The USA Hockey Blog 1 – USA Defeats Slovakia, Game Takeaways and Three Stars

Snow day, no work, and I get to watch USA go full out slaughter mode on Slovakia. Great fucking day. It’s only game one and the chemistry between every line is already off-the-charts, it looks like these guys have been playing together all year. Carlson’s goal put the hammer down on the Slovs. It was all over after that. It lit the fire and set the tone for the rest of the game. This game could have been 10-1 if we didn’t show mercy in the third by playing a 20 minute game of Olympic keep-way. Classy move right there. Let’s kick their asses but let them keep their dignity. I like that.

John Carlson goal

Let’s break down the game:

We’re deeper than deep and fast as fuck – Every line dominated and USA’s speed isn’t even fair. We are easily the fastest team in the tournament. Burners for days. And like I said, I can’t believe the day one chemistry. Unreal.

Kessel, JVR and Pavelski might be the best line in the tournament –  Kessel and JVR already have great chemistry from playing together all season for Toronto and Pavelski is the perfect addition. The three we on fire all game. Kessel with a goal and two assists and JVR with two assists. Pavelski didn’t get any love on the score sheet but that doesn’t mean he didn’t play a great game. He complimented his line mates with strong play in the middle, hard back-checking, faceoff wins, and created plays for other players to build on. All of that is so important but doesn’t look sexy on the scorecard. Can’t say for sure which line is best since they’re all so good, but I got a good feeling about these three.

Bylsma might sit Quick next game – For those who’s saw the post-game session with Bylsma, you heard him talk a little shit about Quick’s play. Bylsma basically said that Quick showed up for the few shots that he did face but got lucky on a lot of shots that missed the net and hit the post. He just wasn’t impressed with what he saw from Quick. When asked if he had a set starter for their next game against Russia he said that he couldn’t answer that question right now.

Okay Baylsma, I get that Quick didn’t see much action but he can’t help it. USA was skating circles around the Slovs, what’s he going to do? Tell everyone to stop playing so he can get more shots and impress the coach? And how can you blame a guy for not saving shots that missed the net? There not even shots bro, they missed the net. Hence you don’t need to stop them. Get it? I wouldn’t mind a 50/50 split with Quick and Miller but not starting against Russia at home, now is not the time. Quick didn’t have his best game but he definitely got settled in the world spotlight and that’s going to help him going forward. Don’t get me wrong, I have faith if Baylsma ends up going with Miller, just not what I would do.

Brown gets the monkey off his back – Thank God my boy Dustin finally saw some twine today, he needed it. It’s good to see him putting his shit season behind him. It shows he can step up for his country and play the way we all know he can play.

Backes is a monster – No one and I mean NO ONE plays bigger than Backes. He’s a balls-out beast. He wasn’t picked as captain but that didn’t stop him from being a team leader. He adds that third element to the team. Not only are we fast and talented. We can knock your block with physical play, and Backes leads the way. Throw in Callahan, Brown and Orpik and you got yourself one hell of a bruise crew.

Three Stars

1.) Phil Kessel (1 goal, 2 assists) – My pick for USA’s Olympic points leader and I love the way he dominates Gatorade.

2.) Paul Stastny (2 goals) – I didn’t want’ Stastny on the team to be honest. But after today I’m sold. He looked good, real good. Him and Pac are feelin each other too. No homo for you Russian haters.

3.) John Carlson (1 goal, 1 assist, +3) – Good to see Carlson get some love on the world stage. He flies way under the radar in the NHL and it ain’t right. He played a hell of a game and don’t be surprised if he leads the way on defense throughout the tournament.

Next up, the Russians this Saturday. Could be a huge statement win for the USA. Get pumped. Check out SportsInteraction’s Olympic hockey schedule for more information!

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