Tampa Bay Lightning Olympic hopefuls

Martin Rose

Which Lightning players have a shot at making their national teams for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

We're coming up on the deadline for Olympic rosters to be set. Initially this was to be December 31, but it has been moved back to January 7, so most teams will have one more week to figure out what they're going to do (TeamUSA will still announce on Jan. 1, as part of the Winter Classic event, they say.) And the Lightning are poised to be fairly well represented this time around. Who's likely to get the call?

Canada

  • The team has said that Steven Stamkos will be on the initial roster, despite a still-uncertain timetable for his return from a broken tibia. If necessary, they will replace him as an injured player later on.
  • Martin St. Louis is probable for the squad in my opinion, although some pundits have him on the bubble. I can only assume, however, that Steve Yzerman is aware of the contributions he can make, as he's been instrumental in keeping the Lightning afloat while Stamkos is out. I personally think it would be beyond silly to leave him off the roster, but it is possible that I am biased.


    Martin St. Louis

    #26 / Right Wing / Tampa Bay Lightning

    5-8

    180

    Jun 18, 1975



    G A P +/- PIM
    2013 - Martin St. Louis 14 19 33 7 4



  • Teddy Purcell has played in the past two World Championships for Team Canada, but is unlikely to make the cut when there's all of the NHL available to choose from

Czech Republic

  • Both Radko Gudas and Ondrej Palat were on the Czechs' preliminary camp roster in August. Of the two Gudas is a more solid bet to make the final cut, but Palat's still in the mix, I would think, despite being ignored by the national media.


    Radko Gudas

    #7 / Defenseman / Tampa Bay Lightning

    6-0

    204

    Jun 05, 1990



    G A P +/- PIM
    2013 - Radko Gudas 1 6 7 2 76



  • Andrej Sustr is a very long shot to make the squad. He'll most likely have to wait until next time for another chance.

Finland

Latvia

  • Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis was Latvia's third goaltender in the 2013 World Championships this past May. An injury and a bad start got him in a game and he never let the spot go. (He then proceeded to get drafted by a guy who'd come over to judge Canadian players.) While there are other choices for Latvia, I would predict Gudlevskis making at least the third spot on the Latvian team again.

Slovakia

  • Richard Panik made the Slovakian preliminary roster and might make the final roster as well.
  • Remember Jaroslav Janus? Well, believe it or not, he's still in the discussion (the Lightning retain his North American rights while he plays for HC Slovan Bratislava in the KHL). He's a possible third goaltender for the Slovak national team, despite his less than stellar results so far this season.

Sweden

    United States

    • Nate Thompson and Matt Carle have both played with the national team in the World Championships but they probably won't make the cut for the Olympics.
    • Ben Bishop's chances are hard to gauge. He's the best American goaltender in the NHL so far this season, but he also has probably the least amount of experience. And his trip to the big ice in May did not go well. Most people are giving Ryan Miller the nod for the starting spot, and I'd have to agree with that assessment. Then common wisdom will generally give Jonathan Quick the second spot. This is where things get strange. Quick's (a) been out with a groin injury for more than a month, and (b) not doing all that great before that or over last season.

      Still, he is Jon Quick, and this could very well be a case where the numbers obscure the actual performance, as save percentage can sometimes do, especially over small samples. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Quick get spot #2, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see him passed over this season, unfairly or not.

      That leaves the third spot, and in the land of the pundits this is generally given to Cory Schneider over Bishop (or sometimes Jimmy Howard.) I can understand that reasoning on the grounds of his experience. Schneider's simply been very good over more games than Bishop's been in the NHL and, in fact, Bishop was left off the initial camp roster in August. I disagree with this choice based on current level of play, however. Even accounting for differences in the teams in front of them, Bishop has outplayed Schneider over the past two and a half months.

      In the end, however, I don't think there's really a bad decision between the two, at least from the team's standpoint. David Poile can afford to take a chance on a younger and less experienced guy for the third chair, but both Schneider and Bishop fit that bill. But I think that if you aren't talking about Ben Bishop for Sochi, you've missed the boat.


      Ben Bishop

      #30 / Goalie / Tampa Bay Lightning

      6-7

      214

      Nov 21, 1986



      GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
      2013 - Ben Bishop 24 1404 16 5 48 2.05 693 645 .931 2



    X
    Log In Sign Up

    forgot?
    Log In Sign Up

    Forgot password?

    We'll email you a reset link.

    If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

    Forgot password?

    Try another email?

    Almost done,

    By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

    Join Raw Charge

    You must be a member of Raw Charge to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Raw Charge. You should read them.

    Join Raw Charge

    You must be a member of Raw Charge to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Raw Charge. You should read them.

    Spinner.vc97ec6e

    Authenticating

    Great!

    Choose an available username to complete sign up.

    In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

    tracking_pixel_9355_tracker