US Olympic Hockey Team 2014: Full 25-Man Roster, Projected Lines and Pairings
The United States' 2014 Olympic hockey team was announced following the NHL's Winter Classic on New Year's Day. The 25 players named will have the responsibility of trying to better the silver medal earned at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Who made the cut? What positions and on which lines will each player be posted? Read on to see the entire roster along with our projected lines and pairings, and the responsibilities likely to be designated for each.
Complete 25-Man Roster
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 and Blake Wheeler.
Defencemen: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter.
Goaltenders: Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller.
Coaches: Dan Bylsma, Tony Granato, Peter Laviolette and Todd Richards.
Management: David Poile, Ray Shero, Brian Burke and Jim Johansson.
Advisory Group: Stan Bowman, Paul Holmgren, Dean Lombardi, Dale Tallon and Don Waddell.
1st Forward Line
Zach Parise, Left Wing: An elite two-way winger who provides high-level offence but competes just as aggressively in the defensive zone.
Ryan Kesler, Center: An exceptional two-way pivot who can play any style of game.
Patrick Kane, Right Wing: The most dynamic scorer on Team USA.
What's Expected: This is a power-vs.-power unit, the line the coach turns to when he needs the opposition's very best line to be outplayed.
2nd Forward Line
James van Riemsdyk, Left Wing: A big winger with good skating for his size and a nice offensive toolbox.
Joe Pavelski, Center: Versatile pivot who also regularly plays wing and adds a defensive conscience to whatever line he's on.
Phil Kessel, Right Wing: An elite goal scorer who may be the best finisher on Team USA.
What's Expected: Goals are expected. This line won't get burned if caught out against the opposition's top unit, but it's best suited for offensive situations.
3rd Forward Line
Dustin Brown, Left Wing: A tough, physical winger who might be Team USA's best agitator.
David Backes, Center: One of the game's best defensive forwards.
Ryan Callahan, Right Wing: A physical player with exceptional two-way abilities.
What's Expected: This is a defence-oriented line. Against the top teams, where every line is dangerous, this group will get a lot of defensive-zone shifts; against weaker teams, it will be asked to limit the scoring of top opponents.
4th Forward Line
Max Pacioretty, Left Wing: A gritty offensive player with good speed.
Paul Stastny, Center: Another in a long line of true two-way centers.
T.J. Oshie, Right Wing: Energetic forward with an underrated two-way game and good but not great skating.
What's Expected: The Americans have more depth than many of the teams in the tournament, and it shows here. This is a line that needs to win the possession battle against other teams' depth and chip in on offence whenever possible.
Derek Stepan, Center: The utility forward will likely only play if injury arises but will be asked to step in and provide two-way play if one of the pivots ahead of him on the roster gets hurt.
Blake Wheeler, Right Wing: A power forward with good puck skills and decent skating.
What's Expected: All that's expected from these players is a willingness to step in and play whatever role they are asked to when injuries strike.
1st Defensive Pairing
Ryan Suter, Left Defence: An elite two-way rearguard who plays more minutes than any other NHL defender.
John Carlson, Right Defence: A big shutdown defencemen who possesses surprising speed and competence with the puck.
What's Expected: Team USA's top pairing will face an extremely difficult challenge: to be the club's primary defensive tool against the best players in the world. Suter is experienced in the role and generally has less able help than he will get here.
2nd Defensive Pairing
Ryan McDonagh, Left Defence: A legitimate No. 1 NHL defenceman who plays a 200-foot game.
Kevin Shattenkirk, Right Defence: Fast, mobile, right-shooting defenceman with exceptional offensive gifts.
What's Expected: McDonagh anchors a second pair that will need to do a little bit of everything and will be the coaching staff's first fallback against the opposition's best players.
3rd Defensive Pairing
Paul Martin, Left Defence: Left-shooting defender is smart, agile and capable in all three zones. He has also played on the right side and is the most likely of Team USA's five left-shooting defencemen to play his off-side.
Justin Faulk, Right Defence: A right-shooting defenceman who marries strong skating with a cerebral game.
What's Expected: There are no easy minutes at the Olympics, but the truly heavy lifting will likely fall to the top four. This pair just needs to provide the American side with competent play, a little bit of offence and the ability to get the puck out of the defensive zone as soon as humanly possible.
Cam Fowler, Left Defence: A left-shooting defenceman with exceptional puck-moving and offensive ability.
Brooks Orpik, Left Defence: Another left-shooting defenceman who brings shutdown ability and a physical edge to a blue line focused primarily on skill with the puck.
What's Expected: As with the spare forwards, the expectation here is just to be ready to go if called upon and to give their team competent minutes in whatever role is required.
Ryan Miller, Starter: Miller, Team USA's incumbent starter, probably won the job back with his strong work this season in Buffalo. Given the competition, he'll need to play very well during the round-robin segment to keep it.
Jonathan Quick, Backup: Quick will almost certainly play during the initial non-elimination segment of the tournament and will be expected to step in for Miller if he struggles.
Jimmy Howard, Third String: Howard's experience, particularly in the postseason, likely earned him the nod over other candidates with stronger track records this year. He'll be expected to be a good teammate but also to be ready to step in if injuries arise.