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01-03-2013, 02:21 PM
bleedgreen's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
Sweden - US gold medal game

US really seems to have come on the last 3 games here. The offense that was dormant vs Russia and in the first Canada game is generating a lot of scoring chances.

I still think we have systemic issues going forward, but it's obvious where establishing our own national identity as a team and where the NTDP is proving to be a big asset. The issue isn't so much at this level or even the U-17 level, but the levels below it where the problem comes up. The just win mentality leads to inferior talent in the long run since superior talents may be overlooked for development since they can't help in the short term, but the everyone deserves a trophy mentality might actually be even worse. I'm not sure what the solution is long term to this, as it's not in the nature of US sports programs to develop players from a young age to turn them into pro level talents. We rely on other programs to do so, which is rather hit or miss. Not so much in that they can't develop the players, but in that the coaches are worried about being successful at their level in order to keep their own jobs. I'm not sure if you guys do hockey development the same as you do with soccer, but I do remember a couple European clubs interviewing some of the kids I was on teams with in my age group for spots in academies at about 10-12. Hell I even got talked to about it a couple times before I tore my ACL. If it is handled the same way that could in large part explain a lot of the differences we're seeing in approach.

Don't get me wrong, the US emphasis on speed can work. But there's a reason why the US beating Canada or Russia is seen as an upset, the overall talent level just isn't as deep because of the approach at younger levels of the game here.
We teach systems over skill. Winning over fundamentals of skating and puck handling. Having the usndt has improved us, but like you say it's younger grassroots hockey that needs to be more focused if we hope to truly catch the other top nations. We have improved in our methods though, and I think we are going in the right direction generally.

Still a great day for USA hockey. Bitter angry Canadians make my day a little brighter. It'll be a long year for America's hat.

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