The Americans face the same challenge as Canada at these Olympics: Adapting their games to the big ice.
Like Canada, the U.S. hasn’t had a podium finish in the two Olympics held outside of North America on the international-size rink and, like Canada, goal scoring has been the issue.
So goal scoring is an issue, but the American braintrust led by David Poile, the general manager of the Nashville Predators, opted to leave two of America’s best offensive players off the roster.
The decision to leave Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan at home was well-documented in some excellent work by imbedded ESPN.com reporter Scott Burnside. Leaving Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle, regarded as the Americans’ top offensive defenceman, off the team is also perplexing.
Ryan has 160 goals in the last five years in the NHL, surpassed only by the 175 scored by Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs.