During Team USA’s practice today, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was paired with an unlikely ally. That unlikely ally? New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. I like this pairing a lot. Even though McDonagh is a Ranger, I respect him as one of the best defensemen in the world. Like John Carlson, McDonagh is a two-way defenseman who can contribute both on offense and on defense. Their skill sets complement each other. I’m excited to see what the dynamic duo of Carlson and McDonagh will do on the Olympic-sized rink.
However, John Carlson was surprisingly left off both of the powerplay lines during practice. Considering how effective Carlson has been this year on powerplays, that was surprising. Carlson has the most goals of any defenseman on Team USA. His slapshot will be even more deadly on an Olympic-sized rink, where the blue lines are closer to the goals. It will be interesting to see if John Carlson sees time on the power play during the Olympics.