Everything Else

When it comes to international competitions, there are really only three team sports anyone cares about. Basketball, hockey, and soccer. Maybe one day the World Baseball Classic will catch on, but we’ll all be either in the ground, in the wind, or not aware of our surroundings when that happens. And as a Yank, it can get dispiriting to see how the overlords of the sport in hockey and soccer run things. And it wasn’t so long ago that USA Basketball had to have an awakening, when gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships suddenly were not automatic. You wonder if such a thing would have to happen in the other sports, when the US has never been on top.

Everything Else

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

Shift Charts

Some of these aren’t so complicated. The Hawks would have won this by three or four goals, and certainly deserved to, if not for the heroics of Anders Nilsson. The Sabres quite frankly are an unfortunate hockey team, and the Hawks mauled them all over the ice. They had 20 shots in the first, and it’s not like the 23 they managed from there are bad. Sure, it took Anisimov getting a bounce with two minutes to go and get the right break in the Rugby 7’s after regulation, but it’s two points and those are always welcome when the Wild are right on your ass. If finishing first means anything, which we’ll figure out later.

The Hawks were punished for all their mistakes. Seabrook channeling last year’s version by lazily going to collect a puck and then belching it up the boards right to Foligno. Keith getting his pocket picked by Okposo. Rasmussen and Working Class Kero not getting a puck out and leaving EichelMania to get teed up. The Sabres do come with the top end talent at forward to make you pay if you fuck up against them. Just upped the degree of difficulty, and even an OT loss there would have felt like the luck was out as well as whatever else hasn’t added up during this small streak of futility. But no matter.

Let’s clean it up:

Everything Else

There isn’t much I can add to what everyone else said last night about Team USA. We basically knew this team was doomed the minute the preliminary roster was released and Justin Abdelkader was on it. We knew they were further doomed when the U-23 players wouldn’t be available, though we were suspicious that they would have been picked anyway given USA Hockey’s, and really hockey in general’s, adherence to veterans and #GRITHEARTSANDPAPERFAAAAARRRT.

Last night I spent a fair amount of time baffled at how Dean Lombardi had put together two Cup winners (though I guess it’s really one team that won twice when they’re that close together) if this is what he prioritized for Team USA. But the thing is, there was a time when Lombardi totally got it. While the Kings first Cup team was big and nasty and relied on Quick to bash their way to a parade, the 2014 team beat the Hawks at their own game. Lombardi saw what needed to be done and added Gaborik, called up Pearson and Toffoli and let them run. All of that was added to Doughty, Martinez, Voynov, and Muzzin who could really push the play. Remember the pace at which that Conference Final was played. That wasn’t neanderthal hockey. That was hockey as it should be. Where did that Dean Lombardi go?

Apparently he was lost long ago as he tried to back it up after that with the likes of Milan Lucic, Brayden McNabb, and Vinny Lecavalier. Maybe he was on drugs in 2014?

Everything Else

A day later than I had planned due to some planning snafus getting out of Montreal. Though I maintain Quebec is a weird vortex that just changes the date on your flight without you knowing so you can never leave (yes, I am Kat Stratford maintaining that boy kicked himself in the balls).

First off, let me say that I really wanted to like the World Cup. In my mind, it really did have a chance to be better than the Olympics, and if the league is willing to have it regularly for a while (correctly) it still could be with a built up reputation. This is for a couple reasons.

One, some of the reasons I am the hockey fan I am is the ’87 and ’91 Canada Cups. Ok, I barely remember ’87 but I do remember that even at six-years-old seeing Gretzky and Lemieux on the same line was a really cool thing. It was like seeing Jupiter and Saturn combine. I saw one of the of the warm-up games in ’91 at the Stadium between the US and Canada that featured a Roenick penalty shot on Belfour (saved) and the first sighting of the unholy monster that was Eric Lindros and Chris Chelios bouncing off of him like a superball. The US taking the first World Cup in ’96, with a completely loaded roster that is still kind of hard to fathom, is a cherished memory for a lot of us this age. This tournament, in whatever form, has certainly shone bright at points.

Everything Else

Wow. It has been a while since we’ve had  a game day thread for a game that actually means something, has it not? Hopefully it will not be much longer, though I do not know if most, if any, really care about all the idiots involved in the actual “professional” hockey league at this point.

And if you do not, well you came to the right place. This is our space to celebrate our teenage citizens as they battle for a gold medal after having defeated the always favorites up north. Forget all the asshats playing for more money than most of us will see fighting the even bigger twerps making more than all of us combined. This is just about kids playing for their countries and it is always a blast to watch… especially when it is for a gold medal.

Anyways, I am writing this while watching a rematch of the USA/Canada game and am somehow oddly looking forward to waking up early to watch the game tomorrow. I cannot say I have followed the tournament that closely this year thanks to the odd game time starts but I have got my coffee (and maybe a beer) ready to go for tomorrow. I will just leave this right here.

Lets Go USA