Carlson bright spot in disappointing finish

Carlson bright spot in disappointing finish
February 22, 2014, 12:45 pm
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(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

It unraveled oh-so-quickly for the Americans in Saturday’s 5-0 loss to Teemu Selanne and Team Finland, and now there is nothing left for Team USA but gut-wrenching questions.

How could the Americans, who led all Olympic teams with 19 goals through four games, come up completely empty in back-to-back losses to Canada and Finland?

How could Patrick Kane, one of the NHL’s most prolific goal scorers in the past five years, miss on a pair of penalty shots in the same game?

How could a team that came to Sochi wanting nothing but a gold medal, show such a lack of passion after falling behind by goals just 11 seconds apart by the Finns?

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Those are some of the questions Capitals defenseman John Carlson will entertain on the long flight home from Sochi, Russia.

But overall, Carlson proved to be one of Team USA’s best selections for the 2014 team, playing solid reliable minutes alongside Brooks Orpik against Canada in Friday’s tense 1-0 loss.

On Saturday against the Finns, Carlson had a good look at the net midway through the first period of a scoreless game, but shot wide right. On another shift late in the first period Carlson made some strong defensive plays before losing his stick, retrieving it, and clearing the puck out of the zone.

He ended the game as one of a handful of American players who was even on the plus-minus sheet, logging 16:32 on 21 shifts and recording one shot on goal.

Clearly, it was a disappointing finish for the Americans, but for Carlson, it was a very respectable showing in his first Olympics appearance.

John Carlson’s Stats

Points – 0

Penalty Minutes – 0

Shots on Goal – 1

Time on Ice – 16:32

Shifts – 21

Average Time on Ice: 0:47