Saturday, December 15, 2007
Your 2010 Olympic Team U.S.A.
I worship Olympic hockey and was going to wait until February to do this but John Buccigross answered a letter in his mailbag this week and detailed what he thought the 2010 U.S. Olympic team would look like. So he forced my hand a bit and I will address the subject today. I will do Team Canada at some later date/Ranger off-day.
Bucci's picks for Team USA, which has some ridiculous-looking picks if you ask me:
Patrick Kane-Scott Gomez-Zach Parise
Dustin Brown-Paul Stastny-Brian Gionta
Erik Cole-Chris Drury-Phil Kessel
Rolston-Matt Cullen-Ryan Kesler
Joe Corvo-Matt Carle
Erik Johnson-Jack Johnson
Ryan Whitney-Ryan Suter
Ryan Miller, Rick DiPietro, Tim Thomas
Now for the Scotty Hockey 2010 -2 U.S. Olympic Team:
Patrick Kane-Paul Stastny-Zach Parise
Dustin Brown-Chris Drury-Phil Kessel
Chris Higgins-Tim Connolly-Brian Gionta
Erik Cole-David Legwand-Kyle Okposo
Brian Rafalski-Matt Niskanen
Mike Komisarek-Jack Johnson
Tom Gilbert-Ryan Suter
Ryan Miller, DP, Jimmy Howard
Quick explanations of my picks:
*Paul Stastny in two years will be one of the best players in the NHL if he isn't already; first liner. I don't even have Gomez because I unfortunately think he won't be more than what he is today, and that is a disappointment.
*I ambitiously have Tim Connolly in the hopes that he can keep his head on, literally. When healthy, he is a much better version of Gomez.
*Don't think that I don't like the three guys he has on his fourth line, I just don't see them as being good enough in two years. So I moved Cole down and added two other guys. Legwand got a big money deal in Nashville for being a solid citizen and I think he has another level that he will reach. I frigging loathe the Islanders but Kyle Okposo is a beast and should be in the NHL by 2010 showing off his power forward skills.
*I really wanted to add Jed to the team but I just can't do it. Outside of Canada, who included Kris Draper, teams usually don't include grinders/specialists. A damn shame.
*Speaking of Long Island, I have both Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek on the team. Higgins is the best all-around player on the Habs after Saku and Komisarek is growing into a faster, better version of Derian Hatcher.
*Bucci's D doesn't work for me. I don't think Corvo is that good, Carle has regressed now that San Jose relies on him, Erik Johnson has a long way to go before becoming Al MacInnis and Ryan Whitney's numbers are a product of Cindy Crosby. So I dropped all four. I think Komisarek is underrated; Tom Gilbert is looking very good in Edmonton despite the team really being piss poor; Matt Niskanen has stepped into Dallas and become a solid defenseman - playing with guys like Zubov and Norstrom will only make him better; and Brian Rafalski is used to the bigger ice surfaces, plays conservatively enough that he doesn't get hurt often and will be 37. Its a stretch but I honestly wouldn't be shocked if Chelios makes it and he would be 48.
*As for the goaltenders, Ryan Miller and that piece of garbage Ricky D are the best American goaltenders now and that likely won't change in two years. Tim Thomas is good but will be 35 and the third spot should go to a younger guy since its unlikely that they will see action. In two years Howard will have some more NHL experience under his belt as Hasek will retire.
So what do you think? Do you have Olympic fever? I know I do; these two years should only go by so fast ...