June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Malcolm Subban is selected as the number twenty-four overall draft pick to the Boston Bruins in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA advances in Ufa.

After a little soul searching, I thought I would keep the original title. I also had ‘USA hunts for Gold!’.  For the sake of complete honesty the other title was ‘Not since the Miracle on Ice in ’80 and the Old Testament have we seen such a David-vs-Goliath battle work out for the “good” guys!’ It just wouldn’t be practical to link it. It does represent how I feel though. For those not living under a rock Team USA will be proceeding to the IIHF finals with a 5-1 win over Team Canada.

The United States started out strong with a 8-0 victory of Germany. (I just assumed it was their punishment from the hockey gods to wear a uniform that looked a lot like the old Canucks jersey.) Then the Americans lost two matches against Canada and Russia. Both were 2-1 losses, and were both due to some silly mistakes that the opposing team capitalized on. This forced the Americans into an all-or-nothing fight against Team Slovakia to stay in the hunt for the medals.

When faced with imminent removal from the tournament, Team USA responded with a vengeance! Team USA was all over the Slovaks handing them a 9-3 rout. The defense had new life in them, the cut their errors by an order of magnitude.  The Americans then blasted the Czechs in the quarter final in order to face their friendlier rivals (and tournament favorite) Team Canada.

Then there was John Gibson. John Gibson (whose coach of the Kitchner Rangers is Team Canada’s head coach Steve Spott) is having one of the best competitions a crease policeman could ever have. Gibson is currently rocking a .954 save percentage (best performance of an American ever in the tournament.), and a jaw dropping 1.42 goals against average (third best all time.) Got to love a guy that has a half-American/ half-Canadian helmet and wore it the entire time.

As a Bruins fan, it is a little sad to see your future goalie get pulled after a “bad performance”. Malcolm Subban stopped twelve out of sixteen shots on goal before Coach Spott pulled him off the bench in favor of Jordan Binnington. Binnington stopped twenty five of twenty six in an attempt to save Canada from one of its most lopsided defeats. To be fair to Subban, it was hard to tell if the Canadians were on the ice, or it was Team Germany in Canadian colors. Their offense was sluggish, and the defense were making the mistakes that cost the Americans dearly in the previous match. I still believe Malcolm Subban will have a bright future in Boston. (As soon as his countryman stop blaming him for this catastrophe.)

With Canada and Russia battling for the bronze, the Bruins will have no prospects battling for Gold. It’s a shame, but its really awesome to see Team USA (who was predicted to finish seventh) get a medal this year. To me, it doesn’t matter if it is silver or gold. That medal will be a validation for USA hockey, and the strength of character in its players.

Tags: WJC

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