usa20hockey20logo201 The Americans not medaling after a 5-0 loss to Finland has led to increasing criticism towards head coach Dan Bylsma. Doesn’t this script sound familiar?
Bylsma was on the top of the world just a few days ago. The Americans were rolling and clicking on all cylinders and in the eyes of many looked like the best team in the tournament. Then things hit rock bottom for Bylsma and his hockey club in less than 48 hours.
A 1-0 loss to Canada, a game that was heavily lopsided in Canada’s favor, led to his team collapsing with an embarrassing loss to Finland. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, there’s been a pattern with Bylsma coached hockey teams over the last couple years where at the first sign of adversity in games that matter (playoffs) they implode.
That’s what we saw from the Americans today.
“They played like they had something to win and we shut it down,” Zach Parise said of the loss to Finland, via the Tribune-Review.
“We collapsed,” Ryan Suter said.
“There’s no reason we show up and not piss a drop,” Goaltender Jonathan Quick said of the Americans performance.
Piling on Bylsma is the easy thing to do right now and the criticism might be a bit too much, however, I was still shocked to see a Bylsma coached team play so passive systematically against Canada and again today vs Finland, though, it wasn’t surprising to see Bylsma struggle in both of those games when it came to adjustments, a glaring weakness for him at the NHL level.
When NHL player polls go out from time to time on the coach they would most like to play for, Bylsma is usually at the top of the list. We’ll see if that remains the case as apparently the country club atmosphere must not have carried over from Pittsburgh. One NHL source with ties to the U.S. roster, who did not want to be quoted, said one thing he’s heard out of the Team USA locker room is {some} players feel Bylsma was too into himself. The source went on to say that one player told him he felt Bylsma wanted to be the story in beating Canada and later be looked at as having this masterful game plan that surprised the Canadians.
It’s no secret, Bylsma badly wanted to come out of these games with a Gold Medal and down the road be looked as a legend in U.S. Hockey circles like his idol Herb Brooks. Many feel his image with Team USA was very important to him.

Meanwhile, the most striking thing coming out of Sochi in the past day is how some of the Americans top leaders seemed to go out of their way in taking shots at Bylsma or his system.
“We sat back. We were passive,” Ryan Suter said Friday of how the Americans played system wise vs Canada. A day later, Zach Parise sung a similar tune.
“We were passive. We had one forechecker at times, let them break out of their zone, ” Parise said after the Finland loss. Parise and Suter didn’t take the high road.