posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 06:57 PM
The United States went down in defeat today to the Germans. I was up early this morning watching the game, and was overwhelmed with a strange
feeling. A feeling that, even though the Americans were dominating the game, they had no chance of winning. The Germans opened the scoring mid-way
through the 1st, and laid back on the league for most of the game. With about 6-7 minutes left in the third, the Americans tied it up with a PP goal.
It carried into Overtime where the German team finally locked up the win with a bit of a weak goal.
My impression of the American team?
In a word, selfish. Guys like Erik & Jack Johnson (Not related) were lackluster in the opening game. Jack took too many stupid penalties, and Erik
was too busy trying to throw the big hit or make the end to end rush. The American squad is plagued with what they have been the last two
tournaments. They can not put the name on the front of the jersey, ahead of the name on the back. It is something we Canadians take for granted,
because our boys know they are playing for the Maple Leaf. I credit that to our coaching, and nothing but.
The one impressive point for the American squad was the goaltending. I was surprised that Frazee did not get the start, being a veteran and
experienced, I assumed he would be between the pipes. However the coach, Ron Rolston, decided to go with Jeff Zatkoff. The guy stood on his head
when the odd shot did come around. It is no easy task to go 8 or 9 minutes without facing a shot, then face a two on one or a three on one. I would
expect him to get the start against the Canadian squad tomorrow at 1pm EST.
In the Finland game, Tukka Rask made 7 saves on 11 shots. The only hope Finland had on any success was Rask standing on his head day in and day out.
After the opening game, it doesn't appear this is going to be the story of the Finnish team. However, it is early and more than enough time for him
to turn this around.
Onto the Canadian game. The boys came out rocking in the first period. Aggressive, but controlled. They scored first and had plenty of
opportunities. Staal, Parent, Bourdon, and Letang led the way on the point. Their defense was impregnable at times, but in the later stage appeared
to be faltering. Up front, we have a core group of guys that play in both ends of the ice. We cut guys like Esposito and Tavarez who can fill the
net, but picked up guys like Gagner and Neal, who can play in both ends. I think Gagner took too many penalties, but the kid is young and emotion got
the best of him.
The second and third periods, our squad did not belong in the game. We were out played, out hit, out manned, out everything. The difference in the
game was Carey Price. I'm happy to point out he is a Canadian draft pick. But he stood on his head from the opening face off until the final
buzzer echoed. I was actually surprised at the level Price played. He has matured over the last season or two, and turned into the goaltender we all
Looking forward to the American game tomorrow.