The US cruised to an easy win 6-0 win over Germany last night, much like they were expected to. So what did we learn about the US team? Not all that much. Germany is an out-matched team that is likely headed for the relegation round. But at least the US was able to dominate play and put the game away early for an easy three points.
Here are some other notes I had about last night's game.
-The big line-up change for game number two was taking Chase De Leo off the top line and replacing him with Sonny Milano. I loved that move. If there was one move I would have made after the Finland, it would have been putting more of a playmaker on the wing with Jack Eichel that could move the puck so that Eichel didnt' have to create everything for himself.
-Meanwhile, De Leo moved down to the second line with Auston Matthews and Nick Schmaltz. I'm still not a fan of playing De Leo that high in the line-up, and I still feel like JT Compher would be better served playing a bigger role than fourth line center. Everybody got ice time against Germany, so Compher had some opportunity to get going--he was one of the players who had a goal stolen by the excellent German goalie--but he's good enough that he should be playing a regular shift against top competition.
-Auston Matthews got back on track a little bit with a pretty goal to put the US up 1-0 early. He's such a multi-dimensional scoring threat. He can make plays with his speed and shot. On that goal, he showed his power forward-type strength to muscle that puck in.
-Team USA took my idea from after the Finland game and moved Matthews onto the top power play unit. It didn't pay dividends against Germany, but I think it will pay off in the future. Matthews did play a little too much on the perimeter on the power play, in part because Alex Tuch is so active in front of the net, but I'd really like to see Matthews working in the slot a little more.
-I like the idea of not dressing Thatcher Demko against Germany last night. The US has a very short turnaround with the night game on Sunday to the late afternoon game on Monday, and that gave a chance to rest Demko, rather than play him in a game where they didn't really need him. Halverson looked competent enough that he'll be a viable back-up if they need him.
-Game number two went a little better for the broadcast team. Dave Starman was a little more active in the commentary which helped carry Bylsma a little more. Bylsma still doesn't seem comfortable in the booth, but he's absolutely fantastic with the X-and-O stuff and do more of that. He did stuff like explain the US power play breakout, diagram plays off of face-offs, and talk about players building speed in the neutral zone, which is all really good analysis that you very rarely hear on hockey broadcasts. The more he does that, the better he sounds.