USA Hockey has announced its roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Without further ado, here it is:
Forwards (14): David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler
Defensemen (8): John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter
Goalies (3): Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick
Some quick thoughts before general manager David Poile meets with the media in Ann Arbor:
— Like they did in 2010 when they won silver, the Americans will boast a lot of speed. And on the big ice in Sochi, that could be even more of an advantage than it was in Vancouver, where the ice was NHL-sized.
— Assuming he stays healthy and his play doesn’t fall off dramatically in the next month, Miller should be the starting goalie. He’s been excellent in Buffalo this season, and he was outstanding in Vancouver four years ago. Those factors should give him the edge over Quick, who hasn’t played since Nov. 12 due to a strained groin.
— If there’s a weakness compared to gold-medal favorite Canada, it may be the blue line. Suter is the only Norris Trophy candidate. The other seven are all good, obviously, but they’d be hard-pressed to make the Canadian squad.
As for the players who were passed over (a.k.a. snubs), click here to read about Bobby Ryan et al.
The U.S. plays its first game on Feb. 13 versus Slovakia.