Skip to content

Nash on Olympic ice: ‘It’s a totally different game’

Jan 20, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

Rick Nash Getty Images

According to the general consensus, the bigger international ice surface that will be used in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics will be an advantage for the European NHL players who grew up on it, and also those from the KHL who will make up a good portion of the host Russian team.

But it’s not like the Canadian and American squads have no experience on the bigger rink.

Take Rick Nash, who’s participated in multiple world championships and had a couple of stints in the Swiss league during NHL work stoppages. He knows exactly what it’s like.

“It’s a totally different game,” he says, per the Globe and Mail. “You have an extra half second. There’s more feet from the dots to the boards. You have different angles all over the ice. It’s just a different game. You can’t establish a fore-check as much as you want to on the NHL size. You can’t make as big hits.

“You get that extra second and sometimes you don’t know what to do with it. The guy’s not there yet and you’re already making your next play like you have to in the NHL, but there’s that extra half second. On the Olympic ice it’s easy to get caught on the outside. There’s so much room between the dots.”

For the two North American squads, the adjustment will have to be a quick one if they want to avoid a repeat of 2006 in Turin and 1998 in Nagano, where neither finished in the medals. That said, there are worse things for players like Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane than having more time and space to make plays.

Nash, by the way, has seven goals in his last eight games for the Rangers.

Related: Hitch says ‘it’s going to be different’ with larger ice surface in Sochi

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Oilers awarded a penalty shot in overtime

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:50 PM EST

    Jordan Eberle Getty Images

    Shea Weber covered the puck in the crease.

  2. Hextall: ‘My biggest concern is consistency’

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:35 PM EST

    2013 NHL Draft Getty Images

    Flyers play host to the Rangers Friday afternoon.

  3. Report: Kontiola joins KHL club Lokomotiv

    Nov 27, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Petri Kontiola Getty Images

    Struggled in the American Hockey League this season.

  4. Sens confirm Alfredsson to be honored Dec. 4

    Nov 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EST

    Daniel Alfredsson AP

    Expected to formally announce his retirement next Thursday morning.

  5. Coyotes ‘hope we can make a deal’ with trade target Vermette

    Nov 27, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

    Antoine Vermette

    Talented center would be a prized pickup at the deadline.

  6. Remparts sold to Quebecor, will move to new Quebec City arena

    Nov 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Quebec Remparts v Drummondville Voltigeurs Getty Images

    Patrick Roy doesn’t own part of a junior team anymore.

  7. Lowry suspended one game for boarding Kaleta

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:41 PM EST

    Lowry-Kaleta

    Incident occurred during Wednesday’s Jets-Sabres game.

  8. Canucks’ Kassian out a ‘few weeks’ with finger injury

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:27 PM EST

    zackkassiangetty Getty Images

    Linden Vey gets back into the lineup for tomorrow’s game in Columbus.

  9. Garbutt suspended two games for ‘reckless’ knee-on-knee hit

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:12 PM EST

    GarbuttHallKnee

    Dallas forward has history as a repeat offender.

  10. Not so big and bad anymore, the Bruins would like to add some ‘heaviness’

    Nov 27, 2014, 2:03 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two Getty Images

    That’s a picture of Shawn Thornton, who doesn’t play for them anymore.

  11. After ‘disappointing’ road trip, is DeBoer on the hot seat?

    Nov 27, 2014, 1:16 PM EST

    Peter DeBoer AP

    Devils currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.

  12. Flyers waive Akeson

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Played in 14 games over parts of the last three seasons.

  13. Report: Justin Schultz to be healthy scratch versus Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EST

    Justin Schultz AP

    Following Tuesday’s “mind-numbing” change in Dallas.

  14. After 21-game absence, Fisher (ruptured Achilles) back for Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Mike Fisher Getty Images

    Big boost for Nashville, who hosts Edmonton tonight.

  15. With Luongo hurt, Panthers recall Ellis

    Nov 27, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    Roberto Luongo Roberto Luongo

    Florida’s No. 1 left Wednesday’s game early.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2764)
  2. V. Hedman (2704)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2632)
  4. P. Sharp (2400)
  5. D. Krejci (2237)
  1. Z. Chara (1925)
  2. B. Marchand (1878)
  3. B. Elliott (1813)
  4. B. Dubinsky (1813)
  5. S. Varlamov (1759)