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Late surprise: Martin out for U.S., Faulk to make Olympic debut

Feb 21, 2014, 7:48 AM EDT

PaulMartin Getty Images

The U.S. will be without one of its veteran defensive presences for Friday’s huge semifinal tilt with Canada.

Pittsburgh’s Paul Martin — third among American blueliners in time on ice per game this tournament — has been dropped from the lineup and will be replaced by Carolina’s Justin Faulk, USA Hockey announced. Faulk will be making his Olympic debut against the Canadians, having sat as a healthy scratch for the U.S.’s first four games of the tourney.

It’s unclear why Martin was dropped, though speculation suggests he’s dealing with illness. (Update: hand injury.) The 32-year-old is plus-2 thus far in the tournament and played over 19 minutes in a 5-2 win over the Czechs in the quarters.

This setback is the latest in Martin’s curious Olympic career. He’s been named to the U.S. national team three times — 2006 in Turin, ’10 in Vancouver — but never dressed for a game until the Sochi tournament opener against Slovakia. Martin was an extra d-man in Turin and broke his forearm prior to Vancouver.

Faulk, 21, is the youngest player on the American roster. The Carolina rearguard does have some international experience, having represented the U.S. in each of the last three World Hockey Championships.

  1. rockthered1286 - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    NBC just announced that he’s out due to illness. Big loss on the D for USA.

    • hockey412 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      There’s been an awful lot of “illness” on all teams. Sanitation-related, I wonder, or just a coincidental flu?

      • joey4id - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        It’s probably the side by side flushes in the rooms. :-)

  2. hockey412 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    Well, good for Faulk anyway. Martin’s played well, but there’s a reason Faulk is there, also. Will be a trial by fire though, that’s for sure!

  3. howintensive - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Lets just hope Martin doesn’t have Bob Costas Eye.

  4. jbeagles23 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    How is there no article on the woman’s game on pht? Sour grapes by NBC? If that’s the case prepare to not write an article about the men’s game either

    • hockey412 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      I certainly don’t think the writers are trying to be sexist, friend – though maybe writing an article about the woman’s game would be a nice touch. These guys follow the professionals from the NHL, for the most part – they didn’t play in the woman’s game.

    • Mike Halford - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      It’s right here: http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/20/canada-rallies-stuns-u-s-in-ot-to-win-womens-hockey-gold/

  5. buckeye044 - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    I dont see the Americans staying with Canada either way. Only advantage they have is the goalie. Some of these Euro teams with few NHL players were physical with the Canadian NHL stars, I dont see the US Team doing that.

    • moarjam - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      HA! You can’t see Backes, Callahan, Brown, Kesler, Orpik, Oshie, Pacioretty or just about anyone playing physical?

      Canada might win but its not going to be because USA wasn’t physical with them.

    • xflyersx - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      This USA team is the most “blue-collar” team in the Olympics. In my opinion, they look very similar to the 2012 LA Kings. Coincidental that they both have Quick and Brown on their respective rosters…

      Anyways, it’ll be a close one, but this US team can play at an extremely high, physical level. Did you see what their forecheck did to Czech on Wednesday? Sure Canada is talanted, but USA is the most complete team as the guy down below said. It’ll be a good game, but I think that the US’s aggressive forecheck led by Parise win’s this game. Parise with the game winner late, 3-2 USA!

    • jtowme - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      I think the USA can play with them any day of the week. If you say the USA’s only advantage is at goal, that’s a pretty big advantage. If everything else is even or close and we have the advantage at goal, I like our chances.

  6. statsdolie - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    The US is by far the most complete Team to face Canada yet and my friend the Canadiens haven’t blown away lesser competition than the US so let’s see the game played out.

  7. r8rbhawk - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    He better not “Faulk” it up

  8. shaundre93 - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    So Orpik has looked pretty bad, even with his “chemistry” with Martin. Now a 23 y/o has to carry that dead weight around all game? Yikes… How exactly was Orpik better than E Johnson again? Oh yeah it’s because he plays for the penguins, had nothing to do with talent! That was the one (very bias) decision I really hated with this team and it could really cost them against Canada. Lets hope Fowler / Shattenkirk can continue their strong play, obviously the top pair will be dynamite.
    GO USA!!

  9. nj666 - Feb 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Andy Greene> Paul martin

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