Feb 12, 2014, 5:49 AM EDT
SOCHI, Russia — It would’ve been easy for Dan Bylsma to go with Ryan Miller.
The United States head coach could’ve compared the numbers: Miller’s .923 save percentage this season with the Buffalo Sabres, to Jonathan Quick’s .911 mark with the Los Angeles Kings.
He could’ve pointed to Miller’s outstanding play in the 2010 Vancouver Games that helped the Americans win a silver medal, or to Quick’s past few NHL games, which haven’t all gone well.
But Bylsma went with Quick, announcing his decision Wednesday afternoon following practice, the day before the U.S. will open its Olympic tournament versus Slovakia.
“We’re dealing with a position of strength when it comes to the goaltender, and the goaltender decision,” said Bylsma.
“Jonathan’s won a championship with his team, won a Stanley Cup. Certainly Ryan this year has played very well for his team as well, so it’s been dealing from where we have two very good guys to be in net. Jonathan will be getting the nod.”
And what about Saturday versus Russia?
“We have plans for game one.”
How did Miller take the news?
“We had a conversation. He said, ‘I’m ready when you call on me.’”
Miller was understandably disappointed, but also supportive of Quick.
“Obviously I want to play and compete and be here and do my part,” said Miller. “I think he’s a great goalie and he’s going to do great for us. You know, see where it goes from here, and just be ready to go.”
As for Quick, the 2012 playoff MVP said his job now is to give his team a chance to win.
“I believe it’s just for tomorrow’s game, so I’m just keeping focused on what we have to do to win tomorrow’s game,” he said. “Obviously in a short tournament, you want to try to make the most of every time you’re on the ice, whether it’s practice or a game.”
Slovakia won’t be an easy out for the Americans, and in a way that may actually be a good thing for Bylsma, who will want to get as good a handle as possible on Quick’s play before Saturday’s showcase game of the preliminary round against the tournament hosts.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT
Physical battle starting to take its toll.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
Are changes needed?
Apr 23, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT
All the goals came against Ilya Bryzgalov, which is worth mentioning.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT
All games can be seen on either NBC, NBCSN or CNBC.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
First time he’s been scratched in the playoffs in 10 years.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT
Two of the NHL’s best offenses have struggled with the man advantage.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
“That’s what made them successful because they believed in what they were doing.”
Apr 23, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT
A “real steady force back there” must now be replaced.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
Colorado forward is expected to take home the honors.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT
“He didn’t get to play enough hockey this season, so he’s still eager to play.”
Apr 23, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Chicago’s been tough to beat at home in the playoffs.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT
Can Columbus rebound from its Game 3 collapse?
Apr 23, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT
He spent three seasons with the Flyers.
Apr 23, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
He’s been out since April 10.
Apr 23, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT
It’s that or hit the road down 3-1.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:17 AM EDT
They’ll be facing elimination on Thursday.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT
Stunner at the Staples Center.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Impressive, but just his first marker of the series.
Apr 22, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT
Apr 22, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT
“They thrived on it.”
- Two years after winning the Cup, the Kings’ ‘mix’ comes into question 1
- Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4 11
- MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists 9
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 40
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 56
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 48
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 84
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 3) 2
- Bettman says shootouts are staying, gives salary cap estimate 37
- Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question 57
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (127)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)