I've been saying to people all along that the USA is going to be a much tougher team than anyone was giving them credit for.
With the loss today Team Canada has a VERY tough road ahead of them. Germany may not be a tough opponent to have to get past, but after that it's an unreal Russian squad. But before we get into that, let's analyze the ton of things wrong I found with Canada' game tonight.
Since the roster was announced people were saying we have one of the best D's in the tournament. But after this game I beg to differ. It looked like none of them knew how to handle a puck. Both Scott Niedermayer and Chris Prgoner we not making good decisions. There were multiple times where a lot of players were trying to pass the puck while it was bouncing wildly. And Niedermayer was one of the many guilty parties. And they didn't just do it in their end. They made the bad moves in the offensive zone trying to shoot the puck while it was bouncing. And that caused too many turn overs and even if it didn't lead to goals it still killed momentum and caused a lack of confidence and sustainability.
Martin Brodeur didn't have much of a chance on a couple of the goals, however he was NOT on his game like he normally is. And that was probably the biggest difference in the game against the United States. He looked a little shakey against the Swiss and I was secretly afraid of this happening tonight. And with Ryan Miller absolutely standing on his head at the other end, I feared early that we couldn't keep up. I really thought that Canada could win this game but the undisciplined play and sloppy passing and shooting was just atrocious. Watching it I can honestly say I was embarrassed.
There was about 2 minutes of constant pressure at the end of the 3rd but Miller was great and we just couldn't get it past him. If we had that pressure all night long we would have scored more goals. For too long we were on the PK and couldn't get pressure going in the US zone.
Most specifically I was not pleased with Eric Staal's play. First he ran over Corey Perry and sent him to the dressing room. He returned but that's not the point, the point is; that shouldn't happen at this level. Then his next shift he takes a holding penalty in the offensive zone going after the puck. And it was a stupid penalty. He tried to go between the American defender and the boards and jumped grabbing the shoulder and hauling him to the ground. Then Staal didn't even know what he did. To me that's unacceptable.
The Crosby penalty was clearly a penalty and a bad one on Sid's part. But Orpik should also have had a penalty as well.
But the biggest story of the night was Ryan Miller and there was nothing that seemed able to go past him. With a .944 sv% through the games so far he will be the reason the USA will win a medal. And I say they WILL win a medal after watching them play tonight. I will give credit where credit is due and that is to the USA team as a whole. The were getting great chances in the offensive zone, and in their own zone they were amazing at stopping shots, deflecting pucks and taking away the shooting lanes.
I said before that if the USA won today than Canada could be in trouble. And I still believe it. I may get some backlash for this but...I don't know if we can win this tournament. Unless we pick up the play we may not even get past the Russians. I'm going to keep hope and continue to believe we can win because we DO have the talent. We just need to learn to compose the puck before dishing it off or shooting it.
Germany isn't a very good team, but they cannot be taking for granted. I think Canada will come out flying and needing to prove something, and unfortunately it will be the Germans that have it taken out on them. I'm saying a 6-1 win over Germany.
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