All I’ve got for you today is Americans (who beat the Germans 6-0), since I didn’t get to watch the Canada game yesterday (wherein they only beat the Germans 4-0), but if you are so inclined, read on.
Play of the Day: Jack Eichel’s wraparound goal in the 3rd period. Just stellar. His reach was ridiculously long, and he made the wrap look incredibly simple. Spoiler: those kinds of goals are not simple at all.
1. The USA’s power play needs to improve if they want to medal. Plain and simple. They got 7 opportunities tonight and didn’t cash in on any of them (Hudson Fasching’s goal came right after that particular penalty expired). That’s not acceptable, and that’s not going to win you a tournament. It’s not as much of a liability as it could be because their even strength scoring is good, but it still needs to be fixed.
2. Relatedly, as much as I have loved the aggression of the USA penalty kill, I’d really prefer we weren’t seeing it so often. Discipline issues sunk this team last year, and if they continue taking several penalties per game, it could sink them again this year.
3. Fasching, Larkin, and Motte is potentially my favorite line so far. They never stop grinding, never stop driving hard to the net, but unlike some grind lines they’ve got really nice offensive potential.
4. Jack Eichel makes everything he does on the ice look ridiculously simple. See the above play.
5. In the end, a major positive to take away from this is that so far, the USA’s possession game has been terrific. I’m pretty sure Tasha is tracking games, so she’ll have some number-talk for you on that, but even the eye test showcased it tonight.
1. Igor Sharipov (GER). This goalie faced 53 shots from Team USA and only let in 6. I’m kind of surprised no NHL team owns his rights, and I hope someone takes a look.
2. Jack Eichel (USA). I’m such a big fan of this kid. I’d love for him to just go wild on offense for the rest of the tournament, but no matter what, he’s playing at a terrific level. And as Chris Peters said, very rarely does he go for the obvious play.
3. Dylan Larkin (USA). Again. He skates like it’s the easiest thing he’s done in his life, and he looks so polished. Caught my eye just about every shift. Scored 2 goals and got 1 assist tonight. Absolutely deserved Player of the Game honors.