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Bylsma likes Team USA’s speed, defense

Jan 4, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

danbylsmaap AP

The United States set the bar high when they took Team Canada all the way to overtime in the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Games. In terms of raw star power, they didn’t stack up then and don’t now, but America’s goal was to assemble a squad with a central focus that could work well together.

“When looking at the team we started off by what kind of team we wanted to be and what kind of team we thought we could be,” Bylsma told NHL.com. “Skating and speed [were] at a premium.”

He later added, “We also thought this group of players and this team could be great defensively and great a team as there is in the tournament in shutting [down] and playing defensively.”

That being said, Team USA’s ability to adjust to the bigger ice surface is perhaps the team’s biggest X-Factor. They kept that in mind when selecting their squad, but that doesn’t change the fact that America’s opponents in Group A opponents – Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia – will all enter the tournament with considerably more experience playing on international ice.

Meanwhile, we’re a little over a month away from America’s Olympic opener.

Related:

Miller: Move to Olympic-sized ice will be big adjustment

  1. steelers88 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    The only two changes I would make is I would have Matt Niskanen on the team and remove Paul Martin. I would also have Ben Bishop on over Jimmy Howard.

  2. bwana63 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Saad: 15 goals (only 1 of which was on a PP), 16 assists in ~16 mpg. Perfect 3/4th line guy. Team USA really crapped the bed here.

    And, yeah, Howard shouldn’t have made the team, but as the 3rd goalie, what difference does it make?

    • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      dude i wouldn’t worry about it there is a handful of guys on this team that are banged up right now and he seems to be the 1st or 2nd call up

      being from pittsburgh i really wanna see Saad play for the U.S. team, either way he will now or in 4 years.

  3. flyersfan67 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Team USA has no hope in Olympics. Yes they have speed upfront, so what, they can’t defend. You got two coaches who now nothing about defense and will preach a wide open, push style offence. Good luck

    • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      lol what you think the pens play wide open?

      everybody knows so much about how bad the Penguins suck and their coaching sucks and their defense sucks…

      they fail to look at the fact that the Penguins are the 5th ranked defense in the league(read that again…go ahead), 5th ranked offense, 2nd ranked PK, 1st ranked PP, and are 3rd overall in the league standings.

      shut up, go home.

  4. dkphilly1122 - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    While Team USA doesn’t look great……they will surprise many other teams and people. Bobby Ryan still should have made it over people on there like Blake Wheeler. Same with someone like Big Buf, he can at least clear out front of the net when need be compared to Cam Fowler. Same with Yandle over Carlson. All in all, they won’t be bad, but no Gold Medal Canadian team sadly.

    • gocaps8 - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Team USA is in a position to compete, which is all you can ask.

      Between his reach and his speed, Wheeler covers more ice than Ryan. I get it that Ryan has better hands, but Poile, Shero and Tallon know what they’re doing.

      Byfuglien would be a defensive liability on this rink and against these players. Doesn’t take away from his NHL credentials. And Yandle over Carlson? Yandle might be a better skater, but Carlson is easily the better two-way defender and isn’t slow.

      As for medal predictions, let’s wait and see on Stamkos before we hand over gold to the Canadians. If King Henrick gets hot, I’m not sure they beat Sweden even with Stammer.

      • 19wasthebest - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        Poile sucks & Blysma sucks as a coach, this team will not make the Bronze medal game.

  5. Stiller43 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    You mean a wide open offensive attack is bad on the wide open ice? Seems like a solid fit

  6. Shanahammer - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Good thing he knows nothing about defense .

    • killerpgh - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Never mind the fact that the team he coaches is tied for the 5th lowest goals against average of 2.28 in the NHL this year. And also gives up the 5th least amount of shots per game in the NHL at 27.5. Or has the 2nd best PK% in the NHL this year. That’s pretty good considering the Pens have had to use 11 different d-man because to injuries. But I can see your point that he knows nothing about defense….

      • runhigh24 - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        this is an internet comment section, facts have no place here!

      • Shanahammer - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        Here are some stats.
        17th in the league on 5 on 5 goals and 3rd in the league in total PK time….

      • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        shanahammer-head down here doesn’t have the noggin to figure out that teams that kill a lot of penalties will have higher PK times because they are on the PK for the full 2 minutes more often than not!

        durrr math.

  7. steelers88 - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    killerpgh.
    I don’t give any credit to Dan Byslma for turning the defense around. The defense would still be terrible if the Penguins didn’t bring in Jaques Martin. I give credit to him not Dan Byslma.

    • claudegirwho - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Can you please change your name to littlemsdebbydowner?? It would for you much better

  8. steelers88 - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    What are you a Flyers fan? Because by the look of your user name you seem to be in love with Claude Giroux. Also you can stop being a dick now.

    • claudegirwho - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Actually its claudegirwho?? As in who is the once mentioned “greatest player in the world”? I’m a pens fan who is sick of reading your stupid comments constantly bashing the pens. I’m sick of it and so are other people. You spout off stupid stuff like pyatt will find his career again playing with Crosby or Malkin who he will never see any time with unless our injuries get that incredibly bad. If your bored with the season stop commenting on every pens article 15 times. I let it go for a long time and now I’m just tired of it because you have no idea what your talking about.

  9. steelers88 - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Whatever.

  10. steelers88 - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Sucks that you can’t stay on topic.

    • claudegirwho - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      I’m pretty sure the topic was of you not knowing what your talking about at all and the best you can come up with is whatever? I guess you agree with me then if that’s your best rebuttal. Actually I think it’s your smartest comment since you got on here.

      • penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        What is with Steelers88 anyway? He does know that the Penguins are the best team in the east right now? Is he even a Pittsburgh Penguins fan? If he is he shows it in a weird way by bashing his favorite team. He just makes no sense to me.

      • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        hes an idiot. maybe if we keep telling him what a rumbas he is hell go away or just stick to trying to read the articles. not sure if he can read, his comments seem to be the opposite of everybody else’s.

  11. csilojohnson - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Lol You are a negative nancy steelers88. Not gunna be that hard on ya though. Everyone is entitled to their own oppinion. As well as what comments they choose to read.
    When healthy I like Martin over Nisk.
    Not to take away from Matts play this season. Incredible what he has done this season given circumstances. Bylsma as well. Defense started its turn around last year.

  12. gertrudegoat - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    First we learn that Kyle Okposo was never even given any serious consideration, and now the leaks of what was said about Bobby Ryan. I am VERY disappointed with the way this team has been constructed. I now see that the guys choosing the team are not such terrific guys with either their player evaluation or their conduct.

  13. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I don’t understand how you can rip the people who picked the players for team U.S.A. It is probably a very difficult task because their is so many great players to choose from. When you put together an olympic roster then you can talk. I am going to give Dan Byslma the benefit of the doubt. Who knows the US might come home with gold.

    • dirt2013 - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      They let a reporter in their meetings and then talk about a player like that. Should be no surprise those thinks came out.

    • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      bylsmas didn’t pick them team. what makes people think a coach puts a team together?? whats does the general manager do, book flights???

  14. ironman721 - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Bylsma like team Canada’s… Everything…

  15. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Anyone who thinks that Dan Byslma is a terrible head coach is stupid. I think this is one of the best coaching seasons his ever had, with all the injuries his had to deal with he should be in the running for the Jack Adams award. These Penguins aren’t the Penguins of two years ago. They can win the 1-0 and 2-1 games, they have so much depth on defense that it’s not even funny. They are almost unbeatable at home. This is the best I have seen Fleury play in a long time. It also doesn’t hurt to have Crosby, Malkin, and Neal. I personally think this Penguins team is better than last years team.

  16. badgerhockey77 - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Bylsma likes Team USA’s speed, defense? Speed…defense…and Orpik. Ohhhh the irony. Way to pick YOUR BOYS there coach! Hopefully Orpik will be watching the games from the stands where he can’t hurt the team. But in reality, Orpik will be watching from the penalty box. Lots and lots of hooking calls due to players blowing past him on the big ice.

    • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      what in the world makes you think orpik is slow?

      also, you really think Bylsma picked this team?

      somehow your smarter than the collective group of Dean Lombardi, David Poile, Stan Bowman, Brian Burke, Dale Tallon, and Ray Shero.

      • badgerhockey77 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:42 PM

        To your first question…are you being serious? Did you really just ask me that? Is Orpik slow? lol

        Did Bylsma pick the team? No. But, ask yourself a question. Do you really think both Martin and Orpik would have been chosen if there was a different coach? They are there because of the Bylsma connection.

        And YES…I am smarter than the collective group you mentioned. Thank you!

  17. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Funny. He only picked 2 players from the Penguins.

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