Last Saturday the United States announced the roster for the upcoming Olympic Games after the Winter Classic in Boston. One of the things that is immediately obvious is the lack of veterans present on the team. Gone are US team stalwarts like Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Chris Chelios. Now the team will be led by players like Patrick Kane, Erik Johnson, and Phil Kessel.
Only three players have past Olympic experience, Chris Drury, Brian Rafalski, and Jamie Langenbrunner. The other 20 are first timers. I’m hoping that can work as an advantage for the young team. Maybe they won’t necessarily realize the magnitude of the task at hand. There shouldn’t be much pressure on them as they US has only won a medal once since 1980’s Miracle on Ice.
Here’s the roster breakdown:
I think the strength of the team lies with the goal tending. Tim Thomas was last season’s Vezina Trophy winner and Ryan Miller is a very solid backup. The team is going to rely heavily on Zach Parise, Kane, and Kessel to score goals for them. The team will certainly have to pull an upset or two in order to bring home a medal, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. If they can have one or two guys step up and overachieve for the duration of the tournament, then this team could be dangerous.
Of course, they’ll have to contend with Canada’s All-Star team.