Poile on U.S. Olympic team: ‘We expect to win’


When it comes to assembling the roster for a hockey-rich country like the United States, there are going to be notable omissions. American (and Nashville Predators GM) David Poile discussed the selection process after the 2014 Winter Classic on Wednesday … and also made a confident prediction.

“We expect to win,” Poile said.

He said that he “couldn’t be happier” with the roster they assembled.

Poile explained that talent wasn’t the lone consideration for inclusion on the roster. Instead, it seemed to come down to finding the right fits.

“We did not pick the best 25 (U.S.) players,” Poile said. “We picked the best players that we felt gave us a chance to compete for a gold medal.”

Even so, many wonder why Bobby Ryan wasn’t named to the team. After all, at 26, he already has four 30+ goal seasons to his name.

“Bobby’s a fabulous player,” Poile said. “I love him. I’d love him for my own team.”

(Just not to his Olympic team.)

Poile noted that goalies Ben Bishop, Cory Schneider and Tim Thomas were tough omissions. The list of skaters he considered was rather large, with Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Dustin Byfuglien, Seth Jones, Keith Yandle, Kyle Okposo, Jason Pominville, Brandon Dubinsky, Justin Abdelkader and Ryan earning mentions.

The best news for Ryan and other “snubs” might be that they could be an injury or two away from making the team, after all.

For an even deeper look at the process for Poile and the rest of the American brain trust, check out this in-depth piece by Scott Burnside of ESPN.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: