Tuesday, February 16, 2010

USA vs Swiss 1st Period Observations

They finally dropped the puck in British Columbia. With the 30-Year anniversary of the greatest Olympic hockey game less than a week away, another bunch of gritty Americans not expected to medal have begun their journey against a pesky Swiss team that was a huge story four years ago in Torino upsetting mighty Canada thanks to Martin Gerber. The first period was pretty competitive with the pesky Swiss playing a physical, tight checking game which gave our boys trouble. Especially in neutral zone. Ryan Miller even had to make a couple of big saves before a sweet finish with 61 ticks left by our breakout player Bobby Ryan for the period's only goal. Other observations:

-great work by David Backes on Ryan's goal hustling in the corners as did the Duck, who as Doc Emrick duly noted, beat a Duck in Jonas Hiller.

-Ryan Callahan was one of USA's best players playing his usual physical game, finishing checks. He and Ranger 'mate Chris Drury nearly hooked up for a goal thanks to a strong Ryan takeout of a Swiss along the boards. Dru made a nice dish across for Cally, who patiently waited but fired off the side of the net.

-Not much heard from the top line but Zach Parise did get a quality chance from the right circle, rifling a high riser off Hiller's mask.

-former NHLer Hnat Domenicelli impressed for SUI generating a couple of chances including one dangerous one. Former Ranger property Phillippe Fuhrer was also good.

-no commercials speeds up the game so much. My Dad's right.

Game is already back on. Here are lines from what we gather:

Kessel/Kane-Stastny-Parise
Brown-Kesler-Langenbrunner
Malone-Pavelski-Ryan
Backes-Drury-Callahan

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