USA vs. Slovakia: Live Grades and Analysis for Team USA

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USA vs. Slovakia: Live Grades and Analysis for Team USA
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

After 40 minutes of dominance, Team USA showed it is as merciful as it is great, taking their foot off the gas and finishing a 7-1 victory against Slovakia in Group A play.

Team USA scored six goals in the second period and didn't threaten much in the third period. 

It's tough to grade the third period when Team USA played such a passive third period in a blowout win, but here it goes anyway.

Team USA lineup 


First line: James van Riemsdyk—Joe Pavelski—Phil Kessel

Second line: Dustin Brown—Ryan Kesler—Patrick Kane

Third line: Zach Parise—David Backes—Ryan Callahan

Fourth line: Max Pacioretty—Paul Stastny—T.J. Oshie/Blake Wheeler


First pair: Ryan Suter—Paul Martin

Second pair: Ryan McDonagh—Kevin Shattenkirk

Third pair: Brooks Orpik/Cam Fowler—John Carlson


• Jonathan Quick

• Ryan Miller

• Scratches: Derek Stepan, Justin Faulk, Jimmy Howard

Team USA Grades
Line or Pairing 1st Period Grade 2nd Period Grade 3rd Period Grade Final grade
Line 1 A A B A
Line 2 B+ A+ B A
Line 3 C B- B B-
Line 4 B A+ B A
Pairing 1 B B B B
Pairing 2 B B B B
Pairing 3 A- B B B+
Goaltender A B A A
Special teams D C Inc. C-

vs. Slovakia

Third Period Analysis

Line 1: Kessel could have scored another three or four goals, but he chose to display kindness and decided against that in the third period.

Line 2: After spending the first 40 minutes treating Slovakia like a speed bag, the unit had a ho-hum final period.

Line 3: Nothing in the way of great chances, but they had a good shift with about four minutes left. 

Line 4: Stastny had a great chance for a hat trick, but Peter Budaj made a tough blocker save.

Pairing 1: Martin unleashed a blast from the right face-off circle that Budaj shrugged away with his shoulder.

Pairing 2: McDonagh had a neat play where he slid on his stomach past an attacking player and missed the puck, but pushed off the end boards to recover and chip it away. 

Pairing 3: Nothing much to report here. 

Goaltender: Quick didn't let anything get past him during 20 minutes of mop-up time and that's all you can ask.

Special Teams Units: There were no power plays or penalty kills in the period.

Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Second Period Analysis

Line 1: More dominance from the group. Kessel's goal came when the game was over, but the unit continued to create chances after sizzling in the first period.

Line 2: Brown scored and Kesler's goal answered the one from Tatar. They were definitely rewarded after playing well in the first period without getting a goal.

Line 3: This continues to be the weak link of the four lines. Backes' goal came just as a power play expired while he was away from his regular linemates.

Line 4: If this group keeps playing like this, maybe they'll shed the fourth line designation. 

Pairing 1: It's hard to fault Suter, whose turnover led to the Slovakia goal. It should have never happened so let's not punish him for a linesman's mishap.

Pairing 2: Quiet period from the pairing as the offense around them was exploding.

Pairing 3: No goals from the group, although Orpik got himself some more ice time with the game in doubt.

Goaltender: Quick was beaten by Tatar, but again, it should have never been. There hasn't been much for him to do.

Special Teams Units: They killed their first penalty and the power play sort of scored as Backes' tally came just as a penalty expired. But they allowed a shorthanded chance and were not sharp.

Pool/Getty Images

First Period Analysis

Line 1: The unit essentially controlled play whenever it was on the ice. It was Kessel's speed that created space for Carlson on the game's first goal.

Line 2: They generated chances and Kane had an end-to-end rush that led to a scoring chance. A goal is in the future for this trio of it continues to play like it did in the first 20 minutes.

Line 3: This was the one group that left a lot to be desired. They had a quality first shift of the game but had a bad a turnover later in the period that nearly led to a Slovakia goal. They spent a lot of time in their own zone.

Line 4: Pacioretty nearly put the puck past Halak as the fourth line was a solid contributor.

Pairing 1: Very steady period. Nothing that stood out offensively but there were clean in the the other two zones.

Pairing 2: Good, not great. Both had chances from the point but there is room for improvement in their own end.

Pairing 3: Carlson had the goal and Fowler had a good chance as well. Excellent period for the young duo.

Goaltender: Quick had to make a pair of saves after his team jumped ahead 1-0. He looked very sharp for a goalie who didn't face a lot of shots but the ones he did face were difficult ones.

Special Teams Units: There was just the one power play and it looked bad. They had two shots but they were wasn't much cohesion as Slovakia never allowed anything threatening.


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