It has been 30 days since USA Hockey named its Olympic roster, and somehow all of the players have stayed healthy, barring a slight tweak to Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard’s knee (he has returned). Team USA general manager David Poile must be knocking on wood somewhere. But there are Americans out there looking sharp should the need arise to make an injury replacement by the Feb. 11 deadline: New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider He will go into tonight’s road game against the Dallas Stars on a streak of 10 appearances of giving up two or fewer goals. In that span, his save percentage has risen from .914 to .928. His goals-against average has dropped to 1.86. New York Islanders wing Kyle Okposo If a top six winger goes down, Okposo could be at the front of the list. He is sixth in the NHL scoring race and has netted 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in his past 16 games. Nineteen of his 23 goals this season have come at even strength. Chicago Blackhawks wing Brandon Saad He could be on his way to a 25-goal season, even though he doesn’t receive star minutes on the talent-laden Blackhawks. In his last game, he played 13:43 and posted two goals and an assist against the Vancouver Canucks. If a bottom six forward is lost to injury, Saad could be the replacement because he can play all three forward positions and would be comfortable as a role player. Columbus Blue Jackets center/wing Brandon Dubinsky The Americans don’t have a large pool of potential centers and Dubinsky is having one of his better NHL seasons. He’s 6-2, 217, and he plays a feisty game. That makes him even more attractive to U.S. Olympic coaches, as does his ability to play both wing and center. Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson The Blue Jackets’ recent surge in the standings has been aided by Johnson’s improved play. In the past 11 games, he has logged 25 or more minutes seven times. He has 21 shots on goal in his past six games going into tonight’s home game against the Washington Capitals. He was plus-8 with seven points in one recent eight-game span. Johnson played well in the 2010 Olympics, and that also plays in his favor if a defenseman becomes injured.
Who could come to the rescue if there's a Team USA injury?
USA Today | Jan 30