The USA played Slovakia, a team that produces much current NHL talent, and in the past has produced greats like Peter Stasney, who now has a son playing for the USA. This was thought of as a tough game, being both the first game where the players were going to gel, fight off jet-lag/tired legs, and figure out the line combinations. Well the USA got off to a great start with a rousing 7-1 win, with Slovakia having to pull their starting goalie. It was necessary to run up the score, as one of the tie-breakers to win your group and automatically advance to the Quarter-final round is goal differential.
I was impressed by goalie Jonathan Quick, who in reality should have had a shut-out as the one slovakia goal was clearly off-side and missed by the refs. Also as a fan of the NY Rangers it was great to see Ryan Callahan get some good ice time both even strength and penalty kill. I can’t find stats with individual player ice-times, but I saw him and hear his name along with fellow teammate Ryan McDonagh called many times. Derek Stepan was a scratch, but hopefully in the weekend back to back games against Russia and Slovenia he will get to show what he can do.
Overall LET’S GO USA.. I have my jersey, and plan as of now to wake up early Saturday for the USA vs Russia game and hit a bar.. yeah its 7:30am don’t judge, its almost 5pm in Sochi and we know some Vodka will have been drunk!