Good evening, everyone (or good morning if you're in Sochi). Team USA begins its 2014 Olympic tournament in just a few hours against Slovakia, and the anticipation has been building over the past few days.
Just yesterday, U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma named Jonathan Quick the team's starting goaltender for Game 1 but would not go into any detail about the Game 2 starter. Many believe Ryan Miller to be the guy who gets the call against Russia on Saturday, but it's hardly a foregone conclusion and a lot will likely depend on how Quick performs against the Slovaks.
One item just released by USA Hockey: Team USA's lines and defense pairs for today's game against Slovakia. Here they are...
Parise - Backes - Callahan
Brown - Kesler - Kane
van Riemsdyk - Pavelski - Kessel
Pacioretty - Stastny - Oshie
Extra forward: Wheeler
Fowler - Carlson
Suter - Martin
McDonagh - Shattenkirk
Extra defenseman: Orpik
NOTE: International hockey rules differ from those in the NHL when it comes to game day rosters; NHL teams can dress 18 skaters (plus two goalies) for each game and the IIHF permits 20 skaters to dress.
That means Derek Stepan will be scratched up front for Team USA, and on the back end, Justin Faulk will be the odd guy out. Jimmy Howard, the Americans' No. 3 goalie, will not dress.
See you bright and early! Get that coffee ready.