The United States Of Hockey

Sunday, 01.8.2012 / 1:41 PM CT
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Razor With An Edge Blog
The United States Of Hockey

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 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 77 28 46 -6 74
T. Seguin 67 35 35 -4 70
J. Spezza 77 17 42 -3 59
J. Klingberg 60 11 27 3 38
C. Eakin 73 17 19 -5 36
T. Daley 63 16 20 -10 36
A. Goligoski 77 4 31 -2 35
A. Hemsky 71 11 21 -5 32
S. Horcoff 73 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 75 12 15 -5 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 16 10 .906 2.88
J. Enroth 1 5 0 .877 3.16
 
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