Just an hour or so after providing color commentary for the U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey semifinal matchup, Ed Olczyk joined Michael Felger and Marc Bertrand on Felger & Mazz to discuss what happened.
Olczyk said that the Americans just didn’t have an answer for Canada, and that Dan Bylsma’s adjustments came too late.
“Team USA was forced to play a different game. They didn’t have the puck as much,” Olczyk said. “When you don’t have the puck as much, it forces you to defend, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Given that the tournament didn’t end in gold for the U.S., there are going to be questions about the decisions that went into building the roster.
“Bobby Ryan would have been on my team. I think there is something for heaviness,” Olczyk said. “I think there is something for having guys that have the ability to be able to get inside the dots. … In this type of game, this was your typical NHL playoff game. It’s tough to get to the middle, it’s tough to generate offense, and when you have that size and that heaviness, it allows you to be able to create those chances.”
As for the future of NHL players participating in the Olympics, Olczyk had an interesting solution to the league’s opposition to shutting down for several weeks in the middle of the season.
“Maybe we’re getting to the point where you’ve got to get creative. Maybe you’ve got to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to have men’s ice hockey in the summer Olympics.’ You have it in August. Everybody wins there. Everybody wins. You don’t shut down the NHL, and you still allow the best hockey players in the world to come to a tournament like this.”