LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Yesterday, we looked at a few draft-eligible players who shined at the U-20 evaluations in Lake Placid; today we'll take a broader view about the development of Team USA.
After its win in 2010 Team USA will enter the 2011 world junior championships in Buffalo as the favorite -- a slight favorite over Canada, yes, but a favorite nonetheless.
It's a big one for the U.S.: they'll be looking to become the fourth nation (Canada, Czech Republic and Russia) to win back-to-back titles in the tournament's 34-year history.
The Americans won't be favorites simply because of home-ice advantage; in fact, chances are there will be more Canadians in the building than Americans. The U.S. played in Grand Forks in 2005 and that was the case there.
The reason for the edge is talent, and it has been on display in Lake Placid over the past few days of the evaluation period. Here are five reasons Team USA should be favored at next year's world juniors -- and three areas of concern:
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