Team USA Comes Up Short

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone with eyes who used them to watch the game today between Team USA and Team Canada can tell you that Canada was the better team. The first period was fairly even but after that Canada's depth was too much for the Americans to overcome. Obviously, Canada's team is loaded with terrific forwards, but the same can be said for the Americans. The big difference in the teams that was very apparent in this game was the depth of talent on the blue line.

Canada's defensemen moved the puck and played well at the points during the cycle to keep play alive. The American defensemen had some troubles trying to clear the zone and the odd man rushes were too frequent. Of course, there were instances of a hustling American defenseman getting back to break up the rush, but that fact that they happened so often is telling. That aside, I've been particularly impressed by the play of Ryan McDonagh throughout the tournament. Ryan Suter and Kevin Shattenkirk have also played well. John Carlson has shown flashes of good instinct and talent but his lack of experience was also a bit noticeable.

As for the formidable offensive strength of the Americans, well, the game ended in a shutout. The lines featuring Phil Kessel and Patrick Kane were the standouts for Team USA. Kessel seemed to be leading the charge on virtually every breakaway. Kane danced through the defense in his customary "Icecapades" fashion. Unfortunately, Canadian goalie Carey Price had the answers even if he had to use his toes for some of them.

The biggest disappointment in this game was the virtual no show of David Backes and his band of merry men. Throughout the Olympics, Backes has played very well and created many of Team USA's scoring chances when the big guns were off of the ice. He was practically invisible in the Semifinal game, which seriously diminished the scoring depth that was desperately needed to beat the Canadians. Whether it was due to the matchups or something else is not something I have figured out yet. T.J. Oshie was also particularly noticeable today but for all of the wrong reasons. Every time he touched the puck, he almost immediately turned it over, most of the time right as the Americans were trying to enter the offensive zone.

Jonathan Quick played well in the net for Team USA. The deflection goal by Jamie Benn was the only one he gave up. Quick made some terrific saves to keep the Americans in a game that saw them greatly out done in terms of puck possession. Hopefully Team USA will pick up their play against Team Finland in the Bronze Medal Game, which will be played at 10 a.m. Eastern on NBCSN. Below you'll find the possession stats from the game that show what you likely already saw while watching the game.

Team/Situation

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

Totals

USA vs. CAN

2-21-14

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

USA/5v5

20

43.48%

20

40.00%

21

41.18%

61

41.50%

CAN/5v5

26

56.52%

30

60.00%

30

58.82%

86

58.50%

USA/5v4

2

66.67%

10

90.91%

-

-

12

85.71%

CAN/4v5

1

33.33%

1

9.09%

-

-

2

14.29%

USA/4v5

0

0.0%

-

-

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

CAN/5v4

4

100%

-

-

2

100%

6

100%

*all data tracked by JenLC (@bhawksfanjen)

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