The United States Men’s Olympic Team squandered a great opportunity to bring home Gold to America. A roster that was made up of Star Players including Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessell, Jonathan Quick, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, Blake Wheeler, Zach Parise, Ryan Callahan, James Van Riemsdyk, Paul Stastny, and Dustin Brown could not even win the Bronze Medal. After starting off 4-0 through the Quarterfinals, Team USA was shutout in back to back games losing 1-0 to Canada and then losing to Finland 5-0 in the Medal Round, costing them a Bronze Medal. After outscoring their opponents 20-6 through the Quarterfinals, they were outscored 6-0 when the games counted the most.
Of course, it is easy to play monday morning quarterback when analyzing the results of the tournament. I am sure that Hockey experts throughout the hockey community are placing blame on many facets. There were many great memories during the tournament, the biggest being T.J. Oshie and his four goals in the Shootout Round to beat Russia 3-2. However, it was very dissapointing to see them shutout in back to back games to lose out on a medal. And it would be easy to say that the other teams just wanted to win more. But, I don’t feel that is the case. Unfortunately, I think this collapse was more due to the lack of firepower on the roster. Don’t get me wrong, the US had some top scorers in Patrick Kane and Phil Kessell. But at the end of the line, it seems like this team may have been built too much defensive minded.
Players like Brooks Orpik, David Backes, Paul Martin, and Derek Stepan, and Ryan Macdonagh (all great players in their own right) were chose for the roster over others such as Bobby Ryan and Keith Yandel, and even the veteran Jack Johnson. I can understand going with a younger roster with Cam Fowler and Justin Faulk, however it is a travesty that Bobby Ryan was left off the roster. Also left off the roster were two players with over 40 Points in Jason Pominville and Kyle Okposo. In my opinion, the US lacked enough firepower to keep up with Team Canada and Team Finland. Meanwhile, Team Canada boasts a roster of Sidney Crosby, Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos and the list goes on. If it was not for Jonathan Quick, the US would have not even sniffed the medal round. And once the US lost to Canada, it was like the wind was let out of their sails. And then after a strong First Period against Finland, which ended with no score, two goals in eleven seconds did the trick. The United States could not even muster one goal. Not one goal.
So the United States comes home with no medal. In 2010, they took Canada to overtime and earned the Silver. It really is ashamed because they started out so hot. And after the huge win against Russia, in front of the Russian fans and their leader Putin as they watched in vain. So here we are, Canada has won the Gold and Sweeden the Silver and Finland the Bronze. The US however has to wait another four years to try and catch magic in a puck. Maybe next time the Goalie will stand on his head during all six games. Jonathan Quick had a tremendous tournament, the last game notwithstanding. Also, Patrick Kane missed two penalty shots by inches and the final game could have been different. It is what it is. Now all of these players come home to the NHL as we enter the home stretch towards Lord Stanley’s Tournament. Better luck next time.