It was paramount for the United States to put themselves in a good position heading into its tilt with Team Canada on Tuesday. Instead, they made things even tougher on themselves. Lauding a gritty style that would intimidate opponents, the US looked anything but intimidating in a 3-0 loss to Team Europe. Until the third period, the US seemed to lack any sense of urgency.
USA Today’s Kevin Allen writes that while the US can still hypothetically advance, it would take a number of scenarios for that to happen. Further, Allen reports that giving up three goals in just shots never allowed the US to get control of the game. Puck Daddy’s Jen Neale writes more about how even before the game, Team USA was making odd decisions.
Head coach John Tortorella had defenseman Dustin Byfuglien as a healthy scratch, a befuddling move that had every analyst wondering what was going on. Neale goes on to write that the US team looked “listless” and then more telling, that after scoring its first goal, Team Europe sat back to allow the US to “implode on themselves.”
Frank Seravalli was even more blunt:
Just about everything Team USA had been billed as before the tournament started did not show up on Saturday for the first game of the tournament. They weren’t rugged or tough to play against. In fact, they played most of the game like the environment inside the arena: quiet and without much intensity.
The US will have to find that intensity quickly or else they will have a short stay in the tournament.
In other hockey news:
- Gustav Forsling had an impressive showing for the Blackhawks during a 5-0 whitewashing of the Red Wings prospects at the Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. Forsling had three points, with one coming as a goal. Nathan Noel, and Alex DeBrincat each added a goal while Alexandre Fortin scored two. In other action from Traverse City, the Rangers knocked off the Stars 5-4 in overtime. Jimmy Vesey had an assist and a shootout goal in the win.
- It appears that Mikko Rantanen’s injury is not a serious one. Mike Chambers tweets that the Avs classified it as an ankle sprain and nothing more. It was reported earlier that Rantanen suffered an apparent right leg injury that looked troubling.