Continued from page 1

While the Americans have sky-high internal expectations for Sochi, they won’t be under the microscope faced by Russia and Canada. The U.S. team is free to grow through the three group-stage games before the elimination portion of the tournament, where the Americans are confident they can be trouble.

“There’s so many teams that play the international style well, and we have to try to match it with the things we do the best,” forward Paul Stastny said. “You’ve just got to be ready to peak at that quarterfinal stage, and then anything can happen.”