Thursday, December 27, 2012

What? must win already?

(USA Hockey)
Say what you want about the IIHF but they do have it right with their 3 point system which really gives a team the incentive to win a game in regulation rather than deal with overtime and the shoot out. Ask Russia who just may have handed the top spot in Group B to Canada after needing overtime to defeat Slovakia.

Team USA has not even played a game and already their first game against Germany is basically a "must win in regulation" for them. Group B it turns out is way tougher than anyone expected.

Germany may have lost 9-3 to Canada but even the Canadians acknowledged that the score was not totally true about the game. Canada faced Germany's backup goalie but Team USA is getting the starter who just so happens to play in the QMJHL in Marvin Cupper (Shawinigan).

Team USA in their warmup games had a lot of trouble scoring and the last thing they can afford is a overtime game in their opener. With just about everyone already handing the top 2 spots to Canada and Russia, the "experts" were expecting Team USA to fight it out with Slovakia for the final spot in the group.

I know I sound like a broken record but if Team USA thinks they can win with a top line of J.T. Miller and 2 smurfs (ok talented smurfs) then they will have a date in the relegation round against Latvia.

They can get away with 1 smurf but against Canada and Russia 2 smurfs will just about guarantee a defeat. At the same time there has to be something wrong when Team USA despite what it has done at the Under-17 and Under-18 levels is not getting the same kind of results at the Under-20.

Canadians like to say it is because they don't send their best at those levels and sorry when it comes to hockey I seriously doubt Canada sends their "B" level players. The question has to be asked why with all that the USNTDP has done to build the program for the USA yet it is falling short at Under-20?

And for those of you wanting a better way to follow the Under-20 tournament then may I suggest you use this website as it is a "one stop" site for the Under-20.

Yes they have a mobile app out but I have tried it and it really does not do much except show you rosters and uniform colors.

Prospect Report at the WJC

Rangers

Peter Ceresnak 0-0-0 Even in Slovakia's OT loss to Russia

Islanders

Ryan Strome 1-2-3 +3 on 4 shots against Germany
Griffin Reinhart 0-0-0 Even 1 shot against Germany.

The rest of the prospects will start returning to action on Thursday but this weekend will feature Brady Skjei's Minnesota taking on Boston College. That one is going to be a dandy and I am shocked that neither NBC or CBS picked up this game.

If you have the regional sports package the game will be played on Sunday starting at 8:00 PM ET on the Fox Sports North Plus channel.

Enjoy the game folks as it starts at 9AM ET/6AM PT which means I will sleep through it and watch it when I wake up.

2 comments:

Kmp said...

The smurfs are dangerous, good speed good d, good goaltending. No reason USA can't win it all.

Tom B said...

Can't ask for a better game than that can you?

I thought we looked really good. Those two smurfs didn't look too bad. They are not the top line.

I guess we will see tomorrow against Russia, but I was pleasantly surprised with our game.