Earlier this week we talked about Team USA and who should be the Captain of the team when the Olympic games get underway in February. Today we will turn to the crease where the Americans will have a battle of some of the World’s best goalies.
Up for the job is Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils, wow that sounds weird, Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators, Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and John Gibson of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Both Miller and Quick were apart of the team that won the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in
Vancouver. Miller was the starter for that tournament and anchored the team until that devastating overtime goal in the gold medal game.
Since then, Miller has not been as dominate a goalie. The year of the Olympics, Miller posted 41 wins. But those numbers have decline since his silver medal win. Last year, Miller struggled and posted a 17-17-5 record, which could be partially placed on the team in front of him. But he has not looked the same in recent years.
This year, Miller may have to take a seat and let some one else take the reins for the U.S. and there are some more than capable guys that can take over.
Quick has won a Stanley Cup and was awarded the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP two seasons ago. In the last four seasons he has posted three 35+ win seasons. However, last season Quick was recovering from an offseason back surgery and looked quite average at times.
Howard has also put up three 35+ win seasons over the last four years. Also over that time he has also posted 11 shutouts for the Red Wings.
Schneider has been locked up behind Roberto Luongo for his entire career. But the couple of times he has freed himself from behind Luongo’s shadow he has shown flashes of brilliance. Schneider has gone 55-26-8 in 98 games over his career, totals that would be much bigger if he had a starting role.
Out of the entire group Anderson and Gibson have to have the smallest odds of grabbing the starting spot and making the final roster at all. Anderson has played for four different teams during his career and has only eclipsed the 35 win mark once, when he won 38 games in the ’09-’10 season.
Gibson, who is just 20, could be the future of USA hockey. He played goalie for the US during the 2013 World Championships where the team won the bronze medal. Gibson is the only goalie invited to the orientation camp that is not currently playing for an NHL team.
In my opinion, there are four goalies playing for the three spots. Miller, Quick, Schneider and Howard are the front-runners to make the team. Whoever gets the starting spot is up in the air. Obviously the camp will play a part in deciding that. But the play of each goalie leading up to the Olympics will have the biggest influence.