Team USA laid an egg today at the World Championship in Denmark, and said egg cost the Americans a chance to compete for gold.
Team USA lost 6-0 to Sweden on Saturday, and the Americans will now await the loser of the Canada-Switzerland game as they prepare to play for bronze tomorrow (9 AM EDT on the NHL Network/TSN).
The Americans just got out-skated, out-hustled and out-worked–and New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kincaid was significantly out-goaltended by Vancouver’s Anders Nilsson, who built a wall in the Swedish crease.
The Red Wings’ representatives had quiet games: Dylan Larkin (3 shots in 20:11, finished even) looked frustrated with his and his teammates’ play as he tried to do too much and over-complicated his game. He sure worked his ass off, but, like his teammates, he worked inefficiently (ending his game with a roughing penalty on Adrian Kempe):
The team’s collective tendency to look for the perfect shot, the perfect pass, the perfect zone entry…Team USA’s inability to keep things simple and play north-south hockey, combined with bad defensive coverage and sub-standard goaltending damned them (that’s a lot of factors, I know).
Nick Jensen (-2 in 9:15 played) also had a quiet game, though he almost snapped Nilsson’s shutout streak with about 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd period.
Gustav Nyquist’s main contribution (2 shots in 12:42, finished even) was a goaltender interference penalty in the 3rd period, but he was quite sound defensively on a line with Patric Hornqvist.
It was also somewhat frustrating to watch former Wings prospect and Dallas Stars forward Mattias Janmark score two goals for the Swedes; the Janmark-for-Cole and Jarnkrok-and-Eaves-for-Legwand trades still stick in my craw.
Anyway, I’ll post highlights and game recaps as they are available. Team USA’s inability to win a gold at the Worlds since 1933 is…quite the streak.
Update: IIHF.com’s highlights are available:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team outshot Sweden, 41-20, but fell in its semifinal game, 6-0, at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.
“Today’s outcome is disappointing, especially with how pleased we were of our play in the first and third periods,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team. “I thought our effort was there but Sweden was able to capitalize on special teams and that was the difference. Our guys know there’s still a medal at stake tomorrow so now it’s time to pick ourselves up and find a way to win a hockey game.”
The United States (5-2-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L) will play in tomorrow’s (May 20) bronze medal game against the loser of tonight’s Canada-Switzerland semifinal. Puck drop is set for 3:45 p.m. local time (9:45 a.m. ET) in Copenhagen at Royal Arena and will be televised live on NHL Network.
And a post-game clip: