Blashill backing his team for glory

(PHOTO: National Hockey League)

USA coach Jeff Blashill has gold on his mind as his team prepare to take on Great Britain at the World Championships later today.

The Detroit Red Wings boss is behind the bench for his third straight competition, looking to improve on the bronze medal his team won in Denmark last year.

But he admits they have plenty of work to do after picking up two wins from their three games so far, including an overtime victory over Finland on Monday.

“We’re a team that has, over the last few years, we’ve taken routes over there that has been good enough to win, but that hasn’t happened,” the 45-year-old told British Ice Hockey.

“Two years go, we won six straight preliminary group games last year and went out to Finland in the quarter finals then last year, we had a team that went on to lose to Sweden in the semi finals, but certainly had a team good enough to win.

WATCH NOW: Blashill’s USA side edged past Finland in overtime in their previous game

“With the roster we have, we have to build momentum.  We got a lot of NHL players to agree to come and with the team at our disposal, we want to be here and win.

“It’s easy to talk about and have the good roster, but you have to go out and do it and put yourself in a position to do the work get into a position to get the results.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us and we feel and our roster is good enough to compete at the highest level.”

Blashill picked out the players he’s leaning on in this competition, with a team that includes three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane.

But admits he’s still to learn about Pete Russell’s GB team ahead of their meeting as both sides chase the points in their latest outing in Kosice.

Three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane will lead the line as USA’s captain against GB later today (PHOTO: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

He added: “Admittedly I don’t know too much about the GB team.  We’ve just concentrated on our game and we’ll look more closely at them from the games they’ve played.

“It’s simply focussing on our own team, improving and building throughout the competition.

“As for our team, having a guy like Patrick Kane, who is one of the best players in the world, is big, but we’re lucky up front.  We have good amount of depth that have been some of the top players in the NHL.

“Jack Eichel, Dylan Larkin, Johnny Gaudreau have had good seasons, plus Jack Hughes, who looks like he could be a number one pick in the draft this year.

“On the back end, we’ve got Ryan Suter in his 11th national team event and that’s a special thing.  He plays tons of minutes, defends well and plays efficient minutes so we feel good about our defensive core as well.”

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