Saturday, September 04, 2004


Slovakia 1 - USA 3

I missed the live presentation of the USA-Slovakia game as I was at this Giants/Diamondbacks game watching Barry Bonds smack his 697th career homer.

When I got back and watched much of the replay of the Slovakia-USA game, I was glad that I missed it.

Why are the Slovaks playing like losers?

While the Americans played a spirited game, the Slovaks weren't creating anything with their speed. It's as if the Slovaks are defeating themselves before the games even begin.

The Slovak line combinations remained much the same, although Zednik made his return:



Even with the injuries, the Slovaks have a group of players that should be able to create offense with their speed. Instead, the Slovaks were outshot 17-39

What's the problem?

Well, I'm no psychologist, so I can't explain the apparent lack of effort.

I will say that Team Slovakia should *not* play a stifling defensive system that coach Filc has put in place.

The Slovaks have a skilled, finesse, offensive minded bunch of players and they are being asked to play a style of game that doesn't really suit their skills. Even in an important tournament, such as this, the players shouldn't be asked to play completely out of their element.

For the game against the Russians, I'd like to see Filc let the forwards attack more and Richie Lintner be allowed to pinch more. The Slovaks need to be aggressive and establish more cycling (A good reason to re-unite the Slovak Pack).


The Czechs, on the other hand, have ended the preliminary round with some improved play.

Sure, everyone except France can beat the Germans, but the Czechs were more than impressive enough in a 7-2 rout over the sour Krauts. After a moribund first period, the Czechs found their offense and the German #2 and #3 goaltenders were pretty much left to dry by the weak German defense. As bad as the Slovaks have been playing, it's obvious that the world truly has only 7 hockey powers. has an impressive photo gallery of the game.


At least they are talking...

The NHL and NHLPA have at least been smart enough to keep ongoing discussions over the CBA while the World Cup is runnething over. These two parties are also nice enough not to take away from the World Cup experience by throwing out too much public garbage.

Still, after 19 hours of talks over 3 days, both parties are still spouting the same crap we've been hearing for the past 2 years.

Aaron is more pessimistic about this than I am, but the fact they are talking and planning more talks in the immediate future signals that both parties are making progress and know what's at stake.

Nothing bothers me more in contract negotiations than when both parties aren't talking because of some childish pride. How can you ever expect to finish a deal when you aren't even talking? Get back to work!!! Ok, I'm just rambling...

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