USA clinches Group A

First, my apologies for this morning. I definitely wrote an open thread post for the morning’s game against Slovenia. I definitely scheduled it to post. But it is not in the database at all. Probably just a glitch, but my bad on that. I just noticed this now because it’s been a bit of a busy weekend.

Anyway, the US dominated Slovenia this morning, taking the game 5-1 and clinching first place in Group A. Ryan Callahan notched an assist and 14:57 TOI, Ryan McDonagh scored a goal in 19:38 TOI, and Derek Stepan –dressing in his first Olympics game– was held scoreless in 4:59 TOI.

With the win, Team USA is guaranteed at least the #3 seed in the medal round and a bye to the Quarterfinals on Wednesday. If they finish with the third seed, they will play the winner of the Switzerland/Latvia game. If the Canada/Finland game goes to overtime, they will claim the #2 seed and the winner of the Czech Republic/Slovakia game.

9 Responses to “USA clinches Group A”

  1. Chris F says:

    US seeded #2 due to Canada/Finland OT finish.

    US draws either Czech Republic or Slavakia.

    Sweden gets the easy draw of either Slovenia or Austria.

    Canada will match up with either Latvia or Switzerland. Switzerland could be a dark horse.

    Finland against either Russia or Norway could be a great match.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      It’s gonna be Finland vs Russia. Zuccarello is the only Norwegian out there that seems to compete every shift. The Nors have the horses but just don’t seem to believe they can win any game. Zuc plays like he wants the Gold. Too bad he can’t get his teammates don’t share his competitiveness. That word is what makes Zuc so good in the NHL. He’s competitive. McDonagh IMO should be on the top pair full time with Suter who has looked suspect at times in this tourney. Callahan has gotten better as the Olympics have gone on. I forsee a big goal or play from him. Stepan will get more playing time. He earned it.

  2. Todd says:

    I have a question and I don’t want to sound like a downer in the midst of some awesome Olympic Hockey games so please forgive me.

    What does it say that out number 1 Center is not even dressing for any of the preliminary games? I love Stephan but do we need to improve the center position once the Olympics are over? GO USA!

    • Centerman21 says:

      No I don’t think in the Olympics it means much because of the depth this US team has. If they had lost a game, then maybe you would have seen more of Stepan. Though he played 4:50 today I thought. In any event it depends. If the Rangers plan on keeping Richards then I think they should upgrade with a top 6 winger that can score and make the opp double him and use their top D pair on. That’ll give the others lesser competition to play against. If they want to move on from Richie, then I’d say they should move Richards to Wing for the remainder of the season. He’s one of the leaders on the team in SOG. He played well on the LW early on. Then they should look into acquiring a Stastny for the top 6.
      Stepan will have a monster season again since he’s playing for a new deal again like last season. They will trade him then and need a new top 2 Centerman

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I thought Stepan should’ve gotten paid last summer after the near PPG pace he put up in 12/13. I was seemingly wrong because as good as he can be, he doesn’t put that effort on every shift. IMO he (Stepan) would be better suited for a second scoring line Center position.
      He’s still young. If he has a huge season again during a contract year next season. I’d trade him while his value is high. He’s my favorite player but the Rangers jersey means more to me than any single player. Except Messier, Leetch, Graves, and Ricter. They are the NYR jersey. I think Sather could use a scoring Winger. Preferably a righty. IMO Stewart would help the top line Emensly. Nash & Kreider are both Lefties. Move Kreider down to the 2nd line & put Nash on his natural Left with Stewart on the right. The change of scenery would be great for Stewart. I could see him scoring 10 goals in the final 21-22 games. His size could help Stepan passing to Stewart in the crease. We don’t have that right now. I would trade Boyle & or Hagelin for him. I don’t think Hagelin has as much of a role on this team as he has. Dido for Boyle. Like to keep one of them.

  3. Walt says:

    Dave

    Blame it on your DVR!!!!!

    Todd

    I’m in agreement with you. Step needs to step it up some, or maybe break up that line, it’s gone stale, flip Kreider with Hags, or Nash with Callie!!!!!

    • Ray V says:

      Stepan who??? = ) I have not seen that guy most of the year.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      I think the problem is that Richards has trouble keeping up with both but he may have more success with Kreider on his left. I personally think they need a righty on that top line Walt! Nash might be more effective on his natural left side. He’s able to play the RW on the PP because those off wingers are dangerous on the man advantage. Stepan scores most of his PP goals on the left side. Makes a one-timer quicker & easier. My idea is this.

      Nash-Stepan-Stewart
      Kreider-Richards-Callahan
      Pouliot-Brassard-Zucarello
      Carcillo-Moore-Dorsett
      I don’t think Hagelin scores enough for his size. As much as I love what he brings (and his ridiculous possession stats) but he isn’t strong enough on his skates for the playoffs. One big hit from Ovie in last years playoffs neutralized his speed the entire series. I’d trade him and X for Stewart. Thoughts. Btw I really like Hags, just don’t see where he fits on this team. I don’t think Stewart slows us down much and has 30 goal potential as a 26 year old! Thoughts?

  4. Leatherneckinlv says:

    McDonagh has been a beast out there