Really tough game to watch. TSN can try to blame it on rust or whatever, but Sweden looked fantastic in the exact same position as us. No excuses for that kind of performance.
- Top line was nowhere near good enough. Nugent-Hopkins had a couple flashes of brilliance but the production needs to be there in a game like this. Drouin was good for a 17 year old but not enough. Scheifele looked more asleep than I was for most of the game and really dragged that line down IMO. Never been a huge fan.
- Not convinced Huberdeau was even dressed for tonight. Absolutely invisible.
- Boone Jenner was one of the lone bright spots for us. Fantastic penalty killer and even if his offense fails to translate at the next level, it's pretty easy to see that he'll be a useful player in the NHL.
- Thought Subban was okay. Pretty tough to blame him for some of the horrid defending in front of him (entire team collapsing right in front of him on the first goal, Ryan Murphy trying to play defense, etc.). Binnington looked very strong and I imagine he'll be getting the nod for the Bronze medal game, but who really knows with Spott.
- As mentioned, the defense was absolutely horrifying. Harrington was definitely the best of them all, but still nothing special. Reinhart/Ouellet/Wotherspoon were okay but again, nowhere near good enough to win. Hamilton looked dazed and confused all tournament long and this game was no different. Murphy's a great puck-mover but it's painfully obvious that he lacks any sort of hockey IQ, especially in the defensive end. Gotta think he's one of the final cuts if anyone else is coaching.
- Very questionable coaching decisions in this game, but we're used to that at this point. MacKinnon still stuck on the fourth line, Murphy being spoonfed as much ice-time as possible, etc. Not to use Spott as a scapegoat for such a lacklustre effort, but he certainly wasn't doing this team any favours.
- USA looked very well prepared and really played a heck of a game. Strong defensive effort and Gibson was stellar in the third period when they needed him the most. Should have had the shutout but apparently international rules allow for goals after the whistle is blown. Whatever.
All in all, probably one of the most disappointing tournaments for a Canadian WJC team. The comparisons to the last lockout team were unfair, but having an NHL-quality player in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should have propelled us over the top. Instead, you see a team battered by injuries to top players/having players withheld in Sweden making it to the finals in impressive fashion, while the "best team on paper" will be in tough to win Bronze. Again.
Edited by Intoewsables, 03 January 2013 - 01:43 PM.