Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Memo to USA Hockey

If you're going to take away all of Michigan's best players year-after-year, effectively screwing any chance they have at winning a GLI, at least come home with a gold medal when you're the odds-on favorite. At least make the Championship Game.

The Americans fell 5-1 to the Russians last night, and will now take on the Finnish team in the bronze-medal game. The Russians scored 4 goals in the third period after entering the 3rd period up 1-0. The American players will return in time for Michigan's game against UAF. Cogliano we're not sure about at the moment. I'm sure glad we got pooped on against CC for that.

In the meantime, Jack Johnson continued to work on becoming the most hated man in hockey--and at the same time, my favorite player in the world--by elbowing Canadian scum after Canada's empty net goal put away the Americans. MGoBlog has more on the incident. My view of it was that Jack barely got him. Granted if it's an elbow to the head, "barely got him" could still be not fun (and I didn't see if the kid conked his head on the ice or anything).

The incident led--in part--to this: A preview of the USA/Czech quarterfinal game on the IIHF website. No link, as it was sent to me in an email and I don't feel like finding it. Can you tell a Canadian wrote it?

By Greg Alexis

USA: When the tournament started, most people predicted Team USA would
finish first in Group A and receive a bye into the semi-finals. But
after a surprising 2-2 draw with Switzerland and a 3-2 loss to Canada in
the Round Robin, the USA finds itself in a tough quarter-final duel with
the Czech Republic. The Americans will be under immense pressure to beat
the Czechs and advance to play the Russians in a January 3 semi-final.
In goal, Cory Schneider will most likely get the start, as he has played
most of the key games so far for the Americans. In three starts, he has
a win, a loss, and a tie, and sports a respectable .911 save percentage
and 2.01 GAA. Up front, Phil Kessel leads the team in scoring with eight
assists but has still yet to score a goal in the tournament, while Chris
Bourque has six goals in four games (five of those, however, came
against Norway). Although the Americans (tied with Russia for the
tournament lead in goals at 21) may have the edge offensively over the
Czechs, they will need to play a solid defensive game to reach the
semis, and refrain from unnecessary cheap shots like the one Jack
Johnson laid on Steve Downie at the end of the New Year's Eve clash
with Canada. Incidentally, apart from the contributions of Jack and the
other Johnson, Erik, the USA blueliners have done little to spark the
offense, with all other notching one point or less through four games.
If the Americans lose in the quarter-finals, a lot of questions will be
asked about how a team that had so much promise couldn't put all the
pieces together to achieve a championship.

Nice, unbiased writing there.


Packer487 said...

It really wasn't as bad as people were making it out to be. From hearing the talk about it, you'd swear Jack went Gary Suter on Downie's Paul Kariya. He kind of just got him with a glancing blow to the side of the head. At least that's what the one angle I saw looked like.

And if you need one other thing to convince you that people blew it out of proportion...Don Cherry, DON CHERRY, didn't go ballistic when he saw it.

Anonymous said...

Did you know Jack Johnson made the all tourney team, the ONLY USA player?