Red, White, and Brutal
While Phil Kessel sat at his home with his dog lampooning Team USA on Twitter, the United States left the ice defeated after a 4-2 loss at the World Cup of Hockey. It was yet another loss for the Americans on a national stage against Team Canada. It was apparent that the gameplan of using only sandpaper and “grit” to take away time and space from Canada wasn’t going to work. Absolutely and utterly shocking.
To no one’s surprise, players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, and plenty of other veterans are responsible, as well.
News flash: those guys also bring skill to the table.
While 37-goal scorer and pest Brad Marchand helped elevate Sidney Crosby’s game throughout the preliminary round, players such as Justin Abdelkader prevented Hart Trophy Winner Patrick Kane from generating any offense, because allowing skill players to do what they do best is illegal for USA Hockey.
And there’s Torts. I don’t even know where to start.
He made a scene with the media talking about the potential of players protesting the anthem. He scratched Dustin Byfuglien against a European squad lacking a physical presence (unless Zdeno Chara can magically catch you in time these days). He didn’t let skill come to the forefront.
And it was evident. They let Jaroslav Halak look like Dominik Hasek, getting blanked in the opening match. A quick Ryan McDonagh goal was short-lived once Canada answered with two goals in 14 seconds. The second goal for the United States came in garbage time.
While Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop rotted on the bench, Jonathan Quick allowed seven goals in two games.
While the likes of Justin Faulk, Tyler Johnson, and Phil Kessel sat home and watched an embarrassing and outdated brand of hockey, the world got to see where “true grit” gets teams in hockey in the year 2016.
And let’s be clear: Team USA could have absolutely used the likes of Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, Brandon Saad, and other young, emerging players unavailable to them due to Team North America.
However, there was a strong talent pool available to make some noise, and the only noise we got was from Torts being a buffoon.