Skip to content

Martin: Team USA ‘ready’ and ‘excited’ for Olympic playoffs

Feb 17, 2014, 7:56 AM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Paul Martin #7 of the United States handles the puck in the second period against Russia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day eight of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

The United States’ men’s hockey team has captured the nation’s attention with its superb play in the preliminary round. That combined with America’s silver medal finish in 2010 has set the bar high for this tournament.

Team USA is eager to meet those high expectations.

“We’re ready, man. And we’re excited,” defenseman Paul Martin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“I like a lot of what I’ve seen of the way this team’s come together. You can see it in how we’ve adjusted to the big ice, forechecking better, defending smarter, using our speed. It feels good.”

You could make the case that the Americans looked came out of the round robin looking better than any other team. Russia, which lost to the United States and followed that up with a shaky performance against Slovakia that ended in a shootout win. Canada swept its Group, but still needs to find its groove offensively. Meanwhile, the Swedes had the most dominant showing of any team thus far, but their offense is looking a lot less intimidating without Henrik Sedin, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg.

Of course, how a team looks right now has to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, the Canadians didn’t look great in the preliminary round during the 2010 tournament and they still ended up winning gold.

That doesn’t mean America’s success to this point was meaningless though. They’ve gained confidence and displayed team chemistry. Those are invaluable traits going forward.

Latest Posts
  1. Andre’s gigantic game: Caps push Rangers to the brink

    May 6, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Four Getty Images

    The Presidents’ Trophy winners are now down 3-1 in the series.

  2. Video: Brassard breaks Rangers’ lengthy drought

    May 6, 2015, 9:02 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard AP

    They hadn’t scored in 100 minutes.

  3. Video: Stamkos’ sweet pass sets up Killorn goal

    May 6, 2015, 7:42 PM EDT

    Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn AP

    Tampa Bay grabs a 1-0 lead in Game 3.

  4. Drouin in: Lightning give promising rookie a shot in Game 3

    May 6, 2015, 6:58 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Things haven’t come easily for the high-end prospect.

  5. 2015 Jack Adams Award finalists: Hartley, Laviolette, Vigneault

    May 6, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Awards - Inside Getty Images

    Chosen by the National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association.

  6. Preds re-sign goalie Mazanec: one year, $575K

    May 6, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    mazanecgetty Getty Images

    Czech netminder has appeared in 27 games for Nashville over the last two seasons.

  7. Columbus’ Bjorkstrand named WHL Player of the Year

    May 6, 2015, 3:56 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Scored 63 goals and 118 points this year for Portland.

  8. NHL hockey ops explains no-goal call

    May 6, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    “It’s like a horse race — you can’t stand ten feet ahead of the finish line and determine who won a close race.”

  9. Yeo: ‘I hate the word — I’ve never been swept’

    May 6, 2015, 2:26 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Three Getty Images

    Yet the Wild coach is now staring it in the face.

  10. Lightning, Habs will play first back-to-back of the playoffs

    May 6, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Two Getty Images

    Teams will meet tonight and again tomorrow in Tampa Bay.

  11. Detroit prospect Larkin ‘not 100 percent’ returning to school

    May 6, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT

    Norway v USA - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Getty Images

    “I’m still in between and weighing the options.”

  12. Jack Adams Award finalists to be announced tonight

    May 6, 2015, 12:35 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five Getty Images

    Calgary’s Bob Hartley is considered the favorite.

Featured video

Holtby becoming big-time goalie
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Zuccarello (2888)
  2. M. Giordano (2012)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1786)
  4. C. Perry (1721)
  5. J. Hudler (1619)