Everyone remembers that fatal moment in the 2010 Winter Games. Still elated by Zach Parise‘s tying goal late in the third period to send Team USA to overtime against Canada, there was a slight thought for just a moment that maybe the Americans had a shot at clinching the gold medal and snatching it from the hated Canadians.
Their effort in that medal game fell slightly short as world superstar Sidney Crosby scored the “golden goal” to give his country top honors and forced the disappointed players of Team USA to watch them celebrate their victory from the sidelines.
This year, 2014, there is a sense of optimism about the team. They now know that they can compete with the Canadians and give them a run for their money in the tournament.
There was a large selection of offensive hounds that general manager David Poile got to choose from. Analysts and pundits were shocked when it was heard that Bobby Ryan and Kyle Okposo were “snubbed” from the final squad. This had many wondering if this roster was selected before the season had even started.
Either way you look at it or whatever your opinion on the matter is, the Americans are still fielding a plethora of offensive talent at this year’s games, and can very easily finish within the top three come the games’ end.
Forwards: 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
Players like Brown and Callahan will give team USA the grit and edge they need to compete against other top countries such as Canada, Sweden, and even Russia. Players like Kane, Kessel, Parise, Kesler, etc. will provide the offensive flair and speed needed to be a strong and well-rounded team at the biggest event on the world stage.
There is a good mix of play styles within the confines of this offense, and if pieced together correctly, they could do some damage in terms of bringing a medal home for their beloved country.
Projected Finish: Silver