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Report: U.S. Olympic goalie trio will be Quick, Miller, Howard

Dec 29, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT

While it’s far from official, word is that the U.S. Olympic team’s trio of goalies will be Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Howard is being described as the “third-stringer,” according to the report. If a Nov. 23 bit was correct, David Poile & Co. decided to leave three prominent contenders off the list: Ben Bishop, Cory Schneider and Tim Thomas.

One can draw quite a few conclusions from the Howard, Miller and Quick group, but a common theme seems to be that the United States favored big picture results over success in 2013-14.

Miller, 33,┬áhas been suffering in Buffalo record-wise (9-17-1), but has shown some perseverance by collecting a strong .924 save percentage. He’s also on a four-game point streak (3-0-1), for whatever that’s worth. No doubt, his sterling performance in gaining the U.S. a silver medal back in 2010 likely factors into his inclusion, too.

Quick, 27, hasn’t played since Nov. 12 thanks to a groin injury and wasn’t putting up the greatest numbers before that issue cropped up. His 10-5-0 record is nice enough, but his .905 save percentage seems more glaring now that Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones have enjoyed more success in the Los Angeles Kings’ net. Of course, Quick is the one with a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup on his resume.

Howard, 29, sports the strange record of 6-8-7 on the season, with generally average (.910 save percentage, 2.65 GAA) individual numbers. He’s been frequently outplayed by Jonas Gustavsson in Detroit this season, but has quietly amassed a nice reputation as one of the league’s better workhorse goalies.

If the U.S. wanted to go with a “flavor of the month” option, they might have turned to Lightning goalie Bishop. The towering 27-year-old is tied for second in wins this season with 20 and has a fantastic .935 save percentage behind a Lightning defense that was often described as leaky before the 2013-14 season.

Granted, there’s always the chance that this report might be incorrect. We’ll know for sure if this is indeed the trio that America will bring to Sochi after the 2014 Winter Classic concludes.

Assuming this is correct, did the U.S. tab the right trio in Howard, Miller and Quick?

  1. sjsharks66 - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I would have went Quick, Miller and Thomas. Just out of respect.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Respect doesn’t win you a medal.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Bishop
      Miller
      Schneider

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        What’s with the thumbs?
        I’m not asking for your approval, I’m just telling you who the best 3 are right now, hat give the US the best shot at gold.

      • chanceoffleury - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM

        Neither Bishop nor Schneider has really done anything of note in their entire careers. No US goaltender has been more clutch than Quick in the past 2 seasons and perhaps Howard has an edge in that he’ll be pretty familiar with a large chunk of Sweden’s team, and also with the system that Babcock would put up against Team USA. Sweden and Canada are projected to be USAs biggest competition so even having a small advantage like that might be what separates him from somebody like Schneider. Goaltending is the one thing that USA needs to live up to. The international sized rink will lead to more offense so USA could very well end up living and dying with their goaltending.

    • blomfeld - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      “did the U.S. tab the right trio in Howard, Miller and Quick?” …

      ________________________________________________

      Judge: would ‘counsel for the truth’ like to add anything further ?

      Blomfeld: not at this time your honor

      Judge: very well then, the court deems Jonathan Quick to be the ‘greatest’ in the land !

      Rattus Advocatus: objection your honor !

      Judge: silence you idiot ! … guards, if you please ? …

      Guards: shut up you scum ! … KAPOW !! .. KABOOM !! .. KAZAM !!

      *** NHL’s Top Goaltenders as per Wolfgang Meyer @ Der Spiegel Sport Magazine ***

      1) Jonathan Quick
      2) Martin Jones
      3) Ryan Miller
      4) Jonathan Bernier
      5) Cory Schneider

      27) Ben Scrivens (Judas)
      28) Roberto Luongo
      29) Alexander Ovechkin
      30) Donny Osmond

      GO USA GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

      • drone501 - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:44 AM

        your cracking me up

  2. joey4id - Dec 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    What? No Bishop! Ok. At least they didn’t include TT in the mix. That would have been pretty bad. The number 1 role is probably Miller’ to lose.

    • challer9 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      If Ryan Miller isn’t between the pipes for the first game in Sochi, it’s a travesty. Just to remind people what he did for Team USA in 2010, it went a little something like this: 5-0-1, 1.35 GAA, .946 SV%. That coupled with the fact he has been on fire lately, willing a pretty much talentless Buffalo team to 11 wins (today’s effort was an absolute). Shouldn’t really be a controversy, let’s move on to forwards and defenseman.

      GO USA!

      • rrsm53 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        yesterday doesnt count for anything much now does it. Miller is playing like crap on a crap team, all of a sudden in the Olympics he will be all world again.

        Miller, Quick and Howard, i guess the USA figures to be coming how sooner than later.

  3. esracerx46 - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Would have preferred the other Big Ben in favor of Howard. Howard has been OK at best, and mediocrity shouldn’t get you a spot on the US Olympic roster.

    • killerpgh - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I don’t know if it came down to the whole “he lack experience, but you can’t get experience if you don’t get a chance” argument. Howard has played in 42 NHL playoff games/21 AHL playoff games and has been on 3 different levels of team USA in the past (U18 WC, WJC, WC). Bishop has 0 NHL playoff/1 AHL playoff game on the WC team twice. Considering Horward/Bishop are going to be the 3rd string hopefully it doesn’t matter if they made the right or wrong choice for the extra practice goaltender.

  4. pftbillsfan - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    No, Miller yes, Quick and Howard no. I like Bishop and Tim Thomas as the other rotation goalies

  5. bensawesomeness - Dec 29, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Jimmy plays well when the pressure’s on – I’m not saying he’s the best damn goalie in the land, but he’s not awful

  6. ironmd778 - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Hope Miller never sees a minute of action.

    • thomasvanek - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      I guarantee that hes seen more action than you. And I don’t mean on the ice.

  7. thomasvanek - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Man I hope the scouts who pick the teams saw Millers game tonight 50 shots one goal allowed and to top it off he saved all 6 shots in the shootout unbelievable!

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Ya, that’s never happened before, yaaawn….

      • thomasvanek - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        So far in thumbs up to down ratio between your 3 comments on this article you are 1 up:31 down. At some point you need to realize you are the one who is stupid not the voters.

    • drewzducks - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      He’s well aware of just how stupid he is.

    • rrsm53 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      even a dog can find a bone once in awhile. He is not consistent at all even though his team suxs he is not the goalie he use to be. Sorry just a fact.

      • thomasvanek - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        First, if you are going to use an old expression at least use it properly it’s supposed to be a blind dog finds a bone every once in a while. Second, believing in an opinion strongly enough doesn’t make it a fact. Third, in his Vezina trophy season(09-10) he had a .929 save percentage. This season he had a .927 save percentage on a much worse team. Regardless of if you think he is fully back to his old form it is undeniable that he hasn’t been playing like it recently. That being said with Millers performance so far this season along with his Olympic track record he is almost a lock for the starting position at Sochi like it or not.

  8. MannySilvers - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Seems like a pretty bad idea to have two of the three goalies be guys coming right off injuries. What if both Quick and Howard’s injuries linger or dramatically affect their game? USA has one viable goalie option in Miller? Seems like a bad idea.

    Not to mention Howard hasn’t been very good when healthy this year. I understand sending Quick because of how lights out he’s been on big stages in his career. I understand sending Miller, but the third goalie should be Ben Bishop or Cory Schneider.

    • blackheart78 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      @ Manny… I was thinking the same thing. But I guess you gotta go with what you have and hope for the best. Totally agree with Bishop as the 3rd option, just think the guy is playing amazing.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      I guess the hope is that Miller will play almost all of the games, but it does seem like a gamble. Even without the recent injury I can’t see why they want Howard. He and Bishop both have next to no international experience so you think they’d go with the guy who has been playing out of his mind so far.

  9. blackheart78 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    I’m very proud of the fact that the United States has a lot of talented goaltenders. I remember for years it seemed there were next to none. Glad to see there is a debate on here.

  10. atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Tim Thomas played several years in Europe so he’s played a lot of time on the big ice, you’d think they’d want to take advantage of his familiarity at the funky angles that it creates, especially in a short tournament.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      I think the position the switch to big ice affects least is the goalies.

      I’m not understanding why people are suggesting that a guy with no high-pressure international experience, who just spent a year out of the game, should be going to Sochi.

      • killerpgh - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        I’m not pushing to TT at all, but I think it’s completely the opposite of what you said. I think the actual position affected the most on the big ice is the goalie. The crease is a different size/shape in international play and the wide rink changes the goalie angle. Not to mention the distance the goal line is off the back wall is longer as well. If you ever noticed an NHL crease has a “90 degree mark” on each side out front right before the radius start. Goalies use those to check there angles without having to look back at the net. With the variance for NHL to International rink those angles change.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        Shots and players coming from wider angles, throws off what you’re used to seeing, changes rebounds and also lateral movement. I’m not saying it’s easier or harder but it’s different, you’d think teams would want to choose a goalie with a background in the different game. I would also say playing in a Stanley Cup final would equal out “no high-pressure international experience”

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        I dunno, I’ve played on both and didn’t find the adjustment to be too difficult. Ultimately the toughest shots they’ll be facing will still come from the slot, and screen shots from the point, just like they do here. The shots where the wider ice comes into play aren’t really a threat. Getting used to a different crease takes a couple of practices.

        Bottom line is the adjustments needed are nothing especially challenging for pro goalies.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        But the shots from the point on international ice could be wider out but closer, which changes the angle. I’m not saying the US choices for goalie are right or wrong (I’m Canadian, so I don’t really care either way) I’m just a little surprised they aren’t going to select someone with extensive experience on that ice.

        I think the Olympic game is going to be completely different this year than in 2010, I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’ll see a lot of the European teams going to the trap and just trying to suffocate the life out of the game waiting for their opponent to make a mistake they can capitalize on.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        Yeah I get that the style will be different, I just think that these guys are good enough to make the adjustment quite seamlessly. But we shall see.

        I was surprised to find out Miller hasn’t actually played on the big ice before in a WJC or WC. Still, I think he’ll be just fine. I’m also Canadian so I wouldn’t mind being totally wrong about that.

      • teaspoon1731 - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        As both a goalie and a skater, I couldn’t disagree more with that statement. Players just have to get used to a little more space to move in. Goalies have to adjust their references for angles. Obviously, all goalies at this level can make the adjustment, but it’s still and adjustment.

  11. mattymarts17 - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    This is without a doubt Miller’s job to lose. Also, it’s important to remember that you can always replace an injured player, but you can’t add a player who was injured after you release your list. Meaning, Quick isn’t guaranteed a spot. They are covering their behinds making sure if he’s healthy, he’s on the team.

    • killerpgh - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      I think Team USA is going to unveil it “list” during the winter classic, but they don’t have to officially turn the roster until the 7th like the other countries. So if Quick/Howard aren’t 100% by the winter classic it doesn’t mean they won’t get picked and replaced before the official cut off.

  12. pfhockey - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Howard over Bishop?

  13. anthj99 - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Ryan Miller should be the starter. Whoever else on the roster is an injury backup. He is playing lights out.

  14. hazlydose - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    I would have preferred Bishop over Howard, but the third goalie spot on the roster rarely makes a difference. If Miller and Quick struggle, the US isn’t going to be around long enough for Howard, Bishop, or anyone else to make a difference.

  15. aldog83 - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    LA needs Quick healthy for a playoff run.

    Not Olympics.

    Send Bishop.

    Kings should have Stanley Cup on the mind.

    Please.

  16. lonespeed - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    All the complaining…these are three quality goalies and the one advantage the U.S. team has over the rest of the world. U.S. fans should be proud they can put any of these three out there. Are there better options, maybe or maybe not, but these are certainly good options.

    Would you rather be stuck with the Russian team’s option of Valaramov?

    How about he Canadien’s? Luongo, Price, Fluery?

    Both of those teams have better skill players than the U.S. team, but are not as good in net.

  17. kastout11 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    If he is healthy, I would definitely start Quick, but he has been out almost 2 months. If he cannot go, I guess they will go with Miller. I think Quick can carry them to the gold medal, and I don’t think the other guys can. In reality, I still think Canada will be too strong and should win the gold.

  18. kastout11 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    For Canada, even though he is having an excellent season, I would not have Fluery on the roster. He has proven over the last few seasons, that he is not a big game goalie.

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