In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Men's hockey Olympic quarterfinals

Four big big games today, starting off with Team USA vs Team Switzerland (part 2).

Both teams start off with fires lit under them. The commentators are gushing over the energy of team USA, and while I can agree there's definitely energy, it's looking largely unfocused and reckless to me. Probably indicative of the young stars that make up the team, they're going to have to concentrate on connecting some plays and being a team if they hope to bring anything against Jonas Hiller.

The Swiss are also coming on with energy, but their offensive force is not nearly as big as their defense. Ryan Miller is forced to make a handful of good saves, but the Team USA defense has a way of blocking many of those shots before they even reach their intrepid netminder.

Put it this way. Hiller faced 42 shots as opposed to Miller's 19.

My boy Bobby Ryan only got eight and a half minutes of ice time, but he managed three shots on goal and some nice YouTube-able plays. Hiller played a phenomenal game. He definitely helped his team fight to the end.

There were no goals through two periods of play. Not until Zach Parise got one by Hiller did the momentum swing, and Team USA gave that extra push. Parise potted an empty netter with less than a minute left in regulation.

Team USA moves on to the quarterfinals.

By the way, I'd forgotten to mention that Bobby is also writing an Olympic blog (along with Hiller and Ryan Whitney). You can read his thoughts here.

Next up, the heavily commercialized game of Team Canada vs Team Russia. Sid vs Ovie... again.


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