While it’s far from official, word is that the U.S. Olympic team’s trio of goalies will be Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Howard is being described as the “third-stringer,” according to the report. If a Nov. 23 bit was correct, David Poile & Co. decided to leave three prominent contenders off the list: Ben Bishop, Cory Schneider and Tim Thomas.
One can draw quite a few conclusions from the Howard, Miller and Quick group, but a common theme seems to be that the United States favored big picture results over success in 2013-14.
Miller, 33, has been suffering in Buffalo record-wise (9-17-1), but has shown some perseverance by collecting a strong .924 save percentage. He’s also on a four-game point streak (3-0-1), for whatever that’s worth. No doubt, his sterling performance in gaining the U.S. a silver medal back in 2010 likely factors into his inclusion, too.
Quick, 27, hasn’t played since Nov. 12 thanks to a groin injury and wasn’t putting up the greatest numbers before that issue cropped up. His 10-5-0 record is nice enough, but his .905 save percentage seems more glaring now that Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones have enjoyed more success in the Los Angeles Kings’ net. Of course, Quick is the one with a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup on his resume.
Howard, 29, sports the strange record of 6-8-7 on the season, with generally average (.910 save percentage, 2.65 GAA) individual numbers. He’s been frequently outplayed by Jonas Gustavsson in Detroit this season, but has quietly amassed a nice reputation as one of the league’s better workhorse goalies.
If the U.S. wanted to go with a “flavor of the month” option, they might have turned to Lightning goalie Bishop. The towering 27-year-old is tied for second in wins this season with 20 and has a fantastic .935 save percentage behind a Lightning defense that was often described as leaky before the 2013-14 season.
Granted, there’s always the chance that this report might be incorrect. We’ll know for sure if this is indeed the trio that America will bring to Sochi after the 2014 Winter Classic concludes.
Assuming this is correct, did the U.S. tab the right trio in Howard, Miller and Quick?