FINAL: Team USA beats Slovakia 7-1

USATeam USA defeated Slovakia 7-1 in their opening game of the Winter Olympics.

Goal scorers for Team USA were John Carlson, Ryan Kesler, Paul Stastny (2), David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown.

Ryan Callahan played 15:43 and had one shot on goal. He played 4:25 in the first, 5:34 in the second and 5:44 in the third period.

Ryan McDonagh played 18:38 and 5:51 in the first period, 7:25 in the second period and 5:22 in the third.

On McDonagh, Chris Peters tweeted “Ryan McDonagh has quietly put together a tremendous game defensively. Really enjoying that pairing of McD and Shattenkirk.”

Derek Stepan was a healthy scratch and Blake Wheeler, who played in the 13th forward role, played 4:10, 47 seconds in the the first, 1:09 in the second and 2:14 in third.

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Practice: Ryan Callahan has new linemates for Team USA

USARyan Callahan is skating with Zach Praise and David Backes this morning in Russia. (Corey Masisak)

Derek Stepan, along with Blake Wheeler, is skating as an extra.

Ryan McDonagh is skating with Capitals defenseman John Carlson.

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Practice: Who the Team USA Rangers are skating with

USA4:55PM:

12:30PM: Ryan Callahan is skating with Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty at the first Team USA practice in Russia. (Sarah Kwak)

The other lines are:

  • Dustin Brown, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane
  • James van Riemsdyk, Joe Pavelski, Phil Kessel
  • Zach Parise, David Backes, TJ Oshie

Derek Stepan and Blake Wheeler are skating as extra players.

Ryan McDonagh is skating with John Carlson. Cam Fowler is with Ryan Suter and Kevin Shattenkirk is with Paul Martin.

Read: The Rangers representing Team USA, their roles and how they were selected

2014-02-05 08.38.51When the USA roster for the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia was announced following the Winter Classic articles from Scott Burnside of ESPN.com and Kevin Allen of USA Today that detailed how Team USA was selected were posted.

Derek Stepan:

  • In the first meeting, back in it is determined that Stepan is pretty much a lock to make the team. (Burnside)
  • In a meeting two weeks into the season, GM David Poile has Stepan in the mix but wonders about how he will react to missing training camp. (Burnside)
  • In a meeting two months into the season, the fears on Stepan have subsided and he is currently “on fire.” The decision is made that they will go with five centers and Stepan will be one of them. (Burnside)

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Recap: Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh Comments On Making Team USA

USADerek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh held a conference call yesterday with the media to discuss their selection to Team USA for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia (Rangers Report).

  • ┬áDerek Stepan, “It’s a great honor. I wasn’t sure if I would be there or not, It’s something I am very grateful for.”
  • Step, on when he found out, “I found out when the kids were on the ice. I hadn’t heard anything yet so I was starting to think that I wasn’t going to be there but as I was watching the kids it was a pretty cool way to find out for me.”
  • Ryan Callahan, on being thought of as a lock, “I think that during the year you are thinking about it. I was being brought up as a guy who was supposed to make the team. It’s in your head and its’ something that you are working toward during the year as you are playing. I think it’s a relief that it’s named now and I am grateful and excited that I am on the team.”

 

  • Cally, on the team, “To be honest with you I haven’t had a chance to look at it too deeply, I only found out a half hour ago but from the guys who were named it looks like we will have a fast group on the big ice surface which is good and I think we will have a good shot.”
  • Cally, on his status, “No…no real update. Nothing has changed since the last practice here.”
  • Ryan McDonagh, on being a lock, “You truly never know. You hear things and during the season, to finally know for certain, it’s something I am proud of and it’s an honor to be on the team. I remember watching the 2010 Olympics and thinking about what it would be like to be on the team, to play in the Olympics and represent the country. Now I have that opportunity and to try and do the best with it.”
  • Cally, on his Vancouver experience, “I think the biggest thing that I took out of Vancouver was how hard it was and how much of an honor it was to represent Team USA and our country. You don’t know how many chances you get at it but now I have another crack at it. Going into Russia I am going to enjoy it, being over there it’s kind of a weird style tournament with the round robin which you aren’t used to but I will just try to enjoy the overall experience and enjoy it again.”
  • McDonagh, on his role for Team USA, “I have no idea. I will just wait to see what the coaching staff does and go out there and do my best.”
  • Cally, on being coached by Dan Bylsma, “it’s a little different and it’s a unique and fun part of the Olympics that you go play with guys that you battle with all year. I’ve been talking with Bylsma during the orientation camp about his ideas for the team but it will definitely be a little different having him behind the bench and not on the other side.”
  • Cally, on the leadership group, “it’s an experienced group and it’s our job to set the tone and create an identity in such a short amount of time. We had success in 2010 because our team came together right away and established how we wanted to play and that your our leadership group did that and now it’s passed on to us to do that going into Russia.”
  • McDonagh, on going through all of this with Derek Stepan, “We were both pushing for each other. I’m really happy that we will both get this opportunity. We have both seen each other at World Juniors and played in World Championships together and now we will take it to the biggest stage and hopefully come up with something special and continue what has been happening.”
  • Cally tells Step to answer about thinking about the tournament when it’s still 5-6 weeks away, “I said before when we were going through the process that it’s hard not to think about it but at the same time you try your best to think about what you have in front of you and think about those games and that will help you take steps toward the Olympic stage.”
  • Cally, on being in Russia with their social issues, “it’s a little bit of concern, it’s human nature to see what has been going on in the news and especially recently with what has been going on there. At the same time we are going over there to represent the USA and win a gold medal. That is our main concern but in the back of your head you are thinking about it. It doesn’t take away any of the excitement or privilege of representing your country.”

Live Stream: Brady Skjei and Team USA Play Canada

Read: Some Of The Rangers Felt The Olympic Pressure In Nashville

On Saturday night against Nashville, the Rangers played in front of Nashville GM and Team USA GM David Poile.

Earlier in the day, Poile had pretty much endorsed the fact that Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan would be on Team USA bu that didn’t alleviate any of the pressure that Stepan and Callahan felt.

Callahan told the NY Daily News, that he wants to play well every night but knowing that the ultimate decision maker was in the stands makes the game mean that much more.

Stepan said that it was tough to not to think about Poile watching and that he just tried to play well and show everything that he can do on the ice.

Poile said, via the NY Post, that Team USA isn’t all that deep at center and they would like to see Stepan make the team.

At NHL.com, Dan Rosen has Derek Stepan centering Dustin Brown and Ryan Callahan, with Ryan McDonagh partnered with Kevin Shattenkirk.

Corey Masisak says that Stepan will center Bobby Ryan and Max Pacioretty, Callahan will be with Dustin Brown and Joe Pavelski and McDonagh partnered with John Carlson.