Morning Free Association, September 22

Was Team USA improperly built for a game that has evolved into one of skill and speed? Or did they just underestimate their opponents? These are the questions that anyone who has followed the demise of this team built on a “blue-collar” ethic of grit and determination are asking after the defeat by Team Canada. New Bruins forward David Backes was not shy to talk to the press, being quoting in many outlets including in this piece on Puck Daddy, his words causing all sorts of Bruins fans to opine one way or another on his possible play with the Bruins this season.

“We weren’t going to out-skill Canada. Truthfully, we’re maybe on par with skill with Europe, but we have the blue-collar mentality that we’ll push farther, but we didn’t go through with it,” said Backes.

“Let’s analyze the games,” said Backes, speaking about the Canadians. “We played them three times. We beat them the first game. They outshot us, but we were able to get the win. Second game, they beat us handily. Last night, if we wanted to go into full analysis of it, it’s a shot off the back board that goes to Duchene and he’s tapping it in. It’s a backhand pass to Quick’s blocker that he deflects off Perry’s chest and it goes into the net. It’s a great move by Tavares, and it’s off our defenseman’s skate and it goes in. It’s a breakout that hit’s a defenseman’s shaft, and deflects to [Duchene] for a mini-breakaway and he scores. We hit four posts in the game.”

Uh, David, that team as comprised was not going to beat Canada. You should have beaten Europe, that’s true. Surprisingly, that team has more pluck and resolve than it should.

Team “All These Guys Could Be My Sons” beat Team Sweden in the afternoon matchup, 4-3. In primetime, Canada beat Europe 4-1. That’s okay, Zdeno and Brad can still hug it out.

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