Kyle Okposo headlines Team USA WC roster

okposo.jpgI think the comparison I made in March holds true: the 2010 IIHF World Championships are to NCAA Basketball’s NIT as the Stanley Cup playoffs are to March Madness. That being said, it’s still a chance to see players forgo yacht and sun bathing time to play just a little more hockey.

Team USA named 12 of its members today. Here’s the report from NHL.com.

Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen and New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo were among the first 12 players named to the United States squad that will compete at the 2010 IIHF World Championships in Germany from May 7-23.

Clemmensen and Okposo are returning from last year’s tournament team that finished fourth.

Also named were Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Gilroy of the New York Rangers, Eric Nystrom of the Calgary Flames, Edmonton’s Ryan Potulny, the Islanders’ Jack Hillen, Tampa Bay’s Mike Lundin, Anaheim’s Ryan Carter, Toronto’s Christian Hanson and Calgary’s David Moss.

As you may notice, 12 players is far short from a full 20-man roster (not to mention reserves/taxi squad guys if that applies). The logic of not naming a full roster is simple: Team USA (and Canada, who I’ll discuss later today) will be able to snatch hockey players from teams who get knocked out of the playoffs. The tournament starts in Germany on May 7, so that gives at least a round or two of possible supplemental players.

Scroll Down For:

    Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

    Leave a comment

    Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

    OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

    It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

    This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

    One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

    Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

    5 Comments

    Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

    At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

    “I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

    As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

    Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

    The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

    Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

    Leave a comment

    Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

    That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

    Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

    (Not as unlikely, but still.)

    Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

    Leave a comment

    Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

    Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

    You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

    Here’s his second assist for good measure:

    Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.