Blog Entry

It wasn't Hiller time

Posted on: February 24, 2010 6:51 pm
 

Jonas Hiller might have pulled off a Ryan Miller had he been able to follow the bouncing puck a little better.

And still he came close to doing it.

Truth is the hot potato thing was really the only flaw in an otherwise superb performance by the Swiss goaltender.  But it was enough to provide Team USA with a tougher-than-expected 2-0 win and a trip to the Olympic tournament semifinals.

Hiller was superb in this game much the way Miller was against Canada in the preliminaries, a virtually impenetrable wall under constant siege.  He had to be against a Team USA that hit the forecheck button hard from the opening faceoff and ended up with 44 shots on goal.

The Americans used their speed to keep pressure on the Swiss throughout the game, dominating territorially,  and they had line combinations clicking in a way that bodes well for the rest of this tournament.  The first two goals of the Olympics by Zach Parise was also a good sign for Team USA moving forward.

In fact there were a lot of things to like about where the ‘work in progress’ as Team USA likes to call itself is right now. Even if it was still in danger of being shocked at the start of the third period.

That was Hiller’s doing, although his problem was that unlike the guy at the other end, Switzerland doesn’t really have the talent to pull off an upset. There are five players with NHL experience on the roster, but only Hiller and Mark Streit are regulars. And while the Swiss never stopped working, they hung around as long as they did only because of their goalie.

So even when Hiller caught a break in the second period with time expiring as he juggled a shot into the net, there was really no way back for Switzerland when his luck ran out early in the third and he redirected Parise’s deflection behind him for the game’s deciding goal. The Swiss have no finishing power to speak of, and that was deadly once they fell behind against an American team that made sure Miller’s workload was minimal.

Team USA’s goalie was sharp when he had to be, but he faced only 19 shots, mostly because Team USA made sure most others never got through. In fact, the shot blocking by the Americans has been one of the key elements to their success so far, with forwards and defensemen throwing their bodies in the way of pucks at every opportunity.

Ryan Callahan and Chris Drury doing particularly good jobs throwing their bodies in the way of pucks at even strength and in particular when they are leading the very effective penalty kill.  They may seem like little things, but Team USA is doing them and doing well, and that means something in this kind of tournament.

 

 

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2010 2:16 pm
 

It wasn't Hiller time

Lemme see if I have this right.

The USA Team skates circles around the Swiss for 50 minutes, dumps the puck into the Swiss net four times, two of which end up on the score board, Ryan Miller gets a shut out and the best story lead you can come up with is about Hiller.  Geez Wes, you must have really trashed the Canadien Team when they had to go to a shootout to beat Hiller. I'll have to go back and read that one.

(Pause.)

Hmmm, not so much. You be wearing those Team Canada Beer Goggles again?



Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2010 8:54 am
 

It wasn't Hiller time

We don't.....we put a lot of stock in beating the team that lost to the United States 5-3.



Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2010 12:37 am
 

It wasn't Hiller time

Don't put too much stock in beating a team that lost to Slovakia.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2010 12:37 am
 

It wasn't Hiller time

Canada loses to the United States just a few days ago and now it would be a total upset if Canada doesn't win the gold? And with Ryan Miller in goal, the United States can win the gold.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2010 11:41 pm
 

It wasn't Hiller time

HOMER! USA!!! USA!!!!! USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2010 11:14 pm
 

It wasn't Hiller time

Considering he wrote this at 6:51 pm, it is safe to assume he had not seen the Canada game yet since it did not start for another 50 minutes




Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2010 10:13 pm
 

It wasn't Hiller time

..Wes ...you obviously did not watch Team Canada dismantle Russia tonight...USA was VERY fortunate to pull that game out against Canada...Look out for the team from the north now...the gold medal is Canada's to lose...if anyone ELSE wins the Gold now...it is an upset. Shalom.


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