USA Blanked in Hockey World Cup Opener
The USA hockey roster was built to give Canada a run for their money in the World Cup of Hockey.
However, they might've missed the forest for the trees in the Great White North.
In a short-form event like this, it could make for a short stay.
The USA outshooting Team Europe, 35-17, only confirmed that Jaroslav Halák -- a Slovak who needs to be in top form early and often at the New York Islanders training camp -- is well capable of being the key to a surprise run in Toronto.
Another reason is no one on that squad is a surprise to hockey fans:
The loss put coach John Tortorella's squad in big trouble, especially with Team Canada lurking in their next game.
Torts and his admins wanted grit-&-guts as opposed to flash-&-dash to pound their northern neighbors at every opportunity. It worked in their first prep game for this tournament, but the Canadians quickly adjusted. Among other things, they did it with an abundance of speed.
It may well be, too, that NHL team owners noticed the potential for carnage in what's still a made-for-TV event and didn't want to see their own early-season box offices hurt by stars missing due to injury. Whatever the reason, the refs tightened up their calls from that first USA-Canada game onward.
Canada, on the other hand, breezed past the Czech Republic, 6-0, in their opener.
The USA now has until Tuesday to show that its roster decisions will still work against the tourney favorites.