PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi joined The Fan Morning Show to offer his thoughts on Olympic hockey, including the big US vs. Canada semifinal matchup at noon.
He thinks that his Pens teammate Paul Martin’s absence might negatively impact Team USA today.
“Team USA was really kind of firing on all cylinders and playing more like a team than any other group I’ve seen,” Scuderi said. “And I think it messes up with the chemistry. Brooks [Orpik] and Paul have had a wonderful chemistry here in Pittsburgh, and they’ve brought that over there with them.”
He believes that the US and Canadian national teams are on fairly equal footing now, even if there is a disparity in talent.
“I think that maybe that stereotype was around maybe 15, 20 years ago,” Scuderi said. “But I can remember maybe the World Cup in ’96, I think USA had a great showing, and after that I thought we’ve kind of pulled even. I don’t think we have the kind of talent they do, but I think, as a team, I don’t think that we’re giving up anything to the Canadians right now.”
He sees the Americans’ style of play as a big asset for them in this tournament.
“I felt we’ve been getting under teams’ skin by being physical, by getting other teams off their game and hopefully capitalizing on mistakes by playing a style that maybe they’re not used to,” Scuderi said.
When it comes to the notion that teammate Evgeni Malkin may be negatively impacted by the disappointment of the Russian team’s early exit, Scuderi notes that Malkin faces pressure in the NHL, too, though it’s not quite the same.
“When he comes back here, he still has expectations, but maybe it’s not the whole country’s weight on him,” Scuderi said. “It’s just our organization and our city.”
The interview can be heard here: