Team USA lost yesterday to the best team in the tournament. A Semi-Finals exit and a fourth place finish aren’t the things the US team had hoped for, but running into Canada in the semi-finals was always going to be a tough challenge. It’s hard to get upset over the Bronze medal game, because that game against Canada was so crushing.
I want to be upset at the American players. I really do. This was supposed to be our year. It was supposed to be the year we truly made ourselves into a country that can rival Canada every Olympic year. This obviously didn’t happen.
When you look at Team Canada on paper it’s hard to see more than maybe a couple of Americans break into the roster. Then when you look at Canada’s “B” team. How many Americans would make that team? More than their “A” team, but I still think that “B” team roster would still have a solid amount of Canadian players if merged with Americans. That’s a scary thought.
Slim margins to lose by one goal too. Canada dominated at times, but you just felt no team was really in the clear until the clock hit triple zero. One thing that annoys me about the Olympics are the lack of a playoff series. Obviously there isn’t enough time to play a best of seven series between Canada and the USA, but if there were I’d love to see it. It’s truly hard to split the best teams when you play these one and done elimination games, but that’s life.
What the US lacks though is a truly generational player on offense (especially a center), something Canada has in spades. I’m talking about guys like Tavares, Crosby, Stamkos, etc. The closest player we have to those guys is Patrick Kane and he plays wing. I mean guys like Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, and Claude Giroux would all be upgrades in the middle of the ice. All Canada “B” team players.
Maybe the problem is hockey isn’t big enough in the United States, and the athletes who would be best suited for hockey aren’t playing. USA hockey is doing a good job with grassroots organizations and the development programs in the country, but it likely will never match Hockey Canada unless hockey got a big boom in this country. The sad part of that is, if the US won the Gold medal this year, I would bet there would be a huge surge in hockey in this country. Oh well. Onto South Korea in 2018 USA.
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