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Both games tonight were eerily similar. Similar scores, similar performances, similar cheapshots. Just a whole lot of similarities. Since we pretty much don’t care about anyone except the 3 Rangers prospects represented in these 2 games, I’m just going to do 3 paragraphs on the players to sum everything up.

Roman Horak:

Horak looked like a pretty good player. Arguably one of the 2 or 3 best players on the Czech team. He skated hard, worked his butt off, tried to be creative and make things happen, and looked to be rewarded by getting a ton of ice time. His passing however looked very poor. Chalk it up to nervousness or the insane pressure the Canadians put on him, but Horak looked unable to complete even simple tape to tape passes. They were in legs, or right on the tape of the defensive players stick. He did show some excellent forechecking pressure, tenacity, good legs, and vision. However he needs to get those passes onto his teammates sticks.

Ryan Bourque:

Bourque once again played a solid, albeit quite game. The story of this tournament so far for Team USA has been individual efforts. Too few players are trying to play within a team concept. Bourque, however, is one of them. While everyone else is hot dogging it end to end, Bourque is backchecking and playing perfect positional hockey. While everyone else is trying to deke around 12 guys, Bourque is trying to set up a screen, or looking to dig out loose pucks. He doesn’t get much fan fare, but against the better teams, he’s going to look a whole hell of a lot better than a guy like Palmieri who hasn’t met a pass he would like to make.

Chris Kreider:

Chris had an exceptional game once again. I believe he only got credit for 1 assist, but most definitely should have been given a 2nd one on the Coyle goal as he definitely touched the puck a millisecond before Palmieri did. Regardless, Chris was distributing the puck, backchecking, playing in all 3 zones, parking his butt in front of the net, or in the high slot. In short, he was doing what Bourque was doing. Playing a team game. He does, however, need to show more of his one on one ability, and use his speed to his advantage, however playing with a puckhog like Palmieri makes it tough for him to do much since 1/3rd of his line refuses to give him the puck. In fact on one rush Palmieri had Kreider all alone, but instead took an illadvised shot that was easily blocked. Kreider would have been in all alone if he simply gave him the puck. One really has to wonder if maybe Kreider should be put with someone else who can play a team game. Perhaps Kreider – Coyle – Zucker.


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