The Free Press’s Jeff Seidel spoke with Team USA assistant coach and Red Wings ambassador Chris Chelios regarding his Olympic charges, and Chelios suggests that the American Olympic hockey team will be underestimated at its opponents’ peril:
“I think we have a great group of guys,” he said. “We just need to win that game that counts and keep going. I wish there were more spots. The hardest part is telling a guy they are one play short of making it. Or one injury from making it. That’s the nature of the beast, the downside of all sports. There’s not enough seats.”
How will this group of unproven players do?
Chelios has no doubt.
“I always go into tournaments, I go into every playoff, I go into every game thinking we could win,” he said. “That’s my mentality and that has to be the mentality of this team, if we are going to have any success. The U.S., 20 years ago, realistically was an underdog. Now, everybody is going to be in the same boat. All of the NHL players are not going to be there. This is something where no one knows what to expect. You can predict stuff. You can call favorites, but that’s why there are upsets. I wouldn’t say we are an underdog. I’d say we are flying under the radar, us and Canada especially because of the advantage the Europeans have. A lot of them are over there playing and a lot of teams are playing together. I think anything is possible.”