Pens Orpik, Martin named to U.S. Olympic hockey team
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Bobby Ryan helped the U.S. to the silver medal in the 2010 Olympics.
Unless Ryan gets a spot for the Sochi Games to replace an injured player, he will not have a chance to help the Americans go for gold.
The U.S. Olympic hockey team was announced Wednesday after Toronto’s shootout victory over Detroit in the NHL Winter Classic.
“We did not pick the 25 best players,” general manager David Poile said. “We picked the 25 players we thought gave us a chance to win the gold medal.”
Ryan was perhaps the most surprising omission on the 25-man roster. Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson, a pair of defensemen who played in the Vancouver Games, also didn’t make the cut.
Jimmy Howard, who couldn’t make enough stops to help the Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs, appears to be the Americans’ third goaltender behind Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller.
At Sochi, the U.S. forwards will be: 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 and Blake Wheeler. John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter will be on defense for the Americans.
Miller was named MVP of the ice hockey tournament at the Vancouver Games, but he wasn’t a lock to keep a spot because Quick, one of many players on the team who has been injured this season, has been perhaps the world’s best at stopping shots the past two seasons. Howard, Schneider, Gibson, Tim Thomas and Craig Anderson also were options for the selection committee.
To play to their potential, a lot of banged-up players will have to get healthy this month and stay that way through February.
Players who could’ve potentially been on the team, but weren’t selected include: Ben Bishop, Keith Yandle, Kyle Okposo, Cory Schneider, Brandon Saad and Dustin Byfuglien.
The Americans expect to be a medal contender after they were regarded as young underdogs in 2010, when they were a goal away from knocking off the host Canadians.
The team will be led by Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. He has been at ease publicly, saying he likes the Americans’ chances to win gold for the first time since the Miracle on Ice victory in 1980.