Monday, February 10, 2014
Brown-Kesler-Kane reunited -- for now
By Pierre LeBrun
SOCHI, Russia -- Ryan Kesler and Patrick Kane were reunited Monday at Team USA's first practice, a duo that finished the 2010 Olympic tournament together.
Dustin Brown completed that line Monday, making a trio that meshes physical skill, two-way prowess and all-world offensive talent.
The other forward lines:
James van Riemsdyk, Joe Pavelski and Phil Kessel; Zach Parise, David Backes and T.J. Oshie;
Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Ryan Callahan.
Blake Wheeler and Derek Stepan were the extra forwards, judging by practice, even if head coach Dan Bylsma wouldn't confirm that to the media. Bylsma said he has told the players who will be the extra forwards, but will not release that information until before their first game against Slovakia on Thursday.
No surprise of course that van Riemsdyk and Kessel will be kept together, given the production from the tandem in Toronto this season.
"You notice, I mean there's obviously a lot of highly talented players out there and there's still some feeling each other out," van Riemsdyk said. "With me and Phil, we obviously have that familiarity. Again, we don't know if this is going to be the line. You never know as the tournament goes on how it's going to be, but we do have that familiarity. And I'm sure that's always an option."