Sunday, September 18, 2016
Team USA already on brink at World Cup of Hockey after shutout loss
TORONTO - The IIHF World Championship is only one game old and already the tournament life of the US team is in danger of being completed.
After shaking their 3-0 European teams in the first match in the eight-team tournament, the Americans will likely have to beat Canada on Tuesday and the Czech Republic on Thursday to qualify for the semi-finals. It is possible for the Americans to go with only one victory, but it would require an unlikely combination of circumstances.
"This is a must win for us," USA Hockey Jersey center Derek Stepan said. "Maybe it's a good thing. ... We have a little bit of adversity and we have to our level and to our game."
The Americans entered the tournament wishing to establish a physical presence, it will be difficult to play against, and not let the opponent to disrupt their game plan. They did control the puck against the European team, but they are not intimidated by the Europeans and the Americans seemed stymied when Europeans rolled into a protective shell.
"For some reason, our readings were a step behind today," Stepan said.
Team Europe has eight players from countries that do not have a team in the tournament. But the strangeness does not slow them down, and that was how they played together for several months, and not two weeks.
"We understand that we can not run and shoot with the teams and stay patient and wait for our chance to survive and help our goalkeeper out - maybe it's not the flashiest (approach) - is actually quite boring, but it works." center Team Europe said Kopitar, who plays for the Los Angeles Kings.
The Americans put 35 shots on goaltender Europe Galak (New York Islanders), while Jonathan Quick faced only 17 shots.
"I will never question the level of effort," Stepan said. "When it comes to Xs and Os, there were times we were a little late, perhaps, our speed and our mind was not quite there. When you're a step behind at any level you want to give up the sights and have a good chance Washers going It ends up in the back of your network. "
The second goal in Europe, Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), came to break the 2-on-0 after Patrick Kane lost the puck while skating at the top of European Zone team.
"I will take the blame on that one," Kane said. "This is a game I made a million times in my career. Just kind of lost the puck and the next thing you know, they go down 2 to 0. This is unacceptable to me."
Stepan appeared to score a goal late in the second period, which would reduce the deficit to 2-1, but the replay officials are not allowed to, because they have seen, James van Riemsdyk glove the puck forward to the goal, before he jumped from Stepan, and at the gate.
"When I saw it on the screen on the bench one point of view, I thought he did move his arm to knock it in," said US coach John Tortorella. "The bottom line is, I think he hit STEP helmet. But then I looked at the other point of view (van Riemsdyk) just rolls around in it. I think that's the goal. First of all, no matter what he did. (puck) hit the helmet (Stepan), before it goes into the net, so I think it should be the goal. "
Tortorella scratched defender Baflin, and it seems likely that he will be back in the lineup against Canada.
"This is not a marathon, as the coaches are always talking about the NHL season is a sprint," said Tortorella "We put ourselves in a place we are now chasing -... We're chasing the tournament It is a spot we wanted to be. This is a very dangerous place, but we're here. we just need to stick together and not to blow yourself up. "
Canadians are the favorites, but they are not invincible. Americans divided Canadians in the two games before the tournament.
Stepan said: "I think everyone was wanting to this game (against Canada) will now."