For fans of the United States Olympic hockey team, there were a lot of things to like about yesterday’s 7-1 thrashing of Slovakia. Several of America’s players were noticeable throughout the game, but the argument could be made that no one was as stellar as T.J. Oshie.
Skating on a “fourth line” with Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty, Oshie produced two assists and was a major factor nearly every time he took the ice. He was physical and his speed really seemed to open things up for his linemates. Stastny in particular thrived alongside Oshie as he scored two goals against the Slovaks.
That line’s domination wasn’t lost on head coach Dan Bylsma, who spoke to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post about the trio:
We talked before the game about how the line of Stastny, (Max) Pacioretty and (T.J.) Oshie could be our best line, and it turned out to be that for us.
Bylsma knows a thing or two about piecing together competent and complete lines, and seems to have hit the jackpot with Oshie, Pacioretty and Stastny. The St. Louis Blues forward was brought to Sochi to be an energetic presence that can play the body and forecheck the opposition into the ice, and so far he’s provided those services to a T.
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