Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by HabLover, Apr 23, 2005.
Who will win?
What will the score be?
And will the ref let them play?
i honestly have to say Canada... they are a superpower...
i say it will be close... maybe 4-3 4-2...
and i dont think the ref will let them play, i think this game may be won or lose by the ref and the IIHF has to do something
have they never seen hitting before?
No surprise here, but I think the U.S. will pull this one out. Not a blow-out, but something like 4-2. It's ESSENTIAL the U.S. (Jack Johnson-are you listening?!?!) keeps it's composure and stay out of the penalty box. If that happens and Jeff Frazee keeps his form, the U.S. will win. Kessel might not be as visible, but I doubt he's nuetralized. I look for him to get a goal.
I don't think they have their superpower team there right now!
Hate to say it but I think the US wins tomorrow, but I really like this Canadian team. No doubt the US team has an edge in overall skill (the game I saw they were fantastic) but I wouldn't count out the Canadians. They work extremely hard, and if they can somehow shut down the US and keep it close they have a decent chance.
USA, for once, has all the advantages. You can never rule Canada out, but USA should be the favorite in this one. Kessel has been by far the best player in the tournament, but even if Canada focuses on him, Skille, Mueller and Stoa are all more than capable as well. Frazee has outplayed Price as well, and will need to do so again.
USA will win I think. Canada doesn't have the firepower up front. It's too bad Brule and Crosby weren't playing on this team.
Cogliano, Little, Bradford, McCardle, Durand, would all be nice to.
As would Staal, Russell and McNeil on the blueline.
The blue line is excellent as it is and the Q defensemen are the bests this year.
I am rooting for Canada but Phil Kessel, Jack Johnson and Peter Mueller are a lethal combination and I'm afraid this will be a very very close game and that Canada might lose it.
It will end 4-3, let's hope Canada wins it
Imagine with Bourret, Crosby, Brule, Staal and co. This canadian team suddenly gets a whole lot better. It would have been interesting to see Crosby play against his buddy Johnson.
USA are the clear cut favourite tomorrow, like Canada was the clear cut favourite in the 04 U20s against the Parise and Montoya led US. But anything can happen as it's only one game.
Predicting a winner in this one is difficult because both teams are very evenly matched. I think it will be tight either way, with the winner probably winning by a goal and no more than 2.
I think there are several issues that will determine who will win this game:
1) How well will the US defence handle Canada's forechecking pressure?
Most of the US offense is created on attacks off the rush using their speed. Canada, on the other hand, creates most of its chances by giving you the puck deep in your end, putting intense pressure on the d to get to the puck quickly and make a quick decision. If the US d can make sound decisions under pressure most of the time they will be able to advance the puck quickly and create chances off the rush. If they panic and turn the puck over, Canada will quickly pounce on US breakdowns and the US forwards will have difficulty creating much offense.
I know the US looked impressive beating the Swedes but they haven't faced a forecheck close to what they will see from Canada. The Swedes were so passive the American d could have got to the puck, had lunch, taken the dog for a walk and had an afternoon nap before they were required to headman the puck. I'm sure the Swedes would still be standing in the neutral zone in a 1-4 formation if we allowed it.
2) Can the US defensemen handle Canada's forwards down low below the dots? It seems every time Canada and the US play in international competition the determining factor is the match-up between Canada's forwards and the US defense deep in the US zone. Like most Canadian teams, Canada's forwards are big, fast and tenacious. If the US d can avoid turning the puck over under pressure they won't have to spend a lot of time on the d side of the puck. When they do turn the puck over (and they will occasionally the question is how often) will they be able to recover their position and prevent Canada from capitalizing on their chances?
3) Will Canada be able to prevent the American forwards, and in particular Kessel and his linemates from creating chances off the rush? And, if Canada is able to nullify the American attack off the rush and eliminate odd-man rushes will the Americans be able to take a page out of Canada's book and creates chances off of in zone attacks? While I think Kessel has an outstanding package of skills and is extremely dynamic one on one, I also think his offensive game is too one dimensional at this point in his career. Of the major international competitions Kessel has played in it seems to me that most of his goals are a result of beating a defenseman off the rush (usually a Swedish defenseman). I can't recall him outmuscling a dman below the goalline and paying the price to score. If I'm Canada everytime Kessel is on the ice I put the puck deep in the American end and make him go 200 feet to score. I make sure I have 2 of Bourdon, Mikkelson and Parent on the ice, I put my best checking forwards on the ice, particularly Cody Bass who is ideal for this type of assignment. I take the mid lane of the ice away, steer everything towards the bad ice along the boards. Additionally, the combination of strong gap control by the Canadian d and strong backside pressure from the Canadian forwards will limit Kessel's time and space and prevent him and his linemates from interchanging positions and thus confusing Canada's dmen. If I'm Shawn Camp my strategy is to force the other 3 American forward lines and their d to beat me.
4) Goaltending: Both Price and Frazee are very good. Price has a huge frame and is a tremendous athlete. He has some technical flaws that cost him some goals (both goals in the Czech game) but aside from the one goal against the Swedes he's been solid for Canada. Frazee is a solid positional goaltender who is extremely efficient in his movements. He'll need to be strong against Canada's down low options (jams, walkouts, passouts and one timers). If I'm Canada I'm shooting the puck 6 inches off the ice off his pads and crashing the net for rebounds.
5) Depth: The US has the best offensive forward in the game. They have arguably the best two way dman in the game in Johnson (although it's hard to argue against Bourdon). They also have a strong supporting cast up front with Mueller, Stoa and Skille. However, I think there is a huge drop off on the American blueline after Johnson and I wouldn't be surprised if Canada exploits this. Overall, I think Canada's blueline is deeper than the US blueline and I think if Canada can slow down the Kessel line the other 3 US forward lines are not good enough to beat Canada.
I'll take Canada to win 4-2 win an empty netter. Of course, being a Canadian I respect the opposition but also expect Canada to rise to the occasion and win every time we play for a gold medal.
Staal, Russell and McNeil would be there over Kurceba, Gragnani and Paquet if they had been available. Paquet has looked atrocious from start to finish. He has very slow feet and an even slower mind.
It's not going to do Canada much good to cycle the puck in the O zone if they aren't more opportunistic then they were against the Czechs.
I'm not overly concerned about Canada's ability to score. They have four lines that can all chip in. If one line comes up dry their are three others who can pick up the slack. I'm not so sure the Americans can say the same thing, at least not to the same extent.
I think the turning point in the Canada-Czech game was the disallowed goal late in the first period. Canada owned the Czechs in the first. If that goal had counted, as it should have, Canada would have seized all the momentum heading to the second and I believe they would have blown the Czechs out. I think that call put Canada on its heels for most of the second period. Fortunately, they showed tremendous character and bounced back for the win. If they put 45 shots on Frazee tomorrow they'll score 3-4 times and I think that will be enough to win the game.
Unfortunately, the American's defense..and team overall...is light years better than the Czechs.
And..by the way...your analysis, while tinged with bias, was decent...until the part where you suggested that Luc Bourdon is somehow in the same stratosphere as Jack Johnson...
I think your' either underrating Bourdon or overrating Johnson. They definitly arn't stratospheres apart imo. Although I do give the obvious edge to JJ.
I'd have to go with the USA, they seem to have a slight edge in firepower, but this should be real close. I'd say 5-4 USA, if the Ref keeps his whistle in his pocket, this will be a fun game to watch.
Mitera, Erik Johnson, Chorney and Jones are all very good defenders. Gentile and Lawson are probably as solid as most on Canada's group.
I dont think there is a massive drop-off as you indicate.
Johnson is said to be the best defensive prospect available since Suter\Phaneuf..with the potential to be as good or maybe even better than either. He's a decent bet to go second in this year's draft, and likely no later than third. Meanwhile, Bourdon, while a decent offensive d-man, isn't nearly as well rounded, and some feel could fall past the middle of the first round in a draft that's weak outside the top ten.
As mentioned, the Americans' defense is on the whole is a lot better than you're giving it credit for. Believe it or not, the American team is pretty stacked this year..and SHOULD win this game.
I have to go with the Americans on this one. Their roster is very good and they have the benefit of having played with each other for a long time. Canada is missing a lot of great players but have still performed quite well. Considering all of this I think the US squad may be too much to overcome. 3-2 USA is my prediction.
I like the Canadian team, but to put it simply, top to bottom, it is not as good as the U.S. squad, and I think there is a bigger gap than many are willing to admit. This is the VERY best the U.S. has to offer in this age group, and as a team has played together all year long. Canada can't say that, and IMO will be exposed a bit. That doesn't mean Canada can't win, as anything can happen, but I think Ron Rolston will have the U.S. squad well-prepared and focused for the task at hand, and I think you'll see the team come out flying. I know Canada plays a physical style, but the U.S. can match that intensity, especially from a defensive stand point, and don't worry about Kessel, he's as opportunistic a player as there is in this tournament. He'll do his job.
I wouldn't say they are "stratospheres" apart either, since that would mean Johnson is the second coming of Bobby Orr, but he does have a distinct edge over Bourdon, regardless of what Central Scouting would have you believe. There isn't a PLAYER in his draft class who combines offense, defense, and physical play like him.
I'm not sure how you can say that when the U.S. has received contributions offensively from a variety of players. As for Canada getting 45 shots on goal, I don't think so. There would have to be a monumental collapse on the part of the U.S. defense for that to happen.
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