by Patrick Hoffman on 02/26/10 at 12:31 PM ET
From good friend of the blog James Murphy at NESN.com:
USA, the only undefeated team left in this tournament, has relied on a solid blue line presence in its offensive attack—and, of course, the goaltending of Ryan Miller—to get to the semifinals.
After being plagued early on in the tournament by too many odd-man rushes against, resulting from the defensemen pitching in on offense without leaving a man back, USA has tightened up its game defensively while still allowing the defense to play a major role offensively. In fact, a defenseman leads Team USA in every offensive category, and that threat has also helped free up the forwards for more chances as well.
Brian Rafalski (four goals, two assists) and Ryan Suter (four assists) have both played major roles in activating the defense into the offensive attack. Defensively, the American blue line has also been stellar, blocking shot after shot and limiting the offensive chances for opponents.
But the Americans wouldn’t still be playing if not for the goaltending of Ryan Miller, who is 4-0-0 with a 1.25 GAA and .944 save percentage.
Click here for more from my good pal Murph.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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