Switched to the TSN feed because Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro call an excellent game. Mears isn't bad, still young and has some kinks to work out, but he has some potential. Hradek is just a complete dope, I can't listen to him.
I got the USA/Russia game late because Sweden/Switzerland ran long (shootout), good defensive effort as usual by the Swiss. Swedes with a dismissive effort, not willing to fight through the defense. Came away impressed with some players, unimpressed with others. Sweden switched their goalie for the shootout actually - the new goalie stopped all 3 shots, which were fairly weak attempts, mostly headed five hole. Interesting choice by Ronnberg.
Anyway, the Russia/USA game was a very good game. Good transition to it. The United States can't pass and the Russians refuse to, so I'm not sure which is worse. Got a little soft on the D zone coverage there with the mobile unit of Jones/Reilly, that led to the bull work by Nichushkin (2013) and rebound goal for the Russians. Gostisbhere continues to impress, a little bit of a gambler, but he's logging a ton of minutes here and looking pretty good. Flyers pick from Union College. Gibson - who was very bad against the Finns in last year's tournament - has been sharp and confident. He's on his game very well, his pushes are terrific and he's handling rebound control much better. Last year he was burping up pucks on routine plays, this year, he looks much more composed and confident. The Russians can't go wrong in net it looks like. They've played two games with two different goalies and they've each won player of the game plates (Vasilevskiy (TB) against the Slovaks, Makarov (BUF) against the Americans). Another terrible penalty late, one that might be looked at once again, by the Russians nearly cost them a much-needed point, or three.
The American lines and timing are kind of strange and weren't really adjusted in the third period when things began to stagnate a little. Some of the muckers and workers got out there with 2 minutes left in a 1-goal deficit, which isn't always a bad thing, but I'm just a bit surprised with some of the combinations Housley went with. No surprise that he wants to generate offense from the point and get the defensemen activated, almost to a fault, as we saw on the last rushes: ripe with blueline drop passes that were snuffed out by the chance-taking Russians out high. I wouldn't mind seeing Alex Galchenyuk a little more, and at center, get the puck on his stick and just see what happens a little more maybe.
The Americans aren't as good as the Russians in my opinion, but the lack of urgency from Russia is strange, the lack of teamwork is strange too. Given how often these guys have been together now...same basic team and same basic mindset as in the Subway Super Series - 1 guy will take on 1 to 4 players and if they score, good and if they don't, they'll just do it again. And look at Nichushkin's late goal, 1 on 4 basically and he had a late guy go hard to the net while the Americans watched Jones get beat to his own net down low. That was a game the Americans could have easily won or at least gotten a point out of...