Monday, January 4, 2010

Three Kings to play for U.S. in Olympics

I'm just catching up on news from the past few days. So you may have heard by now that three members of the Kings made the American squad that will go to Vancouver next month: goalie Jonathan Quick, defenseman Jack Johnson and winger and Kings captain Dustin Brown.

It doesn't sound as if Quick will get much playing time, but Johnson and Brown certainly will. I'm a big fan of Johnson and think he may be the Kings' best overall player -- not only can he remove man from puck, but he also has the skating and stickhandling chops to take the puck up the ice. And his shot is a rifle.

Here's a USA Today analysis of the U.S. men's roster. Sounds like the writer is a Johnson fan, too.

While it's fun to see the Kings compete for a playoff spot this season, I'm more stoked for the Olympic tournament at this point. Unlike the regular NHL season, the Olympic hockey tournament is short and sweet and every second of every game will count.

The Canada-U.S. game is Feb. 21 at 4:40 p.m., by the way. That's just as the Sunday stick time session at the Pasadena rink is ending. If the game is shown live -- and if it's not, someone should throw the president of NBC to the wolves in San Quentin -- I look forward to plopping down at the bar in the adjacent Sheraton hotel, stinky and sweaty, and quaffing a few while watching the game.

Here's the link to the press release about the U.S. team from USA Hockey. 

One other sidenote: the Kings' Michael Handzus will be playing for Slovakia at the Winter games. If you're wondering why Anze Kopitar won't be going to Vancouver it's because he's from Slovenia and Slovenia doesn't have a team going to the games.

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