USA 5 – Canada 1: Anatomy of an Implosion

Jonathan Willis
January 03 2013 06:32AM

Canada suffered an awful defeat in the semifinals on Thursday morning to eliminate them from contention for the gold medal. What happened?

Put simply, Canada was out-played. By my count, the scoring chances were 36-22 in favour of the Americans, who were full value for their victory. This wasn’t a loss to be hung on any individual; it was a total team collapse in the face of a very, very good American team.

Passing Thoughts

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. There are two different ways to judge Ryan Nugent-Hopkins performance. The first is simply to look at his contributions as one would any other player, and by that score Nugent-Hopkins fares well. The first line came close to holding its own in scoring chances (+6/-7 on the game) and Nugent-Hopkins had some memorable moments: a great shot early in the second, a post in the third and a couple of smart plays on the power play, including a sublime pass from behind the net and a ton of patience before taking a shot from low in the right circle. He also blocked multiple shots. The lone negatives were a slashing call after a shift that stretched longer than three minutes (seriously) and the world’s slowest skate to the bench for a change which contributed to the fifth American goal. For any other player, this would have been a fairly good game.

The other way to judge him is as the captain and best player on a great team – the guy who needs to get things done when nobody else can. By that score, Nugent-Hopkins falls well short of other great players in Canadian history. I don’t see that as a completely fair way to judge the individual, but like it or not Nugent-Hopkins failed to live up to the memory of his best predecessors – guys like Jordan Eberle – in a crucial game. From my perspective, that’s because asking anyone to live up to those examples is a tall order.

The middle six. This game was lost by Canada’s second and third lines. The second line was content to trade chances and got burned as a result; they generated only five scoring chances for versus 11 against at even-strength. The third line was worse: after a disastrous first period where they seemingly had no idea what to do in the defensive zone, they finished the game with just two scoring chances for versus 10 against. It’s hard for any team to win when the middle two lines go +7/-21 on the game.

Malcolm Subban. Subban will take much of the blame for this defeat, and he was outplayed by Jordan Binnington (who replaced him after the fourth goal) but it really wasn’t his fault. On the first goal, both members of Canada’s top defence pairing got sucked to the boards, and then Scott Harrington fell over trying to get back to the net. Brett Ritchie was in position to cover but bizarrely left the front of the net; at that point it was over as Subban managed to hold the line with an American alone in front but couldn’t stop Jake McCabe’s eventual goal. The second goal against featured the entire Canadian lineup clustering aimlessly in front of the net, completely abandoning the points and doing nothing but providing a screen for the Americans; the third goal was a text book example of both a bad change and how not to play a 1-on-1 (courtesy Ryan Murphy). The fourth goal saw Xavier Ouellet repeat the Murphy lesson. It wasn’t Subban’s fault: he wasn’t nearly good enough but he doesn’t deserve to take the blame for team-wide incompetence.

Special teams. Canada was remarkably good on the penalty kill – where guys like Boone Jenner and Philip Danault played very well, in sharp contrast to their even-strength struggles. Ty Rattie scored a shorthanded goal, too (more on that in a moment). The power play was less effective – they generated some chances, but not as many as they should have given the talent on the team.

The Ty Rattie goal. The refereeing was surprisingly good early in the game, but came apart in the third. The Rattie goal is a superlative example of incompetent officiating. Rattie hit the crossbar on a great shot, and then collected the rebound off the iron. At this point a whistle was blown for reasons that remain incomprehensible (the official had not signaled for a goal on the shot off the crossbar, which would have been an error but at least understandable). Rattie scored on his next shot. At this point the officials decided it was a good goal despite having blown the play dead. It was a bizarre goal – Ray Ferraro described it as one of the most random he’d ever seen – and the only consolation was that it turned out to be meaningless.

Dirty Canadians. The Canadian entry did their best to back up Nail Yakupov’s controversial assertion that they play well past the line. Both Mark Scheifele and Philip Danault took blatant kneeing penalties, sticking their legs out for the hits. It’s hard to understand why they would choose to make such plays, but they did.

That’s how I saw the game; I’m looking forward to other takes in the comments.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Where's Your Towel
January 03 2013, 10:08AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Hockey is stupidly expensive compared to soccer or baseball or basketball. We know the solution don't we? Tax incentives to parents who enroll their children in hockey, and a subsidy by the Government on all hockey related equitment, because every single Canadian loves hockey, and wants to play hockey, and being from Canada we are all just genetically in love with hockey.

This is sarcasm, not every single Canadian loves hockey.

Hockey subsidies would still make more sense than tobacco farm subsidies.

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#2 Archaeologuy
January 03 2013, 08:12AM
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It's not all Malcolm Subban. Heck, not even sure you can blame Subban for playing like Subban this whole tournament. He has been this bad since selection camp. He was the 3rd best goalie there and the 2nd best playing for Canada in Ufa.

Really, I'm more disappointed in Hockey Canada for not figuring out how to choose a Goaltender that can stop pucks.

Surely the blame for this lies with the subpar coach that couldnt see the obvious.

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#3 David S
January 03 2013, 02:37PM
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This loss clearly came down to three things:

(a) Horcoff's ridiculous salary

(b) Eberle's unsustainable shooting percentage

(c) Khabibulin

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#4 Rocknrolla
January 03 2013, 05:50PM
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What a let down...

My take is that these guys are young players and couldnt regain composure until the 3rd period. Just lack of experience, young kids...But great lessons here for them.

The funny thing is with a bit of puck luck, better PP, and the USA goalie not standing on his head, we could have had 4 goals easy by the 3rd and had this thing tied.

The USA player pushing off the net should have been called, but then we got the free goal so it evens out.

I think a lot goes to the coach here. it was his job to take that time out, calm the team down. Bench the kids with nerves, and steady the boat. Drouin and McKinnon should have played together all tourney, as well as Binnington should have played a couple of the round robins, and Subban on a shorter leash.

The biggest thing for me is how will this affect RNH. I think in the end it will be a great learning experience. He did not put the team on his shoulders and "Eberle" us into OT, but I think he will learn to be a better leader because of it...Glad he got to go, and am rooting for him to come back Saturday and have a huge game and win us a bronze. Being the #1 go to guy, with all that pressure, and not coming through will affect him...heres to hoping its for the better.

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#5 geoilersgist
January 03 2013, 07:59AM
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there is a twitter share button now!!! It is going to be a good year.

I'm disappointed to wake up and find out that Canadians imploded. Thanks for the analysis JW.

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#6 They're $hittie
January 03 2013, 09:07AM
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TIME TO AIR SOME GRIEVANCES

1. The refs embarrassed themselves. Missing the net push off and allowing the Canadian goal

2. After todays game I am now more convinced how terrible Schiefile is. His production was a complete byproduct of playing with RNH. When it comes to a higher level such as the junoirs he does not elevate to what a 7th overall ahead of Couturier pick should be.

3. RNH is not as mature as everyone thinks. Untimely retaliatory penalties. Should not have been captain.

4. Ryan Murphy is terrible. No more sympathy selections. Rush up the ice, cut to the right side, take a low percentage shot and get caught up ice

5. Riely was ok. I think he is over rated. His shots get blocked and he turns over the pock too much. Better than murphy not as good as Trouba

6. The coaching was horrendous. We are the dominant team. Start a scoring line. Why chase around there lines. We have the depth. Make them chase us. Than the whole first period only the top two lines were in the offensive zone. Yet the third and fourth lines were on the ice more. After that Nuge line gets stuck out and he takes a dumb penalty. Now the team is behind badly and we need to score so there is no accountability for this shift. The top two lines are now tired.

7. Next the lines. When you are down and things aren't working you have to reset and try again. Why did it take until the third period for huberdeau to be put back on the top line.

8. Finally the selection. Yes skill is good. But this is a tourney dominated by older players. Ifyou think Drouin or Mackinnon are going to be better than Strome that is fine. But look at the outcome of this tourney. Strome was Canadas second best player. He is an overager. In a lock out year underagers should not be playing. Now I get it that these two are great, but what did they do. Drouin managed a decent tourney because of the line he was on. Next, We managed to get a lot of suspensions. Why not take Wilson instead of Lipon. At least he would have intimidated better.

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#7 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2013, 09:28AM
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The Rant

Really, Subban is only a small part of the greater issue which is hockey Canada and there own arrogance.

The coaching was horrendous from the onset of selection camp right up to the per-season games.

Canada was clearly out coached, and when it got bad, the coaching staff failed to react until it was too late.

Which brings us to the scouting staff.........................I'm sure I don't need to say anymore.

Politics, Eastern bias, and really bad internal decisions let the team down.

A lot has been made about McKinnon, but to me there is no way in hell he was a better choice then Monahan or Shinkaruk, the team needed more muscle and that was obvious from the selection camp.

what would have happened if the lockout line was playing in the NHL? That got me thinking, it's possible team Canada doesn't even make it to the medal round.

They say there are more kids dropping out of hockey then there are kids replacing the ones that drop out.

There are more kids playing soccer in Canada then hockey.

There is almost twice as many kids playing USA hockey then in Canada.

This whole thing is becoming a systemic issue, hockey has become unrealistic for far to many kids who want to play but can't because hockey, hockey camps, and extra development, even to play REP hockey is insanely expensive.

For every Eberle, Hall or Hopkins there is a two or three kids who just quit cause the parents can't afford it anymore.

It's only a matter of time before USA takes over hockey from Canada.

Subban is far from the real problem

sorry about going off. #frustratedfan

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#8 JMC88
January 03 2013, 11:21AM
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Jonathan- I'm as big a fan as any of RNH, but I think you were a bit easy on your assessment of him. I would side with your second assessment of him and say that as team captain, one of the older players, and the player with the most NHL experience on the team, he should have led by example and played a lot harder than he did, especially when Canada fell behind early in the game. I think of players like B. Schenn, Toews, Eberle, Tavares, and Crosby who all became WJC legends because of their performance. RNH had the same opportunity, but didn't take it.

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#9 Sanaa Montana
January 03 2013, 01:32PM
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Subban's goaltending is like Willis articles, so so, with a lot of question marks.

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#10 GVBlackhawk
January 03 2013, 01:46PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

I put most of this loss and the play of Canada in general this tournament on the coach. It seems to me that Spott spent more time on trivial mind games such as the cape (my god, can you imagine the embarrassment of a grown man wearing that in front of cameras), or coming up with some bizarre manta "the reason"...I still cant figure that one out, and then perhaps the worst of all was not utilizing a very light early schedule and splitting games between the goalies, creating maybe a competitive edge, or even just an opportunity.

It can be argued that against fair competition Canada did not overwhelm anyone, in fact take the German game out of the equation and they were borderline and perhaps even lucky in all 3 of the previous wins. As far as the players, I agree with the posters commenting on Murphy, Scheifele and Huberdeau. I also agree RNH is not captain material, Boone Jenner might have been the best choice, someone who would have stepped up physically on the ice when needed.

I will say one thing, with the top 10 consensus prospects playing in this tournament, I think its pretty safe to say Mackinnon no longer bears the comparison to Crosby. In fact, with Drouin shining as he did, there may be some merit that that Mackinnon is getting some benefit numbers wise playing with Drouin, not vice versa. I really dont see him as a number one pick, and while Seth Jones didnt shine so much, he played fairly well, and has tools that make GMs drool. I wouldnt be surprised to see a team take a flyer and pick Barkov or Drouin no 1 at the draft this year.

I don't think this tournament will have much bearing on draft day. There are many reasons why a certain player can have a good or bad tournament. It does not translate into a successful or failed career in the NHL.

Tournament of small sample sizes.

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#11 admiralmark
January 03 2013, 01:58PM
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I blame Prendergast.

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#12 bassguy
January 03 2013, 06:50PM
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Hi..first time on the nation..really enjoy everyones comments etc..I remember, I think it was 1976..I was visiting regina and my brother and I were all set to watch edmonton eskimos play montreal in the (what turned out to be)famous "ice bowl"...big breakfast, the fridge stacked with cold beer, I think we were even smoking in the house, imagine that!..anyways, we kept hoping that the esks could turn it around but it was a total domination of montreal, who, I guess had staples in the shoes to get traction..who knew...I stayed up with one of my sons last night and watched the 1st and 2nd period and I had that same feeling I had years ago?...this isn't going to get any better!..but, what I want to say is all these kids have played so great..it was so much fun to see some hockey again..I think RNH will be great from this experience..we can hash all we want about the problems with Canada's approach and performance..and,... edmonton went from that experience to be arguably, the best football team to ever play in the cfl...thanks

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#13 Czar
January 03 2013, 09:55PM
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@The Soup Fascist

*** Not to be confused with the "Maggot" line of Burrows - Sedin - Sedin

Awesome dude!

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#14 David S
January 04 2013, 12:43AM
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Czar wrote:

Brent Sutter will bring home the gold next year.

Brent Sutter will insist on the most stacked team possible consisting of the absolute cream of the crop this country can produce, rather than the "role players" we went for this time. And he'll play the nuts off of guys like the NUUUUGE before the game gets out of hand.

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#16 heavyoilcountry
January 03 2013, 06:54AM
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What I saw: A Team Canadaesque performance by the other team playing Canada. Didn't like a majority of the coaching decisions made which ultimately lost the game for us. Brent Sutter needs to be a mainstay & why there's a revolving door of coaches for this team remains a mystery to me

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#17 Johe
January 03 2013, 08:23AM
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Really? Blaming the goalie? That would suggest that Canada actually deserved to be in this game. They didn't. And correct me if I'm wrong, but Subban was the main reason Canada beat US in the round robin, so...

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#18 The Soup Fascist
January 03 2013, 08:32AM
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I know he has been a bit of a whipping boy, save the game against the Russians .... but Ryan Murphy will make M.A. Bergeron look like a shutdown specialist if / when he plays in the NHL. The kid is a fantastic skater but he has all the defensive instinct of France in WWII.

He looked terrible defensively on several occasions and was a key "contributor" on at least a couple of G.A. that I saw. But the fault is not with him. It should be the with the coach who pushed him out time after time, early in the game. I get when you are down by 4 you need to roll the dice, but early on he should be stapled to the bench until there are PP opportunities (IMO).

If I am out to lunch, I will blame my comments on sleep deprivation.

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#19 Archaeologuy
January 03 2013, 08:34AM
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@Johe

Subban had brutal rebound control in all but 1 game. He let in 3 against Germany and 3 against Slovakia. Not exactly a stellar campaign by the guy. By checking out the highlights it was also easy to tell that the Americans had their scouting report spot on too. He goes down way too early and opens up the top of the net.

Bad goaltending.

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#20 The Soup Fascist
January 03 2013, 08:37AM
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Johe wrote:

Really? Blaming the goalie? That would suggest that Canada actually deserved to be in this game. They didn't. And correct me if I'm wrong, but Subban was the main reason Canada beat US in the round robin, so...

I agree, he was not the sole reason for the loss. However the second I see a goalie throw up his arms and shake his head, showing up his D-men, I am pulling him quicker than Mike Keenan.

Subban's body language was atrocious after the 2nd goal and it seemed clear he had checked out. The last two goals were poor IMO. Gibson, however was fantastic.

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#21 jeremywilhelm
January 03 2013, 08:49AM
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Great stuff JW,

I don't blame Subban, I blame the coaches who left better goalies off the roster. Subban was passable, that is all.

Maybe making RNH the captain by virtue of him being an NHLer might have been a bit of a stretch for the coaching staff?

Scheifle is such a dirty little puke, diving and kneeing at every chance that I couldn't even bring myself to cheer for team Canada this game. I cannot stand putting someone of that quality on the team when there are many others who could have rode RNH's coattails without embarrassing Canada.

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#22 Johe
January 03 2013, 08:50AM
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@Archaeologuy

Don't get me wrong, Subban was not great today. But putting the blame squarely on him is the easy way out. The US was just way better from top to bottom. I mean, 36 to 22 scoring chances is pretty self-explanatory. That's not all on the goalie.

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#23 Archaeologuy
January 03 2013, 09:01AM
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@Johe

Cant argue that. The better team won.

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#24 Jprime
January 03 2013, 09:04AM
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@Johe

Yeah but the offense bailed him out against the Slovaks. He was also let in a couple of weak goals against the Germans. I'm not pinning the loss on the goalie because team Canada hasn't had a goalie out shine the team in a very long time; like a Manny Legace or even the more recent Justin Pogge.

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#25 They're $hittie
January 03 2013, 09:17AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

It's not all Malcolm Subban. Heck, not even sure you can blame Subban for playing like Subban this whole tournament. He has been this bad since selection camp. He was the 3rd best goalie there and the 2nd best playing for Canada in Ufa.

Really, I'm more disappointed in Hockey Canada for not figuring out how to choose a Goaltender that can stop pucks.

Surely the blame for this lies with the subpar coach that couldnt see the obvious.

Arch, totally agree. Why was there a selection camp for goalies. They had there pick and were not going to change there mind.

Subban didn't earn the spot. Also he didn't play that bad. But his play did not jump out as to not give Binnington one of the first tow games.

It was his job to lose, and other than one maybe two games he should have lost it. Hockey Canada had there heads so far up their asses with this one. How much more does one need to be outplayed to lose the job.

On note of that, not to say Subban could have stopped the two non screens. But doing so is stepping up and what keeps us in the games. Ask Strome how good Gibson was. Also, do we not scout Miller and Gudreau. They got two moves. One is cherry pick and the other is the ovechkin slide in toe drag and shout.

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#26 Taylor Gang
January 03 2013, 09:42AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The Rant

Really, Subban is only a small part of the greater issue which is hockey Canada and there own arrogance.

The coaching was horrendous from the onset of selection camp right up to the per-season games.

Canada was clearly out coached, and when it got bad, the coaching staff failed to react until it was too late.

Which brings us to the scouting staff.........................I'm sure I don't need to say anymore.

Politics, Eastern bias, and really bad internal decisions let the team down.

A lot has been made about McKinnon, but to me there is no way in hell he was a better choice then Monahan or Shinkaruk, the team needed more muscle and that was obvious from the selection camp.

what would have happened if the lockout line was playing in the NHL? That got me thinking, it's possible team Canada doesn't even make it to the medal round.

They say there are more kids dropping out of hockey then there are kids replacing the ones that drop out.

There are more kids playing soccer in Canada then hockey.

There is almost twice as many kids playing USA hockey then in Canada.

This whole thing is becoming a systemic issue, hockey has become unrealistic for far to many kids who want to play but can't because hockey, hockey camps, and extra development, even to play REP hockey is insanely expensive.

For every Eberle, Hall or Hopkins there is a two or three kids who just quit cause the parents can't afford it anymore.

It's only a matter of time before USA takes over hockey from Canada.

Subban is far from the real problem

sorry about going off. #frustratedfan

Yeah... The US has about 10 times the population of Canada... Hardly surprising that twice as many kids play hockey in the States

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#27 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2013, 09:43AM
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@Taylor Gang

Explain Sweden.

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#28 Time Travelling Sean
January 03 2013, 09:54AM
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Hockey is stupidly expensive compared to soccer or baseball or basketball. We know the solution don't we? Tax incentives to parents who enroll their children in hockey, and a subsidy by the Government on all hockey related equitment, because every single Canadian loves hockey, and wants to play hockey, and being from Canada we are all just genetically in love with hockey.

This is sarcasm, not every single Canadian loves hockey.

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#29 VK63
January 03 2013, 10:08AM
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The better team won.

Im fine with it.

Further to that, in my dealings with the upper echelons of Hockey Canada..... embarrassing losses look good on them.

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#30 I tried it at home
January 03 2013, 10:27AM
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BWAAA HA HA HA HA HA. I didnt watch a single minute of a single game of, lets face it, kids hockey, and I still managed to win almost 600 bucks in bets with over-anxious homers on that one game. And they gave me odds. Hee hee. Ok, Canada lost a youth tournament. Whoopee. Cue the teeth gnashing and scapegoating. Am I the only one who thinks these things are way way wayyyy over blown? Play for fun kids, youve got the rest of your lives to give yourself migraines and stress.

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#31 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 03 2013, 10:51AM
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Watched the game and it was not Subban's fault although I didn't like his reactions after the goals. Watching the first five minutes I knew they were going to lose. Canada had no jump, didn't finish their checks and the defence men were terrible with their positioning and breakouts. I thought RNH was ok but he drives me crazy when he doesn't skate without the puck. Have to put this one on the coaches for not getting the team ready and lighting a fire under them. I don't know maybe call a timeout after you are down 2 - 0 and getting totally outplayed.

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#32 dessert1111
January 03 2013, 10:52AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I know he has been a bit of a whipping boy, save the game against the Russians .... but Ryan Murphy will make M.A. Bergeron look like a shutdown specialist if / when he plays in the NHL. The kid is a fantastic skater but he has all the defensive instinct of France in WWII.

He looked terrible defensively on several occasions and was a key "contributor" on at least a couple of G.A. that I saw. But the fault is not with him. It should be the with the coach who pushed him out time after time, early in the game. I get when you are down by 4 you need to roll the dice, but early on he should be stapled to the bench until there are PP opportunities (IMO).

If I am out to lunch, I will blame my comments on sleep deprivation.

I've seen Murphy live a few times and have come away with the impression that he is a great skater and good on the powerplay. He is not a good defenseman yet, who knows if he ever will be.

I also really don't like Huberdeau or Scheifele. At least from this point on I'll never have to cheer for either again.

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#33 OILERSORDEATH
January 03 2013, 11:05AM
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Hell yeah its insainly expensive!! Especially here in Washington! I pay(for Beer League) 330$ for 12 games plus playoffs. And for my son who plays PeeWee's I pay $225 a frackin month!!

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#34 Eastern Oil
January 03 2013, 11:13AM
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@ The Soup Fascist: The kid is a fantastic skater but he has all the defensive instinct of France in WWII.

*slow clap*

A WWII reference in a hockey forum. I never thought my passion for history and hockey would collide.

I must attempt it myself... If Ryan Murphy is the WWII France of hockey, does that mean Cam Barker is the Maginot Line (always being walked around)?

Sorry, I'll leave now...

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#35 Kent Wilson
January 03 2013, 11:32AM
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I echo the thoughts re: Ryan Murphy. Kid has great tools in terms of mobility and puck handling, but man his toolbox is limited. At least based on his performance in this tournament.

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#36 jeremywilhelm
January 03 2013, 11:47AM
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@JMC88

Crosby? didn't he only play in one WJC and barely put up PPG? I wouldn't call him a legend in that regard.

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#37 JMC88
January 03 2013, 12:17PM
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Ok, I might be mistaken about Crosby. I was trying to find out how he did in the WJC. I guess he didn't have as big an impact in the 2005 WJC as I thought. I think Bergeron and Jeff Carter were the players in 2005 who really stepped up (on a really good team).

Anyways, RNH had a decent tournament, but I would have liked to have seen more. On the one hand, you can say that he hadn't played with this team much before the tournament and therefore, it would have been hard to expect much more. But, given his experience and his own desire to be on the team (to his credit), I think his performance fell short of expectations.

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#38 Oilers21
January 03 2013, 12:35PM
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@JMC88

Maybe the Nuge's vocal leadership and rah-rah attitude will develop over time, but to me it's hard to be disappointed because he played exactly the way we can expect him to play. Great vision, an underrated shot, excellent passing, and will block the occasional shot. What we probably won't ever see is the Nuge charging around dishing out thunderous hits and trying to pump up the team that way. And to be fair, maybe his insanely long shift was his way of trying to put the team on his back and be "the guy".

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#39 etownman
January 03 2013, 12:43PM
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The better team 'today' won! Canadian players looked like they had no game plan or certainly didn't follow it! Did not like the goaltending all tournament long & it certainly is not good enough to win on its own! RNH was excellent all tournament long but tried to do to much as the game wore on! Win the next one boys!

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#40 iccemaan
January 03 2013, 12:45PM
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JMC88 wrote:

Jonathan- I'm as big a fan as any of RNH, but I think you were a bit easy on your assessment of him. I would side with your second assessment of him and say that as team captain, one of the older players, and the player with the most NHL experience on the team, he should have led by example and played a lot harder than he did, especially when Canada fell behind early in the game. I think of players like B. Schenn, Toews, Eberle, Tavares, and Crosby who all became WJC legends because of their performance. RNH had the same opportunity, but didn't take it.

What was his Ice time in the US game? I would say he played exactly as he should have, best player in the tourney however why the coaches weren't rolling three lines, all of with RNH on them boggles me. You have to give your best talent the ice time, however if he lead in ice time in the US game my point is somewhat moot but with so few games you play your best ALL the time, no need to always roll 4 lines.

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#41 Old Soldier
January 03 2013, 12:47PM
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I put most of this loss and the play of Canada in general this tournament on the coach. It seems to me that Spott spent more time on trivial mind games such as the cape (my god, can you imagine the embarrassment of a grown man wearing that in front of cameras), or coming up with some bizarre manta "the reason"...I still cant figure that one out, and then perhaps the worst of all was not utilizing a very light early schedule and splitting games between the goalies, creating maybe a competitive edge, or even just an opportunity.

It can be argued that against fair competition Canada did not overwhelm anyone, in fact take the German game out of the equation and they were borderline and perhaps even lucky in all 3 of the previous wins. As far as the players, I agree with the posters commenting on Murphy, Scheifele and Huberdeau. I also agree RNH is not captain material, Boone Jenner might have been the best choice, someone who would have stepped up physically on the ice when needed.

I will say one thing, with the top 10 consensus prospects playing in this tournament, I think its pretty safe to say Mackinnon no longer bears the comparison to Crosby. In fact, with Drouin shining as he did, there may be some merit that that Mackinnon is getting some benefit numbers wise playing with Drouin, not vice versa. I really dont see him as a number one pick, and while Seth Jones didnt shine so much, he played fairly well, and has tools that make GMs drool. I wouldnt be surprised to see a team take a flyer and pick Barkov or Drouin no 1 at the draft this year.

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#42 OilersBrass
January 03 2013, 12:58PM
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My god, the expectations and pressure that are put on these kids is ridiculous. It's no wonder they choked so bad, there's so many people expecting them to win gold in this tournament every year. Then when they don't win everyone starts bashing them, I don't get it?

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#43 GVBlackhawk
January 03 2013, 01:38PM
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I want to know why Canada didn't win when, clearly, they had the best depth at center?

Oh right, because defense and goaltending is more crucial to winning than center depth.

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#44 They're $hittie
January 03 2013, 01:38PM
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@Old Soldier

MacKinnon vs Jones vs Drouin

Jones - number two defensemen playing a lot with the tourneys best dman in Trouba, This helped him play well. Though under age did not play to the level of a number 1 draft pick, especially with his so called elite proger potential.

McKinnon - Due to numbers, team depth and a specific skill set Mckinnon was the 13th forward. Ice time and Quality of team mates, as well as cherry opponents where not available to him as the other two. Bigger ice surface at his young age effected his game

Drouin - Definitely in Consideration and if columbus has the chance to take him they will do so over Barkov. Now before every one declares him number one. He other than Schiefele arguable had the highest quality of linemates. His skill set was highly complemented by RNHs vision and passing ability. If this tourney was in North America and Mckinnon was given equal chance to play on that line it could be a different story.

Mckinnon is still going to go number one baring a grigorenko type playoffs. Jones Drouin and Barkov will go in the top four, just depends on the team.

Center as a third or fourth line spot is much more difficult to stand out than a first line winger playing with the best player in the tournament. Oh and the NHL is not played on the larger ice surface.

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#45 GVBlackhawk
January 03 2013, 01:41PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Subban's goaltending is like Willis articles, so so, with a lot of question marks.

So I guess that makes you the Ryan Murphy of commenting on this blog site?

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#46 They're $hittie
January 03 2013, 01:45PM
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Subban didn't lose the game. Subban never stepped up and gave us a chance to win the game either. That said, when there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY for your play you don't play as well as you can.

Team Canada's motto this year.... NO ACCOUNTABILITY

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#47 Sanaa Montana
January 03 2013, 01:46PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

So I guess that makes you the Ryan Murphy of commenting on this blog site?

I'm the Tatar son of Jacob and I am not available for questions.

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#48 FastOil
January 03 2013, 01:49PM
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RNH was the best player on the team, but he's not dominant enough to have overcome hockey canada's inbred, arrogant demonstration of how to fail with style, despite having more great players to choose from than all of the other countries combined.

It seems there's more to knowing good hockey than eating free steaks and getting pissed with you're tiny circle of recycled "hockey experts".

RNH did pretty well by the counting numbers available, but given he has a year of NHL under his belt that was to be expected - I was hoping for a more dominant showing.

RNH is a supremely gifted player no doubt. My concern as an Oiler fan is that he seems to be another complimentary one dimensional style of player. Piled on the points in the easy games, far less productive against stiff opposition despite having a lot of advantage in this context. Concerning given the Oilers make up right now and lack of options at centre under 30.

I feel that some beliefs of those "in the know" were exposed in this tournament:

- "Offensive D" are necessary.

Just because the Kings have Doughty and for the Oilers because they once had Coffey, doesn't mean every team should try to have an offensive puck rushing D. There just aren't many guys who can play like that and not be too much of a liability. HC doubles down this go round with Reilly and Murphy.

Just being good at retrieving the puck and doing something smart with it seems to generate points for guys like Lidstrom, the Rake, etc. Fingers crossed for Schultz Jr. that he plays like Nedermeyer and not MAB at the NHL level.

-"Checking lines" at a short tournament.

Grinders over talent? Somewhere along the way the fact that on a team with 12 great forwards, someone had to do the dirty work of focusing on shutting down the other team's best line as a priority (as opposed to focusing on offense) became confused with selecting grinders for the team.

Of course take good 2 way players if they are available, as in Monahan over Jenner. And if you are going to use an offensive player in a shutdown role, don't select a "rookie" to do that. You give the gifted rookie the easy offensive minutes and the older guys take one for the team by doing the dirty work.

It's one thing to lose a hard fought game against a strong opponent. For me this kind of private country club cluster f*** leaves a bad taste.

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#49 Dave
January 03 2013, 01:59PM
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I wouldn't mind seeing your thoughts on Steve Spott in this one as well. I felt like he came around to a few obvious decisions (pairing MacKinnon and Drouin) a little late. He can hardly be blamed for the result in this game but I didn't see him addressing many problems until it was too late, and that goes for the entire tournament.

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#50 CaptainLander
January 03 2013, 02:06PM
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So if Canada wins the Bronze and the States loose to Sweden...Canada finishes with a 5-1 record for Bronze and the states win silver with a 3-3 record. Why I hate knock out tourneys.

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