Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/12/09 at 11:05 PM ET
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Youngsters such as Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski are strongly in the mix now to make the American squad, and if the Olympics started tomorrow my hunch is that Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad would be the fourth-line center….
Boston’s Blake Wheeler and maybe Buffalo’s Drew Stafford are two other young forwards who have to be considered
My take on the team is that there are, barring injuries, four locks on defense in Detroit’s Brian Rafalski, Montreal’s Mike Komisarek, Nashville’s Ryan Suter and New Jersey’s Paul Martin.
Then, Anaheim’s Ryan Whitney is still strongly in the mix, as is Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik and Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert. Don’t rule out Florida’s Keith Ballard or Carolina’s Tim Gleason. Ron Hainsey’s power play prowess with Atlanta gives him a chance. Dallas player Matt Niskanen is also in play.
The two youngers guys with strong chances to make the team are Los Angeles’ Jack Johnson and St. Louis’ Erik Johnson, although Erik will have to show well at the start of next season because he will have missed the entire 2008-09 season with a knee injury.
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