Greetings from the Olympic Hockey Center, aka GM Place, the regular-season home of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.
Team USA, with Ryan Miller in net, will take on Switzerland in a 3 p.m. (ET) start. The Swiss figure to have Ducks star Jonas Hiller in their cage. It was Hiller's emergence in Anaheim that led the Ducks to wheel J-S Giguere to the Maple Leafs in the days leading up to the NHL's Olympic break.
Few NHLers for Swiss
The Swiss have few NHL names dotting their roster. Mark Streit, now with the Islanders, is on their backline and undoubtedly will work their first power-play unit. Otherwsise, the only other NHL connection is defenseman Yannick Weber, a part-timer with the Canadiens
Lining up for the Yanks.
Expected lines for Team Red, White and Blue:
Zach Parise-Ryan Malone-Jamie Langenbrunner
Joe Pavelski-Ryan Kesler-Chris Drury
Ryan Callahan-Paul Stastny-Dustin Brown
David Backes-Ryan Bobby-Phil Kessel
We'll find out closer to puck drop if coach Ron Wilson intends to blend Patrick Kane, the Chicago superstar, into the mix.
Update: All 13 forwards suited up for the pre-game warump.
The likely defensive pairings:
Jack Johnson-Tim Gleason
Erik Johnson-Ryan Whitney
Ryan Suter-Brian Rafalski
These duets would change if Wilson works in ex-BC Eagle Brooks Orpik.
Update: All seven forwards suited up for the pre-game warmup.
And in net, US coach Ron Wilson hopes to ride Buffalo's Ryan Miller all the way to the gold medal. That leaves the Bruins' Tim Thomas and ex-UMass standout Jonathan Quick (Kings) on on-call duty.
Update: Thomas is in uniform and will be Miller's backup. Quick is the only Yank not in uniform for the pre-game warmup.
A local ticket agency had tickets available, $150 each, for the USA-Swiss matchup.