United States coach Dan Bylsma could have simply gone with 2010 Olympic hero and Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller for the team’s tournament opener against Slovakia on Thursday, but instead he picked Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, who had a strong showing in America’s 7-1 victory.
After the contest, Bylsma left us all wondering what his next move would be by refusing to name his starting goaltender for Saturday’s match against Russia, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.
Russia’s offense is leagues above what the Americans faced today, but Quick has earned the right to play against them. In addition to his solid performance against Slovakia, his resume is more than impressive enough. After all, he’s a Conn Smythe Trophy winner with a career 2.03 GAA and .929 save percentage in 50 NHL playoff contests.
At the same time, Miller is one of the main reasons America won the silver medal in 2010. He’s just as good a goaltender four years later, even if the Buffalo Sabres team in front of him has gotten significantly weaker.
If nothing else, this is a great problem for the United States to have.