Dietz = Sheldon Souray IMO. Very similar in various areas. Not worried about him.
Thrower on the other hand has worried me. Character was supposed to be a strong suit of his, yet all I have seen so far has been just the opposite. To be sure injuries have hindered him. Lets just hope his talent, hockey sense and smooth skating ability get him out of this, so-far, season long funk.
Tim is a scorer plain and simple. He does have good puck skills and skating ability, but playmaking is not his forte. Consequently, when he goes into a goal scoring drought, so does his point production. This is a player who will find his niche as a second line scoring forward. Think Radim Vrbata.
They invited 11 of 'em, which is actually a high number for Team USA.
Yeah I'm surprised at that. I still think it's a strike against anyone hoping for an invite though, but this year has an exceptionally high number of quality Americans in the CHL.
Too bad for Vail, because he's having a good season, but besides the CHL factor they might have also been looking for more overtly physical types for the bottom 6. Kind of like what hurt Nystrom's chances for Sweden.
Regardless, it's a shame Dietz and Thrower can't get out of there. Going to the memorial cup doesn't make up for being on such a trainwreck of a team.
Blades have picked it up a fair bit since their 2-7 start. They are 11-6 since and have been playing through a number of injuries plus long road trips. I know on their last trip through BC they were missing Siemens, Thrower and another D-man so Dietz was playing 30+ minutes a night.
Plus for some weird reason the Blades have played only 9 games at home and 18 on the road, so they should pick it up with an extended home stand soon.
I really thought he had a good chance of making the team. His speed, defensive acumen and his physical, yet disciplined style would be very valuable on the large ice surface.
Oh well. The US has a lot of good options up front, especially good guys to fit in the bottom 6. From what I hear they also left off some good players as well. I would have liked for more Habs fans to get the opportunity see Vail play though, his hockey sense and attention to detail is incredible.
It's disappointing, but not a big deal. If continues to develop his game at the pace that he is now, he'll make the team next year.
At the 2011 Under-18 World Championship he showed he was adapting well to the checking role. Playing center on a line with Blake Pietila (also on the preliminary roster) an Zac Larraza, they were given primary duties in shutting down the opponent’s top lines. Against Russia, that meant going head to head against Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Kucherov.
“Some folks might be surprised to see Cornell’s Cole Bardreau, but his selection makes sense as a fourth-line center. That’s the spot he’ll be battling for. Bardreau plays with speed and physicality and has some great defensive sense. At the 2011 World Under-18 Championship, Bardreau saw significant time against Russia’s line of Nail Yakupov, Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Grigorenko and along with Blake Pietila, shut them down almost completely. So he has a track record and has been doing it at Cornell too.”