Or, that’s what it seems like USA Hockey has told the rest of the world with the makeup of its men’s team.
The U.S. will be in Group A at the 2010 Games in Vancouver along with Canada, Switzerland and Norway. The preliminary schedule has the U.S. playing Canada in the final Group A game at 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 21.
There aren’t very many names on the roster which strikes fear into the heart of any opponent save for Patrick Kane. One could make the argument for Paul Stastny, but, really, the casual fan probably wouldn’t know him from a hole in the wall.
Its saving grace, however, should be goaltending. Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick have been announced as the men between the pipes. While Quick is there for future consideration, Miller and Thomas are two of the top NHL goaltenders.
One thing is certain; youth was on the United States Olympic Committee’s mind as they were putting the team together. Although Mike Modano (39 years old), Brian Rafalski (36 years old) and Rob Scuderi (31 years old) are on what’s called the Orientation Camp Roster, I doubt any of them will see any ice time.
It will be interesting to see how this youth movement will work for the U.S.
I know for a fact that there’s an air of uncertainty for the fans; a lot of them questioning some of the players on the roster (Phil Kessel) and wondering why others didn’t make the the team (James van Riemsdyk). While van Riemsdyk’s numbers may not jump out from the page at you, he does the little things on the ice that teammates love. Meanwhile, Kessel — who’s never won the big game — has always been criticized for his lack of tenacity on the ice. In fact, earlier this week, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson called Kessel out at practice, reminding the winger that he’s only scored one goal in the last 10 games. In his post-practice press conference, he also pointed out that Kessel doesn’t fight hard enough on the ice. Not the kind of teammate anyone wants to have on the ice with them.
Who knows? Maybe all of this will work for the U.S. Soon enough, time will tell.