Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 1/2/14


Dec 29, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders forward

Kyle Okposo

(21) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Islanders defeated the Wild 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, the Team USA Olympic hockey roster was announced following the conclusion of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic yesterday afternoon. Among the players selected to wear the red, white, and blue in Sochi were Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter.

None of those names were surprises.

The bigger story was who ended up being left off the roster, as is so often the case when a team is selected for an international tournament of the magnitude of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (It’s also the case when anything is decided anywhere, anytime, because Internet.)

Those snubbed for the U.S. Olympic team? Bobby Ryan, Keith Yandle and yes, Kyle Okposo.

Okposo’s bid for a spot on Team USA’s roster—at least, to the public’s collective thinking—had been buoyed by his stellar play of late, but was seemingly never seriously considered by general manager David Poile and his staff during the four-plus months in which they compiled their short list of players for the Sochi games.

Okposo’s name may not have been thrown around in Team USA meetings, but Islanders fans know his level of play and desire to compete will only help his club as the Isles try to climb out of the Metropolitan Division basement.

Olympic player or not, Okposo has earned every bit of respect shown to him by his teammates and coaches, which is what he’ll tell you is most important to him from a hockey standpoint. (And if he uses his Team USA snub as motivation for the rest of the season, the rest of the NHL had better watch out.)

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

Team USA Announces Olympic Roster (Eyes On Isles)

Tweets Of The Week (Eyes On Isles)

Okposo Gets The Short End Of Olympic Stick (The Hockey Writers)

Okposo Left Off Team USA, “Not Built For Big Ice” (Islanders Point Blank)

Big Chill In The Big House For Toronto’s Winter Classic Win (NY Times)

Last Night In The NHL

Maple Leafs 3

Red Wings 2 (SO)

Lightning 4

Canucks 2

Across The Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-17-1-3) occupy 13th place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference, as Anders Lee (26 points) and Mike Halmo (24 points) continue to lead the club in scoring. The Sound Tigers play their next game on Friday, Jan. 3 against the Norfolk Admirals, the first of back-to-back road contests in Norfolk for the Islanders’ farm team.

As always, thanks for reading Eyes On Isles. Keep it right here for all your New York Islanders news, notes, and analysis.