With the a 6-5 overtime loss to Russians, Canada's national junior team not only leaves Ufa with the disappointment of no gold medal, but also with the knowledge that they are the first Canadian team in fourteen years without a medal of any colour. That's a tough pill to swallow for anyone, let alone a bunch of teenagers who are faced with a level of expectation that most of us cannot even begin to fathom.
But what went wrong for Team Canada? While it's easy to point the finger at the goaltender or find another suitable scapegoat, the numbers as a whole tell the story of a team that was just 'okay.'
For a team touted to have a strong offensive cast, frankly there wasn't a ton of offense. Canada mustered 27 goals in their 6 games, which would be impressive if it weren't for the fact that nine of those goals came in the first game against Germany. Ignore that game and, in the five remaining games in which Canada mustered a 3-2 record, they only outscored their opponents 18-16. Not exactly a wide margin.
Then you have the penalties which cost the young Canadian squad dearly. Canada racked up a total of 106 Penalty Minutes and while there are a couple of game misconducts in that total, the result was a team that spent nearly an entire game shorthanded. Averaging ten-minutes shorthanded per night is not going to end well for any club.
Some interesting notes:
-Nobody regressed more through the tournament than Jonathan Huberdeau who dropped from a +5 rating midway through the tournament to finish with an even plus/minus. As the team's second highest scoring player (11 points), he finished with a lower +/- than any of his linemates.
-This team had far too many passengers. McNeill, Lipon, Camara, Reinhart, Jenner, Danault, Mackinnon, Harrington, Hamilton and Wotherspoon all finished with two or fewer points. While four of those players are defensemen, that's two full lines of forwards who combined for a total of 5 assists, 70 PIM and a -5. Not good.
-Readable Offense: Team Canada had shooters and non-shooters. There was really no middle ground. Murphy and Schiefele were tied with a team leading 21 shots each, while Reinhart, Camara, Lipon and Wotherspoon combined for a total of 13. It's a lot easier to key in on players when you know who's going to shoot the puck and who isn't.
-The Germany game inflated stats to a larger degree. If you take away that 9-3 drubbing, some of the "top-end" players barely even register anywhere but in the minus column.
Without further ado, here is the final stats list for the players, listed in order of their point totals:
Nugent-Hopkins - 4 Goals, 11 Assists, 4 PIM, +6, 1 PPG, 18 Shots
Huberdeau - 3 Goals, 8 Assists, 4 PIM, Even, 2 PPG, 14 Shots
Schiefele- 5 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 PIM, +1, 2 PPG, 1SHG, 21 Shots
Strome - 4 Goals, 2 Assists, 10 PIM, +2, 18 Shots
Drouin - 2 Goals, 2 Assist, +4, 11 Shots
Ritchie - 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 4 PIM, +3, 14 Shots
Rielly - 1 Goal, 3 Assist, +2, 19 Shots
Rattie - 3 Goals, Even, 1 PPG, 1 SHG, 11 Shots
Oullet - 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 2 PIM, Even, 1 PPG, 18 Shots
Murphy - 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 2 PIM, -2, 1 PPG, 21 Shots
Hamilton - 1 Goal, 1 Assist, +3, 1 PPG, 14 Shots
Wotherspoon - 1 Goal, 1 Assist, Even, 4 Shots
Harrington - 2 Assists, 2 PIM, +5, 5 Shots
Camara - 2 Assists, 31 PIM, +1, 3 Shots
Danault - 2 Assists, 2 PIM, -2, 10 Shots
Reinhart - 1 Assist, 8 PIM, Even, 2 Shots
Mackinnon - 1 Assist, 4 PIM, -1, 7 Shots
Lipon - 27 PIM, Even, 4 Shots
McNeill - 2 PIM, -1, 8 Shots
Jenner - 2 PIM, -2, 11 Shots
Any thoughts? Anything stand out to you?