Before the Olympics started, here was a lot of concern about where Team USA was going to get their goals from and those concerns became reality in the last 24 hours. After scoring 20 goals in their first five games, the Americans got shutout in back to back games. You would think after very little offensive pressure in the last 50 minutes against Canada, Dan Bylsma would shake up his lines a bit but he stood pat and got the same results.
Team USA came out with pretty good energy and played a solid 1st period. Seven minutes in, Finland had a mad scramble in front of Jonathan Quick, but the puck stayed out with some help from Ryan Suter and Ryan Kesler. USA was awarded a penalty shot at 13:40 after Kimo Timonen shot a broken stick, that was laying on the ice, towards the puck carrier. Despite what the NBC broadcast team told us, Bylsma had to pick one of the five players on the ice so Patrick Kane had his moment to shine. Kane waited a bit too long to try a forehand,/backhand move and hit the side of the net. Team USA outshot Finland 12 to 8 during the scoreless opening period.
The American's chances of a medal vanished in an eleven second span early in the 2nd period. Teemu Selanne, who I am pretty sure attended the first Olympic games as a child, broke the scoreless tie at 1:27 with a nice backhand shot. Jussi Jokinen would score just eleven seconds later to double the lead. The same five Americans who were on the ice for the first goal got caught napping and left Ryan Suter out to dry trying to fend off a 2 on 1. Patrick Kane would be awarded a second penalty shot about five minutes later and had a chance to get the US back into the game. Kane slowed down his pace and beat Tuukka Rask high glove side, but the goal post was their to make the save.
The game got away from the Americans in the 3rd period as they started a parade to the penalty box and gave up goals to Juuso Hietanen, Selanne and Olli Maatta. Tuukka Rask made all 27 saves as he helped lead his team to the bronze medal.
A lot of blame is already being sent in the direction of Patrick Kane but there is plenty to go around. You can start at the top with some of the player selections. I will never understand why Blake Wheeler was on this team. Has anyone seen the captain Zach Parise in the last ten days? Ryan Callahan had one assist and finished a -2. The contract he signs this summer will get one general manager fired in two years. Thankfully the Olympics end tomorrow with six Blackhawks going after the gold. Hopefully they all survive the game and come back healthy to get back to winning the only trophy that matters, Lord Stanley's Cup.