It was worth every second to wake up at 6:30 am to watch the USA vs. Russia in Men's Hockey this morning as the USA team beat the Russians in a shootout to win 3-2 after going 60 minutes in regulation and 5 minutes in overtime with some of the most intense play I have seen in a long time at the Sochi Winter Olympics. With a different rule for shootouts in the Olympics where you can use any player after 3 rounds made it one of the exciting finishes in any shootout I have witness. Three things stuck out during this game that all coaches and players should do.
1) If it wasn't for Ryan Kesler winning faceoffs the USA would not have even got close to the shootout ( every team should set aside time to practice faceoffs )
2) Pavel Datsyuk who I think is the smartest hockey player in the world and sees the open man as good as anyone led the Russians with two goals. Sometimes a team tries to make one too many pretty passes when they they should shoot. Pavel has 270 goals and 530 assist for the Detroit Red Wings.
3) T J Oshie scores 4 out of 6 shots in the shootout for the USA 3-2 victory. Because of the Olympic rule that T J Oshie was the only player the USA use after the third round. T J leads the NHL with 70% scoring in shootouts. T J Oshie learned this skill by being a Rinkrat in Warroad, so Youth and High School players get outside and Rinkrat every chance you have ( This is where you learn your skills ).