Hockey at the Olympics: Good or Bad for NHL Play?
The Boston Bruins hold a five-player attendance at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and we know that every hockey player on the planet reveres the chance to play in the winter games. NHL players, in particular, love the opportunity to represent their country in the world’s most coveted sporting event.
However, for players looking to stay fresh for league competition, the Olympics can be a breeding ground for risky occurrences, jeopardizing their season as professionals. Injury, of course, is the main issue when an athlete competes for his or her international squad. For instance, Henrik Zetterberg, a veteran essential to the Detroit Red Wings, succumbed to a herniated disk following Sweden’s game against the Czech Republic. He had been dealing with this injury all season long, but if his time at Sochi aggravates his disk to a hazardous point, then the Red Wings could find their playoff hopes vanish.
You have to realize that the Bruins players at Sochi are vital to squad’s triumphs. David Krejci leads the team with 50 points; skillful players Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron are team leaders and serve as the foundation for Bruins’ comeback victories. Loui Eriksson could be a invaluable player down the stretch, while Tuukka Rask is probably one of the best goalies in the NHL with a 0.928 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average.
Bruins’ fan would hate to see any of these players hurt for days, weeks, or possibly months. The Olympics could see at least one of them out for a substantial amount of time.
Dangers aside, the Bruins players in Sochi should benefit considerably from their time at the Olympics. They are forced to skate with a random group of players, many of whom have played against Boston in NHL competition. Olympians are able to gauge players’ tendencies on a more intimate level than they could during their professional season.
This two-week break from a long, tiresome regular season also renews the competitive determination to come back and fight for the Stanley Cup. Think of the Olympics as a very exciting recess from a day-to-day job. This rest could allow floundering American players to find a rhythm in Sochi and never look back. Eriksson, who has struggled for the Bruins this season, could prove this point on the condition that he operates well for Sweden in the ensuing matches. On the contrary, Bergeron’s consistency should continue, since his country’s supporting cast–namely Canada’s skilled forwards –should strengthen his ability on the ice. Bergy has successfully harnessed his own prowess so far.
As a whole, the Winter Olympics provide a beneficial, unique hockey experience that can favorably offset the NHL cadence.