With the NHL on hiatus the only way for a hockey fan to see some hockey is to watch the Olympics.
The USA hockey team played Monday afternoon against a not to be taken lightly Swiss team. The Swiss beat Canada at Turin 2-0 in 2006 so this is a Swiss team that can play well.
The USA earned a solid 3-1 win over the Swiss.
Scorers for team USA were David Backes, Bobby Ryan, and Ryan Malone.
There was a lot of talk about whether goaltender, Ryan Miller, would be the right man for the job, and after a great start Tuesday, Miller showed that he can make some huge saves and compete at Olympic level. Miller made 14 saves on 15 shots, and denied the Swiss a goal until late in the 3rd period. His high level of play was key to a USA victory.
The Swiss came at the USA with big hits, and really tried to control the neutral area, but the USA held strong and put the puck in the net early, diminishing any early momentum that the Swiss hoped to grab.
If there’s going to be any problem with this USA team, it’ll be the chemistry. It being their first game together they didn’t play terribly, but they weren’t in sync. You could tell that they weren’t used to playing with each other,and once you get to better teams, like Canada, that will be exploited even more.
“I think we’re going to have to realize the situation of games a little better,” U.S. captain Jamie Langenbrunner told NHL.com. “We got caught on some two-on-ones and three-on-twos late in the game, which we can’t do. We have to realize the time and the score and play accordingly, play winning hockey. That’ll come.
The USA team plays a much less dangerous team, Norway, on Thursday. The USA will have to work and improve on their chemistry if they want to have a chance against Canada on Sunday, the much anticipated match in the Olympics.
* – U.S. Hockey team photo credit: News Chronicle