Five San Jose Sharks have been invited to attend 2014 Olympic camp for their respective countries: Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Team Canada and Joe Pavelski for Team USA. Thornton had to cancel his trip to Calgary when his son, River, came down with an illness.
Though final cuts have yet to be made for Team Canada, the competition is stiff. With the exception of maybe Logan Couture, no other Shark is considered a lock to be chosen to play for Canada in Sochi, Russia. With Couture's talent, he certainly has the best chance of the four to be called up in February.
At 37 years old, Boyle may be the oldest defenseman called up, but he's a close second to Couture when it comes to the likelihood of making the team. In an interview with ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Boyle showed his typical hard-nosed attitude about being the underdog:
“I’ve been doing this my whole career, being counted out forever. I’m probably not expected [to make it], but, obviously, I’d love to be part of it. I know what I can bring to this team."
At Team USA camp in Washington, Joe Pavelski is almost certain to gain a roster spot to represent the red, white and blue. He's no stranger to Olympic silverware; Pavelski was a contributor to Team USA's sliver medal in Vancouver in 2010.
NHL Network’s E.J. Hradek caught up with Pavelski at camp to ask him about expectations after Team USA's surprising trip to the 2010 Gold Medal game:
“It’s nice the second time around. It’s a little easier, you know what to expect, familiar faces,” Pavelski said. “It’s a little easier to adjust.” “The [media] expectations were down a little bit [in 2010]. This year, coming into it, they’re high…We expect to put in a good performance and we want to win gold. … Everyone feels it in the locker room, and those are the expectations.”
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