My thoughts on the USA 2014 SOCHI Roster
Well as promised here are my thoughts on the USA 2014 Olympic Team roster.
First I will begin with the goalies because in my opinion I think that it is the most clear cut if you will as far as decisions go as the team was assembled. Jonathan Quick is quite obviously established the number one goalie coming into SOCHI, after that second place is up for grabs between Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller. One thing I will say is I am very surprised about USA hockey taking Howard only because he has been injured most of the season and has been out for the past month, but he is a very good goalie as I watch him nightly. Miller hasn't been exactly a shut out guy so far this season either but what most fans don't know about Olympic selections are that the staff who chooses the team doesn't just go off of what players are doing this season alone Olympics only happen once every four years hence the fact they don't base or make any decisions after a player is only having a good season now. Guys like Bishop are prime examples of why he isn't on the team. So concluding the goalies I will say Quick/Howard/Miller will be the order but you never know anything can happen.
Now onto the defense that USA hockey has selected. Personally I think that the USA staff missed Yandle or something bizarre had to of occurred because he is a far better defense man than Faulk/Martin and I would even say he is better than Orpik. I do really think that they will regret not choosing him as he logs massive minutes with the Coyotes of the NHL so it could be easily said that the big ice and stage of the 'Olympics' would be nothing for him to adjust to. But let's talk about those who did make the squad on the back end. Guys who are more than deserving of a spot that did indeed get one are John Carlson (having a tremendous year with Washington) Cam Fowler who has started to show why he was drafted so high years ago. My projected defensive pairings are; Suter/Carlson, Shattenkirk/McDonagh, Fowler/Orpik and Martin will be the odd man out.
Now onto which is arguably most difficult position to select for any staff of any level of hockey.....the forwards. Before I do discuss anything I really have to talk about on player, obviously there were tonnes of unpleasant fans with USA hockey not choosing Bobby Ryan for the team. But when you look at his previous years stats Ryan is a candidate no questions asked but I don't think the USA think he was a liability to take to SOCHI with that being said Ryan was having an awful year before entering the month of December as he accumulated more than half his season totals in just that one month. So in my opinion it was already too late for Ryan to make the team. Now onto those who did make the team, it seems to me that they didn't go for a high offense 'all star' team if you will. The reason I say this is because when you look at who they selected you see more power forwards than anything with having guys like David Backes, Ryan Kesler, Dustin Brown, T.J Oshie and even Blake Wheeler these guys will give USA a great chance to win as they can definitely put the puck in the net as well grind along the boards and bring a physical presence. Then you have your more finesse guys like Pavelski, Kessel, Van Reimsdyk, Kane and lastly Parise. I would project lines for USA but that seems almost impossible so I will leave that alone, though I will say it would be nice to see Kessel playing with Kane.
I know many fans are looking at the roster shaking their head at USA selections but when you really look at the team overall and not as individuals you can see what they are trying to do and it may be the right option. If anyone would like to discuss anything I have said in this article follow me on twitter (@Hallett_One9) and start a conversation.