Since I am sick of writing posts on the various reasons that the Devils and/or one of their players make me want to hurl myself through a plate glass window out of frustration, I'm going to change gears a little bit this week. The Winter Olympics are in full swing and the Devils will have a few guys making the trip to participate in the hockey tournament. But watching some of the various other events in the Olympic Games got me thinking about how the Devils' players might fit in to the rest of the events in Sochi. Could Mark Fayne ski the moguls? How would Damien Brunner fare in
organized death cheating ski jumping? Would the aerodynamics of his nose be a detriment? Is there another sport for Cory Schneider to be summarily let down by his teammates? Feel free to add some of your own suggestions in the comments, but here's some of the non-hockey squad I'm taking to Sochi:
Figure Skating - Dainius Zubrus
A year ago, the answer here might have been different, but that would have just overshadowed the true beacon of grace on the Devils: Dainius Zubrus. Now you may think Zubie's general lumbering presence on the ice means he isn't cut out for this event but you would be wrong. To see his true talents look no further than this video:
Wow. No judge will be able to deny that level of magnificence. I'd like to see Michelle Kwan pull off that little sequence. Get that man some figure skates.
Luge/Skeleton - Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov
I picked these two for these events because I figured the combination of "making small adjustments" and "not really moving, otherwise" would best fit the two stay-at-home defenders' skill sets. Skeleton strikes me as a marginally more terrifying event as you rocket down the track face-first rather than feet-first, so I'd give Anton the nod there given his track-record of positioning his face in front of slap shots. Sal can take on the luge and have his stone feet drag him down the mountain to gold.
Snowboard Slopestyle - Marek Zidlicky
When watching this event the other day, I came to the conclusion that there are basically two outcomes in this event: A) do something really awesome or B) crash out and fail miserably. If that's not the perfect embodiment of Marek Zidlicky hockey, I don't know what is.
Speed Skating - No one
Lets not kid ourselves, here.
Curling - Ryane Clowe, Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, and Patrik Elias
I admittedly know very little about curling - only about as much as one can glean from reading a "What the heck is up with curling?" article every four years and half-watching a few games - but I swear there is a method to my madness here. I'm tabbing Elias as my 'skip'/chief strategist, due to his track record as a playmaker and the wisdom that comes from being kind of old. I like Clowe as a thrower, since he has shown some great passing ability in his time with the team and I feel like he could deliver a solid curling shot with his touch. I'm grabbing Travis and Rico as my sweepy-guys (official term) because of their reputation for strong work in both ends. Plus, Clowe, Henrique, and Zajac are all Canadian, which seems like a good starting point for assembling any curling squad.
Four-Man Bobsled - Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta, and Andy Greene
The CBGBs are renowned for the #energy they bring as a fourth line. They can disrupt things on the forecheck and are always giving max effort, but they often have a tough time actually focusing their constant motion into a productive output. That's why I'm tagging Andy Greene as the man steering the bobsled. Using the motors of the CBGB line as the pushers to get things going, we can then count on Greene to make sure things are heading in the right direction. Also, we all know that breaking up Carter, Gionta, and Bernier could have catastrophic chemistry-related implications which destabilize the Earth's core and kill us all. No thanks. Sending them together as part of a bobsled team avoids such risks.
Biathlon - Michael Ryder
As the only Devil who I'd consider a "sniper" by any measure, I think you have to slot Ryder into the event with the gun. Hard to imagine he's much of a cross-country skier, though. I might be reaching on this one.
Alpine Skiing - Jaromir Jagr
Despite his age, Jagr remains the Devil who seems strongest on his skates. He's owerful and controlled, but he just lacks the speed nowadays. Downhill skiing is a perfect fit for him, because you don't really have to worry about that pesky "propulsion" thing thing on skis, with gravity doing the work there. It's just about carving your way through turns and staying upright while you do it, two things Jagr can still handle. Plus, if a 55-year-old Mexican (sort of) prince can do it, 41 seems like a breeze.
Ice Dancing - Martin Brodeur and Lou Lamoriello
Since they're already dancing around the elephant in the room, we might as well throw a sheet of ice underneath them.
Healthy Scratch, Somehow - Jacob Josefson
Sorry, buddy. We'll get you a nice seat at the Opening Ceremonies.