Tappen: Team USA ‘Definitely’ The Favorite Over Canada
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BOSTON (CBS) – Canada is considered to have the best collection of hockey players in the world for their Olympic roster, but that alone does not guarantee a gold medal.
Kathryn Tappen of the NHL Network talked about the concern surrounding Team Canada leading up to Friday’s semifinal game versus the United States, and who would’ve thought their main issue would be putting the puck in the net?
“Eight of the top 15 goal scorers in the National Hockey League are playing for that Canadian team. There’s $150 million worth of payroll on that team. They have to score goals. You can’t have a guy like Patrick Sharp put up all the offense and guys like Shea Weber and Drew Doughty on defense with all your big numbers. These one goal games are not going to win you the gold medal.”
So while all that talent is nice it doesn’t mean much without chemistry. Their lack of cohesiveness is evident to Kathryn Tappen.
“There is major concern. I know they’re trying to change up those lines every practice. To me, that’s part of the problem. You have to stick with the guys that you have to create some kind of chemistry and give them more than one game or one practice to develop that. I’m not the head coach. I’m not taking away anything from that coaching staff. They know what they’re doing and they certainly have the right team, they’re just unable to generate any offense right now.”
Tappen has said from the very beginning that she expects Team USA to win gold.
Friday morning with Ryan Johnston and Mike Flynn she juxtaposed the two teams and provided some insight as to what makes them so different.
“I see passion on Team USA. When you go to their practices they’re laughing, lighthearted and having fun. They’re enjoying the Olympic experience. They have a lot of pressure on them but they’re not showing it. If you go to Team Canada practice it’s a very different tone. You can feel the tension. You can feel the pressure, so for the Americans I give them the edge in that department and clearly in goal scoring – they’ve got four lines that are absolutely rolling.
“I would definitely say Team USA is the favorite in this game, but when these two teams go head-to-head it’s pretty much null and void because of the competitiveness that they share.”
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