Blog Entry

A win is a win

Posted on: February 16, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Next up is Norway and a good thing too for Team USA.

Really, the Americans could use what amounts to another tune-up before things get serious. These preliminary rounds count in the standings of course, but they are mainly about gearing up for the one-loss playoff eliminations next week. And while Team USA didn’t look particularly out of sync beating Switzerland 3-1 in the Olympic opener, there are a few kinks to work out.

The bright side is the Americans get to do it with something in the win column. And they actually did a nice job meshing despite skating together only once before the tournament began, although they’ll need more from the top line of Zach Parise, Patrick Kane and Paul Stastny. But there were flaws, the kind that you can sometimes get away with against second-tier teams like Switzerland or Norway, just not against NHL-stacked powerhouses standing in the way of a medal.

So even though Team USA showed some positive signs in the opener, it wasn’t good enough. The Americans did move the puck well in the early going and forced an overmatched opponent to spend much of the time back on its heels. But Switzerland is a team with the goaltending to pull off an upset as Canada found out in 2006, and Team USA gave them too many chances to do it again.

Truth is this one should have been wrapped up as soon as David Backes blew past Swiss defenseman Yannick Weber to give Team USA a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Team USA even added another goal before the final period began, but then mailed it in and essentially had to hang on against a team without any real offensive threat.

Ryan Miller was as good as he had to be in goal for Team USA, although he faced only 15 shots and benefitted a great deal by the fact the Swiss couldn’t hit the net with any regularity. Still Switzerland was able to create enough chances to put a scare into the Americans, who developed a disconcerting habit of allowing repeated odd-man rushes.

As American captain Jamie Langenbrunner told a television interviewer after the game, the team has to smarten up and fast.

“We’ve got to realize the situation of the game, and if we have a lead, play smarter and not take chances,” he said. “We gave up too many two-on-ones and three-on-twos in the third period, and we can’t do that. The further you go in the tournament, the more talent you’ll see and they’ll make us pay.”

 

 

 

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2010 12:27 pm
 

I hope that Miller is up to carrying us through..

I don't think that we're going to be able to see how good we are against Norway, but we'd better be ready for Canada.  Miller is going to have to play like a young Dominik Hasek for us to pull out a medal, in my opinion.  Canada and Russia have a ton of firepower, and I just don't see our skaters matching up to theirs...




Since: Dec 23, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2010 12:20 pm
 

They will get better

It was a good beginning for a young and inexperienced U.S. team.  A bit of a tentative start but they'll get their legs more during the Olympics.  The Swiss though played a passive defensive style (boring), the score I think could've been a bit more for the U.S.  Anyhow, Ryan Miller would've gotten the shut out but the Swiss got a garbage goal in the 3rd period. 

The U.S. just needs to learn not to let down; 2 shots on goal in the 3rd period is not going to get the job done when they go against the likes of someone like Canada.  The top line will definintely step up on Thursday against Norway.  I really believe the U.S. will surprise a lot of people!

GO U.S.A.!!!



Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2010 12:07 pm
 

A win is a win

I completely agree with Wes on this one.  They were good enough to win against a Swiss team that was better than I thought they would be, however they were nowhere near where they'll need to be if they want to win a medal.



Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2010 10:10 am
 

A win is a win

in a tournament like this the first game is definetly a learning experience for the players. considring the usa have never really played with eacother before i think they came out and showed everyone what theyre strenthgs are (speed and defence). we will also get a better look at how good team usa really was int heir first game, as i usually discard the first game for each team in these kind of tournaments, then in the second game match the scores from the usa and canada against their respective oppenants. canada won 8-0 over norway with a group of nhl ers who have chemistry already, the san jose line of marleu heatly an thornton, showed early and often they were ready heatly had two goals,  getlaf playing with perry, the anaheim line recorded two points as well. so when the usa play norway i'll look at the definetive score of that game and then judge how well the americans are playing as well I will do the same with canada against the swiss, even tho canada's real issue was just getting over the jitters of the first game because they already have some chemistry on the team, so far i'd have to say the americans look faster than the canadiens by a slight edge, however Canada looked almost as fast and alot better use of their size down low to force shots at the net and get chances off rebounds, something the states seem to fall away from after the second period. people have been doubting the states but belive me if anyone plays this team and decides to go in the box to many times this team can hurt you by getting up the ice quik and with snipers like phill kessle, zac parise and bobby RYan and a great power play specialest in bryan rafalski, no doubt any team will have to play discipline hockey and stick to their game plan to beat the states ,who in my books have the best team theyve had since the 96 world cup. In a tournament like this it's usaul the most discipline team who can stay out the box to avoide an array of nhl stars getting to use the powerplay to a huge adavantage, and yes if you get a hot goaltender any of the 6 hockey powers could take it all, sweden canda, finland, usa, russia, checz. all have a chance if theyre goaltending can become solid quik. I'd say as of this moment the canadians have ahuge advantage to get the buy , simply because they have players on theyre roster that have played with eachother currently in the nhl and in these kinds of tournaments where you only have one practice before the games start .you need to find chemistry early on and the team who finds it quik will find themselves s with a buy to the next round. so for the americans the key is staying out of the box and finding chemistry, as well as using that speed to gaain the zone, and instead of getting pretty when they enter the zone at full speed. they need to shoot the puck on the net and play dirty hockey. because int he third period against the swiss the americans got pretty trying to run up the score, and when you enter the zone at full speed and turn it over it usual creates and odd man rush the other way for your opponent. so for the americans simply stay out of the box and get the puck on the goal.because after these two teams play their first two games canada and the usa will play eachother for the buy to the next round. so for the americans finding chemistry fast is the key exspecially when canada already has it with the san jose sharks top line and the anheim mighty ducks top line including nediemyer if getlzaf and perry are out on the power play. this tournament wil be tight and if the americans find that chemistry next game and can match the score canda put up over norway the americans will be blushing with confidence when they come to play the canadaians, and will be  any mans game. but to all you YANKEE's GOOD LUCK< BUT SORRY GO CANADA GO !!!!!



Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2010 11:29 pm
 

come on Wes

Give them a break.  I thought they palyed pretty well.  They were physical and skated really well.  Chemistry wasnt nearly as bad as it could have been...  All and all I thought it was a pretty good effort

The Swiss do deserve some serious credit... As we (canada) found out, the Swiss can play a great team gae and lean on their goaltending.  Its a short tourny, anything can happen.  The Swiss arent one of the "big 6"  They are definetly part of the ``next three`` (Swiss, slovaks, Germany) and deserve some respect.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com