Tag: Tim Thomas


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.

Jimmy Howard struggles in return to Red Wings’ net


If Jimmy Howard is indeed among the three goalies the United States will bring to the 2014 Winter Olympics as reported, American GM David Poile saw firsthand why many are questioning his selection.

(Critics include Keith Jones and Mike Milbury, by the way.)

Howard struggled in his first bit of action since being sidelined on Dec. 10, allowing five goals – some of them far from flattering – as the Detroit Red Wings lost to the Nashville Predators 6-4 on Monday.

Colin Wilson’s first of two goals might be the ugliest Howard, 29, allowed tonight:

(Hey, at least Wilson is from the U.S., right?)

Nick Spaling’s tally won’t go on Howard’s “resume,” either, though:

One can almost imagine Poile scribbling out Howard’s name for Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop or Tim Thomas after seeing goals like those …

All kidding aside, there’s no guarantee that Saturday’s report is even accurate (we’ll know after the 2014 Winter Classic). If it is true, then the U.S. has to hope that Howard’s poorly timed struggles are a distant memory in February, though.

Report: U.S. Olympic goalie trio will be Quick, Miller, Howard


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?

Bishop: Olympic team will be ‘on my mind quite a bit’ this week


In five days, USA Hockey will announce its roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — a timeline Ben Bishop is all too aware of.

“It’d be a huge honor, something that nobody can take away from you,” Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times about the possibility of making Team USA. “It’d be pretty cool to say that you’re an Olympian.

“I’m just trying to play my best right now and make it a hard decision on them. [It’ll be] on my mind quite a bit.”

And so it should be, as no American goalie has seen his stock rise more this year than Bishop.

After a tough stretch with USA Hockey that saw him lose his No. 1 gig at the World Championships and fail to receive an invite to the summer orientation camp, Bishop has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013-14 campaign, posting a 20-5-2 record while raking fifth in the NHL in GAA (1.93), fifth in save percentage (.935) and tied for first in shutouts, with three.

His inspired play led American GM David Poile to announce that Bishop was “absolutely” in he Team USA mix.

“He’s played terrific,” Poile said when asked about Bishop’s candidacy. “He’s definitely on our radar.”

The big x-factor will be if Bishop’s done enough in a small window of opportunity, given this is his first extended stretch as a starting netminder in the NHL.

Most pundits figure Jonathan Quick will be on the team and the No. 1 heading into Sochi, with the other spots remaining up for grabs between the likes of Bishop, Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas, Jimmy Howard and Cory Schneider.

Florida puts Gudbranson (orbital bone) on IR


The Panthers put prized young defenseman Erik Gudbranson on injured reserve Friday, just days after he underwent surgery to repair his orbital bone.

Florida has yet to announce a timetable for his return.

Gudbranson, 21, suffered the injury after taking a puck to the face versus Winnipeg last Friday. The orbital bone surgery was handled by Dr. Gregory Albert and a full recovery is expected.

Florida’s first-round pick (third overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gudbranson was averaging a career-high 18:50 TOI per game prior to getting hurt, notching two goals and seven points in 37 games.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound rearguard led all Panthers in hits, with 84, and was second on the team in blocked shots (59) at the time of his injury.

In related moves, Florida officially activated Tim Thomas off IR and recalled both D Alex Petrovic and F Drew Shore.