In dramatic fashion (thank you Brian Burke) at the Winter Classic, Team USA was revealed on Saturday. We tried to predict the roster back in August and did pretty well I think (we’ll happily accept accolades in the comments section). We correctly predicted all but four players correctly. Team USA was named with quite a few surprise omissions however. Lets take a look:
Tim Thomas is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, but even that probably won’t be good enough to supplant Ryan Miller as the American’s number one goaltender. Not since Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck in the mid-90s has Team USA looked this good in goal.
Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings), Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)
I’m surprised that Jack Johnson made this list. He hasn’t lived up to the high expectations coming out of junior and isn’t exactly responsible defensively. I would have gone with the more tested Ryan Whitney. The American blueliners are fairly unheralded, with no superstars in the group. They’re kind of like the Canucks defense: lots of good but not great defensemen.
Erik Johnson (St Louis Blues), Jack Johnson (Los Angeles Kings), Mike Komisarek (Toronto Maple Leafs), Paul Martin (New Jersey Devils), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh Penguins), Brian Rafalski (Detroit Red Wings), Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators)
Do you think RJ Umberger was waiting in anticipation of a call? Me neither, considering his history with Burkie. I’m real surprised that Scott Gomez wasn’t selected, even with his struggles this season. Tim Connolly is having a good season and has a lot of talent but wasn’t selected as well. I’m not sure if the US is deep enough down the middle, but they’ll be in the mix for sure. With the likes of Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane and Zach Parise, they will have youth on their side.
David Backes (St. Louis Blues), Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers), Chris Drury (New York Rangers), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks), Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs), Jamie Langenbrunner (New Jersey Devils), Ryan Malone (Tampa Bay Lightning), Zack Parise (New Jersey Devils), Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks), Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche)