LIVE BLOG: Men's hockey: USA 5 Canada 3 (F) - Macleans.ca
 

LIVE BLOG: Men’s hockey: USA 5 Canada 3 (F)

Super Sunday continues at Canada Hockey Place, as cross-border rivals meet


 

What’s the adage? Good goaltending and timely goals? The Americans were outshot by a two-to-one margin, 45-22. They won a serious battle here. Give ’em credit. 

3rd Period

19:15 — RYAN KESLER. Of all people. Jumps around Corey Perry with a brilliant effort to score the empty netter. There’s some bad blood here.

16:51 — Ryan Miller, who barring injury is a Vezina candidate, stonewalls Nash and scrambles back to stop Perry—only to have Sidney Crosby score a one-toucher on a pass beautiful play. 4-3, hold onto your hats (and consider the PP fixed, until the next brutal one).

14:56 — The Americans are doing a nice job covering their lead, and unless Canada fixes its power play they need not worry about this penalty to Erik Johnson.

10:99 — Kesler, a Vancouver Canuck who was quoted yesterday saying he “hated” the Canadians, just took a silly run at Crosby; this is a chance they should not be giving the Canadian power play. Ron Wilson looks mad.

7:09 — The insurance marker is a deflection by Jamie Langenbrunner, on a point shot by Rafalski. What a game for the mobile fireplug. The crowd is doing its best here, but I see a lot of people with their hands on their laps. And I’m hearing boos.

6:05 — Corey Perry for slashing. The Americans came out with some fire in their bellies in this period, and Canada is letting them initiate the play.

2:50 — Drew Doughty may have just saved goal; then he blocked a shot and cleared the puck. 

Crosby takes an o-zone penalty two minutes in. Frustration setting in?

Toews had 11:26 of ice time in the first two periods, tops among Canadian forwards; Crosby was next with 10:59.

A little inspiration for the home boys: gold medallists Alex Bilodeau (freestyle moguls) and Jon Montgomery (skeleton) appear on the big screen during the first and second intermissions, respectively.

Montgomery leads the crowd in a rousing chant of “Go Canada Go!”

2nd Period

16:25 — A HUGE goal for the Americans by Joe Pavelski, amid a farcical goalmouth scramble. It’s a game way too ragged and wide-open  for Mike Babcock’s preference (or for that matter Ron Wilson’s), with teams trading breakaways late in period (Joe Thornton isn’t slow, fyi, he was just at the end of his shift)

Canada has dominated zone play, but as about 12 coaches have pointed out, good netminding and timely goals win hockey tournaments. The part they leave out is that timely goals are the result of mistakes defensive mistakes and Canada has made plenty of them.

Astonishing, considering the calibre of players on its blue line.

Crosby, incidentally, has been non-evident. The Getzlaf-Perry-Staal line has provided Canada with its best  offensive cycles and some scoring chances.

The Staal infraction took place right in front of me, and it was indeed dubious. But you conspiracy theorists can forget it: we have one American and one Canadian on duty today. I think it’ll even out.

13:25 — what was Nash doing backing over the blue line, and how was it not off side?

12:00 — Two more in short order by Brodeur; Miller isn’t the only goalie in this game.

9:20 — Brodeur is forced to make a nice stop on Kesler, and puts down the left pad.

3:32 — When this tournament began Jonathan Toews didn’t have an designated position on the team’s four top lines. But he’s a character guy. The kind who can carry the puck out from with Joe Pavelski draped on his back, and feed Dany Heatley for the equalizer.

Toews now has two assists and is shaping up to be a key player for Canada.

1st Period

20:00 — Shots are 19-6, so make no mistake, as long as the Americans are ahead, this game is all about Ryan Miller. How much longer can he hold on?

A long time, if his performance in Buffalo this year is any indicator. He’s square to the puck on every shot and the U.S. forwards are coming back to make sure Canada can’t get to the rebounds. Miller thrives in games like this.

The Callahan line is aggressive up front, creating turnovers that give their team occasional chances. As long as they’re good chances, that’s all the Americans need. 

Puckhandling is Martin Brodeur’s strength, but he has to realize that he’s not playing Atlanta Thrashers here.

14:08 — Fantastic save by Miller on Marleau, who’d broken in with one man back. And the game’s getting rough. Canada’s forwards are on the whole a rugged bunch, but Brooks Orpik and Jack Johnson brought their hard-hats tonight, too. Same goes for Ryan Suter, who just laid another cruncher on Brenden Morrow.

8:53 — Eric Staal with a sweet tip on a shot by Brent Seabrook, but Rafalski replies 23 seconds later. Between Brodeur and the defencemen, they’re being altogether too cavalier in their own end. And the crowd is getting manic-depressive.

Right now it’s depressed, trying hard to get that manic feeling going.

3:41 — Is Miller a daisy petal? That wasn’t very much contact. Getzlaf gets two for interference nonetheless

0:41 — A brutal first shift by the Crosby line, topped by Crosby tipping Brian Rafalski’s point shot. 1-0 Americans. Talk about downer. The crowd feels fragile. 

Miller follows up with a nice save. No gimmes in this game.

—————–

What can we say about this game to hype it any further?

Nothing, except that it’s the biggest Canada has played since they lost out to the Russians in Turin four years ago. And spare me any talk of the IIHF world championship.

Lineups for both teams look largely the same as the last game except that Brent Seabrook appears to have lost his spot as one of the team’s top-six defenceman. Drew Doughty is pencilled in next to Seabrook’s usual partner, Duncan Keith, as Seabrook seems be a little less poised amid the speed and hurly-burly of Olypmic competition.

Martin Brodeur starts in net for Canada; Ryan Miller for the Americans.

Drop the puck!


 
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LIVE BLOG: Men’s hockey: USA 5 Canada 3 (F)

  1. We are the best team on North America!

  2. Wow, Canadian athlete's choking on the big stage…big surprise…

  3. Amazing goaltending from the American side. If Canada can outshoot Germany and Russia by that margin we're likely still in it.

  4. Ryan Kesler obviously has taken 1 too many puck to the head…what kind of idiot win or lose says her hates "Canadians" in in the city he plays for…not all that bright! Win or lose he'll be eating his words for a long time! We ( the vancouver fans who cheer him when he sucks ( which is most of the time) should boo him here til his contract is done!!

  5. Miller was red hot. Brodeur, while handling tough shots well, played the puck horribly and let in some rather weak goals.

    That's about the whole story. Don't get me wrong, the American team played pretty strong, clean defense and it probably saved them, but otherwise Canada kept it in their end and put the pressure on. All the forward lines were aggressive and physical. With the exception of Pronger and to an extent Niedermayer, the blue line was fantastic, Doughty especially. The only real blemishes to the team were penalties, two which were needless but understandable (Getzlaf, Crosby), one which was just plain stupid (Staal). But the Canadian penalty kill was pretty effective, so that certainly wasn't a game-breaker.

    With shot totals like this, which reflected the difference in scoring chances, the game shouldn't have been decided by the goaltenders, but it was. I'll be very interested to see who gets the call between the posts next game – I'd like to see Luongo.

    • Brodeur is finished. He was finished in Turin and he's even more finished now. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for his illustrious career and the new techniques he brought to goal tending but he a lost a lot of his performance with the NHL rules change and never got it back.

      I think the game against Germany is a good opportunity to see if Fleury has it in him. The kid can really move, the kind of speed and accuracy that makes Miller so hot right now. If he can keep his head on straight I'm sure he'll shine the ice.

      If not then Luongo will clean up. Here's one goal tender you can rely on when it really counts.

  6. As a canadian and as a hockey fan, I think there is too much panic in the canadian game. What I mean by this is that we have this white-knuckle WE HAVE TO WIN OR ELSE mind-set – and it cripples the creativity and flow of our game; this process starts right at the grass-roots levels. I tried to watch the game dispassionately tonite and it struck me how the canadians always seem to be running a chinese fire drill in their own end; by contrast, watch how (usually) efficient and economical the swedes or finns (especially the finns) are in their own zone. Our players appear to have a very low panic threshold and we saw the same thing at the world juniors, too. At some point, we are going to have to teach our kids to just go out and play rather than squeezing the sticks so tight that you can see the sawdust spitting out between the fingers.

  7. As a canadian and as a hockey fan, I think there is too much panic in the canadian game. What I mean by this is that we have this white-knuckle mind-set – and it cripples the creativity and flow of our game; this process starts right at the grass-roots levels. I tried to watch the game dispassionately tonite and it struck me how the canadians always seem to be running a chinese fire drill in their own end; by contrast, watch how (usually) efficient and economical the swedes or finns (especially the finns) are in their own zone. Our players appear to have a very low panic threshold and we saw the same thing at the world juniors, too. At some point, we are going to have to teach our kids to just go out and play.

  8. Ryen Kesler….well, as a Vancouver Canucks fan I always wanted to hope for the best for your development as you did diddly squat the first couple of years here and i actually thought that Vancouver should have let you go after the Bobby Clark offer….but you did develope nicely as a player although I have always thought you were a little overrated….but now that I read your comments about 'hating Canada' and your assinine gurantee about beating Canada…..well…you have shown your true, ugly colours to the world..if u need a lesson in class…see the Sedins…you're just another UGLY American who just doesn't get it…no wonder the world in general hates Americans! …and this is coming from a former American booster…please…go play for Philidelphia or Tampa…just get the hell out of here as I can't stand to cheer for you anymore…beat it!

  9. Brodeur single handedly lost this game. Babcock isn't sure who he is going to start in our next game…??? Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Is it gonna be Fleury or Luongo. Brodeur should run home with his tail between his legs and hang is head in shame. From my point of view, he single handedly lost this game for the country.

    Marty, some advice, DO NOT try and make plays with the puck. Focus on your own job and keep the frigging puck out of the net.

    Disgusting.

  10. wow canada…. epic fail!!! hahahaha!!! you got pwned!!!

  11. Poster boy Crosby can SUCK it. No NHL to give you a championship this time. Kessler with the greatest move in hockey – EVER!