USA Weak on Defense?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by SabresSharks, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. SabresSharks

    SabresSharks Registered User

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    I know it's way early yet, but I didn't like what I saw in the defensive and neutral zones against the Finns: unorganized, hesitant around loose pucks, not terribly physical, sloppy passes. Nobody close to a Fowler or Carlson. A better offensive team would have feasted.

    Plenty of posters here know way more than me about these players. Any cause for concern?

    (No offense to Finland. Your kids played a superb, tight-checking game. Hard to tell sometimes if one team played poorly or the other team just made it look that way.)
     
  2. wjhl2009fan

    wjhl2009fan Registered User

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    I think the states biggest issue is they were over hyped so much so its a high bar for them to reach.When you have fans and some media talking like its a lock they will make the semis and there pool will be easy your just asking for trouble.In result to all of that it has put a unfair amount of presure on the states and that is part of the reason they had a bad first game.There not a bad team there real good there not this great top end elite team some seem to think they are.Tonights game is more or less a must win and they have to play a solid game.
     
  3. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I'd say the biggest issue is it was one freaking game and people need to stop over-analyzing. We won and that's what matters. It's up to Coach Allain to address any weaknesses and make adjustments.
     
  4. wjhl2009fan

    wjhl2009fan Registered User

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    Yes and no yes they won but its the way they played is a concern for some.
     
  5. ikelechien

    ikelechien Registered User

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    Well, I wouldn’t want to jump of the deep-end yet. Team USA had only one game since their squad selection process was completed. Canada, by way of comparison had 3, and still need work on the back end to be ready for the playoffs. All of Team USA, not just the back end, didn’t look like a team or play well together. There was a particular disconnect between the forwards and the “D†compared to Team Finland which operated as one unit for the most part.

    A few more games are needed to get the team together. Luckily, Pool A not does not look as strong as Pool B (Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland to come) so Team USA still has a chance to get their act together for when it matters. Justin Faulk, in particular, looks like he will be a force in the offensive zone. Nick Leddy also looked decent. Patrick Wey despite his size doesn’t look like a force either on “D†or offense. Merrill, I think will be OK once the coaches work on making the team more cohesive - he looked like a good set-up man for Faulk. Forbort can really skate but neither he nor any of the rest of the “D†put up much in the way of nastiness that one identifies with a North American team - he (as the Mr. Nasty leader on the team) will have to add some if the Team USA is to be successful in the medal round. And Dumoulin was like the other others, a smooth skating D man - but will need to add more cohesion and grit to make the team successful.

    Canada, by way of comparison, is closer to getting their act together but still face issues.
    The forwards, for the most part have performed as planned, 5 on 5, PP and PK. The defense, particularly 5 on 5, still have issues. The top pairing (Olsen-Ellis) have an issue with being too offensive. Olsen, in particular needs to pay more attention to “D†and let Ellis concentrate on the offense. The second pairing (Cowan and Barrie or de Haan) needs to have the issue of who will be Cowan’s partner resolved so the pair can concentrate on the D job - my vote goes to Barrie. The third pairing (Despres-Gudbranson), while huge, can be beaten by speed and their own poor judgements if they don’t keep it simple. Keep its simple and this pairing works.

    In summary, I don’t think the real Team USA, forward or defense, has yet emerged. There is skill, there is size, there is speed, there is experience - the trick for the coaches is to harness all these good qualities and make them work together for the team. A little more nasty also may be required from the Team when the medal round commences to again come out on top of the heap.
     
  6. doakacola*

    doakacola* Registered User

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    Faulk, Merrrill & Forbort are in the top 6 rotation and are 18 year old I believe. Its going to be the most talent these guys have played against, so I think its a learning curve for these three. I think the Finland game was a good thing for all the 18 year olds who played. I expect these three to improve as the tourney goes along.
     
  7. CapsWolverinesUSA

    CapsWolverinesUSA Registered User

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    It's worth noting that both Carlson and Fowler had games in the pool play last year that had people questioning their reputations as elite talents. 18 and 19 year olds will have the odd bad game or so. This is to be expected, particularly when they're playing against the best competition some of them have ever faced, in a high stakes situation.

    For obvious reasons given my NHL rooting interests, I particularly recall Carlson getting dumped on after a game against Slovakia (?) last year. Needless to say, the people who made snap judgments off of one game were later made to look foolish, and have continued to look foolish ever since.

    So, I'd give these guys some time to settle into the tournament. In any event, I thought Faulk and Merrill looked just fine.
     
  8. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Adopted Canadian

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    after one game, really?

    I was there and must have seen a much different game then you did. They may not have a Carlson or a Fowler, but this team has no problems getting the puck out of their zone. The Finns are a frustrating team to play against. I hate playing them at any level more so then Sweden and Russia. They just stick to a system the entire game and it frustrates the hell out of you, but the US did not look bad at all.

    They made some simple mistakes, but that is what the relegation round is for. If the team doesnt look better tonight, then we might have a discussion on this a bit, but after one game against a very frustrating Finns team is nothing to worry about.

    Faulk looked like a complete stud out there. Merrill made so many nice passes in the offensive zone, he really looks like a legit pro in the making. I expect more from Leddy and Dumoulin tonight as both need to really get that offense going.

    The US has the strongest overall blueline in the tournament along with Canada. I think they are both neck and neck in terms of size and talent. I am not concerned with the US blueline, I would be more concerned with the forward group like Palmieri and Kreider as they need to start burying those chances.
     
  9. rangersfan212

    rangersfan212 Registered User

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    After watching Dumoulin play several games, including both here. It is safe to say he is a flop. To slow with the puck, passes are not crisp, does not think the game as quick as the others etc. Worst d on team, him and Ramage. Ramage literaly throws the puck out with head down every time. Still light years ahead of Dumoulin. His pro team must be dissapointed as it seems to be a wasted pick now. He shows how you can hide a kid on a great college team. He would get killed in major junior

    US will run 4 down the stretch.
     
  10. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Epic fail.
     
  11. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Adopted Canadian

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    Dumoulin is one of the safer bets on this team to be an NHLer. A 6'3 200lb puck moving defensemen can find a nice home in the NHL. Though he hasnt been spectacular in any one game yet, he has been solid all around. The kid reminds me of a young Tom Poti, and should have a similar career as well....needs to rip that shot a bit more like Poti did, but he has the skills.

    Not sure how his college team hid him during 2 eval camps for the US (summer and december), but he was a lock for this team since his excellent summer eval camp. Not sure if you really watched this game or any for that matter, but your opinion is completely off base.

    As for Ramage I will agree that he has looked iffy at times. Ramage's game is the type that when you dont notice him out there, he is doing his job. Nothing special, just solid all around. Ramage needs to step it up more imo, but there isnt a single blueliner that I have a big problem with yet. Wey is a kid that I felt was out of place from the start, and at times has looked it, but he still just needs to fill the Brian Lashoff role from last year and the team will be fine. Wey needs to do more hitting imo.

    The US blueline is performing at expectations so far, hopefully they continue to climb for the medal rounds.
     
  12. SabresSharks

    SabresSharks Registered User

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    The best d-men thus far have been Faulk (to me, the only standout), Leddy, and Dumoulin, in that order.

    Still not happy with what I'm seeing in the defensive zone. Forbort's sloppiness behind the net directly led to the Slovak goal (Callahan's missed coverage didn't help). 2 giveaways by Merrill, a returning player with a big reputation, within a few seconds almost led to another one. The forwards were bailing the d-men out down low way too often, Coyle in particular (best player on the ice yesterday IMO).

    Their uninspired play was barely good enough against a mediocre opponent, Finland, and was unnoticeable to a casual observer yesterday because the Slovaks are a relatively weak team. The same level of play will be thoroughly exploited by the skilled forwards on Canada, Russia, and Sweden.

    Two more games to get it right.
     
  13. rangersfan212

    rangersfan212 Registered User

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    Dumoulin is not a lock pro by any means. does not come close to the top D on any of the top teams here and is not top 4 for US

    He is slow with decisions and cant move puck quick on PP
    Some of that has to do with BC and how they screw D on PP but he is not a high end prospect.

    He and ramage are there based on reps and schools attended, ramage also because of politics
     
  14. NinthSpoke06

    NinthSpoke06 Registered User

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    After reading this post, it is safe to say you clearly know nothing about the sport.

    BC hides Dumolin? Are you kidding me? If by hid you mean play him as a freshmen against the top lines of two of the best teams in the country in the frozen four? You clearly didn't watch a second of the NCAA tournament last year and are clearly lacking hockey knowledge.

    After watching this tournament so far the biggest flop to the outside eye would likely be Chris Kreider. He has been a non-factor in both of the USA's game so far. So are the Rangers disappointed that they wasted a first round pick because he only has 2 points so far at the World Juniors? No, because the coach for USA is completely misusing him. Clearly has no idea how to take advantage of his skillset and likely isn't going to get much out of him unless he changes the way he uses Kreider. But since we are making ridiculous statements based on nothing, lets just say Kreider is a huge bust and move on because he has been terrible so far.
     
  15. In Exisle

    In Exisle Registered User

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    Biggest issue with the US defensively (including forwards) is that they get sloppy transitioning from defending to attacking too often. The passing and positioning seems to be thrown off easily.. which will be a problem against more skilled teams.

    This probably has more to do with chemistry than anything. They should be better in this regard with time.. I just hope they figure it out before it's too late.
     
  16. rangersfan212

    rangersfan212 Registered User

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    Kreider is just fine and could have 4/5 points by now if he had palmeris good fortune..

    Say what you want but Dumoulin is doing squat. The few scouts I have talked to all agree that this has opened their eyes and exposed his weaknesses. He is not close to the top D here skill wise and is not crisp with passes on pp etc. he will get eaten alive vs canada.
     
  17. Stephen Goalbert

    Stephen Goalbert Puck Don't Lie

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    :facepalm:
     
  18. no name

    no name Registered User

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    I know Forbert is raw but he was considered a steal of a draft pick. I wish they'd give him more minutes.
     
  19. SabresSharks

    SabresSharks Registered User

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    Missed the Germany game. No NHLN at the airports - shocking!

    A shutout and only 14 shots against. Was the D stifling or was Germany just hopeless?
     
  20. Germany has no offensive push but I did not feel the US was anywhere as dominant as I thought they would be.
     
  21. rangersfan212

    rangersfan212 Registered User

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    Team USA is ok until medal round, where they will get spanked when they play Canada, unless campbell is off the charts, which he is capable of doing

    Nice goal by Kreider, Dumoulin looked soft again and his transition game is slow. Does nt get the cocept of hard first pass on breakout or PP.
     
  22. Yup.
     
  23. cagney

    cagney cdojdmccjajgejncjaba

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    They completely dominated puck possession but shots and more importantly, scoring chances dropped off dramatically after the first half of the game.

    The US defense wasn't really challenged with an effective fore check the past two games. I think that's where the Finns really caused problems for them and I expect the better teams to exploit that during the medal round. Hopefully the US defensemen are ready for it by that time.

    Also, I don't see how anyone can criticize Dumoulin. He's surpassed my expectations for him already.
     
  24. etherialone

    etherialone dialed in your mom

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    Forbort is raw but the times he gets in he plays a really solid heads up style of game. He is big and at times is using his body really well but is still learning when to do so. I think that next year he will be a stud for US.

    Leddy looks really good. Faulk and Merril are both solid.

    Our D is fine. Could it be better? I suppose so but then so could everyone elses.
     
  25. If I ranked the teams I have seen so far in this tournament I would rank as follows :

    Canada
    Sweden
    Russia
    US
    Finland
     

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