Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Team USA names Olympic hockey roster

Well here's the list of guys going to Turin for the United States.

Before I give you my patented brand of analysis, here are the differences between two other Team USA projected teams I had given earlier: The Hockey News' picks and the performance-based team.

Differences
THN: Ryan Miller, Leetch, Martin, Dustin Brown, Connolly, Halpern, Langenbrunner
Actual team: Grahame, Aaron Miller, Liles, Jason Blake, Gomez, Parrish, Weight

Performance-based: Mike Morrison, Mara, Corvo, Preissing, Bates, Connolly, Amonte
Actual team: Esche, Chelios, Leopold, Aaron Miller, Drury, Parrish, Tkachuk

In all, there aren't really a ton of differences, which should speak to the fact that many players were shoe-ins to be on the team.

The lines, I think, should break down something like this:

Tkachuk - Modano - Rolston
Knuble - Gomez - Gionta
Cole - Conroy - Guerin
Blake - Weight - Drury
Parrish

Schneider - Chelios
Hatcher - Rafalski
Liles - Miller
Leopold

DiPietro
Grahame
Esche

What do I think? Well, it's surprising to see great players like Paul Mara, Jeff Halpern and Jamie Langenbrunner not on the club, but I can't think of anyone to move out in their place.

The decision to take Chelios and not Leetch is an interesting one, as Leetch surely has more mobility (as he always did), but the USA brass did a nice job of getting in the guys who deserved to be there (Cole, Gionta, Gomez, Blake) and still keeping some of the oldies who are playing well (Modano, Guerin, Weight, Tkachuk).

In some of the names above that didn't make the team, you can see the future of the Americans: Halpern, Brown, Tom Preissing, Joe Corvo, Tim Connolly and Prime Minister Paul Martin. Although, as I look at that list, Corvo's history may mean he never plays on the team.

6 Comments:

At 9:36 AM, December 20, 2005, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Chelios doesn't have the numbers but he has been very steady on the blueline for the Wings this year, surprisingly enough. With all the injuries to Detroit defensemen, he's stepped up nicely to fill the holes and is gradually getting more ice time.

At his age, it's pretty amazing.

 
At 12:01 PM, December 20, 2005, Blogger Grampapinhead said...

The only thing about team USA that is not impressive is the coaching. I have no suggestions, just think maybe they could have done better.

 
At 1:34 PM, December 20, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Grampa, I think Peter Laviolette will probably be a coach of the year candidate in the NHL this year for what he's done with the Hurricanes. He's no Herb Brooks, but I don't think he'll be a problem either.

 
At 5:22 PM, December 20, 2005, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Never heard that about Corvo. And I often read about the Monarchs on LetsgoKings.

But Corvo, Martin and Preissing were the borderline calls in the Sharkspage Olympic warroom.

Preissing was a lot older than most when he played his first season in 2003-04, and during the offseason last year he co-authored an article in the Atlantic Economic Journal. He is a good guy to have on the blueline, not a lot of mistakes.

With a broken finger, no Roenick on the taxi squad? You have to do it to keep him out of the commentators booth while rooting for Canada.

 
At 10:14 PM, December 21, 2005, Anonymous Dan Perry said...

I wasn't all that surprised to not see J.R. on the team, but Chelios did surprise me. If they left Roenick off because of a "youth movement," you'd think Chelios would be first on the block... I'd rather have Leetch, or even Mara. Was it just his publicity stunt ("Put me on the team or else..."), or is he truly past it? I think this young group will miss his intensity... Guerin, Modano (despite his ring), Weight and Tkachuk are not my idea of leaders. (Wow - this may be the only time I agree with Roenick, ever.)

 
At 9:02 AM, December 22, 2005, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

the pick that really surprises me on the American defense is the selection of Derian Hatcher. Not only is he slowing down after some serious knee trouble, but he has struggled in the past on the large ice sheet of the international game. To me, Chelios is a physical marvel whose steadiness will definitely help the Americans.

My biggest fear is goaltending with this team. I am not a fan of the inconsistent and arrogant Rick DiPietro, and with Laviolette as coach there may be some fireworks between them--they did not get along all that well when Big Pete was coaching the Isles.

Leetch deserved to be left off this team. He is a shadow of what he once was. Liles and Rafalski can do what he can and more.

I say good riddance to Jeremy Roenick. He is a fool. To suggest that the ringleader of the American idiot squad from a couple of Olympiads back is a leader needed by the '06 team is ridiculous. He is a marginal player now at the end of his career. He does not deserve to be on this team, and his constant need for attention from the media is the antithesis of leadership.

Lastly, the choice of Laviolette was a great one. What American coach out there is more deserving? The guy has won games and improved teams in both Long Island and Carolina.

 

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