USA Hockey 2014: Profiling All 6 Potential Starting Goaltenders in Sochi Games

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIIDecember 2, 2013

USA Hockey 2014: Profiling All 6 Potential Starting Goaltenders in Sochi Games

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    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are less than 70 days away (thanks, internet), and the host country Russia certainly cannot wait to get the games under way.

    Team USA has their sights set on bringing home the gold medal from Sochi, Russia; however, they have yet to name a favorite as America's starting goaltender for the games. 

    Here is a full profile of each of the six American goaltenders with a fighting chance to be crowned as the starting goalie for the 2014 Winter Olympics...enjoy. 

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Current Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is likely to make the team as one of the three goalies USA will bring to Sochi.

    Here's a breakdown of Howard's last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponentTOIGASASVSV %
    11/29Islanders 60:00 0 29 29 1.00 
    11/23Senators 59:58 4 29 25 .862 
    11/19Predators 58:42 2 25  23 .920 
    11/15Capitals65:00333  30 .909 
    11/12Jets64:50 2 21  19 .905 
    11/9Lightning63:46 3 34  31 .912 
    11/7Stars64:41 4 28  24 .857 
    11/4Jets58:12 4 47  43 .915 
    11/1Flames 59:56  3 25  22 .880 
    10/30Canucks60:0012019.950
    Season Totals 1118:5848 551 503 .913 

     

    Howard has led the Wings to 35 points this season—just three back from the Eastern Conference front-running Penguins with 38. Howard has played eight seasons in Detroit, starting nearly 250 games and recording 20 playoff wins in the process.

    Howard took home a gold medal with the U-18 IIHF American team back in 2002 and made his mark when he got to the NHL with a runner-up finish for Rookie of the Year in 2010. 

     

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick has been sidelined with an injury since last suiting up in mid-November, and during his time away from the net, Kings backup goaltender Ben Scrivens has emerged as a reliable goaltender, having led the league in goals against average and save percentage over the last three weeks. 

    Here's a look at Quick's last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponentTOIGASASVSV %
    11/12   Sabres   63:40  2   17  15   .882 
    11/9  Canucks   60:00   1   26   25   .962 
     11/7   Sabres   59:56  0  19  19  1.00 
     11/2Predators   58:20   4  17   13 .765
     10/30  Sharks   62:32  3  20  17 .850
     10/27   Oilers   64:51  1  18  17 .944
     10/24  Coyotes   60:00  4  28  24 .857
     10/21   Flames   59:41  3  25  22 .880
     10/19    Stars   60:00  2  29   27 .931
     10/17Predators   65:00  1  35   34  .971 
    Season Totals 945:2437 388  351.905 

     

    Quick's numbers haven't been this low since the 2009-10 season, however his Stanley Cup run in 2011 was purely remarkable and arguably one of the best playoff performances of all-time—meaning Quick is not far from being named USA's starting goaltender.  

     

Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop is currently third in the league in wins (14), which is certainly an accomplishment for a team that finished third to last in the previous season despite having two of the league's top scorers in Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. 

    Bishop has shown incredible promise during his short time as an NHL goaltender, having played just 65 games throughout six NHL seasons. 

    Here's a look at Bishop's last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponent    TOIGA SA SVSV %
    11/29 Penguins   59:34 2 28 26 .929 
    11/25  Rangers   60:00 0  37  37   1.00 
    11/22   Ducks   64:54 1  42  41  .976 
    11/19   Kings   59:38 5  31 26 .839
    11/16  Coyotes   21:45 3 14  11 .786
    11/14   Ducks   59:35  1  25  24   .960 
    11/12Canadiens   65:00  1  29  28  .966 
    11/9Red Wings   63:44 2  27  25    .926 
    11/7   Oilers    60:00  2  40  38   .950 
    11/2   Blues   59:28  2  30  28  .933 
    Season Totals1155:3540578538 .931 

     

    The 6'7'' netminder's recent hot streak is certainly enough to give him a fair shot of making the 2014 USA National team, especially with Jonathan Quick currently being sidelined with an injury. 

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

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    Bill Wippert/Getty Images

    Sabres netminder Ryan Miller established himself as USA's starter three months before the Vancouver games, however his silver medal in 2010 has not been enough to retain the starting position four years later.    

    Here's a look at Miller's last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponent   TOIGASASVSV %
    11/29Maple Leafs  60:34 2 24 22 .917 
    11/27 Canadiens  58:24  3 31 28 .903 
    11/24 Red Wings   58:40  2 33  31 .939 
    11/21     Flyers   58:50  3 45  42 .933 
    11/19      Blues   60:00  4 31  37 .871 
    11/15 Maple Leafs   60:00  1 33  32 .970 
     11/12    Kings   65:00  2 45  43 .956 
     11/8     Ducks   40:00  6 34  28 .824 
     11/5    Sharks   65:00  4 51   47 .922 
     10/31   Rangers    57:45  2 46 44 .957 
    Season Totals1118:5848 551 503 .913 

     

    Miller won the Vezina Trophy along with helping carry the 2010 USA hockey team to an overtime loss in the gold medal game of 2010. He has not been as reliable as he was in 2010; however, his experience with team USA is extremely beneficial, and it would be surprising to see Miller left off the 2014 team. 

     

Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Devils goalie Cory Schneider is currently third in the league in goals against average (1.72) despite only starting 12 of the Devils' 27 games. Schneider splits time in New Jersey with one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Martin Brodeur.  

    Here's a look at Schneider's last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponent   TOIGA SA SVSV %
    11/30   Sabres 63:58 0 15 151.00 
    11/29Hurricanes 59:05  2  18  16.889
    11/21    Kings 62:30  1  35  34 .971 
    11/15    Kings 58:36  1  20  19 .950 
    11/8Maple Leafs 65:00  1  28   27 .964 
    11/3    Wild 58:38  3  19  16 .842 
    10/24  Canucks 64:59  2  21  19 .905 
    10/22Blue Jackets 57:55  3  23  20 .870 
    10/19  Rangers 60:00  0  22  22 1.00 
    10/13     Jets 58:44  2  34  32 .941 
    Season Totals731:4321 288 267 .927 

     

    Schneider, no stranger to the backup role after his five seasons in Vancouver, will be named the Devils' starting goaltender when Brodeur retires. Schneider was signed in Vancouver to back up one of the best goalies in recent history, Roberto Luongo, and flourished in his role so well that the Canucks were forced to trade him while his market stock was so high. 

Tim Thomas, Florida Panthers

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Team USA's most experienced goaltender is, without question, Tim Thomas. 

    Thomas has two Vezina trophies as the league's top goaltender (2009, 2011), as well as his three Game 7 victories during the Bruins incredible Stanley Cup run in 2011. 

    Thomas is now a Florida Panther, and here's a look at his last 10 NHL games:

    DateOpponent   TOIGASASVSV %
    11/30Penguins 39:58 413  9.692
    11/27Rangers 59:02 421 17.810
    11/25Flyers 60:00 139 38.974
    11/22Flames 64:55 324 21.875
    11/21Oilers 59:21 334 31.912
    11/19Canucks 64:58 229 27.931
    11/16Avalanche 60:00 133 32.970
    11/15Wild 58:37 320 17.850
    11/12Ducks 59:57 234 32.941
    11/10Rangers 58:37 429 25.862
    Season Totals 933:4945 466 421 .903 

     

    Thomas' numbers in 2013 have been remarkable for playing on such a young and inexperienced Panthers team.

    Team USA general manager David Poile will have to decide whether or not to extend an invitation to the 39-year-old, or if he wants to use that roster spot as a resume-builder for a younger goalie.