Team USA's lines and pairs during first practice

Monday, 02.10.2014 / 1:00 PM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / BlueJackets.com's #Sochi2014 Blog


Okay guys...it's starting to get real.

First off: I can't get enough of the photo above. It's a lot of America.

Anyway.

As I type this, it's approaching 11 p.m. in Sochi, Russia, where several of the 2014 men's Olympic hockey teams have wrapped up their first practices. Russia was first to go this morning and there was plenty of buzz about Alex Ovechkin practicing on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Alex Semin, and also goaltending questions; is it going to be Sergei Bobrovsky or Semyon Varlamov leading off for the Russians?

No one's giving it away, so we have to wait a couple more days.

Also on the ice today was Team USA, which took a team photo on the ice before beginning its first practice under head coach Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh Penguins), assistant coaches Todd Richards (Blue Jackets), Tony Granato (Penguins) and Peter Laviolette.

While many consider Canada and Russia to be the favorites for gold at these Olympics, the United States proved in 2010 that it's never wise to sleep on the Americans. It's going to be a tall task to reach the podium in 2014, but the American core is four years older and many of the players have Olympic experience to lean on.

Now, for the juicy details. NHL.com's crew is on site in Sochi and took in Team USA's first practice; here's their report on the lines and pairs today...

FORWARDS
Dustin Brown - Ryan Kesler - Patrick Kane

Zach Parise - David Backes - TJ Oshie

James van Riemsdyk - Joe Pavelski - Phil Kessel

Max Pacioretty - Paul Stastny - Ryan Callahan

DEFENSE
Ryan McDonagh - John Carlson

Cam Fowler - Ryan Suter

Kevin Shattenkirk - Paul Martin

Brooks Orpik - Justin Faulk

An interesting and deep group, from this vantage point. Bylsma is employing a similar strategy to these lines as he uses with the Penguins; there's scoring on each unit and the United States has a strong presence at center ice.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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