Entries with the tag: team usa
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.
From great friend of the blog Jim Cerny at NewYorkRangers.com:
While clearly defining Patrick’s role in the success of the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team is relatively simple due to his up-front position within the organization, his influence on the Rangers first Stanley Cup in 54 years is not as easily recognized, but, arguably, just as important.
As general manager of the Rangers—a position he held from Nov. 21, 1980, nine months after the Miracle on Ice, until July 14, 1986—Patrick selected two of the most important players in franchise history, a pair who were both part of the backbone of that ’94 Cup-winning squad.
With the 28th overall pick in the 1985 NHL draft, Patrick selected goaltender Mike Richter, who won 16 playoff games in ’94 and became the Rangers’ all-time leader in victories. And with the ninth overall selection in the 1986 draft, Patrick chose defenseman Brian Leetch, the 1994 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and future Hockey Hall of Famer.
“I was real proud of those guys, that they were able to win the Cup,” Patrick said of Richter and Leetch. “They were both outstanding athletes and outstanding people. There are a lot of great athletes, but not as many with great character. These two were great athletes with great character.”
Click here for more from our good pal Jim.
From Nicholas Montemagno at Rangers Tribune:
A big part of Switzerland’s success has been because of the play of goaltender Jonas Hiller. Hiller has been unbelievable so far in the Olympic Games, keeping his team in every game and providing them with a chance to win. Hiller came into the National Hockey League last season with the Anaheim Ducks, where he took over the starting job from veteran netminder J.S. Giguere, who recently has was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Without him, the Swiss would probably have been defeated yesterday by Belarus in the qualifier.
With that being said, the United States offense has a lot of fire power up front, and I think they have not really used it just yet. Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Paul Stastny, Phil Kessel are among the forwards who need to step it up on offense for Team USA. The Americans have been getting scoring from all angles, which is a good thing, but a lot of it has been secondary. The team’s primary scorers have not been all that effective just yet and need to bring their game to the next level in the playoff rounds.
Rangers forward Chris Drury has been one of the better players for Team USA and is opening the eyes of many with his recent play. Chris was one of the more frequently questioned picks by Brian Burke for Team USA, but with the way he has contributed in each win, how could they still be questioning the decision? The guy is a clutch player, not worth $7.5 million dollars, but he is valuable to this team and that has been made obvious.
Click here for more from our good pal Nicholas.
I know this has been talked about a lot in the last day or so but I wanted to point you folks to a great article by good friend of the blog James Murphy at NESN.com. The article talks about how Team USA’s win over Team Canada should be looked at as an upset rather than a miracle:
The USA’s 5-3 men’s hockey win over Canada on Sunday night was surely a giant upset. But it was no “miracle,” and it was not even close to what took place in Lake Placid, N.Y., 30 years ago today.
Yes, the Canadians—like the old Red Army team—were heavy favorites heading into this tournament. And yes, goalie Ryan Miller stood on his head with 42 saves just like Jim Craig did 30 years ago. Oh, and as Boston University alum Mike Eruzione scored the winning goal in Lake Placid 30 years ago, there was another clutch forward from BU, Chris Drury, who scored the go-ahead goal in the second period on Sunday. But really, the similarities end there.
Sunday’s victory over Canada was thrilling and, yes, it was very unexpected given the pre-Olympic hype and predictions. But this U.S. win was a statement game, not a miracle.
Click here for more from my great hockey pal.
It’s pretty easy to say that Mike Richter is the best US-born goaltender of all-time. He won a Stanley Cup, World Cup, Silver Medal, MVP of the 1994 All-Star game, MVP of the Rangers in multiple seasons, etc.
When it came to playing for his country, Richter was a big-game goaltender and tonight, Ryan Miller was just that for the US. He made 42 saves and did everything he could to help get his team three points in the standings. All-in-all, he stood on his head and played like Richter did in 1996/2002 and even a bit like Jim Craig did in 1980.
Yes, I know it was only a preliminary round game but Miller showed to the rest of the world what a great goaltender he is and how he can help the US team surprise a lot of folks in the hockey world.
Keep watching folks…it’s only going to get better.
From Mike Morreale at NHL.com:
“He lived and breathed hockey and was just so competitive,” Richter said. “We were playing against the Russians and I remember (Chris) Chelios coming over to me and saying, ‘Wow, he’s really fired up.’ It was a motivating thing to see how much he wanted to win after all he’d been through over the years and his desire to field the best team he could, so the guy knows so much and you always felt like you were in good hands. If there’s anyone we felt deserved a gold medal for all the right reasons, my god, it would have been sweet to win it for Herb.”
Click here to read more of Richter’s thoughts on the late and great Herb Brooks.
From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
Ryan Callahan has been good enough to agree to return some e-mails during the Olympics to discuss his experience and preview/review Team USA’s games.
He got back to me tonight after Team USA held its first practice Monday afternoon as it prepares to play Switzerland Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern. Fittingly, Team USA’s game can be watched on USA.
“I think our team will be a fast, in-your-face type style,” Callahan wrote. “It seems to be a well-built team with out-grinders and checkers and our top skill guys and good goaltending. The Swiss, I think, will be a fast team that has played together now for a while, which will help them. They also have a good goalie in (Jonas) Hiller.”
Click here for more. Nice to know we’ll be hearing from our boys throughout the Olympic break. I’d be curious to get some thoughts from Drury, Torts (should be easy), and Lundqvist as well.
From Shawn Roarke at NHL.com:
Ryan Miller is the biggest reason why the Buffalo Sabres sit in first place in the Northeast Division. In fact, the Sabres are built much like this Team USA—a solid foundation complemented by a collection of players in the proper roles, buttressed by superior goaltending.
Miller also resided among the NHL leaders in wins, shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage.
Simply put, Miller is the game-breaker, at the peak of his career, the Americans need if they want to prove the naysayers wrong that won’t be tabbing this team for medal contention. Plus, Miller is motivated after an injury left him on the outside looking in at Torino. Then, Rick DiPietro, Robert Esche and John Grahame, could do little to save the Americans from an embarrassing eighth-place finish.
Click here for more.
As we all know, the NHL will be participating in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February. I for one am very excited as I have always enjoyed international competition though part of me wishes that it was every country’s top amateur players. I guess they do that in the World Junior Championships, right?
Anyways, I wanted to point you readers out there to Reid, who took an in-depth look at what Team USA should look like in a few months on Pete Prose. Here is a brief sample of what he wrote:
Team USA doesn’t have the depth up front that Canada or Sweden will possess in droves, and they don’t have the All-World game-breakers that Russia will present, but nonetheless, this is a formidable, and perhaps underrated, group of skaters.
Leading the charge will be New Jersey Devils star Zach Parise, who broke out in a big way in 2008-09, leading the Devils with 45 goals and 94 points. He is unequivocally the top American skater on the planet, and is the closest thing Team USA has to a world class superstar.
Look for Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny to center Parise on the first line, as the cerebral pivot is off to a good start this year for the upstart Avs, with 4 goals and 14 helpers in 20 games. Defensively responsible, much like Parise, these two could shine together.
Click here for more on the potential look of the red, white and blue.
From Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy:
For 2010, USA Hockey will have its deepest goaltending trio between Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas and Craig Anderson, who stamped his place on the roster with a red hot month of October. The battle now for the next three and a half months will be about which one will watch from the press box at GM Place and which two will dress.
Coming into this season the debate was between Miller and Thomas for the No. 1 job; but if Anderson continues to carry the Colorado Avalanche, how can his place in the argument be denied?
Click here for more.
I know, I know - the Stanley Cup Playoffs are going on so many of you will wonder why this is even worth a post.
However, I think it’s worth noting that the U.S. Men’s National team advanced to the Semi-Finals at the IIHF worlds in Switzerland with a 3-2 victory over Finland. Former Philadelphia Flyers’ netminder Robert Esche (remember him?) made 47 saves and the team got goals from Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues), and Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators).
Considering that the Winter Olympics are being held next year, I think that this is an important step for Team USA and is worthy of some coverage. However, if you don’t live in Canada, this won’t receive any type of play from the media because one, it’s hockey, and two, not enough people care?
With that being said, one hockey site that is giving it some nice play is MaxHockey.com. They have Ron Hainsey, a defenseman for Team USA and a member of the Atlanta Thrashers, blogging from the tournament as well as some good coverage of the game.
It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to interview an NHL prospect who played for Team USA in the World Juniors and is one of the top college hockey players for the Boston University Terriers.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to do an e-mail interview with Kevin Shattenkirk, a 19-year-old defenseman who was selected 14th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Shattenkirk is one of the club’s top prospects who skates extremely well and knows how to move the puck.
Hopefully, the Avalanche will get to see Shattenkirk up close in the near future. Enjoy: