Americans struggle to sustain offense, play conservative in 1-0 loss to Canada


Canada is advancing to the Gold Medal game for the second straight Olympics with a 1-0 win over the United States. Jamie Benn scored the only goal of the game and Carey Price made 31 saves for the shutout. The Canadians in an excellent defensive effort, have given up just three goals in the tournament and the Gold Medal game pegs the 2006 Gold Medal winner in Sweden up against the 2010 Gold Medal winner. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE UNITED STATES? The Americans came into this game as a team built on being fast to the puck and we saw none of that today. Canada was the superior team by a wide margin and the game really felt like a 4-0 game in Canada’s favor than the end score of 1-0. Canada was tremendous in clogging the middle and keeping the Americans to the outside. The Americans had troubleRead More »

The Four Year Wait is Over – USA vs. Canada


THE FOUR YEAR WAIT IS OVER – USA VS CANADA Although this chapter of the North American rivalry won’t have the same type of climax as the gold medal game in Vancouver, it is sure to stir plenty of strong emotions and make America’s northern border a bit more visible. The United States’ hockey culture has often played second-fiddle to its Canadian adversary, with Canada annually putting together a roster which is widely regarded as the most talented in the tournament. Even as this is just a semi-final game, the allure might be just as prominent going in as Canada’s famous victory four years back. Not in recent memory have the two teams been so evenly matched in the Olympics, as the USA have primarily been looked at as an underdog with the talent and work ethic to certainly garner Canada’s respect. This has only fueled the fire surrounding theRead More »

Sunday’s Olympic Buzz: Team USA wins Group A; Malkin pointless for 2nd straight game; Kunitz off Crosby’s line


SUNDAY’S OLYMPIC BUZZ Team USA rolled to a 5-1 win over Slovenia, clinching first place in Group A and earning eight out of a possible nine points in the preliminary round. The Americans have earned a bye. Phil Kessel led the way with a hat trick, producing the first hat trick by a U.S. player since John LeClair in the 2002 Olympics. Kessel leads the tournament with 7 points and is one of the hottest players in all of hockey right now. Including NHL and Olympic play, Kessel has 15 goals and 34 points in his last 18 games. Ryan McDonagh and David Backes also scored in the win for Team USA. Joe Pavelski added 3 assists. Ryan Miller got his first start of the tournament, making 17 saves in the win. Brooks Orpik had an assist and was a +1. Orpik played 17:04. Paul Martin was a +1 inRead More »

Team USA – Team Russia: What We Learned


TEAM USA – TEAM RUSSIA: WHAT WE LEARNED The Americans thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Russia was a fantastic game that had just about everything. The game appears to have caught the attention of so many around the United States and it’s all anyone seems to be talking about which is great to see. T.J. Oshie (4-or-6 in shootout) had the heroics, scoring four times in the shootout, and beat Sergei Bobrovsky between legs in the eighth round for the epic win. Oshie who the casual hockey fan probably never heard of, has suddenly become a household name. He got a shout out from the White House to gaining almost 100,000 twitter followers today since scoring the game winning goal. He started the day at 90,000 and now has 190,000 followers as of 8:00 p.m. Oshie was asked by a reporter on how he it feels to be an AmericanRead More »

Paul Martin and Ryan Suter led Team USA in ice time vs Slovakia; Orpik played just 1:26 in 1st period


SOME NOTES ON PENGUINS & OTHERS FROM THURSDAY’S ACTION United States 7 – Slovakia 1 — Paul Martin and Ryan Suter each led Team USA in ice time with 19:46 TOI. Martin was an even rating in the win and in a blowout like this one, the ice time stats in the first period tell the story where the coaches view particular players right now. Bylsma, as expected, leaned heavily on Martin who had 6:25 of ice time in the first period, second to Suter. Martin, Suter and Kevin Shattenkirk (19:14) all played over 19 minutes. — Brooks Orpik was a +3 but saw the least amount of ice time among all defensemen with 10:51 TOI. Bylsma dressed seven defensemen and Orpik was the only defenseman to play under 13 minutes. What was telling with Orpik is that he only played 1:26 in the first period. The buzz on OrpikRead More »

First Impression: United States style of play has them built for success in short tournament


The most impressive team through the first two days of the Men’s Hockey Tournament is clearly the United States after a 7-1 trouncing over Slovakia. Paul Stastny scored twice and Phil Kessel led the way with a goal and two assists. John Carlson, David Backes, Ryan Kesler and Dustin Brown also scored in the win. Patrick Kane, T.J. Oshie and James van Riemsdyk each added two assists apiece in the win. Jonathan Quick who got the start over Ryan Miller, made 22 saves. While this was a Slovakia team with some bad players in their lineup like former Penguin Tomas Surovy who was a minus-4 in 12:11 of ice time, this was still a team that isn’t a pushover. One thing that might have gotten over looked with the United States is how the personnel is really built for a Dan Bylsma type of team. It’s a group filled withRead More »

End of the Year Penguins/Olympics/NHL Notes


The Pittsburgh Penguins end the year on the three game losing streak, coming off two tough loses to the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. The Penguins were off today and will practice in Pittsburgh tomorrow morning before they depart for Florida. Sidney Crosby will end the decade as the highest scoring Penguin for this decade –330 GP – 155 goals – 290 assists – 445 pts – +42 *Team USA will name their 2010 Olympic roster tomorrow afternoon during the Winter Classic. Representatives began informing players who did not make the squad as early as Monday. Defenseman Brooks Orpik didn’t receive one of those calls. Orpik is a lock to make the team along with former teammate Ryan Malone. *New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul Martin will be named to the squad. Martin is expected to return to action by Late January and has been on the team for months.

Orpik in position to earn a roster spot for Team USA


Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik is among 12 defensemen participating in Team USA’s Orientation Camp and he has himself in position to earn a roster spot with Team USA for the 2010 Olympics. Orpik is a Brian Burke type of player and two attributes that enhance his chances of making the team; ability to play alongside skilled defensemen and his exceptional skating ability. For the majority of reps in practice Orpik has been paired with