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02-22-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SoftEuro4thLiner View Post
You've got a lot of things right. Firstly, I could make a very good argument for Erik Johnson being the 3rd best US defender this year. I think he should have been at the Black Sea, no doubt.

I'm with you on the Orpik stance. He shouldn't have been on this team.

As on the "no identity" part on the end of your post, I disagree with you there. No team had enough time to form a group of players going with one system. Finland did it best, imo. You need a combination of everything to have a shot. The US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and to a very large extent Latvia did a very solid job forming a group of players with everyone knowing their job. You need a bit of skill, a bit of defense and a bit of being a mean Backes to accomplish this. I just don't think it's possible to form a NHL-team like identity over such a short time.

Nevertheless, solid post!
Yea, I agree about the "not having enough time to form an identity" but the problem I was alluding to was that they didn't even pick guys with a basis of an identity. Half the team was skilled player who don't get gritty and the other half was gritty players who lack top-end skill.

Maybe that's the point and possibly what would work best but I don't know that I agree. In the NHL a mixture is necessary, but there are so many teams that these skill sets become diluted (hence major contracts to guys like Clarkson, etc.).

Those bottom two lines of "leadership" players, didn't provide any offense really. In the games that counted, they weren't threats.

When there was a blatant disregard for Bobby Ryan and guys like Yandle and Buff, and when the USA team falls flat on its face and can't muster up offensive opps, let alone goals, you have to ponder the management.

This team wasn't ready to compete with the big dogs.

From what I gathered they were going for a skilled, speedy, high scoring team. If that's the case, they made a lot of mistakes in their choices and left quite a few guys off who would have suited the team much more.

Some of Burkes comments in that Burnside article really stood out to me as either:

A) He didn't watch "said" player enough
B) Doesn't really know the game of hockey well enough to be in that position (regardless of his accolades)

I mean Yandle's skating? Ryan's intensity? EJ's poor play.

What is the justification for Orpik who can't skate as well as either of those guys and has easily had the worst season of the three?

How about the versatility of top line wingers. We were stuck with Kane even though he hit a slump for the whole tournament, because no one else could slot into that top line.

All i heard was that we would have no trouble scoring. Outside of Kessel and Kane, this team did not have enough high level scoring wingers to leave someone like Bobby Ryan home.

The overthinking management team chose guys and pinpointed them into roles. Did they ever consider that those roles might not work? That lines might need to be juggled and players moved up and down? This team had very few versatile players outside of really Blake Wheeler.

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