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01-04-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
I will say this as an American, it was an interesting direction we went with this year. Usually the brass pick an NCAA coach. Last year we had Dean Blais, Nebraska-Omaha coach who returned after winning the Gold medal in 2010. 2011 we had Keith Allain, Yale's head coach. There are two points I'd like to make here. First it's interesting to note that Dean Blais both took us to the Gold Medal and took us to the relegation zone. That brings into question just how important a good coach is? I don't know the answer to that frankly. Maybe the US won the Gold medal in 2010 in spite of the coach? Or maybe the team last year fell apart in spite of the coach? Maybe he simply didn't have much influence at all.

The interesting thing this year that happened was Housley being named head coach. He's a high school coach in Minnesota. This allowed him to focus entirely on the U20 head coach position during the college season, whereas most years our coaches are busy coaching their NCAA teams and only show up to coach the U20 team in December. He didn't come in with any biases as an NCAA coach. A lot of times people will wonder if a coach who sees mainly east coast or midwest players will really be in the best position to judge all the players equally. Housley didn't have that problem as he spent most of the fall flying around the country to watch guys play. With all the calls of bloody murder regarding Spott and Murphy, I think this is something to consider.
I also like Housley's approach to roll 4 lines through the entire compressed schedule of the WJCs. By the time the second USA-CAN showdown came around, you could see that the top USA lines had more left to contribute than the top CAN lines. That has to have something to do with how Spott decided to shorten his bench every game. Every USA player had chances to both get involved, and work through any issues gelling with linemates in various situations under various amounts of pressure. There was a tweak here and there, and guys like Grimaldi had to spend extended some time on the pine while a message or two sunk in, but point remains that Housley stuck with all of his guns.

And when you think about it, this was supposed to be a "dream team" year, in which there was unprecedented skill/depth. Where is the harm in rolling 4 lines of such depth, unless you brought the wrong horses to the show in the first place... hmmm, Mr. Spott? Finding himself "having to" shortening the bench and still not getting optimum results just shows the lack of vision, preparation, and tactical ability of this year's staff. Housley gets all that, and finds himself in the championship game on Saturday. I feel like Spott brought a couple of fancy knives to a gun show (particularly Murphy and Lipon), and got burned for it in the end (on top of his tactical shortcomings as a coach).

Last edited by Ohashi_Jouzu*: 01-04-2013 at 01:18 PM.
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