WIN OR GO HOME
Team USA faces elimination tonight against Team Canada.
Keep playing, or send Coach Tortorella home in time for Blue Jackets training camp.
Those are the two options facing Team USA tonight.
In an elimination game in just their second game of the tournament, the Red White and Blue must take down the favored Canadian squad to continue on. With their lackluster loss against Team Europe on Saturday, the USA forced themselves into this tough position.
Grit and a heavy physical game will be on display tonight, as the roster construction left no doubt as to the kind of style the Americans will play. That style worked to the tune of a 4-2 victory in the warmup game in Nationwide Arena, but the Canadian squad looked like world beaters in their 6-0 demolition of the Czech Republic on the weekend.
"We're going to come, that's no secret," Tortorella said. "It's the way we've been built.”
It is unknown if Dustin Byfuglien or Kyle Palmieri will see ice time tonight (one hopes so), though Torts did confirm that he will give Justin Abdelkader more time on the ice.
So, the Americans’ tournament boils down to tonight. Sixty minutes in Canada, facing the Canadian squad, to keep their tournament hopes alive. After being criticized, critiqued, and questioned over the last 48 hours by many (including myself), tonight is Team USA’s Super Bowl. The game they have pointed to for over a year, and the game the roster was constructed specifically to play in.
Let’s see if they are up to the task. What are your predictions for tonight’s game?