• Kesler line starts the PP with
• Outstanding job up front by
• 12 draws in the Swiss zone to just six in the American end. Team USA holds a 14-7 edge overall in the circle.
• Swiss defender
"We have to play significantly better," he repeated during several media opportunities. "We need all hands on deck. We're playing with about 10 guys carrying us, in my opinion."
Even 10 might be a generous estimate. That 5-3 win might have been the feel-good moment of these Olympics for the American public, but it wasn't the sort of performance that's indicative of a team in gold medal contention. In giving up 46 shots, his club clearly allowed the Canadians to dictate the flow of the game. Now that a single loss equals a plane ticket home, the Americans need more than another stellar effort from
That said, there were aspects of that game worth building on. The quick start. The opportunistic goal scoring. The tenacious physical play. Sizable improvements in defensive decision-making and positioning. Those elements, along with a more persistent, creative offensive attack, will be the key to Team USA's hopes this afternoon.
As for the Swiss, they essentially reached their goal simply by making it to this quarterfinal. At this point, they're playing with house money, and that lack of pressure gives them an edge in the early part of the first. If they can get off to a fast start, their confidence and disciplined defensive game will make them extremely dangerous.
Ultimately, though, their chances for pulling the upset are dependent on the play of goaltender