An American hadn’t beaten anyone that badly since the Bear Jew knocked a couple German officers’ brains outta the ballpark, and with that the United States is now just one alarmingly easy win away from a semifinals date with an unworthy foe.
To truly highlight the breeziness with which America dispatched their German foes in a 4-0 victory, all you need to see, once again, is the first-period shot differential. It was 23-2 in favor of the U.S. and one of those German shots wasn’t even actually on net.
Actually, the game almost started on a sour note for America, as difficult as that is to believe, because the goal light behind Jack Campbell was stuck on. Call it what you will, wishful thinking from the Germans, an IIHF conspiracy or the light just wanting to make sure it had its moves down for when the U.S. assaulted that end in the second period, but technical malfunctions such as these can only lead us to find one root cause: Canadian involvement.
Fortunately, Charlie Coyle and Jerry D’Amigo scored 48 seconds apart in the first period after the visitors took a slew of penalties, allowing the U.S. to practice passing the puck around the perimeter so as not to further embarrass their overwhelmed opponents, as it chose not to rifle the puck toward goal despite shooting lanes as open as the streets of Dresden the day after the firebombings.
Then the second period came and, even as the Germans got unnecessarily aggressive and frustrated, America took its foot off the gas (out of the goodness of its collective and massive heart) and only bothered to double its lead on goals from Jon Merrill and Chris Kreider.
At some point in the third period, Campbell was yanked not because he was playing badly — he of course did not allow a single goal — but because playing in this game against opponents this poor simply wasn’t worth his time. In came Andy Iles, who, like Campbell before him, shouldn’t have even bothered playing at all. With the rest of his teammates having not emerged from the dressing room for the final 20 minutes, Iles still outshot Germany 10-2, but didn’t score because his heart wasn’t in it.
Who can blame him?