USA Tumbles Out of Hockey's World Cup
The bright lights running USA Hockey -- specifically, Dean Lombardi and coach John Tortorella -- claimed they were building a roster for the World Cup of Hockey to beat and beat up the hosts-favorites, Team Canada.
First, Team Europe wasn't Team Canada, and they had no issues skating through and around a woefully inadequate American game plan.
Then, with tourney survival at stake, the USA raced out to a quick lead, and then proceeded to well and truly wet the bed:
If Team USA led at anything besides getting out-hustled and -muscled in the crease, it was in hitting posts. Apologists will say they were unlucky, but winners make their own luck. This game was never that close.
Not that he'll ever be confused with Cassandra or anything, but TJ Oshie foretold the foreboding future before the sides ever hit the Toronto ice:
If anyone would've paid his own way just to return to TO in an enemy sweater for this event, it was Phil Kessel, who's speed and stick skills -- except those he used on John Scott, of course -- would've come in right nicely for the American effort.
But dude never got a call.
He'll just have to get by with his Stanley Cup ring.
Meanwhile, as the likes of Canada, Sweden, Russia, and even Team Bloody Europe unleash blazing blades in this here-&-gone tourney, Lombardi and Torts can get back to doing what they attempted to do here, ie- build a team to grind it out over 82 games.
Yes, Herb Brooks won an Olympic gold with role players and a heavy dose of grit, but that's why it was called Miracle on Ice.
That was 36 years ago.
USA Hockey's honchos have got to stop thinking it was yesterday.