Monday, February 13, 2006

23 minute drill

It was more of a greeter than a sweater, as Pat Quinn put his Olympic charges through their early paces in their final tune up on Canadian soil.

Quinn ran a practice that lasted only 23 minutes and consisted of a few drills and some hard skating. Other than that, the players picked up their equipment, collected their clothes and headed for the airport.

Associate coach Ken Hitchcock suggested that rest is probably more of a key ingredient for the team at the moment, than any onerous amount of time spent on drills on the ice.

With practice time at a premium in Italy and the competition underway on Wednesday, the Canadian team will be learning their Olympic systems and responsibilities on the fly. Canada plays its first five games in the first seven games of the tournament.

Fortunately for the Canadians, the first few games should give them a cushion to get their game up to a high level. Canada faces Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Finland and the Czech Republic as they head towards what they hope is their golden destiny.

It will be the final three games of the tournament that Canadians will be keying in on, the round robin portion more of a lab experiment to see how the various pieces of the puzzle have come together.

If Quinn has it figured out right, they should all gel nicely in time for the Gold medal game on day twelve of the Olympic tournament.

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