by Corey Pronman
There were two games today, with Switzerland beating Latvia 7-2 although I did not watch it. I did catch the USA beating Germany 8-0, and here are my thoughts from that game:
It was hard to not find a bad performance from Team USA today as just about every player was anywhere from decent to great which will make for a brief write up. On the flipside for Team Germany asides from flashes from Leon Draisatil and Dominik Kahun there wasn’t much to talk about. Tobias Rieder (EDM) has been underwhelming to start this tournament so far.
Alex Galchenyuk (MTL) was one of the game’s best players, showing high-end finishing skill on the goal he scored on top of good puck possession skill. On paper it was the second line, but the trio of Galchenyuk, Riley Barber (WSH) and Sean Kuraly (SJS) were really clicking. Kuraly has had extreme highs and lows this season and right now he’s riding a high. Kuraly is a plus skater who has shown the ability to exhibit offensive ability and has a good power game.
The first line of John Gaudreau (CGY), J.T. Miller (NYR) and Rocco Grimaldi (FLA) were better than they were during the exhibitions but they weren’t really impressive. They created a few chances, but you expect more especially out of high-end playmakers like Gaudreau.
USA’s defense had a nice turnaround after average performances in the exhibition games. Mike Reilly (CBJ) was good, displaying his great skating and offensive instincts. Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) was good on the powerplay and transitioned the puck effectively. Seth Jones (2013) had a nice snipe of a goal and while he was solid, he made a few more mistakes than I’m used to seeing from him. Jake McCabe (BUF) and Connor Murphy (PHX) were steady as well.