Well we all know how the last game between these two went down (and just because it's fun to watch - here's a reminder). Both teams played like they were on acid in one of the most exciting games we've seen all year. The game was back and forth and though Canada had the upper hand in almost every category, they weren't able to beat Ryan Miller.
Miller will certainly be needed again today as the Canadians showed us how dangerous they can be. Miller will absolutely have to stand on his head several times today - and I feel comfortable in trusting him to do that. The American blue line isn't as strong as it could be due to injuries, but it's probably better than Russia's, and at least we won't have a team that rolls over at the first sign of trouble.
The greatest thing the Americans have going for them is the lack of pressure. They've shown they can beat the Canadians already... but more importantly, they've exceeded just about everyone's expectations for this tournament. Not many really expected them to get this far (except us of course), no one expected to win the #1 seed... hell not even the NHLPA thought the Americans would be here. But here they are, 60 minutes away from being able to stand in the middle of the podium and hear their National Anthem being played.
Of course, the Canadians won't be making things easy. Since the loss the USA, they pulled Martin Brodeur in favor of Bobby Lou, the lines have been shuffled around and they've just steamrolled everyone in their way. At least they did until things got close. They destroyed Russia but once Slovakia scored their first goal, you could see the Canadians grip their sticks tighter and tighter. Now with the gold medal game here - the pressure is going to be at its highest for our neighbors up north. We know they'll have players that will be foaming at the mouth (and don't think Toews wouldn't kill Patrick Kane's entire family with a hammer for the gold.. he would) but they'll have other players that might crack when it comes down to it.
The biggest goal for the US should obviously be to grab the early lead. Scoring first is damn near a must. Apart from that, if they can keep it tied for a long stretch we could see the pressure weigh down the Canucks. We know the place is going to be packed with bloodthirsty Canucks... just weather the storm and play a simple game.
Killion forgot one thing, and I'm glad Mike Martin reminded me: