything as a unit for Canada.
Still not sold on him, but made some huge saves when it mattered. That's winning hockey there.....I mean after all, if you win gold nobody will care how you got there or the softies and rebounds you gave up. At the time, I had in my notes that those rebounds may come back to haunt him against Russia.
Great 2-way play, really kick started his line.
Wow. This kid is hustle. Everybody keeps talking about Mackinnon.....why isn't there more talk about this kid?
I personally thought his play held the first line up for Canada above the "misery" line after the game went to 2-0.
Seemed to lose it after the first period.....US did a really good job of taking him away in this game and it showed when he took that dumb penalty in the 3rd. He was fustrated and it showed. World class scorers should never get caught up checking like that...no matter if there was a little bit of a dive component or not by Sieloff.
Finally get a legit game out of this guy and then he turns in maybe his worst performance of the tourney. Just about every shift he was slow, out of position and just not competing. Turned it around a little bit towards the end, but I'm tired of this guy cherry picking shots and not playing the rest of his shift. No offense to anyone who's a fan, but this guy would get benched here in Portland for playing that way and should be dropped from the first line.....not gonna happen, beccause we all know the political uproar that would cause.
I'm gonna start off by saying as an American who is a hockey fan, the inability of this coaching staff to make an adjustment to get a goal by putting a body in front of the net until Trouba scored in the 3rd was embarrasing. This whole "hybrid" offense was a complete fail on this day and Canada seemed to need very little effort to keep an American team that was dominating chunks of the second and third periods restircted to sharp angle shots and weak opportunities. If it was not for 3 players individual efforts I feel this game could have easily been 8-0 for Canada.
Late line change to bring in Grimaldi seemed good.....just didn't really produce points except for an assist by Galchenyuk to Trouba, a D man. They did play well IMO though together and Grimaldi with this line seemed better than when Barber was with this group. At times this line outhustled the Canadians, but were just not always "in sync" with each other.
Why do I even care anymore about the hype? This line was all -2 for the game and played like they should have been -4 or -5. A late line shuffle before the game got Grimaldi off of this line in an effort to kick start some offense by putting him on the Galchenyuk line. I'm gonna go ahead and call JT MIller "toxic" offensively at this point. Barber had been playing decent to good before this game and was drug down into the muck by this line. I mean I could buy all the hype if they were thought to be some shut down d line or something....
Worst player on the Ice today by far. Was the only other -2 today for the US, talk about the quadruplet of fail......Out of position, missing assignments, hanging his goalie out to dry, misplaying pucks repeatedly and comically tripping over his own stick after a face off. Should have been handed a big can of STFU by both his teammates and the Canadians after this game and he deserved it. A total liability today and it showed. Key note: On huge US 5-3 PK in the 3rd, where was Jones when it mattered? On the bench.......yeah that's right where he belonged on this day.
My goodness can this kid play hockey.....a true AC/DC player. Canadians had to work to shut him down and mostly they did......but when you only have 2 apparent offensive threats on a team (trouba being the other) they had to work alot harder than they did to keep him from scoring than they should have.
Thank you soooooooo much for not playing as badly as you did in the prelim games. Additionally, if that was a dive in the third it was epically well played to draw that penalty....if not, even better.
What a Beast. More of an offensive D man than a shut down guy but just an incredible hockey player. Got in there and got in front of the net to score when it seemed like the Canadians had a force field in front of the net keeping them on the perimeter. Nobody else on the US was as good either offensively or defensively IMO.
"So let me see here, you mean to tell me you are gonna give up a bazillion odd man rushes, not play defense for me, ask me to stand on my head for 3 periods and still can't score for me? pffffft, I'm going back to Kitchener."
Can't believe this kid today. American D abandoned him, left him to die and eat about 8 sure goals if not more in this one and he held them to 2. This to me was this single best goaltending effort that I have seen in this tourney so far. These weren't the sharp angled and flat shots that Subban faced mind you, there was some wicked bleep that this kid turned aside today. Watching the replays, the Canadians knew it too.......nobody chirping Gibson, the only American who got a no-chirp pass in this one.
Last edited by tomschepker
on 2012-Dec-Mon-01-12, edited 5 times in total.