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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:10 am 
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VANCOUVER -- A youthful United States team didn't appear all that green while winning its Olympic opener. That victory also might have calmed any remaining jitters the Americans had.

A strong performance Thursday over a club lacking recent Olympic experience, Norway, could give the United States even more confidence.

The Americans struggled to an eighth-place finish in the 2006 Turin Games despite a team that included accomplished NHL veterans Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin and Doug Weight.

In response, U.S. general manager Brian Burke looked to emerging stars like Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Bobby Ryan and Phil Kessel to fill out his roster for Vancouver.

Fourteen players were 25 or younger heading into Tuesday's opener against Switzerland. Only captain Jamie Langenbrunner, Chris Drury and the team's oldest member, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Rafalski, had appeared in previous Olympic Games.

"I was much more nervous today than for any game I've been for a long time, that's for sure," the 22-year-old Ryan said. "Very, very jittery. And I think anybody going on their first Olympic Games is going to tell you the same."

Ryan helped calm himself and his teammates with a late first-period score. Fellow first-time Olympians David Backes and Ryan Malone added goals in the first 8:25 of the second as Team USA cruised to a 3-1 win.

"To get the lead, I think it settled the game down quite a bit for us," Ryan said. "I think we got into a little bit more of a rhythm and a comfort zone afterward."

Ryan Miller faced just 14 shots and only missed the shutout when a bouncing shot banked in off his stick midway through the final period.

Coach Ron Wilson said Miller will remain in net through the Vancouver Games unless something "drastic" happens.
While he's virtually set on a goaltender, Wilson has cause for concern at the other end of the ice after his club totaled just 24 shots - two in the final period - against the Swiss.

We have to shoot the puck more and maybe be a little more selfish," Wilson told the NHL's official Web site. "You can't have a 35-minute practice and have everything work and clicking. You don't have anybody that plays on the same line on their NHL teams."

Wilson's club should have plenty of chances to work out the kinks against Norway, which was drubbed in its first Olympic appearance since hosting the 1994 Lillehammer Games, losing 8-0 on Tuesday to gold-medal favorite Canada.

Kane, though, refuses to view the matchup as a "practice game."

"We're looking forward to the challenge," he said. "It's a game we definitely should win and a team we should beat."

Norway's Pal Grotnes stopped 14 shots in Tuesday's first period to hold the Canadians scoreless, but couldn't hold off the host country after that.

Grotnes, a carpenter by trade, was pulled after giving up a fourth goal early in the third period. Replacement Andre Lysenstoen allowed the other four goals on 10 shots.
"It was a matter of time, maybe, but it was a lot of fun - in the first period," said Grotnes, whose team was outshot 42-15.

While Canada and the United States' rosters are stocked with NHL players, no one on the Norwegian team currently plays in the league. Defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is in the Detroit Red Wings' system and has appeared in 163 NHL games over five seasons.

Tollefson missed Tuesday's opener because of a family illness, but is expected to return to face Team USA. Norway, though, will be without 31-year-old forward Per-Age Skroder, who is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks after injuring his right ankle against Canada.

That absence should help the Americans, who need a victory to force a Group A championship showdown with the Canadians on Sunday night.

"Hopefully we grow together throughout this tournament and do something special here," Backes said.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-features/news/newsid=427428.html#u+s+looks+build+confidence+against+norway

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:18 am 
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We posted GDTs at the same time, I deleted mine.

Does Captain America (Dave Backes) continue cracking skulls? I think yes. Also, EJ led all USA players in ice time in Game 1. Good to see him out there in all situations, 5 on 5, shorthanded, power play. Hopefully they continue to play well and come back to the Blues with a renewed confidence.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:24 am 
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dmiles2186 wrote:
We posted GDTs at the same time, I deleted mine.

Does Captain America (Dave Backes) continue cracking skulls? I think yes. Also, EJ led all USA players in ice time in Game 1. Good to see him out there in all situations, 5 on 5, shorthanded, power play. Hopefully they continue to play well and come back to the Blues with a renewed confidence.



But are you watching curling while listening to the radio and surfing the interwebs?

EJ = Manbeast
Backes = Lookin good

best part, they are all wearing blue!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:31 am 
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USA - 16
Norway - 0

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:52 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
USA - 16
Norway - 0

Norway's goalie is a carpenter by trade. :lol: :lol: This sounds about right.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Didn't EJ hurt his knee in the switzerland game? I'm concerned.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:41 pm 
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drwoland wrote:
Didn't EJ hurt his knee in the switzerland game? I'm concerned.

In the post game interview he promised it was OK.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Norway- Eleventy
US- Billion

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:05 pm 
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WOAH



WOAH





HARD!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Phil Kessel (1) 2:39

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Chris Drury 13:04 (2-0)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:53 pm 
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With an assist for Backes.

I hope he brings that point a game mojo with him back from vancouver.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:19 pm 
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don't mess with the US. i just wish we had a real enemy to fight in this thing.....just wasn't the same after the wall came down. ahhhh....the good old days. either invent a time machine and go back, or just help the taliban get a hockey team.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:53 pm 
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W and his family are not going to pay the taliban to build a time machine. If they were going to make such an investment they would have done so by now to make sure that daddy won a second term. duh!

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Last edited by thedoc on Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:20 am 
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The Enemy is Canada. The Great White Menace.

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