Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Twelve teams representing twelve nations will vie for the 2006 Olympic Gold Medal for Ice Hockey February 15 – 26, 2006 in Turin, Italy. This article will look at Team USA.
In goal the team has named Rick DiPietro, Robert Esche and John Grahame. Clearly on paper this is the team’s weakest position. The upside is that any NHL caliber goaltender is capable of stealing the show and that is exactly what the United States needs to happen.
On defence, the team has announced the following players: Chris Chelios, Derian Hatcher, Jordan Leopold, John-Michael Liles, Aaron Miller, Brian Rafalski and Mathieu Schneider. This is not a bad group with a combination of size, strength and experience. The only question is who will stand up and be that top point man, especially on the power play.
The forwards that have been named are: Jason Blake, Erik Cole, Craig Conroy, Chris Drury, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Bill Guerin, Mike Knuble, Mike Modano, Mark Parrish, Brian Rolston, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight. This is a solid front line, but the ability to score consistently is questionable. The talent is there, but that afore mentioned consistency is a big question mark.
What does the USA need to do to win? Well, play rock solid defence, hope for a goaltender to rise to the occasion and play on another level and look for a couple of players to mesh together to form some kind of scoring punch. This is possible, but the phrase, “Do you believe in miracles?” comes to mind.