The United States Of Hockey

Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 1:31 PM CT
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Razor With An Edge Blog

Here's a repost in honor of Hockey Day in America:

I admit it, I get extremely nationalistic when hockey gathers for international play. I'm Canadian. It's what we do.

But buried under the toque wearing, red maple leaf face-painted front of Canadians at this year's World Junior tournament in Alberta is the fact that - despite the Americans putrid 7th place finish - the U.S. is on the come.

This year in the NHL a record 23 percent of all players are American born, and 'defenseman' seems to have been the position of choice when this current crop were first lacing em' up (Alex Goligoski, that's you) as there are more U.S. born d-men than there are from all of the European countries combined.

The genesis for this upward trend can probably best be traced back to USA Hockey's decision to establish a national development program back in 1997. That put the best young players on the same team, trained them, exposed them to the best international competition, and in a word "developed" them. Prior to that the American national teams would just throw a bunch of kids together at tournament time and hope for the best; Kind of like taking a group of kids who can't swim, throwing life-jackets on them, driving them to the middle of the lake, tossing them into the water and wishing them good luck.

And maybe most encouraging is there seems to be a robust appetite for the sport among little tyke Americans. Over the past 5 years the number of kids eight and under playing hockey has risen to around 100,000, a historical high.

The sport is growing, others aren't.

Could it be that the U.S. is slowly becoming the land of "hockey mom" and apple pie?

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 55 33 19 3 151 129 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 59 29 26 4 156 164 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 56 29 34 18 63
T. Seguin 56 30 32 13 62
J. Klingberg 56 10 37 13 47
P. Sharp 56 16 25 -2 41
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
A. Goligoski 56 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 56 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 56 11 10 13 21
A. Hemsky 49 6 14 0 20
J. Demers 49 7 12 16 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 16 5 0 .910 2.80
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