Blog Entry

Turning the page

Posted on: January 1, 2010 9:01 pm

If there was doubt that USA Hockey was ready to hand things over to its next generation of talent, it officially ended with today’s announcement of the roster for the Olympics in Vancouver.

Veteran former standard bearers like Mike Modano and Scott Gomez, who were both at Team USA’ orientation camp last August in Chicago, were predictably kept off the roster, leaving the leadership roles to be handled by previous Olympians Chris Drury, Jamie Langenbrunner and defenseman Brian Rafalski all slated to make the trip.

Among them, Drury, whose season with the New York Rangers has been less than auspicious, was one of the few surprises on a team that had for all intents and purposes been put together in Chicago.  The selection of St. Louis Blues forward David Backes will probably raise some eyebrows as well because he has struggled most of the season, but apparently not enough to dissuade the American brain trust from bringing along. Same thing goes for New Jersey defenseman Paul Martin, who has been injured for much of the season and isn’t sure if he’ll be ready in time for Vancouver.

No doubt Team USA will go in to the Games as decided underdogs, but the Americans won’t be soft touches by any stretch. Team USA has some high end scoring power on the top two lines, with Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Paul Stastny and Bobby Ryan, two-way grit and tenacity with forwards like Langenbrunner, Ryan Kessler, Ryan Callahan and Dustin Brown, and a quick and mobile defense unit that has shut down types like Mike Komisarek and Brooks Orpik.

And then there is goaltending trio of Ryan Miller Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, which gives the Americans the ability to steal any game.

“The goaltending position was probably the easiest one for us to get through," Burke said. "It's one where we've got some depth.

“We’re excited about our chances.”

For now certainly, and definitely for the future.


Category: NHL

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2010 2:56 pm

Turning the page

I like team USA because joe pavelski's on it. He is the best player who gets no credit or love. He is easily the best forward on team USA but is not mentioned above. As a sharks fan i can say that he is easily our most consistant player who can do it all.Are you kidding me Sportz_FAn_27?  Did you just post the dumbest comment of this thread or any thread related to the US Olympic hockey team.  Pavelski the best forward on team USA?
Are all better.  Period.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2010 10:57 am

Turning the page

horrible! With that lineup they are going to get lit up! pathetic choices.

Since: Dec 25, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2010 1:53 am

Turning the page

Burke is a genius? You are kidding right?

He never did anything in Vancouver as GM. He was handed the keys to a cadillac with the Ducks and gets credit for putting together a cup winning team.

Toronto is doomed & will not flourish under his command.

As far as building a team with grit goes I wouldn't put much stock in that. You can't fight in the Olympics & if you take dumb penalties the tallent on the other team will make you pay, but that is the only kind of team that Burke knows how to put together.

Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 11:16 pm

Turning the page

I like team USA because joe pavelski's on it. He is the best player who gets no credit or love. He is easily the best forward on team USA but is not mentioned above. As a sharks fan i can say that he is easily our most consistant player who can do it all.

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 11:05 pm

Turning the page

I just took a look at the stats to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Brodeur leads Miller in the NHL's most important goaltending statistic: WINS. In fact, he leads the NHL...

Brodeur trails Miller by .01 for saves percentage, but plays on a team where he will regularily face fewer shots than the Americans....

Miller is my favorite player on my favorite team. I want him to be as good as brodeur, especially in the clutch games that matter (olympics, playoffs, etc). Half a season of outstanding hockey, which leaves him leading by small margins, does not mean he is greater than Brodeur...

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 10:59 pm

Turning the page

I never mentioned the word bad associated with Russia's or USA's goalies; however, anyone going strictly by the stats is kidding themselves. Ask all 30 GM's in the NHL, and I guarentee that 25 say Canada's team has the top goaltending. Statistics are a great short term tool but the Canadian goalies have accomplished much more.

Brodeur might be old, but Miller's Sabres are still chasing the Brodeur led Devils for first place in the eastern conference. Fluery won the Stanely Cup last year and likely deserved the MVP award for his efforts in the postseason. Luongo is largley considered the heir apparent to Brodeur for NHl supremecy, and he might be the weakest link on the lineup.

The USA have a couple of great goalies, but until they prove they can win when it counts, they come second to Canada. As for the Russians, Nabokov will likely be their starter, and his post season resume includes some spectacular choke jobs.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 10:13 pm

Turning the page

I'm not sure where your optimism comes for the Canadian goaltenders comes from.  Rask has the best stats in the NHL this year for both GAA and save %.  Miller of the U.S. is second.  Canada at this very moment has no goalie with stats better than sixth overall.

For all three goalies the Russians have the three best statistacily in the NHL at this time with Nabokov of SJ, Bryzgalov of PHX and Varlamov of WAS.

I'm not saying that the Canadian goalies are bad but anyone who can say that the U.S., Russia and Finland don't have good goalies also hasn't seen a stat sheet in a number of years.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 10:02 pm

Turning the page

The U.S. team stuck with over the hill guys last time out and paid for it.  I would think that Booth would have been on this team if he didn't have the concussion problems.  I was surprised that Bufyglien wasn't on the team.

I think it won't be long before the U.S. is a legitemate hockey powerhouse!  Maybe not at these Olympics but in the future yes.  The last number of years more and more American players have been getting drafted in the first round compared to the past.  The players have started to start comming from more than 3 states also more often.

This team should be fun to watch they have some goal scoring lots of speed and guys with hands that can throw the body.


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 3:53 pm

Turning the page

Raydam - I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan and love Ryan Miller as much as any hetrosexual man should love a hockey player, but there is no was that the USA has the best 3some of goaltenders. The Canadian team has three goalies who are all better than the three on the USA team. Brodeur, Fluery, and Luongo will be the best goaltending trio, bar none.Ummm, no,  Miller is the best goalie in hockey right now.  Brodeur is a first ballot HOF'er and still a top flight goalie, but he is no longer the best.
Devils have the second best defense in the league in front og Brodeur and yet Miller is better statistically across the board accept for shut outs in which they are ties (and Brodeur has started four more games).
At this point in their respective careers Miller is better, and will most likely win the Vezina trophy this year.  US has the best goal tending in the Olympics, Canada has the best all around depth and Russia has the best top line. 

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 3:48 pm

Turning the page

Defense looks OK, but no real puckmovers who are in their prime.You apparently have never seen Suter play, he is more in the mold of his uncle Gary than his Olympic Gold Medal winning father (1980).  As a Hawk fan I would take him on my team in a heartbeat.  He can skate, shoot, pass and he is a shut down defenseman.  Beyond Rafalski, Orpik and Suter this defense doesn't look very good though.  Jack Johnson is a turn over machine and is a -11 so far.  Komi has been even worse, the author of this article is an idiot to call him anything but awful.

One thing I do like about this team is that you have three of the top five checkers in the league on this squad.  Love to see this squad compete for a medal, but also know that the 2014 Olympics is were this team will shine that is if the new CBA allows NHL players to compete.

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