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Article: American Stoppers - Can USA Goalies go from Anonymity to Olympic Glory?


SaveByRichter35

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http://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/22179535/can-team-usa-goalies-go-anonymity-olympic-glory

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Great moments are born from great opportunity.

Outside of dragging the Soviets over their assumed dominance, this has always been the most memorable part of the speech coach Herb Brooks delivered to the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team before their "Miracle on Ice" in 1980.

Thirty-eight years later, these words are entirely applicable to the team headed to Pyeongchang in February: The potential for great moments, for a collection of players who never believed this great opportunity would ever come around -- as long as the NHL was sending its superstars to the Olympics.

Thanks to the avarice-drenched showdown between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee, there will be no Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider, John Gibson or Connor Hellebuyck on Team USA.

Instead, a trio of journeyman goaltenders will be the last line of defense for a team that'll still be learning each other's names when the puck drops in the Winter Games. They could become Jim Craig in 1980. Or, failing that, Ryan Miller in 2010, backstopping the U.S. to silver and getting "#DoYouBelieveInMillercles" trending on Twitter after an epic win over Canada in prelims.

Attempting to win gold for the U.S. men for the first time since the Miracle: David Leggio, a 33-year-old goalie from western New York who played seven seasons in the minor leagues in North America before leaving for the German league; Ryan Zapolski, a 31-year-old goalie from western Pennsylvania who played five seasons in the ECHL before starring in Finland; and Brandon Maxwell, the 26-year-old goalie who played a single game in the ECHL before departing for the Czech league in 2014.

Many hockey fans in North America see these names and roll their eyes, because there's no replacing the NHL stars in the Olympics. Whether it's expected time difference or the lack of celebrity players, there's a decided lack of buzz in the U.S. for the men's hockey tournament, with some fans declaring they won't even make time to watch it.

The players have detected this apathy, processed it and decided the factors that led to their Olympic dreams coming true are ultimately out of their control and unessential.

"That was a decision I had no control over. As a fan, I watched them, and it was incredible. But this isn't the first time the NHL players haven't been there," Leggio told ESPN. "It's not a decision that any of the players on these teams made. I'm just proud to be an Olympian. That's it."

To quote the great Herb Brooks again: "Every one of you were meant to be here. This is your time."

There is more to the article, goes more in depth for each individual.

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Not gonna lie, I planned on watching the USA games regardless but I had "a take it with a grain of salt" mindset.  Not expecting anything.  Now I am legitimately excited to watch these games.  These guys are getting the opportunities of a lifetime.  So much had to happen for these guys to have this chance.  

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17 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

Not gonna lie, I planned on watching the USA games regardless but I had "a take it with a grain of salt" mindset.  Not expecting anything.  Now I am legitimately excited to watch these games.  These guys are getting the opportunities of a lifetime.  So much had to happen for these guys to have this chance.  

I feel the same way about team Canada. I honestly don't think the USA or CAN has a hope in hell of beating Russia, Finland or Sweden in this tournament with these rosters. If one of them does pull it off it will be another Miracle moment for sure.

Yes, both teams are primarily stocked with current European pro's and former NHL'ers but the Euro countries get to use their pro's from their own pro leagues and National team development camps which I feel gives a huge advantage to them just on team cohesion alone.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/26/2018 at 12:09 PM, Pauly35or00 said:

I feel the same way about team Canada. I honestly don't think the USA or CAN has a hope in hell of beating Russia, Finland or Sweden in this tournament with these rosters. If one of them does pull it off it will be another Miracle moment for sure.

Yes, both teams are primarily stocked with current European pro's and former NHL'ers but the Euro countries get to use their pro's from their own pro leagues and National team development camps which I feel gives a huge advantage to them just on team cohesion alone.

Well, Canada just beat Finland.

Time to glorify the Canadian Roster?

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