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10-04-2003, 09:25 PM
Burke's Evil Spirit
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Location: Montreal
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Originally Posted by BruinsGirl
IMHO bigger surface require higher level of skills not lower. Thats why Russian and European draftees are often better stickhandlers , creative players etc.
As opposed to larger surface smaller one allows less skilled and slow players with size be effective.
Better stickhandling has more to do with the fact that they play pond hockey a hell of a lot more in Europe than they do in NA (years of playing on bumpy ice = kickass stickhandling).

More creative? Since when are European players more creative? This is just that wrongheaded "Canadians are gritty/Euros have skill" notion than manifests itself every now and then.

I also don't see how you equate being less skilled with being slow. Yes, there's no denying a smaller ice surface is a benefit for slower players - but they're far from crap! Case in point: Mario Lemieux.

Anyways, all that aside, the last two Olympic gold medallists were the Czech Republic, who won it relying on the trap with Jiri Slegr as their #1 defenceman, and Canada, who won by physically dominating most opponents with large, mean players (Nolan, Lindros, Smyth, that blueline!).

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