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Columnist: In deep U.S. goalie class, Quick is No. 1

May 9, 2012, 12:57 PM EDT

Jonathan Quick AP

Interesting piece from USA Today’s Kevin Allen on the current state of American goaltending:

In 2010, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller was the darling of the silver-medal winning U.S Olympic team. Eighteen months from now, when 2014 U.S. roster spots are being decided, Miller will have a fight on his hands just to make the team.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick‘s stellar play this season, coupled with the continued improvement of Vancouver’s Cory Schneider and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, gives rise to the notion that American goaltending might be the strongest it has ever been…

…You can be sure is that if the Americans were playing an Olympic gold medal game tomorrow, Quick would be the U.S. goalie. He has been spectacular enough this season that he has earned the title of the best American goalie right now.

Some thoughts on U.S. netminding:

— There’s a big difference between the current state and how it projects for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Put it this way: If the Olympic started tomorrow and I had to put a team together today, I’d make Quick the No. 1 with Miller and Thomas in reserve, solely for their playoff/big game experience.

But in 2014, the landscape will be entirely different. Thomas will be 40, Miller 34 and there’s a chance both could be supplanted by Schneider (who has already bumped Canada’s 2010 gold-medal winner, Roberto Luongo, out of a job in Vancouver) and Howard.

— I find it wild that a guy as decorated as Tim Thomas might never star internationally for the U.S. He wasn’t selected at the U-18 or Junior levels, played just seven games over the course of four World Championships and backed up Miller (playing just 12 minutes) at the Vancouver Olympics.

— Don’t discount a young guy stepping up and joining the fold in 2014 in a “learning experience” role (much like what the 24-year-old Quick did in 2010.) Dallas prospect Jack Campbell drew rave reviews in the AHL and has starred for the U.S. at both the U-18 and World Junior tournaments.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Hard to argue Quick is the #1 guy for the US. I can see it being Quick, Schneider, and Miller in 2014.

    • rickb57 - May 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Sure Quick is playing well. But so is the defense. Over the long run and looking at the big picture, Ryan Miller is still the best and will prove it next year when the Sabres return to the playoffs and make a run for the Cup

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        I’d be shocked if Miller doesn’t bounce back next year, but Quick is only 26 and will continue to get better. There could very well be a three-way battle for the starting job.

  2. hiltonandastoria - May 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    18 months is a long long time from now.
    Yup Quick is the MAN right now, will he be the Man in 18 months? Good chance but not for certain. If the decision makers in the US are anything like Canada it will still be Miller until Miller screws up.
    Canada ran out Sean Burke over others for years due to his experience and dedication to the National Program. Also went with Marty Broudeur to start in the last WOG.

    So ya, 18 moths from now, who knows?

  3. GenoPringles - May 9, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Anyone but Tomas!!! He hates America, why give him a chance to represent this wonderful country?

    • dmfc1112 - May 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      He doesn’t hate America. He hates how Americans are losing their freedom.

    • namriverrat69 - May 9, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      That is one of the stupidest baseless rants I’ve heard in a long time. Because he voiced his opinion of Obama? That is his right under the first amendment. The fact you don’t agree with him doesn’t make him an America hater. It does make you a Tim Thomas hater.

  4. hockeyflow33 - May 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    I don’t really understand the Ryan Miller is a big time goalie statement. Did I miss when this happened?

    • Mike Halford - May 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Depends. Did you miss the Olympics?

      • hockeyflow33 - May 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        and who won that?

  5. emperorzero - May 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Granted I don’t see a lot of Canuck games so maybe Schneider is that good, but Miller is definitely still better than Howard a tthis point. I imagine it will be Quick, Miller, and Schneider.

  6. rickb57 - May 9, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    You must not have seen how Miller went to the West coast and shut out the Kings and Ducks and was incredible in the Sabres surge to make it. They just fell a point or two short due to the injuries to key players such as Myers and Erhoff. But make no mistake, Miller is better than Quick any day.

    • lowdownthrowdown - May 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Idiot he didn’t shut out the Kings this year. They played once, early in the season, overseas. 4-2 Buffalo win. I like Miller, but this season, Quick is better. Next season, may be different, but Quick has been getting better from his first year, while Miller has tailed off as of late. Miller had a great 2009-2010, season, but since, hasn’t been the same. Last year, 5 SO and .916, 2.59. This year, 7 SO with .916 and 2.55 gaa. Quick on the other hand had 6 SO and .918, 2.24 last year and 10 SO with .929 and 1.95 gaa this year. Add that to Miller’s personal issues, whatever they are and you have one goalie who is playing solid, better every year and another who seems to want to be anywhere but in Buffalo or on the ice. 2014 may be different, but as of right now, Quick would be the Team USA starter.

  7. itsallniceonice - May 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Quick, Schneider, and Howard. Damn Hockey East and the NCAA have really stepped up with developing American talent. Not to mention Thomas, Gionta, Krieder, Braun, Boyle, and Gerbe as well as others that I am probably forgetting or haven’t hit it big yet (Bishop, Colborne).

  8. buffalodave10 - May 9, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Bias aside, I still think it’s Miller’s job to lose, just based off his previous Olympic performance,and as long as he stays playing like he did at the start and the end of the season last year.

    No matter who gets it, it’s just nice to know that there is strong depth there. I would feel comfortable with any of the guy’s mentioned starting.

  9. blomfeld - May 9, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Just so glad that Quick is “our man” between the pipes ! :) GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. highlander24 - May 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    GO KINGS GO!!!!!!!!

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