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Olympic sights we don't want to see

Wednesday, 02.10.2010 / 9:57 AM ET / Features
By Paul Kukla
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Olympic sights we don\'t want to see
Team USA playing Team Sweden. The U.S. defender sees an opportunity to make a big hit on the Swedish forward, he charges hard and just as he is about to make a big, open ice hit, Brian Rafalski pulls up before he catches Henrik Zetterberg with his head down.

Whew or boo? Two teammates playing against each other on the world's stage. It doesn't get any bigger than this, but I am glad the hit wasn't made.

You too? We could repeat the same scenario with different players.

The last thing we as hockey fans want to see is an injury to any player during the Olympics. And we don't even want to think about a player injuring an NHL teammate who is now on an opposing team while the games are being played with a gold medal on the line.

But it could happen and I could not even imagine what the ramifications would be. So let's just hope this worrisome possibility is avoided and all the players involved make it through the Olympics free of injury, thus remaining healthy for the stretch run of the NHL regular season.

THIS IS NO BREAK: After the final horn sounds on Sunday, Feb. 14, the NHL will basically shuts down for two weeks until NHL games start again on March 1. But that doesn't mean our hockey thoughts will stop.

We will start planning trades that need to be made, we will be breaking down the remaining NHL schedule, trying to decipher how many points our team needs to make the playoffs.

Thoughts will turn to the players involved in the Olympics. Will they be able to return to their NHL teams with a full tank and we also hope the players who had some much needed R&R can carry the team into the second season.

Most of us will be glued to the TV watching the Olympic hockey action, but in the back of our minds, we will be thinking about the 20 or so games remaining, 20 games that can make or break the season.

We will have time to have our dream run wild, can we make the playoffs or we will be watching from the outside. We will soon have those answers, but our attention will turn to Vancouver.

I don't care if it is Belarus playing Latvia, I will be watching every hockey game during the Olympics. You never know when you will see an outstanding play or your mind may wander and you will question why your NHL team doesn't go after an unnamed player that catches your eye during these games.

Then, when the tournament moves into the medal-round games, our national pride will take hold. Our pride will come through loud and clear and it will be a great scene in Vancouver with all the flag waving, painted faces and chants in a language we may not understand.

But there is one thing all nations understand, only one team can win the gold and that country will be the toast of the hockey world. Who will it be? We are about to find out and the build-up is about to begin.

Enjoy this Olympic event and who knows, it may be the last one we witness that involves NHL players.

One more thing before I leave you, Ryan Miller get some rest. The weight of a country is about to be placed on your shoulders.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter.




1 MTL 25 18 4 3 87 55 39
2 WSH 23 17 5 1 74 51 35
3 NYR 24 16 6 2 69 49 34
4 OTT 23 12 6 5 73 65 29
5 PIT 23 13 8 2 51 53 28
6 NYI 24 12 8 4 67 57 28
7 DET 24 12 8 4 56 60 28
8 BOS 22 13 8 1 72 64 27
9 NJD 23 12 9 2 54 55 26
10 TBL 25 11 11 3 58 56 25
11 FLA 23 10 9 4 58 58 24
12 PHI 24 9 10 5 44 64 23
13 BUF 24 10 12 2 53 61 22
14 CAR 23 8 11 4 47 65 20
15 CBJ 25 10 15 0 60 76 20
16 TOR 23 7 11 5 51 62 19


H. Zetterberg 24 4 16 1 20
D. Larkin 24 10 8 14 18
T. Tatar 24 8 9 0 17
G. Nyquist 24 8 6 -1 14
J. Abdelkader 24 5 7 -3 12
T. Pulkkinen 22 6 5 2 11
N. Kronwall 24 1 7 -9 8
M. Green 18 1 7 -6 8
R. Sheahan 24 3 3 -5 6
J. Kindl 18 2 3 3 5
P. Mrazek 6 4 3 .932 2.19
J. Howard 6 4 1 .914 2.40 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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