The United States Of Hockey

Sunday, 01.8.2012 / 1:41 PM CT
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Razor With An Edge Blog

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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 9 5 7 5 12
J. Spezza 9 4 6 1 10
C. Eakin 9 0 7 1 7
A. Goligoski 9 3 2 -5 5
P. Eaves 7 2 3 3 5
P. Sharp 9 3 1 0 4
R. Faksa 9 2 2 1 4
J. Klingberg 9 1 3 -5 4
A. Hemsky 9 1 3 0 4
M. Janmark 8 1 3 -1 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 4 1 0 .903 2.70
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .872 3.33
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