USA Hockey gets crushed 5-0 by Finland in bronze medal match
Olympics, Winter

In the end, they go home with nothing: USA destroyed by Finland 5-0

2/22/14 in Olympics, Winter   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - USA Hockey gets crushed 5-0 by Finland in bronze medal matchA day after the bitter disappointment of losing to Canada in the semifinals, Team USA had to get up for a bronze medal game with Finland. They didn't. In a lifeless performance, the Americans fell to Finland 5-0, thus meaning they will head home from Sochi with nothing.

It went wrong almost from the get go, when Patrick Kane missed a penalty shot in the first period. Still, it was at least 0-0 at the first intermission. From there, the wheels fell off. 1:27 into the second period, the ageless Teemu Selanne scored. Nine seconds later, Jussi Jokinen scored to give Finland a 2-0 lead. Patrick Kane then missed another penalty shot. At the second intermission, it was still 2-0 Finns. While in theory that's a doable deficit to overcome, the Americans looks listless and for the second straight game looked like they no clue how to score.

So came the third period, where Team USA simply didn't show up. Six minutes in, the Finns made it 3-0. Three minutes later Selanne scored again on the power play, and goal number five came with 6:51 left to complete the embarrassment. All the while the Americans in a do or die situation mustered a mere 5 shots on Tuukka Rask's goal, while defensively they hung Jonathan Quick out to dry again and again. There was nothing good about this performance from an American perspective. We'll see in the aftermath if we get answers on how a team with 20 goals in its first four games scored zero in their last two. We'll see if they get another chance in 2018, but that's not looking too good right now thanks to the NHL owners and executives.

On the other hand, congratulations to Finland on a well deserved bronze medal. Special congrats to Selanne, who in his sixth and presumably final Olympics wins his fourth career medal.
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2/24/14   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

This was a case where it seemed the wind was sucked out of the players sails after the Friday loss to Canada.  They did play right there with the Canucks in the first period but sometime early in the 2nd, the Canadians just started to outplay us.  After that loss I actually had little to no interest in watching the bronze medal game Saturday morning.  Seems the players had little to no interest in playing that game either.  And you know what?  I don't blame them.
To clarify...  The absence of NHL players does not in any way mean the Olympics were going back to amateurs.  I wish it did but all it means is the NHL will not be suspending their season to allow players to play.  Other pros will certainly show.  And remember...  Everything is done for money.  The Olympics are staged to make money.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The NHL initially let their players go to the games to begin with because they felt it would lead to more money for the NHL.  When that didn't come to pass they began to re-think doing it.

2/22/14   |   kteacher   |   34390 respect

Watching the USA being shut out and Quick doing what he does the last two games has me prepared for the Kings getting back to work on Wednesday.  indecision


(Though, to be fair to the Kings, I think their D-game is better than Team USA's.)

2/22/14   |   Jess   |   34856 respect

(Edited by Jess)

I didn't watch the game, but I have to throw in my two cents about something. In ANY sport, there are cases when a team doesn't play as well as they can. There ARE cases in which teams lose games rather than the opposing team winning it. It happens...it's not always the case, but it does happen...whether it's in hockey, football, soccer, and even baseball. Teams can have "off" games. It's not always just hockey fans making excuses. 

As I said, I didn't watch this game, so I don't know if that happened here. 

As as far as not allowing NHL in the Olympics; that wouldn't only affect the USA. Those players are spread out everywhere. 

2/22/14   |   Scott   |   53689 respect

Eric_ wrote:
While acknowledging that the US played like garbage today and most of yesterday, this is one thing that bothers me about hockey fans. Losses are NEVER about talent, it's always some excuse like "heart" or "grit" or something else, implying losing teams are lesser people. Maybe this is the baseball side of me coming out, where those kind of explanations are almost always nonsense, but it makes me wonder why bother with acquiring talent. Worse is when it the owners use that as smokescreen for no NHL in the next Games. Anyone who thinks going back to amateurs is a good thing or a "just" thing or even being done for anything but money is living in a fantasy land.

You can say the same thing about any sports fans....hence the saying, "That's why they play the game".

I don't think anybody is taking anything away from Finland but when your whole team is made up of pro athletes who play at the highest level you can play in their sport, fans have lofty expectations.  Personally, I never thought the US would get by Canada because IMO, Canada had more talent and a better team.  However, I did expect a little more against Finland, only because I thought the US had more talent and was a better team.

2/22/14   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Scott wrote:
Big time players need to show up in big time games.  That didn't happen against Canada or against Finland

While acknowledging that the US played like garbage today and most of yesterday, this is one thing that bothers me about hockey fans. Losses are NEVER about talent, it's always some excuse like "heart" or "grit" or something else, implying losing teams are lesser people. Maybe this is the baseball side of me coming out, where those kind of explanations are almost always nonsense, but it makes me wonder why bother with acquiring talent. Worse is when it the owners use that as smokescreen for no NHL in the next Games. Anyone who thinks going back to amateurs is a good thing or a "just" thing or even being done for anything but money is living in a fantasy land.

2/22/14   |   Scott   |   53689 respect

Big time players need to show up in big time games.  That didn't happen against Canada or against Finland