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: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 3:46 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.

This team will be solid enough to have a chance at a medal, but ultimately they will fall to the powerhouses. In 2014 this team should be dominant, although there is no reason to believe that Russia and Canada will not continue to out pace them. The average age of the USA team is only 1 year younger than the Canadian team. If it were not for the selection of Pronger and Neidemeyer on defence, our team could have dropped the age to equal the american squad with the likes of Phaneuf or Bouwmeester, not to mention that Steve Stamkos and Jonathon Tavares are both staying home as well...

The american team will improve with age, but so will the others...

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 3:44 pm

Turning the page

lol.... "If Miller doesn't get the majority of the starts the coach and GM should both be fired."

Yeah - maybe if they don't win 1 out of the first two, ownership will have no option but to fire the coach and the GM, and start over.

Oh wait - this is the olympics. it's an 11 day season. Maybe ownership should fire them now.
Puhlease, let's get this circus of the olympics and the "winter classic" out of our sport.

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2010 12:45 pm

Turning the page

Callahan was a horrible pick, would of rather had Byfuglien for his size and in front of the net on the PP. Burke is a genius though so I'll wait and see how it plays out and reserve putting too much into that until after. GO USA!!!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 12:39 pm

Turning the page

Should have turned the page even further.  I know leadership is needed, but why Drury and Langenbrunner?  At least Modano or Guerin can score. I think this team is full of grit, but low on talent.  They should have considered Tim Connolly and Brian Gionta over Drury and Callahan.  Also, Paul Gaustad should have made this team on faceoffs alone. They may very well regret not taking him.  I like Kesler, backes, malone. 

Defense looks OK, but no real puckmovers who are in their prime.  Rafalski is the best offensive d-man of the bunch, but he's too old.  Orpik and Komisarek sure aren't going to do it. US really needs Suter to step up for that role. If Paul Martin can't play they should really consider Ron Hainsey from Atlanta.  Not having a great season, but can move the puck.

Goaltending looks strong.  If Miller doesn't get the majority of the starts the coach and GM should both be fired.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 11:54 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 11:53 am

Love this USA team

Perfect mix of 2-way players and a nice set of scorers....They are young and hungry and will be VERY good in 2014....they may not have the offensive "name" talent as some of the powerhouses, but they are better defensively than teams like Russia already.  They have the best 3some of goalies in the olympics....anyone of them can steal a game....medalling this year may be tough but definitely not 4 years they will be a contender for Gold....Drury may be a question mark, but if they had to choose a veteran than he's gritty enough to be the choice.

I love this team....Bobby Ryan, Kane, Kessel are just scratching the surface....Parise is already a stud...who doesn't like watching real hockey players like kessler and callahan?  Defensively they will be able to frustrate every team they play because these guys will all buy in to a solid system...I see many 2-1 , 3-2 type games....let's hope they get the great goaltending and are on the "W" side.

Heads up USA, this is a good set of young players that will be around for years to come!!

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2010 9:18 am

Turning the page

disgruntled sabre fan? drury was picked for his leadership and international experience. so he might be having a tough season, but this guy can be special when he turns it on. you as a sabre fan know this first hand as he led your guys to a cup finals. USA is definitely in the second tier of talent at the tournament but heres to hoping they exceed everyones expectations and net a medal in vancouver. USA, USA, USA!!!!!!!!

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2010 8:01 am

Turning the page

This team looks alot better with Okposo and Byfuglien on it too, no? Callahan?! C'mon.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 4:23 am

Turning the page

I like most of the roster, Especialy since these are players who are playing some great hockey. The defense looks great and the wingers and forwards are going to have speed and gritt.

Not just all show boat type players or players that will just be taking in the sights. They will be there to represent.

The Goalies are all awsome and they probably only need one right now and that's Quick. He has been awsome lately.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2010 2:58 am

Turning the page

I'd actually look for Slovakia to finish better than USA.  What a shame. Slovakia did beat the U.S. last time out, so that wouldn't surprise anyone.

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