Team USA (M) Hockey quarterfinal vs. Czech Republic

Submitted by goblueram on February 20th, 2018 at 9:41 PM

After staying alive last night with a second win over Slovakia, Team USA runs into the 2 seed Czech Republic.  The Czechs won their group by beating Canada in OT.  Again, it's win or go home here.  This time for a spot in the semis.  

USA vs. Czech Republic, 10:10 pm EST, CNBC, NBCSports App

Bracket:

Comments

stephenrjking

February 20th, 2018 at 10:26 PM ^

I hate to say this, because I've followed a lot of those guys through their college careers and beyond, but that says something about the quality (and, importantly, age) of the roster that the US is putting out there. 

I wonder if picking more guys from college / CHL / pre-NHL minor leagues would be a better option in the future. Not sure how restrictive the NHL bit is.

stephenrjking

February 20th, 2018 at 10:43 PM ^

I thought about that, but those guys are REALLY young, and size and experience aren't nothing. And there are late bloomers and older guys that still aren't on NHL rosters that would be good assets. A lot of college hockey players these days are older guys; if you can get 23-year-old players who have been around the block a few times that's a good get.

I suspect such a team would have a lot of guys who are former world junior players, but different years and also guys who took longer.

ToledoWolverine

February 20th, 2018 at 11:29 PM ^

If we aren’t using NHL players, what role does the NTDP play? Are they strictly for putting together a juniors team? Maybe they should have a say in the Olympic team selection. Help put the team together ahead of time, cobble together a schedule playing college and minor league teams. I want the NHL players, but if that’s over and done with, then fuck em, let’s move on and get our team primed.

Mostly I’m butthurt about the NHL, to me the Olympic tourney with them was a spectacle worth waiting 4 years to see...

stephenrjking

February 20th, 2018 at 11:41 PM ^

A lot of roles. The Olympics aren't the only significant international tournament the US plays in, and the NTDP has played a significant role in the increase of success in tournaments like World Juniors that still matter. It also at least partially exists to help fortify college hockey (whether or not they actually consider this part of their charter) by providing an excellent development option that bridges the time that players are eligible for the CHL before they can play in college. And it strengthens the national game as a whole by encouraging the development of American players, period.

I don't think that the NHL is permanently gone from the Olympics. No doubt there will be negotiation next time round, though I thought I saw some poster write that the NHL is definitely IN the Beijing Olympics, so we'll see.