Skip to content

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

Jan 20, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT

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: Filppula, Stamkos score two big goals for Bolts

    May 24, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    filppulagetty Getty Images

    The Lightning are 7-0 when scoring the first goal in the playoffs.

  2. Blackhawks’ Bickell says wear-and-tear goes both ways

    May 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Getty Images

    Blocking shots can be a grind, too, after all.

  3. Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’

    May 24, 2015, 7:37 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St Louis Blues Getty Images

    No clarification on what would qualify as “dramatic.”

  4. Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’

    May 24, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    cody franson

    Things weren’t a “perfect fit” for the blue liner in Nashville.

  5. Report: Oilers’ Nelson given permission to explore other opportunities

    May 24, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Todd Nelson Todd Nelson

    He coached Edmonton to a 17-25-9 record after Dallas Eakins was fired in December.

  6. Report: Dubnyk, Wild to begin contract talks this week

    May 24, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

  7. Bolts’ Carle available for Game 5

    May 24, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    He missed Game 4 due to an undisclosed injury.

  8. Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

    May 24, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

    Dan Bylsma Dan Bylsma

    He has not coached since being fired by the Penguins last June.

  9. Pens looking to acquire a first round pick

    May 24, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

    GM Jim Rutherford has already begun talking with teams, which have multiple selections in the Top 30.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. F. Andersen (1506)
  2. S. Crosby (1382)
  3. M. Carle (1351)
  4. N. Horton (1348)
  5. K. Versteeg (1287)