Before Saturday’s game, I visited Kettler Capitals Iceplex and asked players for their Olympic picks. With the Caps sending five players to Sochi (Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Martin Erat, and John Carlson), I wondered where Washington’s non-Olympians would place their allegiances.
I figured that since the RMNB staff was able to put its own biases aside when we made our predictions, maybe the players would do the same and maybe even offer some hardcore, dispassionate hockey analysis.
Nope. Not even a little.
A few observations.
- Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer are Statler and Waldorf. When their playing days are over, they should just travel around in a Volkswagon and do a two-man comedy show.
- “We haven’t had big fights [about the Olympics], but little fights,” said Jay Beagle, which makes me wish I would have actually asked a follow-up question or two after that response.
- Despite RMNB’s history interviewing Dmitry Orlov, he was still pretty reluctant to speak English on camera. Eventually he relented. He’s really working hard at his English. Three or four years ago, he didn’t know a lick.
- Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think the best part of this video isn’t the predictions, but the insight into the guys’ personalities.
- They don’t actually name an Olympic MVP, but Joel Ward was the first guy I interviewed, and when he blurted out who’d be his MVP pick, I thought I’d ask everybody. Good stuff.
- “Switzerland could be a surprise,” said Laich, which I see as another sign of his love towards his old lockout host.
- Braden Holtby picking Sidney Crosby for MVP is the moment the Caps/Pens rivalry officially died.
- Tom Wilson‘s hair looked like this after practice. The backwards hat did him a world of good. He grew five inches since I last saw him.
Every player picked his home country. Three Caps thought Martin St. Louis will be the tournament’s best player.
This was a nice Saturday, and I appreciate the players having fun with it. What do you think of their guesses? Should we do this more? Let us know.
GIF by Ian Oland