Coming off a tremendously disappointing World Cup appearance, the USA National Team appears to be on the precipice of making some changes. Craig Custance broke down the World Cup roster’s chances of returning, should the NHL participate in the 2018 Olympics (ESPN Insiders link).
The “bubble” players are Joe Pavelski, Blake Wheeler, Ryan Kesler, Dustin Byfuglien, T.J. Oshie, and Ben Bishop. These guys will be in the conversation to appear in the red, white, and blue in two years.
Jonathan Quick headlines the “thank you for your service” category. Quick’s play sunk the Americans at the World Cup, with an 0.836 SV% and a 3.56 GAA in two games. The other notable players who Custance believes have played their last game for the USA at the national level are Zach Parise and Max Pacioretty, among the rest of the roster. Parise and Pacioretty have not performed well in best-on-best tournaments recently, and will need big efforts to survive the coming youth movement.
- Ahead of the first game of the World Cup Final on Tuesday night, Team Canada forward Ryan Getlzaf is taking a maintenance day. Claude Giroux is taking his place alongside John Tavares and Steven Stamkos on the Canadian “third line”. He’s not expected to miss any of the final. Other than Getzlaf, the Canadians have not made any lineup changes.
- Before the World Cup began, Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said any team who wants to beat Canada will need a “magical day” and a “world-class goaltending performance”. TSN’s Frank Seravalli believes Krueger is the secret weapon that Europe will need to utilize to defeat Canada, citing Krueger’s defeat of Canada in the 2006 Olympics prior to joining the Canadian front office for Sochi. Canada GM Doug Armstrong said Europe is a big story, and “shame on [Canada] if we don’t take them seriously for what they’ve done to this point.”