Team USA eliminated from World Cup of Hockey

After months of hype, preparation and excitement, it all came falling down for Team USA on Tuesday night in Toronto against Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. Team USA defenseman Ryan McDonagh stuffed home a rebound early in the first period, but Team Canada answered back with four unanswered goals leading to a 4-2 victory that eliminated the Americans and put the Canadians in the knockout stage. This defeat followed a humiliating 3-0 loss to Team Europe last Saturday afternoon. There is no doubt this group was flawed from the start from top to bottom. From the player and coach selection to the play on the ice, it was truly an unmitigated disaster. It started with hiring John Tortorella as head coach, a guy with an outdated coaching style that clearly showed in the two games the U.S. we’re throughly dominated. By putting Patrick Kane, one of the most talented players in world, on a line with guys like Justin Abdelkader it was no wonder he didn’t perform. Team USA promised this team was the team to beat Canada, and they chose to try to beat them with grinders and not playmakers. Due to the bias of the people in charge of player selection, the most talented players were left off the roster. Players like Brandon Dubinsky, Abdelkader, Ryan Callahan(replaced by Kyle Palmieri due to injury) and Jack Johnson were selected, instead of much more talented players. The whole point of these international tournaments is to showcase the best players with the best set of skills, not to discredit these player but leaving more talented players off the roster is completely crazy. Players like Phil Kessel, Tyler Johnson and Cam Fowler were left off the team for reasons that don’t make sense. Some players selected such as Dubinsky, Callahan and Jack Johnson had played for Tortorella on the Rangers and Blue Jackets which just adds to the argument of favoritism trumping reason. Granted these are just a few players, but with the lack of offensive talent, Patrick Kane and Joe Pavelski had nobody to look to, to take pressure off of them. By putting Kane on the third line in the first game against Europe, it cause him to struggle with players that didn’t possess the offensive skills. Obviously, conventional wisdom tells you to put your best player on your first line, but because Tortorella and the coaching staff wanted the team to play a certain way, Kane couldn’t be himself out on the ice. Obviously these are just a few of the issues that plagued the team in Toronto, but hopefully this embarrassment coupled with the poor showing at the 2014 Winter Olympics causes USA Hockey to change their ways and do a better job of putting teams together in the future.

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