I’m going to start this one off with some thoughts first. This USA team has been very underwhelming for 4 periods and has performed well for 2 periods. Their big guns like Oliver Wahlstrom, Cole Caufield, and Alex Turcotte have a combined 3 points. Wahlstrom and Turcotte both took incredibly stupid penalties during the game. Luckily players like Nick Roberston, Trevor Zegras, and Shane Pinto are showing up for the States. If you told me Pinto would have double the amount of points the three top talents the States have, I’d tell you that you’re crazy.
The United States is going to be in tough against better teams if they continue to take stupid penalties and perform poorly on the penalty kill. Their powerplay has definitely picked up the slack for the team but it will only be able to offset their PK for so long. Spencer Knight will have to put on his best performances the next few days as the US will be very tired as they play 4 games in 5 days.
Now for a little recap of the game. Team USA should have come into the game expecting to dominate the Germans similar to the exhibition game before the tournament. Dustin Wolf was solid when called upon, coming up with some excellent saves to maintain the Americans lead. Two separate times, the Germans led the Americans but they definitely found ways to battle back and hopefully they can continue to do that.
But they are looking like a team who will thrive on playing from behind and, yes that develops a little ice in the veins, a team with this much skill and talent, they should be putting up good numbers against the Germans. The hard games will continue for USA, so we’ll see how they bounce back. They have tomorrow off, which they will benefit from greatly. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a switch up of lines. Pinto and Robertson have been pulling their weight, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wahlstrom put down the lineup and another right winger promoted. Maybe Caufield to get him going.
Hope for a big bounce back game against Russia and see what the Americans have to give after getting two games under their belt
Photo Credit – IIHF.com