BOSTON (CBS) – For a team that looked as good as it did in the preliminary round to completely fall on its face against Canada in the semis, and then not show up the following day in the bronze medal game was disappointing to say the least.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE believes part of the blame has to fall on Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma, because a correlation can be drawn between his Pittsburgh Penguins and how the Americans played in Sochi.
“Certainly there’s a pattern there where he plays this wide open offensive game and they’re able to generate huge offensive numbers during the regular season, or as we saw with Team USA in the preliminary round. But then when the going gets tough his teams do tend to slow down a little bit, as we saw last year in the conference finals against the Bruins,” said Haggerty.
“When things really mattered the offense dried up and the fight wasn’t there.”
Bylsma deserves his fair share of blame pie, but Haggs thinks you must also look to how the roster was constructed in assessing criticism.
Quite simply, they didn’t bring their best players and it showed when it really mattered.
“This is a team I thought from the very beginning was flawed. They didn’t bring their best offensive players that they should have brought. When you don’t score any goals at the end against Canada and against Finland when you have chances to medal, you got power play chances you can’t score and can’t get the puck back, that’s part of the reason you bring good offensive players to a big ice tournament like that. Puck possession is a huge part of the game.”
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