Friday, August 15, 2008

US Struggles in Slovakia

So it's been a rough go of it for the US Under-18 team playing in the Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia. After splitting exhibitions with Canada and Slovakia, the team lost all three of their games and will play Switzerland for 7th place.

Canada and Russia are playing in the final. A loaded Team Canada, with Harvard recruit Louis Leblanc and former Michigan State recruit Matt Duchene, should come out in the final, which should lead to the usual chest-thumping north of the border.

Incidentally, if you ever wondered why Canadians act like they do when it comes to hockey, look no further than their absolutely pathetic showing so far in the Summer Olympics. Canada has a whopping zero medals, just behind international athletic powerhouse Mongolia, who took home their first ever Summer Olympic gold in Barbecue.

That reminds me of last July. My dad and I were driving through Windsor while they were hosting the Canadian Olympic trials and this conversation took place:

Me: They're hosting the Canadian Olympic Trials over there
Dad: Oh, so that's a pretty big deal
Me: Maybe for them...


Anyway, back to hockey. The US' struggles in the Hlinka tournament has led some to suggest that the US should send their NTDP team to this tournament, to have a better showing. I like USA Hockey's current strategy, however. The NTDP asks enough of the kids in their program by having them leave home at such a young age and spend the entire school year traveling and playing a pretty rigorous schedule. There's no need to push them even more with another tournament over the summer.

It's also a great experience for the kids that get to participate in the tournament. For most, it might be one of the only chances they get to play an international level and travel to Europe to play hockey. There may be down years where the US doesn't have the depth to perform as well with their second best team, but the US has(rightly) placed more emphasis on the spring-time World U18s. A 7th or 8th place finish in this tournament with a secondary team isn't that big of a deal.

43 comments:

olletram said...

Wow, thats some anti-canadian rant. Thought this was a hockey forum? But yeah, Canadians are stinkin it up in Bejing, but then our athletes don't have the funds and resources of the big American machine. Peace and good luck to all athletes.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog regularly and alwyas enjoy the different viewpoints and opinions even when they don't mesh with my own. But I'm not sure why you feel the need to bash Canadians in your most recent comments. Our Olympic record is awful so that instantly correlates to our attitde about hockey? You not only insult me, a Canadian, but every Canadian hockey player playing in the WCHA and the NCAA. Or is that Canadians playing in the NCAA are OK and all other Canadians are losers?

Anonymous said...

As an American, we thump our chests all the time when we dominate at things, so why should it be any for the Canadians? Yeah, they are good at hockey, really good in fact, and if they want to celebrate they should.

The US has come a long way in producing a greater number of NHL level talent, but Canada still rules the show, and I don't have a problem w/ that.

Anonymous said...

I love excuses. And to say that 7th or 8th in any tournament is "not that big of deal" is pathetic. The dopes at USA Hockey better take a long hard look at themselves after this debacle. As a member of USA Hockey I am embarrassed by this performance.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, i don't have a problem with USA hockey not sending their NTDP team to this event. It is a good way to see some other good U18 players on an international stage in an effort to continue to evalue them for the U18 Worlds next April in Fargo. No doubt the NTDP team would have better, but winning this event wasn't the point or they (NTDP) would have gone. That being said i'm sure they felt the team they sent would have done better than 1-4 start up to this point.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a jerk-off comment. Please realize that not all Americans feel that way towards Canada. So, please take this as an apology!

Anonymous said...

Lets face it, the U.S. is not a hockey power and will never be a hockey power. I am sure that this fact bothers the author of this blog to no end. Yes, from time to time the U.S. will win the occasional medal but in all honesty, that is the best the U.S. can hope for.

Anonymous said...

I am an American and I really believe that this blog has shown anti-canadian sentiments for a while. I always thought that this was a good blog for hockey, but lately you seem to think that it is a competition between the CHL and NCAA, and to a lesser degree Canada vs the USA. Yes, Canada is better than America at hockey it always has been, but the gap is closing as ice hockey grows in America. However, just as a child growing, there will be growing pains and shots at Canada are unnecessary and essentially very ignorant. I would not be suprised if you do not publish this comment.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Pat Kane was elevated from his performance at this tourney. As a select USA player, he was moved to the NTDP squad after this tourney, where he developed further to help him become the star he is today! This is a great venue to see other USA players and expose them to International brand of hockey. it creates a better pool of players.

Anonymous said...

Oh relax.
If the US wins something and thumps their chest, it is the arrogant Americans. But if Canada wins something everyone is supposed to blow sunshine. Whatever! The Canadian viewpoint is always on this blog trashing everything about college hockey. Talk about being insecure, or having a inferiority complex.

Anonymous said...

My son played on this team 2 years ago when when they won the silver medal (lost to Canada). At that point in time he was playing in the USHL and was honored to get to represent his country overseas. If it were not for the opportunity to be picked at the Select 17 camp for this trip, he peobebly would have skipped the 17 and took some time off after the USHL season. The NTDP players get enough opportunity to showcase their skills internationally, USA hockey needs to keep the NTDP out of this event.

Marty said...

I'll take universal health care, affordable post-secondary education and hockey immortality over Olympic success any day!

Anonymous said...

You Anti-Canadite.

What is this world coming to. First the Canadians kick our ass in hockey every chance they get and then we can't even retailiate with some good old-fashioned American style racist humor.

Anonymous said...

This is a late summer tourney that most people could care less about. Making a big deal out of sending non-NTDP kids is a complete joke. Few people will care or even remember who won this event in five years. Its not like this is World Juniors or some major event of note. Some people need to get some perspective.

As for the anti-Canada stuff, let's put it into perspective. They are naturally going to build up one of the few things they are better at than the USA. I guess if I only had one international sport that my nation was a major success at, I'd probably focus on that as much as possible too. The US has a much more broad spectrum of athletic success and doesn't need to focus on one thing.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank everyone that has responded to the post an apologized, very classy move. However, those Canadians that read this don't need an apology, we know where this Blog is coming from.

You have to know your source folks.

Anonymous said...

I am a dual citizen and largely impartial and I find that that comment stinks of sour grapes!

Anonymous said...

I'm American, a long fan of NCAA hockey and a part owner of a WHL team. I spend a lot of time in Canada. I'd advise that you see a physician ASAP to have your head removed from your butt!

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Look at all the flames!

All you who point at Chris over this rant best go to some of the posts concerning NCAA players or recruits heading to Canadian Major Juniors. Maybe all the Anti-American/Canadian elitism that permeates those comment sections (not to mention all those that he rejects) may put some heat behind those comments.

I'm not one to claim American superiority, but I do take immense pleasure pointing out when Canadian elitism rears its ugly head. Why? Because this is a college hockey blog, not a MJ blog. So, all of you who love your MJ hockey, good for you. But keep acting elitist on pro-NCAA blogs like this, and you'll lose your ability to complain about why some Canadians are viewed upon as elitist pigs.

We all know Canada is bigtime hockey. Good for you all. But don't degrade those Americans, Canadians, or Europeans who decide not to go MJ. Nor should you really claim some sort of victory when MJ lures away an NCAA prospect. We dont know why that player opted for MJ. Maybe he wasn't ever interested in the NCAA. Maybe his grades forced the issue. Whatever the reason may be, showing class is always the best solution to every situation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guy but hockey is a fringe sport in the USA and always will be. The best American athletes continue to flock to football, basketball, baseball and now soccer. The best athletes in Canada play hockey. We will never be as good as the Canadians on a continual basis.

Just look at how Canada as a country comes to a virtual standstill when the Canadian teams are playing. Nobody in the USA gives a hoot about hockey. You are lucky if ESPN2 or Versus is carrying a tape delay of a USA game at 1am but generally billards or PBR Rodeo will take precedence.

Add in the skyrocketing cost of gas and traveling hours for hockey games won't fly for most financially strapped parents anymore so fewer kids will take up hockey or continue with it. Our numbers are down to the point that our local rink will probably close due to lack of interest. We also border Canada so there is a rich hockey heritage but be that as it may hockey is dying here.
Hockey will wither on the vine in many places but will remain strong in areas where there are many participants (MN, MI, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Canada just got a bronze in the 1500 Freestyle.

Anonymous said...

Man some people get real upset over opinions now-a-days.

Anonymous said...

Wow just when I thought you couldn't be any more of a douche you drop this ignorant rant.

You've gone from a major inferiority complex to now sounding just plain stupid. Congrats on completing the transformation.

Jackass.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your ridiculous post yesterday. Canada won 7 medals since your post....oh, and by the way, then won Gold at the U18...

Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

YEA, we beat the lowly Slovakian team with the extra attacker late in the game! USA Hockey should be proud of this team and their effort.LOL Interesting that the hockeycanada.com site had the score of this game published several hours prior to any word on the USA Hockey website. Just typical.

Anonymous said...

Well Canada just won a gold in rowing, I guess they are good at something besides hockey.

Anonymous said...

on USNDPT vs. non-USNDPT:

(a) they had one USNDPT defenseman this year;

(b) some might say the past teams were better than the USNDTP kids --of the 14 defensmen in the prior 2 years, six have been 1st round picks in the last 2 drafts (McDonagh, Blum, Perecki, Myers, Gardiner & Carlson), two 2nd rounders (Cross & Ness), and two 4th rounders (Donovan & Warsofsky [who they later put on the USNDTP for his 18-year old year last season]) -- another, David Carle (older brother Matt won the Hobey), would've been a higher draft pick, but a health issue discovered at the combine ended his career. the other 3 remaining players went undrafted.

(c) for whatever reason, this year's squad underachieved. 7th place? 21 goals in 4 games? that's terrible.

SimonTemplar said...

"You Anti-Canadite"

Post of the month and very funny.

I too am Canadian and did find our blogging author a little over the top on the Olympic stuff. We have never been a nation of summer olympic glory save for a few instances. Yesterday the Canadian team did manage 7 medals so everyone can go back to jabbing Togo.

But the US Hockey system needs to show better in these events. Yes this is a late summer tournament,
" over there " that many don't care about. Problem with that lame excuse is this world is now very global and what your team does on the ice anywhere is on the internet in minutes. Not 6 hours later like team USA posts their re-caps.

To the poster that is part owner of WHL team congrats. A fine league it has become, very world class now.

Just send Jared Cowan to London would ya.

Peace, Simon

Jonathan said...

That zero medals comment doesn't look quite so good right at the moment, does it Chris?

Anonymous said...

"pathetic showing"?? look no further than USA hockey's 7th place finish at this tourney. I don't care what players are playing...to finish above only Switz is indeed pathetic. What a joke.

Will the US ever be on par with our neighbors to the north in hockey? Probably not. But there's no reason why we shouldn't be an elite team in the world and win a medal or two. There's enough talented American players.

Anonymous said...

Bread and Circuses = Hockey in Canada. Socialism has a death grip on the throats of Canadians but they have hockey.

Here's what Canada has besides hockey.
1) High taxes
2) Lousy health care (but it's "free")
3) Limited free speech rights
4) Heavily restricted gun rights, and getting worse.
5) Lots of natural resources.
6) High prices. Case of beer: $36.00 plus. Pack of smokes: $12.00 plus.

Hey Marty: You make it sound as though Universal Health care is free. Just who do you think pays for it anyway? If you think that the government stealing the fruits of your labor via overtaxation is a good thing please stay in Canada next time you get sick. Seems to be pretty common knowledge that if a Canadian needs quality health care they come to the USA to get it, you have to take a number and get in line in Canada and wait. Even after waiting you may not get the treatment you need. You may just die waiting. Pathetic.

But at least Canada is good at hockey.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like soothing your battered hockey ego by attacking others. Canada has the population of New York State so statistically speaking it kicks your arrogant US butt.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else who will jump for joy if the US men's and women's hockey teams win gold in Vancouver in 2010???? That may soothe my battered hockey ego......

444 said...

I still don't understand why MJ followers even read this blog. Maybe he or she should start their own MJ blog and bash the Americans. Oh, just go on any NHL Canadian message bored. lol

Anonymous said...

Just putting envogue the inferiority complex of Canadians, on the FAN 590 some Canadian reporters were sitting around discussing how Michael Phelps 8 Gold Medals were really a non issue and not nearly the accomplishment that of Cindy Klassen, the speed skater, who had 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 bronze at the winter olympics.
Hmmm hmmm.
I would think that it would be more of a spectacle for the 8 Gold. Look at how many countries speed skate vs swim.

Anonymous said...

The commentators were also saying that Phelps' accomplishments were just hype.
Whaaaatever.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy a lot of the content on this blog. No one who reads it though, can honestly deny the hypocrisy of whining about Canada's chest-thumping when two weeks earlier Chris is touting the MWEHL as "NTDP's feeder league." I guess the former is chest-thumping while the latter is merely chest-pointing, "UND logic" at best.

It's too bad that the quality of this blog is marred by its attempt to emulate Jim Rome and his misbegotten ilk.

SimonTemplar said...

Here's what Canada has besides hockey.
1) High taxes ( wait until Dems get in power holding the top job and Senate )
2) Lousy health care (but it's "free") ( how about those 45 million Americans that have no health care )
3) Limited free speech rights( you lost me here, I can say or do whatever the hell I want )
4) Heavily restricted gun rights, and getting worse.( that is a good thing, it's in your constitution not ours to have weapons )
5) Lots of natural resources.( ya and we are now one of the biggest suppliers of your crude oil, be careful or we turn off tap )
6) High prices. Case of beer: $36.00 plus. Pack of smokes: $12.00 plus. ( Smokes <$4> are dirt cheap here. Go to any Reservation like most poeple, at store the regular cost it 8.75. Cheaper than NY State )

The US are still a hockey power house if they could ever just ice their best teams. Too often they go to the WJC with not the best team they could have.

Anonymous said...

"They are naturally going to build up one of the few things they are better at than the USA."

Maybe we can spend some time building up our superiority in the field of international relations too.

We owe the US a big thank you for the fact that any time we travel overseas, we need to make sure we show a Canadian flag, so we aren't mistaken for an American.

Anonymous said...

Canada

Population - 33390000
Medals - 12

One medal for every 2782500 people.

USA

Population - 301139000
Medals - 77

One medal for every 3910896 people.

Don't let the facts ruin a good rant though Chris.

Anonymous said...

I have only read this blog too see what blind, biased slant would be next. It has actually been comical to watch as you never let facts get in the way of it. But this is pathetic even for you.

So while you sit there bashing Canada's Olympic performance (seriously? It's come to this? How did you do in your olympics? Or any sport?) remember one simple fact. The sport you seem obsessed with. Dedicate your time and effort to is dominated by those same lousy Olympians.

Anonymous said...

"Bread and Circuses = Hockey in Canada. Socialism has a death grip on the throats of Canadians but they have hockey.

Here's what Canada has besides hockey.
1) High taxes
2) Lousy health care (but it's "free")
3) Limited free speech rights
4) Heavily restricted gun rights, and getting worse.
5) Lots of natural resources.
6) High prices. Case of beer: $36.00 plus. Pack of smokes: $12.00 plus.

Hey Marty: You make it sound as though Universal Health care is free. Just who do you think pays for it anyway? If you think that the government stealing the fruits of your labor via overtaxation is a good thing please stay in Canada next time you get sick. Seems to be pretty common knowledge that if a Canadian needs quality health care they come to the USA to get it, you have to take a number and get in line in Canada and wait. Even after waiting you may not get the treatment you need. You may just die waiting. Pathetic.

But at least Canada is good at hockey."

Now this is funny. Gun rights? Beer and cigarettes? Who the hell cares?

Lousy health care? American life expectancy as of this year, 78.1 years. Canadian life expectancy as of this year, 80.4. Explain to me how an inferior health system allows the average Canadian to live over 2 years longer? Let me guess... we all run across the border and that's why we live longer.

Do you even know what you are talking about or do you just choose to pull things out of your ass and assume they are right?

But hey, enjoy yer smokes and yer guns. The Cirrhosis might take a few years though.

Anonymous said...

SO ANTI-Canadian!

You should be ashamed. This is how prejudice and wars start.

There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's country, but to blatantly dismiss other countries is ridiculous.

Don't you realize Canadians (who follow NCAA hockey) read your blog? Shouldn't you be thankful for that? Sigh, Chris.

Anonymous said...

AMERICA,

ENJOY YOUR GUNS.

SIT BACK AND LET THOSE HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE SHOOTINGS OCCUR.

I AM THANKFUL TO LIVE IN CANADA!!!

P.S. The health care is pretty damn GOOD if you live in big cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary). The waiting time may be longer but at least it's affordable!! Yes, our doctors are well-trained and do A GREAT JOB, they're NOT all greedy b*tches who run south of the border!!