2016 World Cup of Hockey – Team USA what were you thinking?


Chicago, IL — I’m not piling on but I am writing this because I care about USA hockey and the players that don that jersey. I don’t like seeing grown men cry if at all avoidable and that is why I’m writing this.

Not to kick when your down but to hopefully point out a few things that will never be repeated again as long as I view a jersey with USA on it.

As much as you want to say this team was constructed with the right players please be honest with your selves and please do not take USA hockey fans as idiots of course it was not constructed right.

The entire notion of putting this team together to beat Canada with grit is not only disrespectful to all the other teams in this tournament but also ignores the fact that Team Canada’s players are not just skilled but they have grit as well.

Have you watched Corey Perry or Brad Marchand play?

I’m sure the powers that be when constructing this team were patting each other on the back. They however forgot some very basic principles and rules of not only hockey but of life.

I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. There is one scene which, I think is appropriate here where Cersei Lannister, the Queen Regent is speaking to Machiavellian Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger who has risen from nothing. Here is their contentious exchange that includes some wisdoms.1

Just as Cersei states power is power, skill is skill and there really is no substitute for it. It is as simple and basic as that.  Perhaps speed could trump skill but team Canada has that as well. You want to beat power,skill?  than you need more power and skill not less.

I’m not sure what NHL your watching but the last couple Stanley Cup champions (Chicago Blackhawks & Pittsburgh Penguins) were built on skill & speed.

I bet you thought I wanted to blow up team USA with Wildfire like Cersei did with the Sept didn’t you? HA.

In a short best on best tournament you should be fielding your most skilled athletes and to say they don’t have the skill to match Canada maybe that is true, but they probably would have had the skills to beat other teams.

In a short tourney one never knows what can happen but you must at least try to field your best all around team that can play different styles. It also was dismissing the skilled athletes America has.

The upper management and the coaches as well never looked at the talent pool they had and how to put their players in the best possible positions to succeed. Instead of focusing on Canada they should have focused on the talent available in the US and how best to get them to reach their potential in the tourney.

Don’t get me wrong a team needs some grit but not all grit. Speaking of which if you wanted to play bang the boards hockey why was Dustin Byfuglian not played in the game versus Team Europe? I’m speechless. Please explain that to me.

Also the coach starting off the entire tourney with a it’s my way or the highway threat of benching if the anthem was disrespected in whose view, his?

Well I guess everyone attending a Blackhawks game would be benched. Please don’t treat grown professional men like they are children. This probably set the tone for the entire locker room and team. I don’t know this for fact but it couldn’t have helped.

By having so few offensive threats a huge target was placed on the few skilled offensive players you had. Every team knew stop the skill and you stop the US.

But the defense was not good either. The position fundamentals was sloppy and just not good. The goaltending was alright but you can’t expect one person to consistently bale out an entire team.

The really frustrating and frankly annoying thing about this whole mess is that after going 0-3 during the tournament upper management and the coaching is still insisting that they had the right plan and construct in place. Stop please stop you look silly and you are disrespecting USA hockey.

Please just be men enough to admit you made mistakes, you’ll take stock, make adjustments and vow going forward this will not be repeated. It is a valuable learning opportunity if you let it.

The great thing about the USA is we forgive if you humble yourself and admit your faults. Please for USA hockey, this sport and this country is too great to be so short- sighted.

Please as management do not engage with players (Phil Kessel or whoever) in a media war you make USA hockey look bad and that most of us will not forgive.

You are supposed to be leading by example and pettiness and name calling is not an attractive quality anyone will want to follow.

At a grass- roots level USA hockey is in a good place look at Team North America and World Juniors USA teams. In a few years the USA may very well compete with and maybe be better than Team Canada, Russia or Sweden.

For now go back to the drawing board and please do not insult us again with a fiasco like this. Now GO USA!

1 taken from HBO’s Game of Thrones season 2 episode 1 The North Remembers written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the show but originally taken from George RR Martin’s A song of Ice and Fire novels

 

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