Team USA vs. Canada Olympic Hockey 2014: Final Grades, Analysis for Both Teams

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Team USA vs. Canada Olympic Hockey 2014: Final Grades, Analysis for Both Teams
Pool/Getty Images

Jamie Benn scored in the second period, and that was all the offense Team Canada needed, as the defending Olympic champions defeated Team USA 1-0 on Friday in the semifinals of the men's ice hockey tournament in Sochi.

Canadian goaltender Carey Price was perfect, making 31 saves to set up a showdown with Sweden on Sunday for the gold medal.

Jonathan Quick did everything he could, turning aside 36 of 37 shots for Team USA, which will play Finland for the bronze medal on Saturday.

Both goalies earned high marks on Bleacher Report's report card, but how did the rest of the line combinations, defensive pairings and special-teams units do? Here are the final grades, with analysis:

Team USA Grades
Line combination/Pairing After 1st After 2nd Final
James van Riemsdyk-Joe Pavelski-Phil Kessel B C C
Zach Parise-Ryan Kesler-Patrick Kane B+ B B+
Dustin Brown-David Backes-Ryan Callahan B- D C-
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-T.J. Oshie/Blake Wheeler C B B-
Ryan Suter-Ryan McDonagh B B B+
Cam Fowler-Kevin Shattenkirk C C C
Brooks Orpik-John Carlson/Justin Faulk B- D D
Jonathan Quick A A A
Special teams C C C

vs. Canada

Team Canada Grades
Line combination/pairing After 1st After 2nd Final
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron A B B+
Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry B A A
Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter B B A
Patrick Sharp-Matt Duchene-Rick Nash,/Martin St. Louis B B B
Duncan Keith/Shea Weber C B B
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo B A A
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Drew Doughty/Dan Hamhuis B+ B B+
Carey Price A A A+
Special teams B+ A B+

vs. Team USA

Final analysis

Team USA

James van Riemsdyk-Joe Pavelski-Phil Kessel: They were essentially neutralized outside of one or two chances. After dominant showings early in the tournament, they were non-factors in this game.

Zach Parise-Ryan Kesler-Patrick Kane: This group was by far Team USA's best in this contest. Parise had eight shots and the line had 12. The problem was that there were few rebound chances or second chances, as Canada's defense was constantly on top of those.

Dustin Brown-David Backes-Ryan Callahan: This group was the weakest of the four forward lines and the culprits on Benn's goal. Callahan was caught out of position on the initial pass by Bouwmeester, and the rest of the group never recovered for Benn's redirection.

Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-T.J. Oshie/Blake Wheeler: Stastny probably came as close as anyone to scoring, tucking a shot through the legs of Price that went just wide. Pacioretty had a couple chances but never put one past Price.

Ryan Suter-Ryan McDonagh: Suter played 26 minutes, McDonagh 23 minutes, and both were fantastic. They're hardly to blame for this loss.

Cam Fowler-Kevin Shattenkirk: Fowler had moments that made you cringe, but they escaped any dangerous situations. 

Brooks Orpik-John Carlson/Justin Faulk: If there's one glaring negative for Team USA, it was Orpik. He was constantly overmatched defensively and failed to tie up Benn on the goal. Despite his obvious ineffectiveness, he still played 16 minutes.

Jonathan Quick: Perhaps the best player on either side, Quick stopped almost everything.

Special teams: The power play was ghastly, failing to score on three opportunities. They killed two penalties.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Team Canada

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron: Yet another game in which Crosby's line generated a host of chances but failed to finish. Even though they didn't score, the group was very effective and dominant at times.

Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry: Benn scored the winner while Getzlaf and Perry appeared to be too hard to handle for any American defense pairing that wasn't Suter and McDonagh.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter: This line shut down the Pavelski line with the greatest of ease. They also had some close calls offensively, with Carter putting four shots on net.

Patrick Sharp-Matt Duchene-Rick Nash/Martin St. Louis: The loss of John Tavares did not matter, as this group was still effective. Sharp had four shots on net.

Duncan Keith-Shea Weber: There were scary moments in the first period for this pairing, but they were fine outside of that. Weber put three shots on net.

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo: It was Bouwmeester's pass that led to Benn's goal, a nice reward for a pairing that has been solid throughout the tournament.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Drew Doughty/Dan Hamhuis: Doughty had a great chance in the first period and made a few nifty plays after that. 

Carey Price: Perfection. The defense in front of him was outstanding, but he made the few difficult saves he had to make.

Special teams: The penalty kill was huge and neutralized the American power play almost completely. 


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