General Talk '12 — U.S.A.
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05-18-2012, 08:05 AM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jul 2002
Originally Posted by
I dont know what game you were watching, US didnt play better. It was very even and both teams had their chances. Maybe US had couple more than us, but especially in the 3rd period we just started to look stronger and stronger while US got abit tired. Im quite sure that if the deflection goal by Koivu didnt go in we would've tied it anyways.
About the goals.. Yeah, Joensuu's shot was a shot that Howard could save, but it was a damn perfect shot and might've hit Butler's stick too. Im pretty sure that shot goes in more times than not against any goalie.
Besides, before Ryan scored the puck was cleared by our D but then it hit the ref's skate and stayed in the zone - seconds later Ryan scores. So some bad luck for us aswell.
I dont know how anyone can think that US were the better team in that game.
Then we clearly saw different games. That happens. I respect your points and understand where you're coming from with them.
As I saw it:
The US DOMINATED along the boards until the last 10 minutes of the game.
The US DOMINATED in puck control and puck possession, which however was something Finland knew would happen going in and thus, the laid back approach was obviously part of the game plan.
The US was MUCH BETTER at organizing a productive transition out of their own zone.
What I still don't understand is how come the US didn't just throw the puck at the goal and crash with EVERY opportunity. They kept playing the boards and cycling, cycling, cycling. It's like Gordon, a former goalie himself, didn't want them to 'warm up' Vehanen because, who knows, maybe he could get hot if he saw lots of pucks???
They should have shot and crashed with every opportunity. This certainly isn't the best goalie or best defense Finland could put out there. To be honest, this Finnish team only looks half as good as what I (felt) I saw in Bratislava last year.
Anyhow, the lack of urgency in Team USA's game really disappointed me.
Joensuu's wrister for the first goal was a bullet and very precise. Excellent shot. But when you're in the elimination stage, your goalie
let unscreened shots from 15-20 feet away go in. You just can't if you have any intention of winning.
I'll give you that with Ryan's goal coming after the unfortunate incident seconds before, just as Koivu's goal took incredible advantage of a stickless Johnson. Both teams experienced a few unfortunate bounces or shots that were going wide and hit some body and ended up staying in the zone or around the net (like with the gamewinner).
I'll also admit that Finland played its best hockey in the game in the last 7 or 8 minutes - and that was enough to win.
In my opinion, Gordon was outcoached, but the nominally better, stronger, more puck-possessing team was the US. If these two teams would play five times, the US would win four. This one they lost happened to be in the do-or-die playoffs. Shame on them for not wanting it more. There were times in last night's game where Finland just looked desperate to get the puck out of the zone. Had the US made it 3-1 in the third, it would have been over.
They didn't, they lost.
Same could be said of Canada when they were leading 3-2 for so long. Had they made it 4-2, that game is over. They didn't, they lost.
Lack of urgency in the scoring department damned the North Americans yesterday.
However, my biggest tournament thesis was once again reinforced yesterday: When two teams play each other in the preliminary round and then see each other again in the playoff round, the team that wins the first time most often loses the second time.
Norway was the one exception yesterday, but this Russian line-up is simply out of their league.
Sweden, Canada and US are out - three of the preliminary round's top 4 teams.
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