It is hockey's most elemental truism: In a short series like the playoffs or the Olympics, it's all about goaltending, just like it's all about quarterbacking in the National Football League.

Which is why U.S. men's hockey coach Dan Bylsma needs to make the right decision and turn to veteran and former Olympic hero Ryan Miller, and not Jonathan Quick, as his primary goaltender in these Olympics.

Now, both figure to play in the preliminary round, which begins for the U.S. Thursday when it plays Slovakia. But when the tournament reaches critical mass later next week, Bylsma needs to turn to Miller, who will attempt to reprise his role from the silver-medal run in Vancouver.

"Do you think your performance in Vancouver will carry some currency in terms of your playing time here?'' Miller was asked Monday after a brief practice designed to ease the team's jet-lag issues.

"You know, I'm not sure,'' Miller said. "You'll have to talk to the coaching staff. I tried to play my way on (to the Olympic team) and I feel like I definitely had a good start to the season and continue to show I can play at a high level.''