The final Olympic team was announced on New Year's Day.
Team USA team took advantage of the NHL's Winter Classic - probably America's only national hockey event on the calendar - to name the team. The announcement was much like the Winter Classic itself in that was hard to live up the hype. Team USA's roster was one of the easiest to predict.
Most people are not expecting a lot from Team USA at the Olympics. I believe that is foolish.
The Americans are coming in with a new generation of players, with only three returning players from Torino. There is not a lot of high end talent in terms of superstar scorers, but there is a lot of depth featuring solid, two way players. They are spunky, hard hitting and hard working players. Since they all play similar styles it should be easy for the coaching staff to put together a game plan that they will all buy into quickly, further improving their cohesion level.
Besides, the likes of Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Bobby Ryan and Phil Kessel will impress everyone with timely goal scoring.
Oh yeah, and the Americans have the NHL's best goalie this season in Ryan Miller. History tells us a hot goalie can take you a long ways in the Olympics. With some timely goals I would not be surprised to see the Americans surprise somebody with upset victory and possibly end up in a medal game.
Thanks for the post. I think Burke and USA Hockey have the right template for the future--stop looking for the "can't miss kid" and take the guys that are solid in their own end and score goals. The only guy I would have liked to have seen that was not picked is Dustin Byfuglien. I think his size and versatility would have made him valuable.
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