Originally posted by SunDevilNiner79:
Prediction of US Roster for Sochi:
Ryan Miller - Starter (I think you give the job to the guy with experience, and he has been playing well)
Jonathan Quick - Back up (Yes he typically sucks at the start of the season, but by mid season he will be playing great and he has proven to be clutch goalie in Stanley Cup Finals)
Jimmy Howard - Has been just as good as Quick, but Quick has proven to be more clutch
Keith Yandle - Ryan Suter
Paul Martin - Justin Faulk
Jack Johnson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Reserve: Seth Jones
PP defenseman (Yandle - Suter; Shattenkirk - Martin). PK Defenseman (Yandle-Suter; Martin - Johnson)
Parise - Pavelski - Kane
Dustin Brown - Kesler - Kessel
Pacioretty - Backes - Okposo
Callahan - Stepan - Bobby Ryan
PK :(Brown-Kesler; Callahan-Stepan)
PP: (Parise-Pavelski-Kane; Pacioretty - Kesler - Kessel)
Top line makes a lot of sense, our best offensive players at each spot together. 2nd Line, pair Brown and Kesler together to make for a real nasty line and toss in Kessel for a speedy goal scorer. 3rd line, Pacioretty is a top 5 US offensive talent, Backes is the power forward and we need a big hitter, and Okposo is under rated, he has excellent speed that will come in handy on Olympic ice. 4th line, Callahan and Stepan are both reliable defensive capable players that can also score goals. We need some PKers (probably Kesler-Brown and Stepan-Callahan). Bobby Ryan is a wild card goal scorer.
I like Statsny as the reserve based on experience in Olympics.
hmmm...updated the roster
Parise - Pavelski - Kane
van Riemsdyk - Kesler - Kessel
Backes - Oshie - Bobby Ryan
Justin Williams - Stepan - Okposo
Sub forward: Pacciorety
I think Oshie - Backes would be a great pair to have on a line based on familiarity, and both are big reasons the Blues have been playing great. van Reimsdyk is having a great year, and again you have the already built in familiarity with Kessel.
For the 4th line I added Okposo and Williams as speed grit players, there are players that bring more offense but for a 4th line your going to want hits and defensive play. Stepan is big for PK. He is one of the best two-way forwards the USA has.
USA lacks a true #1 Center for Olympic scale of hockey, otherwise their forwards are as deep as anyone. Sure other teams groupings may put up more points in the NHL, but as a team, the USA forward group is deceptively good. Its not about the best players, its about the best team, and the USA boasts a very deep collection of speedy defensive 2-way Forwards and has developed some great scoring wings (Kessel, Kane, Parise).
Ryan Suter -Keith Yandle
Paul Martin- Justin Faulk
Sub: Seth Jones
Byfuglien is just too much of a defensive liability and skating too suspect for the Olympics. Suter is clearly the best USA defenseman, while Yandle and Shattenkirk are the best offensive D-man and both fantastic skaters. Paul Martin adds some needed veteran experience and is still one of the best skaters on D. For the last 3 years, McDonagh has been one of the league's best rising stars. Faulk and Seth Jones are two other big rising stars for USA defense. For 2018, USA D will be the best in the world (McDonagh, Jones, Faulk, Yandle, Suter, Fowler, Leddy, Shattenkirk). Even this year its among the top 3 (Canada and Sweden the other 2).
Ryan Miller - Starter
Jimmy Howard - Backup
Quick is a wildcard. If he bounces back strong, he could be considered. Ryan Miller is a lock and in my opinion should be the starter, he looks excellent despite the awful team. Meanwhile its Ben Bishop thats been stat wise the best, at 6-7 he is quite the goalie specimen. But he melted down in the last international competition and frankly I don't trust him. He lacks quickness which IMO is more of a required skill set on the wider Olympic ice