Like other hockey nations boasting a variety of options, it’s easy to second-guess John Tortorella and the rest of the Team USA brass. Sitting Dustin Byfuglien makes it even easier.
Then again, when you consider the fact that Byfuglien’s been snubbed before as far as international play goes, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised? Perhaps the large scorer isn’t in shape, or isn’t in shape according to what Tortorella values? Does this come down to the view from some that Byfuglien’s risks outweigh his rewards?
(For what it’s worth, Tortorella told the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan that the move is “no knock” on Byfuglien and indicated that he could work his way back into the lineup.)
All kinds of questions come up with this move, especially if the U.S. struggles to create offense against Team Europe on Saturday.
Seriously, don’t be shocked if a lack of firepower burns America, even if that doesn’t happen this afternoon.
The other scratches are forward Kyle Palmieri and goalie Cory Schneider. More than a few believe that Schneider is America’s best option (just take a look at his career save percentage numbers), but America is clearly invested in Jonathan Quick.