A quick analysis of the United States forward group after their 7-1 deconstruction of the Slovak squad:
Dustin Brown – Ryan Kesler – Patrick Kane
James van Riemsdyk – Joe Pavelski – Phil Kessel
Zach Parise – David Backes – Ryan Callahan
Max Pacioretty – Paul Stastny – T.J. Oshie
“Terrifying” “ouch” and “damn” are pretty much the simplest, most distilled version of my thoughts after watching the Americans break down Slovakia.
Just like I said about Sweden after they beat the Czech Republic 4-2, the only part of the game that we’re able to learn anything from is the first two periods, where the US had their pedal to the floor and Slovakia couldn’t stand up to it. The lines came in waves, dominating puck possession and keeping the pressure on until a breakdown eventually led to a puck in the net.
The one caveat from the game: it was Slovakia’s lack of depth that really killed them. The US didn’t have much success against their best players.
Tomas Surovy and Milan Jurcina were both minus four. Milan Bartovic and Rene Vydareny were minus three. Meanwhile, Zdeno Chara, Tomas Kopecky and Michael Handzus were even, and Marian Hossa was minus one.
The US has an undeniably deep, scary group of forwards. Other countries are on notice. But it will be fun to see how they stack up against a group that’s better from top to bottom.