Nov 21, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
The Olympic hockey tournament is now the 2nd best hockey tournament in the world coming a close second to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Let me say I can only try to understand how cool it would be to wear your countries jersey and represent it on the biggest stage on earth. That being said no matter if the USA wins the gold medal or not my day won’t be ruined, but my biggest rooting interest is in seeing the Blackhawks win Back t0 Back Stanley Cups for the first time in franchise history and the first time in the NHL since the late 90’s.
There are three Blackhawks I feel that really could use the Olympic break for the Stanley Cup run, if you look at the numbers it’s quite staggering how much hockey the Blackhawks players have logged on the ice since the lockout ended in early January 2013. The Hawks played the compact 48 game schedule, followed by a super exciting 23 game playoff run to the Stanley Cup and at the Olympic break will have played 60 games of the 82 game season.
If you have watched the Hawks lately they look like they are slightly out of synch and focus causing the much overpublizied mini-slump even though they have only lost 3 games in regulation out of 19 appearances. The dog days have arrived and here are three veterans that could use a 3 week break for the next Cup run in April.
3. Michal Rozsival was instrumental in the Hawks run to the 2013 Stanley Cup, and he re-signed for one reason with Chicago and that was another crack at the Stanley Cup. He was named to the Czech Republic national team and will be heading to Sochi. The Hawks have basically carried 8 defenseman to save Rozsival for the playoffs, Rozsival has only played in 28 out of 53 games picking up 1 goal and 4 assists while being spelled in games by Sheldon Brookbank and Michael Kostka.
Rozsival had 4 assists last summer, but his consistency during the playoffs gave Stan Bowman enough reasons to bring him back for this year and the reason Coach Q has managed his time after playing in 811 career NHL games. It almost seems counter productive that the team has been so thorough managing his time and then he doesn’t take full advantage of a 3 week vacation so that the tank would be full for April/May/June.