Unfair Pressure

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Joe Hallenback, Jan 2, 2006.

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  1. Joe Hallenback

    Joe Hallenback Registered User

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    Is it fair to put pressure on a team like the US when its top players are 17 year olds? This tourny is often called a showcase for the best 19 year old players on the planet and yet the "favourite" this year is expected to be led by a bevy of talented 17 year olds in Kessel,Johnson and Mueller. While all three have played exceptional wouldnt it be prudent to say that any team lead by 17 year olds in this tourny cannont be considered favourites?
     
  2. Aaron Vickers

    Aaron Vickers FC Hockey

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    I wouldn't say Team USA is expecting these three to lead them. Certainly they've expected Kessell to do something, based on his ability, but I'd say this team is more lead by the likes of Bourque, Lee and Schremp, allof which played in the tournament last year.

    This team has something close to seven first round picks in it's lineup. I wouldn't think the pressure would fall on three undrafted guys.
     
  3. Steveorama

    Steveorama Registered User

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    Kessel is actually 18, not 17.
    And while Erik Johnson is 17, Jack Johnson (USA's key dman) will be 19 in less than two weeks.
    The American team is not any younger than Canada's team, either, they actually have more 19 year olds than Canada does:

    USA:
    17 year olds: 2 (E. Johnson, Mueller)
    18 year olds: 9
    19 year olds: 11

    Canada:
    17 year olds: 1 (Toews)
    18 year olds: 11
    19 year olds: 10

    Keep in mind that Canada is actually only playing 9 19 year olds, as Pokulok has had only a handful of shifts all tournament.
    Russia, on the other hand:

    17 year olds: 1 (Varlamov, the backup goalie)
    18 year olds: 4
    19 year olds: 17

    Maybe you are right...maybe the Russians should be the favourites based on that alone. We'll see.
     
  4. Joe Hallenback

    Joe Hallenback Registered User

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    I think the media puts alot of pressure and hype on those 3 undrafted players. Personally I think the US would have a better team next year if most of those 17 and 18 year olds will be back.
     
  5. Steveorama

    Steveorama Registered User

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    Agreed.
    By the same token, this year's Canadian team might look pretty good with 18 year old Sidney Crosby and company back for another year.
     
  6. Drake1588

    Drake1588 UNATCO

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    Keep in mind that in the United States, the general reaction to the US winning the tournament would be, "Oh really? That's nice." The reaction to the team losing would in all probability be, "the world junior what now?"

    No one in the US is watching, and there really isn't any pressure to speak of here. It's not televised; fans have to go out of their way to pay specifically for TSN feeds through Center Ice, or Fox sports packages. These are essentially the only ways in which hockey fans can keep track of what's going on at the WJCs, now that poker has clearly demonstrated its ratings dominance over hockey, and driven ESPN to benign indifference.

    Pressure? US hockey? It's NFL playoff season and Bowl week in college football. A little perspective... something on the order of 298 million people in this country have never heard of this tournament and couldn't care less about the result in this tournament. That's probably being generous. Americans don't watch pro hockey, much less the minors or juniors.

    The level of pressure on the US team doesn't approach the pressure on Canada, and probably the other elite seven countries. We Americans who track the WJC results on sites like these are most definitely the exceptions, and the media will follow the lead of the public's tastes. You can't find mention of this tournament in the papers save in the regional hot pockets for college hockey around the country.
     
  7. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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    In Slovakia, theres NO coverage of the WJC's (just scores shown and like 15 second long talks about it). Our guys have zero pressure.
     
  8. espo*

    espo* Guest

    unfair pressure? hey,this team does'nt know what pressure is yet.it's a nothing tournament in the U.S with precious little coverage and absolutely not even on the radar with the guy on the street down there.If this is too much pressure for them they better look at themsleves in the mirror cause this is nothing.

    They should be pretty relaxed really.
     
  9. Drake1588

    Drake1588 UNATCO

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    I think they are relaxed. Every time they pan to the bench in the games I've watched, the likes of Kessel, Bourque, Oshie, J. Johnson are all grinning and/or chuckling as they rehash plays from a previous shift with one another. Certainly no sign of being wound too tight, and certainly no outward signs of team chemistry problems. They look like they're having fun.
     
  10. Sinurgy

    Sinurgy Rebuilding

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    I don't think they have too much pressure, certainly nothing compared to the Canadian team. However I do imagine it's a little tough to be so hated in Canada just because it's so fashionable to do so. Meanwhile no one in the US cares, so you don't really even have your own country in your corner...well except for a few of us hockey dorks on HF. :D
     
  11. espo*

    espo* Guest

    I agree from what i've seen.They seem to be handling the pressure they do have pretty welll i think.Team play overall seems fine to me,the Game against Canada they played really well and came out and finished strong and about as good as could be hoped for.They are in the semi's...............................gold is still there to take if they play well enough.They have faced some good teams and gotten tested but that is to be expected,they are'nt going against Ireland and Fiji here.
     
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