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Better Luck Next (Four) Year(s)!

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Rough loss for the U.S., but there’s reason for consolation:

Seriously, even though Canada outplayed the U.S. by a much greater margin than the score suggests, one elimination game doesn’t really prove anything. Commenter rw970 was absolutely right in the first thread, though, that the biggest roster error for the U.S. was excluding Yandle rather than Ryan. The Americans have better goaltending than Canada and their forwards are at least in the same ballpark, but the Canadian edge on the blueline is huge, particularly in terms of mobility. Yandle wouldn’t have equalized this, of course, but the U.S. really could have used him.

Finally, I absolutely owe an apology to Bouwmeester — I was happy to see him play so well. On Kunitz, though, despite the sales job by the color guys I’m remaining stubborn. He didn’t have a great game; Crosby and Bergeron had great games, setting up countless chances he kept squandering. (And not because he was getting robbed by Quick — he somehow managed to parlay umpteen chances into one shot on net.) Yes, he’s a good forechecker and two-way forward — he’s a quality NHL player — but to get first-line minutes on the Olympic team you need better offensive skills than he has. He’s the single biggest reason why Canada hasn’t had the magins on the scoreboard that their possession advantage should be producing, and it could still burn them.

Should be an excellent game — I never thought I’d be happy to get up at 7 AM on a Sunday…

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