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First, let’s do the Team Slovakia VS Team USA thoughts…

Of the 3 best players on the ice tonight, 2 of them were Rangers. At least IMHO. I thought the 3 best players on the ice were Stepan, Carlson, and Kreider, in that order. Lashoff was also outstanding.

Stepan stood out as CLEARLY the best player on the ice. Hockey IQ, vision, patience, reading the play, all off the charts. His goal(s?) was a good shot that tipped in off the goalies glove and went into the net, he was going to his left (goalie to his right) and shot it back the other way catching the goalie moving laterally.

Heres the thing though, Stepan was engaged in all 3 zones, he was strong with his puck support all over the ice, he back checked, he played a stingy defensive game, and when he had the puck stuff happened.

I thought Kreider played an outstanding game as well, I believe he only got credit for 1 assist, but he should have had 2, as he made the play on the board to dig th epuck out which Morin eventually took and put home. I thought Kreider playing a superb game in his own zone, the announcers were absolutely gushing over him, mentioning his name repeatedly as a guy who plays a strong defensive game…and he still put up 1 point, and probably should have had 2 based on the IIHF scorers, and really should have had 3 points as he set up Carlson for a gimme goal that he couldnt put in the net (literally 100% open net, and he slid it right into the goalie…he was falling down though.)

On Ryan Bourque I was much less impressed. He made a few nice passes here and there, but his lack of size was really apparent, a few times I almost felt sorry for the kid because he just looked so puny compared to the other players around him. For his supposed tenacity and skill, I thought I would have seen more, especially playing with Schroeder who will probably break the all time points record for team USA in the next few games.

with regards to team usa, I didnt really care for their lines, i think they are trying to balance the lines out, but really none of the 3 lines looked particularly dominating, it just seemed to me certain players had stand out games, rather than certain lines. The passing wasnt all that creative, they played a pretty…i guess you could say “stiff” game, everything seemed so robotic out there. I REALLY enjoyed what their 4th line brought out on the ice though, those 3 played with a crapload of energy and fire.

I think the chemistry on team USA was pretty lacking out there..if it were me, id put Kristo Kreider and Stepan together…they seem like such a natural fit.

also Jeremy Morin made a crap load of mistakes. i forget who on here was hammering how awesome the kid is, but he has zero defensive game whatsoever, literally nonexistant….one of the Thrashers mods/admins who I know in R/L told me about it in a game we were playing in, but I didnt really notice it till I looked for him. Kid oozes offensive instincts with magical hands, and you know hes going to put up points, but hes going to get killed in the NHL if he plays that kind of a nonexistant 2-way game…I think that’s also what impressed me about Kreider is that he had to be so defensively conscious out there playing with Morin.

Now, on to the Rangers – Islanders Game. Honestly, I thought the Rangers played their best game of this little recent outburst they had. I thought we got some nice scoring chances, and just met up with a hot goalie. I don’t want to make this game up to be anything more than just that. Their goalie stole them 2 points they didn’t really deserve. It happens, but we still got 1 point out of it, and have gotten 9 out of a possible 10 points in the last 5 games. Not exactly terrible numbers. Move on, and forget about it.

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