Allan Muir of SI wrote a column on who he thinks makes the USA Olympic Team for 2014
I reviewed his team and agree with many choices, but thought he could do better on D. Choosing the top 3 lines forwards is easy, but after that it gets hard.
On D I think there are as many as 15 players to choose from and only a couple of locks
The locks are Jack Johnson, Ryan Suter and Keith Yandle. After that the remaining spots could go any which way especially with some many top flight young USA defenders. Does the team go with size, experience, scoring ability? Will vets Orpik and Martin come back? What about kids Cam Fowler, John Carlson, Ryan McDonagh, Zack Bogosian, Erik Johnson, K. Shattenkirk or Justin Faulk? What about NHL vets Goligoski and Byfuglien? I'm not sure any other country except maybe Canada has this much depth on the blueline.
My 7 are Suter, J Johnson, Yandle, Shattenkirk, Byfuglien, McDonagh annd Orpik. A good mix of size, skill, thump and vet presence.
Forwards are mostly easy. Holdovers Kane, Backes, Brown, Callahan, Kesler, Parise, Ryan and Kessel are locks. I then see a small group fighting for the remaining 5 slots. Two young guns I think make the team in Oshie and Pacioretty. That leaves 3 slots. Do you return vets Pavelski, Malone and or Stastny, What about younger players like Okposo and Stepan? What about our Jason Pominville or a David Legwand? Right now my final three are Pavelski, Pominville and Stepan.
Goaltenders: Does Miller return, or has he been surpassed by Howard, Quick and maybe Schneider and Anderson? At this point, Quick is the only lock, but I think nothing replaces experience in a big tourney. Therefore Miller makes the team if he is playing OK with Howard as the emergency guy. That said, a year from now Schneider could be the man.
Goalies : Quick, Howard, Miller
Suter, J. Johnson
Byfuglien, McDonagh (Shattenkirk)
Parise Kesler Ryan
Kessel Pavelski Kane
Pacioretty Oshie Pominville
Brown Stepan Backes (Callahan)
USA Olympic Hockey for 2014
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