PLAYER JOURNAL: CRAIG CONROY
Craig Conroy Journal Entry Three | Read Entry Two | Read Entry One
Dec. 19, 2005
Playing for Team USA would be a dream come true and to be considered for a spot on the team is great.
I remember 1980 like it was yesterday. I lived only about an hour and a half away from Lake Placid. I remember people looking for places to stay in our town because Lake Placid was so small.
I've got people that I've known forever that were at the game and it's fun to watch the old tapes because I can see one of my friends right behind the bench celebrating after Team USA beat the Russians.
It was one of those things where the game just captivated the whole country. I was a hockey player at the time, and of course it turned into a rallying cry for us. If they can do it, anybody can do it. You never know in sports. Anybody can win and that's what makes it great.
You want to win the gold medal for your country. You're not playing for money or anything but the chance to bring a gold medal home. I think that's what makes it so competitive. And you know you're playing against the best from every other country in the World. If you can win the Olympics, you're the best team. That's what it's all about.
I used to think amateurs should play in the Olympics, but having your countries' best players meet the best players from other countries, I think that's the way to go. Bragging rights are on the line as well. Nobody wants to lose and you know that there'll be lots of cases were teammates in the NHL play against each other in the Olympics.
As far as who's the favorite going into the tournament? I think if you're realistic, you've got to look at Team Canada. They won the World Cup and they won the last Olympics. They have so many weapons.
Kiprusoff is playing so well that Finland has to be in there. Of course, you want to say the U.S. is always going to be in the mix. You've got Russia and Slovakia?¢?Ç¨¬¶It will be a tough call.
I wouldn't want to be the odds maker on these games. In the end, I think it's whoever gets hot and whoever has goaltending. Every country has so many great players and it's such a quick tournament. There just aren't any easy games. It's going to be fun to see how it all plays out.