Monday, December 27, 2010

Told You So

The Final Score was USA 3 Finland 2 in overtime but the real winners in our mind was Finland. Just as we said the other night when we made our predictions:

"Our darkhorse out of Group A is going to be Finland as they are bringing some size to match up with the USA but they always play a strong defensive game. Too often people forget about the Finns but experience has taught us not to."

Finland gave the USA a wake up call about life as the hunted and hopefully coming as early as this is that the US team will understand that what Finland did was just the beginning. It is the corny old cliche "When you are on top everyone wants to knock you off".

Hopefully the USA will realize they are in a dogfight while we are going to pencil Finland for a place in the medal round. At the same time Canada can stop playing the "underdog" card after spanking Russia with a 3 goal 3rd period.


Nino Niederreiter (SUI)- 1-1-2 but what stood out was the defensive play "El Nino" made protecting a slim 1 goal lead as Switzerland held off Germany 4-3. Nino made a diving clearing attempt in the last minute which said a lot about the Swiss captain.

The Rest of the Prospects

Brock Nelson (USA): no points, -1 on 0 shots. Like the rest of the USA team, had a slow first period, got more active as the game went on. Played with more an east-west game than we would like to see as when you are one of the bigger players out there use that size to your advantage.

Chris Kreider (USA)- 1 assist, even on 1 shot. Had a secondary assist on Team USA's first goal on the power play. Was looking more to be a setup man than the goal scorer he really is. We want to see him go on the attack as he is not really a playmaker, he is a goal scorer.

Ryan Bourque (USA)- 0 points even on 3 shots. Bourque started off strong but we think he was shaken up towards the end of the 2nd period and we could not track him taking a shift again until 9 minutes into the 3rd period. When we saw him again he looked alright but it is something to keep an eye on.

Calvin De Haan (Canada)- 1 secondary assist on Canada's first goal, even on 2 shots. De Haan was not bad but you know if we hear anyone else holding a pity party for Canada we will barf. De Haan was exactly as we expected a steady game at both ends of the ice.

Casey Cizikas (Canada)- 0 points on 3 shots, even. A mostly quiet debut on the international level but Cizikas did not show jitters as one might expect playing on the biggest stage of his career.

Jesper Fasth (Sweden)- 1 secondary assist on 1 shot for a +1 but really hard to get a gauge on a player when the game is a blowout. What little we did get to see showed a very good skating stride and a willingness to go into traffic. We want to see what happens when Fasth goes against the more physical Canadians as if the reports we have on him are true then this is a player to watch.

(Niederreiter/Portland Winterhawks, Nelson/NHL Media)

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