Canada becomes 2-0 and sends Americans packing in 4-2 victory.

Canada vs USA, in Toronto with a chance to go 2-0 against a long time rival, what an exciting game to be had, one may have thought. But while the fast paced hockey from both sides excited the building and the livings rooms of Canadian fans, one team came out on top by a considerable landslide and no close and exciting game was to be had.

First Period

From the outside looking in you wouldn’t think this matchup was a David vs Goliath matchup. But as the puck dropped , it was apparent how superior Canada was to the John Tortarella coached Team USA.

Looking at USA’s point of view to start this one off, getting on the board first is what they needed to do and they did just that. Ryan McDonough scored 4:22 in to the first period to give team USA the lead and gave them an edge early on. 

The early 1-0 lead sustained much needed momentum to kick things off, but it was a short lived edge. USA awoke the beast when they scored first and opened the flood gates to Canada’s attack. 

Not long after, Matt Duchene wins a net front battle against Dustin Byfgulien to tie the game up at 1-1. A mere  14 seconds later, Corey Perry scores to give Canada a 2-1 lead. 

 In the blink of an eye, It’s a whole different hockey game. The pace of the game changed within 14 seconds and Canada’s dominance stemmed from there. 

Later on, Duchene got on the board again to pot his second slick goal of the night and the meltdown begun for the Americans. 

You know something pretty crazy has to be happening to hear Carey Price chants reign from the ACC. But NHL team allegiances are put aside when countries go head to head and Canada had the place rocking in the first period.

Things started to look like they were going out of hand when Canada headed to the power play as the period neared a conclusion, but as Corey Perry went off for tripping shortly in to the power play, we saw some 4 on 4 hockey with some of the best talents in the world. How cool would this tournament be in a 4 on 4 format? 

The speedy forwards on Canada won the tough battles against USA’s size, reiterating that speed is what’s most valuable in this kind of toruannment, not the grit and Intangibles team USA staff members John Tortarealla and Brian Burke stand by. It was all Canada for the first period, pressuring USA hard in their own zone, capitalizing on odd man rushes and being defensively responsible and sound as a unit. 

Team USA goaltender Jonathan Quick had a shaky start while only recording 3 saves on the first 6 shots he faced. It’s hard to blame him or anyone in that kind of situation, Canada is simply too much to handle.

Second Period

USA had another power play opportunity when Patrice Bergeron went off the ice for delay of game. The power play could not sustain anything and even on man disadvantage Canada still found ways to disrupt USA’s attack and create scoring chances of their own. Last minute injury replacement Ryan O’Reilly brings a wealth of penalty kill experience to team Canada as one of the leagues best penalty killers. That’ll be an underrated asset down the road when Canada gets in to more meaningful games later in the tournament.

John Tavares uses some video game esque moves to set up Patrice Bergeron’s goal that put Canada up 4-1 midway through the period. 

The Americans didn’t muster up enough counter Canada’s overwhelming attack and it became apparent early on they couldn’t catch up and erase the three goal deficient. 

Third Period

The period starts out with a boarding penalty called on Max Pacioretty, putting USA at even more of a disadvantage than they already were trailing 4-1. Canada always seemed to be on the power play, even in even strength situations. The pace was controlled by them, they were winning the battles, getting to the puck first and ultimately the better team in the final period. That’s not to say work doesn’t need to be done. Canada took their foot off the glass a little and let an easy one slip past Carey Price to bring the Americans within 2 with two minutes remaining in the period. Work needs to be done and one will think Canada’s play will reach an even higher level when tested by much higher quality teams.

Some love needs to be given to Carey Price. This guy is cool as a cucumber and has left no doubt that he’s the best goalie in the game, something that some may have put in to question entering the tournament after coming off a season ending injury. Price has done everything thus far that has been asked of him and more. 

4 Thoughts

1)  Why do you need Justin Abdelkader at this tournament? Seriously. It boggles my mind how his skill set and the calibre of player he is can be valued in a tournament like this. You don’t need guys that can stir the pot and rough up the opposing teams stars in a best on best skill tournament. Let alone the fact that he was selected to USA over Phil Kessel..

2) Matt Duchene scored 2 goals in his first 2:48 of ice time, just let that sink in. 

3) Price needs to settle down on playing the puck. He prevented a clear cut icing on one occasion and generally he’s playing the puck far too often. It’s quite worrisome and risky for him to be playing the puck in some situations where Canada is under attack in their own zone.

4) The depth that Canada has is insurmountable. Even with all these stars, the team takes very short shifts, has fresh legs on all the time with the luxury of four extremely talented lines. Hard to not pin Canada the favourite to win this all. 

  • Randaman

    I’m a huge McDavid fan like many other people, especially Fellow Oiler fans.

    He will be the best player in the league some day but it looks to me like Crosby knows his throne is in jeopardy and has restaked his claim as the top dog. He’s been a beast!

    This should be fun to watch…

  • When the USA Rosters came out I thought this was a joke. This is the best? Really? No Shatenkirk? NO Tyler Johnson? No Keith Yandle? Really? You have coach Torts as the leader of this ‘Blue Collar’ team? No Kyle Okposo? I could go on…GO Team North America! Go Oilers!

    • Serious Gord

      No Kessel. No Faulk

      Weak team. Weak coaches. Stone cold goalie. Three posts.

      Game was never in doubt. But I credit hockey USA ineptitude more than anything else.

      If their national org ever gets its $hit together Canada US games could be the titanic epic hockey contests they deserve to be.

      • You get the players that are playing HOT right now. Did ya know that Kyle Okposo is a top 10 scorer the past 3 seasons? Does he have some flaws? Sure. How in the HELL do you leave off Tyler Johnson? That blue line for USA? ARE you kidding me? You scratch Big Buff in the first game? You have a Dubinsky, not a Phil Kessel? Or a Nick Bonino? (SIC) Their is half of your damn line right there..instant chemistry…USA Hockey is a running joke and it starts at the top. Everyone knows Canada is the Top Dog, at least put a team together that can get through the Prelims and hopefully Quick gets/and stays hot…after that? Who knows? Disgrace.

  • wojohowitz

    Have we learned anything new about Torts? How about in a room loaded with big stars with big egos he still manages to be the center of attention. Contrast that with what Kruger and McClellen have managed to do – build a team from spare parts. Is he still a good coach? Does Columbus still think so or is he toast after a half season?

  • Boom or Bust

    Great game!! Canada definitely took their foot off the gas in the third…didn’t matter too much though. It’s a beauty of a team and it will take some serious skill to upset them.

  • Johnny Stomper

    Canada is so deep in talent, more than ever. I mean when you think of the players who have filled in for the injuries and the ones who are still left off the roster, it’s pretty amazing.

    As much fun as the NA team has been to watch in this tournament I just don’t think this format works in the next 4 years. Most of the NA guys would still be on that team in 4 years and would rob what would be an epic match-up of USA vs Canada with the best players available and not restricted by age. Conner needs to play with guys like Crosby, Bergeron etc. USA probably has the best young hockey players in the same age group that they have ever had.

    I mean it’s been really cool to watch this NA team and it couldn’t have been better timing with the injection of such generational young talent, but the best on best is what we crave.

    What about a best of 7, Europe’s best against North America’s best?? That could be really interesting. Played in Sept like this tourney but 3 games played in NA/ Europe and the other 4 in NA/Europe, or something like that. Now you would really have the makings of a best on best. Who would be on those teams if that happened now or say 4 years from now ?

    • Serious Gord

      I think the tentative plan is this:

      Only U23 or u24 players go to the olympics from here on. As we can see younger players can generate considerable excitement. And the league doesn’t disrupt its season every four years.

      The World Cup will have six or eight countries guaranteed to attend the final tournament and a qualifying tournament or stages of the lesser countries will be played in the weeks prior to the final or even in the spring to add four or more teams to the final tournament list.

      So the U24 or similar teams will exist but not like the team NA.

      • Sammy D

        I think a more reasonable option would be to move the World Juniors every 4th year from being a Christmas/New Years tournament to being held during the Olympics. NHL teams are currently hesitant to release their U19 players, do you really think they would want to release U23 players?

  • TheRealPB

    Why/how does John Tortorella continue to get jobs in hockey? Pulujarvi must be so thankful not to have ended up in Columbus.

    What in god’s name was hockey USA thinking? They were never going to be as good as the Swedes or Russians in this tournament but to build an entire team designed to defeat Canada (but a Canadian team that doesn’t actually exist) is ridiculous. Did they think they were somehow playing a team out of Slapshot instead of a team with skill players? Maybe check the roster next time.

  • Oilers R mopar

    Karma can be a great friend or the worst foe ever ! ask the Americans. Haha. Well maybe torts will learn something from this failure? Doubtful. Most Americans are arrogant ! Which is exactly why they are 0-2 ! Take some words of wisdom from Jedis. You can’t win with individual efforts in a team game! Americas mentality was get the puck to Kane he will win it for us. Haha !! Anyways point is Americans are to arrogant to win a tournament like the World Cup. You don’t win with arrogance ! But thanks for coming out . That’s just my opinion…

  • madjam

    USA built a team for a 3 game playoff , as they were unlikely to win on straight talent and skill anyways . I would not expect them to match or beat Canada or a couple other teams in tourney on their skill and talent level alone , no matter whom they chose . Their strategy going in was sound , but results poor in execution . Doubt they would have faired any better trying another option to be honest .

    • You are right that the USA was unlikely to win this tournament..but they had ZERO chance with this outfit. Zero. None. Nada…
      A)Justin Abdelkader? A whopping .364 P/GP How ’bout a Bobby Ryan? .763 P/GP career avg.
      B)Kyle Palmieri? Really. How ’bout Tyler freaking Johnson?
      C) Brandon Dubinksy?..Nick Bonino
      D) Derek Stepan..nope. Matthew Nieto or Craig Smith
      ======
      Don’t get me started on this Freaking Blue line.

      • madjam

        Best on best Canada should win anyways , as almost all hockey fans would concur , no matter who the Americans put up for a team . Who would be naïve enough to put their money on the Americans who have lost 6 of last 7 best on best matchups against Canada . USA was lucky just to keep it this close . Americans went with grit on NHL ice , but will do less grit when on international ice in Socchi . I happen to agree America’s best chance to upset Canada in this tourney was a grit type team . It would have been a huge upset if Canada lost to be honest ! They (USA) simply were major underdogs to play us best on best . Same will hold true for Socchi .

  • jakethesnail

    How many of the players selected to Team USA or even could be considered like Kessel would make Team Canada? Two or three? Therein lies the problem…. Canada could probably put 2 teams in the tournament that would be better than Team USA.

  • @Hallsy4

    Didn’t know Burkie was part of the Braintrust. That pleases me to see his plan fail miserably. Not meant to be a shot at the Flames, I used to think Burkie was a great GM (Pronger Etc), just love how negative he always seems and smartest guy in the room syndrome, getting served a portion of Crow.

  • @Hallsy4

    Good for Kessel taking a shot at hockey USA. He always seems to get criticized and not get the credit he deserves. Out of anyone I was happy to win the cup this year, it was him. (Robbed in MVP imo). Wonder if he’s black listed for hockey USA now? If I’m him, I don’t care…. Like seeing a player sticking up for himself a bit. Maybe he could get duel citizenship to Canada?

  • It’s a bit too bad USA Hockey made it so easy. Like they went out and put together a sub par team.

    You could agree that team Canada left some talent on the table as well, but given the type of team Babcock wants and how he wants them to play, I would say it’s a bit harder to argue. True, team America wanted a specific type of team as well, but then they went and sat those players that best demonstrate that playstyle. Both on and off the ice, baffling decisions were made.

    The one thing they did manage to accomplish, is ensure every single team will now hate Ryan Kessler. I know he was already disliked, but he basically started the season by sticking a giant target on his back. Good for you bud.

    If I was to reduce each team to one word / phrase:
    Canada – Two-way
    USA – Pugilist
    Sweden – Balanced
    Russia – Firepower
    NA – Fast
    Europe – Patient
    Finland – Inexperienced
    Czech Republic – Uninterested

  • al rain

    Looking down Canada’s roster I see 4 guys listed under 6 foot (Duchene, Marchand, Crosby and Giroux). I see a large number of rather sturdy lads (Burns, Weber, Thornton, Getzlaf, Perry, etc). I see zero players that you would describe as soft or would think could be intimidated.

    And USA figured they’d build a roster to push these guys around? Well, that went about as well as you would have expected.

  • Torts is the wrong coach for a team full of millionaires. Yelling at high end players does not bring out their best. Wrong approach. Wrong style for a tournament like this.

    I sure am glad Torts moved on from Van. His style of coaching doesn’t agree with me. I thought his career was done, but he somehow manages to find gigs.

  • al rain

    Something else just occurred to me: maybe USA’s tough-guy roster wasn’t built for competing with Team Canada but for blowing off steam in Thursday’s nothing game against the Czechs.