Isles Fans Voice Their Displeasure With Team USA Omitting Kyle Okposo From Their Roster
You really could not have written it up any better for Kyle Okposo's game-winning goal last night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Just a day after the management personnel of Team USA announced their roster for the Olympic games, choosing to omit Okposo from the competition, KO would come in and score the decisive goal in overtime against the defending Stanley Cup Champions at Nassau Coliseum
(Photo credit: bridgetds/Flickr).
It was Okposo's 16th goal of the year and 42nd point in what has currently been a 42-game season. Yet despite being a point-per-game player, (good enough to be the second highest USA scorer in the NHL behind Patrick Kane) he will not be flying to Sochi to compete in this year's Olympic games.
Okposo is a player with World Junior experience, as he competed for Team USA twice. He put up six points in six games back in 2007-2008 and had five points in nine games played as a member of Team USA's World Championship team in 2008-2009.
He also displayed that he has the ability to be a clutch performer. Looking back to last year's Islanders playoff run, Okposo scored four points in six games. Three were goals, one of which was a game winner. He also will be remembered for a beautiful breakaway goal that came shorthanded against Marc-Andre Fleury and his one-sided victory in a fight with defenseman Matt Niskanen.
The kid has everything that a competitive hockey club needs; grit, character, heart and the ability to score when needed. But apparently, he was not good enough for Team USA.
Other players, such as Blake Wheeler (who has 31 points in 43 games played) made the team over Okposo. In addition to Wheeler's less than stats, he also lacks the same amount of international experience as Okposo after only appearing in the World Championships back in 2011.
The blue line also contains a few curious cases, such as not choosing to pick Keith Yandle from the Phoenix Coyotes or Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The biggest surprise might be that Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan did not make the cut either, who has tremendous offensive skills and competed in the Olympics for Team USA in 2010.
However, of all the players presently mentioned, Okposo is the one forward who has been having a banner year and is currently riding a hot streak, having scored eight points in the last three games played in addition to a current 8-game point scoring streak as well.
Regardless of the omission, Islanders fans made it very clear last night that they believe Kyle Okposo should have been chosen to represent his country. Just give a listen to the crowd as last night's first star of the game was interviewed at the old barn.