USA Hockey Takes the Ice Today

February 16, 2010 |

I’ll be honest I’ve watched the luge, I’ve watched the biatholon, I’ve even watched some figure skating, however when Team USA takes the ice to make their 2010 Olympic debut against Team Switzerland I’ll finally be watching something during the Olympics with actual interest. 

It’s not that I haven’t taken interest in Bode Miller, Apolo Ohno, or one of my new favorite spots they call Snowboard Cross, but this Hockey and these are professional NHL players participating in the Olympics.

Today when the USA Hockey team takes the ice their roster will look much different from those that we’ve enjoyed being “medal contenders” with NHL stars leading the way such as Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, and Keith Tkachuk.  This year Team USA is much more reminiscent to the days when NHL’ers didn’t participate. 

While I’m not saying that Team USA isn’t any good…they are.  They’re just a very young bunch of kids with a more realistic chance to medal in 2014.

With loaded teams such as Canada with Sydney Crosby and Martin Brodeur, Russia with Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, and Sweeden with Nicklas Backstrom and Niklas Lindstrom it will be nearly impossible for such a young team without a “superstar”, let alone multiple “superstars” like other nations, to get on the podeum in Vancouver.

Let’s take a look at the roster of Team USA and get to know the members of their roster:

Forwards:

Zach Parise-25, New Jersey Devils:  Parise is by far the team’s most exciting offensive threat.  Team USA will be relying upon Paise to shoot the puck throughout the Olympics.

Chris Dury-32, New York Rangers: Drury is a veteran of the Olympics and will need to be a leader in the locker room as well as on the ice.

Dustin Brown-25, Los Angeles Kings: Brown is an exciting young player for Team USA and an aggressive player that will use his energy and muscle to create opportunities.

Jamie Langenbrunner-34, New Jersey Devils

Paul Stastny-24, Colorado Avalanche

David Backes-25, St. Louis Blues

Patrick Kane-21, Chicago Blackhawks:  Kane is a very talented player and part of the future of Team USA.  Kane has already scored 209 points in the NHL in only 223 career games.

Phil Kessel-22, Toronto Maple Leafs

Ryan Kesler-25, Vancouver Cannucks

Bobby Ryan-22, Anaheim Ducks

Joe Pavelski-25, San Jose Sharks

Ryan Malone-31, Tampa Bay Lightning

Ryan Callahan-24, New York Rangers: Caps fans remember Callahan well from last year’s matchup in the first round with the Rangers.  This kid is scrappy!

Defense:

Brian Rafalski-36, Detroit Red Wings:  A veteran leader for Team USA on the blue line.  Rafalski has scene it all in his NHL career, but will have a tough job on his hands to slow the opposition’s attack.

Ryan Suter-25, Nashville Predators

Brooks Orpik-29, Pittsburgh Penguins: Can Caps fans ever root for Orpik?  I guess we’ll have to see past his normal black and gold colors for those of red, white, and blue of Team USA.

Jack Johnson-23, Los Angeles Kings: Not the singer Jack Johnson, this kid can really play.  However the very “green” Johnson will have nightmares about the 2010 Olympics for the rest of his life.

Ryan Whitney-26, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Whitney has his name on the Stanley Cup, however he’ll have to step up big for Team USA if they want to go far in the Olympics.

Erik Johnson-21, St. Louis Blues

Tim Gleason-27, Carolina Hurricanes

Goaltenders:

Ryan Miller-29, Buffalo Sabres: Miller would be on my short list of any goalie I’d want on my roster from any country, so this is a definite strength for Team USA.  Miller can win games on his play alone.  If Miller gets in a hot streak during the Olympics, you never know what could happen.

Tim Thomas-31, Boston Bruins:  Thomas is a very solid backup goalie for Team USA.  Goaltending is a strength for this team, unfortunately you can only play one at a time.

Jonathan Quick-24, Los Angeles: He probably won’t see much time these Olympics, but with a last name like Quick he’s already got to feel pretty lucky.

Do you believe in miracles? 

I do, but I don’t think it happens this time for Team USA.

Gold: Canada-Their team is stacked and they’re playing on home ice.

Silver: Russia- Ovechkin versus Crosby for the gold medal?  Sign me up!

Bronze: Sweeden- Very talented and unselfish team.  If you want to watch beautiful hockey being played, just watch the Sweedish team.

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