In a few weeks the Olympic hockey team rosters are due.
Team USA and Team Canada have quite a bit up in the air and the players haven’t been making their roster decisions any easier. We’ve decided to take a little look at some of the players around the league that may (or may not) have a chance at making it to Sochi.
While not playing as well this season as he has in the past, Miller has made the saves that he’s had to make. He’s currently at the top of our list for making the team given that there really isn’t anyone else that is stepping up for the spot. And after all, he’s just so damn American.
A groin strain has had Quick out for a while and the Kings are being relatively vague about how much longer until he’ll be playing again. At the beginning of the season he was USA’s number one choice, so if he can get back out on the ice in time there’s a chance that he could still be considered… but most likely not.
There are obviously other goalies that are being considered such as Ben Bishop and Jimmy Howard. With Howard’s recent injury that’s going to have him out for 2-4 weeks there’s no telling what Team USA is going to end up doing. They’re going to have to consider not only who’s the most skilled but who’s going to be the healthiest and in best shape when it comes to game time. (No I didn’t forget about Timothy Thomas… I just don’t want to talk about him).
Team USA is going to look at getting defenseman that work well together as pairs and not necessarily players who are good individually. There are a lot of options out there for Team USA to choose from so pulling players that already have chemistry is going to be where they start from.
As a veteran on Team USA, Suter is going to play a big role at Sochi. You’ll find him leading the teams defense and most likely getting the most time defensively on the ice.
Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin
While both of these players are currently out with injuries, there’s no way that you can count them off Team USA’s roster. If there’s any chance that they will be healthy by the Olympics, Poile is going to make sure that they’re going to be making the trip.
Some other players that have a good chance of making team USA on defense are John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Jack Johnson, and Erik Johnson. Young players like Torey Krug and Seth Jones are most likely being considered as well.
When it comes down to deciding which forwards will make the roster there isn’t much controversy. It’s going to be the last few spots that are going to be a tough decision for Poile. Some of the men that have a pretty solid chance at making the roster are Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Phil, Kessel, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Callahan and Dustin Brown.
Our favorite goon of a forward that is most likely headed off to Sochi is the David Backes. A mysterious upper-body injury that forced him to leave the game on Thursday against the Senators hopefully won’t hamper his opportunity.
As expected, Price is doing an alright job with the Montreal Canadiens so far this season. He currently has a record of 15-10-2, save percentage of .935 and a goals against average of 2.00. He has the potential to be the teams starter, but thank goodness back-ups are a thing.
Luongo has been playing better as of late, but his overall stats are no better than those of Price’s. With a record of 16-8-5, save percentage of .921 and goals against average of 2.19, it’s going to be a tough decision for Coach Mike Babcock to decide who will be Team Canada’s net-minder. However, the positive is that he was the starting goaltender in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Oddly enough, Marc-Andre Fleury may potentially be an option for Team Canada as well since he currently leads the league in wins with 18. However, Steve Yzerman has some tough choices because Braden Holtby, Mike Smith, and Corey Crawford were also invited to camp this past summer. None of these choices are outstanding, but they’re all a solid choices for the team.
Keith currently has 28 assists and 30 points in 36 games. He can quarterback a powerplay and shut down the oppositions offensive threats. He would be a perfect fit for Team Canada.
Most famously known for having the second hardest slapshot in the world (next to Zdeno Chara of course), he is a strong stay-at-home defenseman that Team Canada will need if there are going to be some offensive defensmen on the roster as well.
When he is in the Penguins line up, he is a difference maker seeing as he quarterbacks their powerplay and also is not afraid to jump into the offensive rush. However, he is currently on the IR with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Meaning there is room for guys like, Drew Doughty, Brent Seabrook, and Alex Pietrangelo.
Since the 2010 Olympics, Toews has done nothing but impress. Winning two Stanley Cups and taking home the Selke Award for Best Defensive Forward, proving that he is capable of leading teams to championships and being a great two-way player that is key to every teams success.
Another strong, aggressive player who is excellent on the penalty kill as well as the power play. He’s proven his ability to win at all levels with having a Stanley Cup, World Junior Championship, and was a member of the 2010 gold medal winning Team Canada.
Since he was Mr. Golden Goal back in Vancouver and is currently leading the league with 47 points I suppose I have to put him on the list. He is the first layer of the offensive threat that Canada is going to be able to bring.
There are many other options available to Steve Yzerman like Chris Kunitz, Matt Duchene, Patrice Bergeron, and John Tavares to name a few.