We can take the news as positive that Jeremy Morin and Brock Nelson are now listed by Team USA as day-to-day, as tweeted by Bob McKenzie. After TSN reported that Morin may have been lost for the tournament, it appeared a bit of panic kind of set in for Team USA fans, based on what I saw on Twitter.
The U.S. team has an outstanding medical staff in Dr. Phil Johnson, and athletic trainers Stan Wong and Jason Hodges. All three have loads of experience in hockey and especially at these types of tournaments. Those are the guys any team would be happy to have on their bench, because the players’ health is first and foremost. However, they are the guys that are going to give the players every opportunity to get healthy enough to play. In short tournaments like these, there isn’t a lot of time to get healthy and rest, so expect these guys to be on top of the injured players and give them all the care they need to get back.
While a day-to-day listing is positive, it still means the players may miss game time. If you’re a U.S. fan, I don’t think you want either out for any amount of time, with each game being as important as they are. So hopefully the pair can come back in some capacity sooner than later.
Until then, Team USA will need a few guys to step up their game a bit, as any team does when a key player goes down.
I thought Jason Zucker was brilliant in last night’s game and will be a good guy to keep up the toughness and scoring touch that the U.S. may lose with Morin potentially out. Nick Bjugstad was very good for much of the game and obviously got the game-winner. He can help pick up the slack for Nelson, if the center remains out. I also think Charlie Coyle could be a big difference maker. I thought he was only OK last night, but has a chance to be really, really good. There’s a lot to like about his game and I think he can bring a lot to the table. The three healthy centers on this team, Drew Shore, Coyle and Bjugstad will need to be adaptable if Nelson can’t play, since the lines may get jumbled.
So since we won’t know more about the status of Morin and Nelson until closer to game time tomorrow, lets get some more news with WJC Links:
Bruce Peter is killing WJC coverage over at Puck Worlds. If you haven’t read his previews for each team yet, you should. In depth and lots of good insight. So check him out.
Another great WJC resource is Buzzing the Net. It’s got great coverage from up North and has a lot of interesting story lines to follow, particularly 2011 Draft-eligible players in the tournament.
NHL.com keeps its running WJC updates here. It’s always good to check in for breaking news and reports from practices and pre-game skates.
Want to know what the Americans had to say after their game last night? USA Hockey’s World Junior blog’s got you covered with video.
The venerable James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail takes a look at the Canadian invasion in Buffalo.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a preview of the USA-Slovakia game and thoughts on the attendance situation in Buffalo. Particularly, why American fans shouldn’t be alarmed and why our Canadian friends need not chirp. Lastly, I’ll preview the other international tournament beginning this week up in Winnipeg, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Never heard of it? You’re about to.