USA defeated Switzerland in the first game of the Olympics for both Men’s teams by a score of 3-1. Switzerland came out hitting fast and furious in the beginning of the game, which to an extent really slowed down the speedy Team USA. USA had no answer for the onslaught of hard hits by Switzerland, but would slowly turn it around by the middle stages of the first period. With just over a minute remaining in the first period, Bobby Ryan scored on Anaheim teammate Jonas Hiller. David Backes would later score a beautiful goal in the 2nd period, followed by Ryan Malone. Team USA showed up in the 2nd period, but the 3rd period was another story once again.
[adinserter block=”1″]During the third period, Switzerland began the intense hitting once again. Team USA in my mind was lucky in this game that Switzerland wasn’t a more skilled team then they are. I truly believe USA made too many mistakes. Their puck handling was sloppy at best, and their top 2 forward lines were too “cute” with the puck. They had multiple opportunities with open shooting lanes, in which they choose to make too perfect of passes behind their backs and between legs instead of just taking the sure shot. There was a lot of talk in post-game interviews of players talking about nerves. I hope this is past them now, and they can focus on the points that are much needed.
Team Canada looked great from front to back. With myself being a fanatic Philadelphia Flyers fan, it was great to see Chris Pronger and Mike Richards score goals in their opening game. The crowd was hot, and they made few mistakes with the puck. Team Canada will meet Team USA this Sunday. If Team USA plays as bad as they did today, we will go home with nothing to prove other than experience for this young, fast team. No one knows how great Russia will be with word that defenseman Andrei Markov will play in the Olympics. The line of Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk is truly the best line I feel in the Olympics this year. Time will tell, but I believe Russia is possibly the only team to compete with Canada in the end.
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