Photo: Streeter Lecka

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored the United States’ first goal of the Olympic tournament Thursday. Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma had a lot of great things to say about him.

“I thought to get our feet underneath us, especially those young guys on defense, I thought they played large,” Blysma said to NBC. “We have Paul Martin and [Ryan] Suter back there, but Cam Fowler and John Carlson in particular, and Ryan McDonagh, played well on the back side.”

He also said it was “fitting” that Carlson scored the first goal.

But boy can things change in a hurry.

Playing Team Russia on Saturday, Carlson was on the ice for Russia’s first goal of the game, a beautiful split-the-defense breakaway goal by Pavel Datsyuk.


GIF by deipfei

Carlson was essentially benched afterwards, receiving just a handful of few shifts after that. In total he received 3:56 of ice time for the game: 1:46 in the first period, 1:54 in the second, and 16 seconds in the third.

The United States’ dress seven defensemen during games. While Carlson is one of the bottom-pairing guys, in the United States’ 7-1 victory over Slovakia Thursday he received 13:17 of ice time. Saturday was a ten-minute deduction.

On Sunday, the United States will take on Slovenia in their final game in the preliminary round. We will see how much Carlson actually plays and whether or not he is a big part of Team USA’s plans moving forward.

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  • Josh Carey

    Did Carlson do something in the first that was bad? Cause 1:46 TOI for the first period is ridiculous. Especially after how well he played against Slovakia.

  • Jack Conness

    Ouch. That probably is a tough pill to swallow but he is up against some other stud defensemen on the team. I love Carlson but I am not surprised by the few minutes he played. I think the 13 minutes he received was more of an outlier. Regardless, best of luck to him the rest of the Olympics!

  • jussssin

    Brooks Orpik had nothing to do with it though duhhhhhhhhhh

  • Freedoooom

    Orpiks fault.

  • Soshie

    It was actually Carlson’s fault. He was way too wide. Orpik was between the dots, and Datsyuk went in on Carlson’s side. Take off your Pens boner for a second.

  • jussssin

    I was criticizing Orpik brothaaaaaa pens boner dont make sense. unless you think i get off by bein a dick in which case you ARE RIGHT. i was lying before!!!! it does make perfect sense bro!!!!

    Carlzner woulda played it better than Carlpik thats all im sayinnnnn. I think Carlson expected Brooks to cover more of the middle. and not get destroyed by the magic man streaking down the middle. But thats just one penboners perspective.

  • OlietheGoalie

    We have them where we want them!

  • factoryofsadness

    is this even newsworthy? honestly, with the pens coach running things, should this really surprise anyone that 1 mistake means the caps player is out… cmon rmnb, there are better things to cover than this. Blinding flash of the obvious.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    To be fair. Slovakia has looked awfully beatable. I mean.. Slovenia beat them.

  • easyas2plus2

    Datsyuk abuses everyone. Why should JC be any different.

  • RT23

    Since he got less than 2 min in the 1st I’m not sure you can say he was benched because if that play. Seems like they never planned to use him much today. I did think multiple players were at fault and obviously it was a great pass and acceleration by Datsyuk.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Are you blind? Datsyuk went straight past Orpik on the left and then through the middle where Carlson probably should have been. They are both at fault.

  • Shaun

    Definitely Orpiks fault… but Coach doesn’t dare penalize his home team
    boy… why not blame it on hated rival teams player instead… Orpik blows and is slow he should not even be on this team…