Michal Rozsival was perhaps fighting the jet lag, readjusting to the Central Time Zone after his Olympic trip to Russia. Either way he wasn’t sleeping, so he joined the non-Olympic playing Chicago Blackhawks at Monday’s practice.
We’re guessing he sleeps well Monday night.
Rozsival talked his itch to get back on the ice here, his first Olympics and Team USA’s disappointing end after the Blackhawks’ practice on Monday afternoon. For Rozsival, whose Czech Republic team didn’t go as far as it would’ve liked, the Olympics were nevertheless a thrilling, safe and enjoyable experience.
“Everything was well organized in Russia, everything was good. Accommodations, transportation, everything was nice and brand new. Just to be part of something like that, obviously for the first time, I really enjoyed it,” said Rozsival, who — like the rest of us — read pre-Olympic stories of unfinished buildings and lackluster accommodations. “After all the bad things said about Russia not being ready…everyone was pretty happy with what we had. We had everything we needed. I can’t say a bad thing about Russia not being ready, as far as us.”
Rozsival got back on Friday and was at Sunday’s practice, but as an onlooker instead of a participant. The veteran defenseman said he’s had trouble sleeping since he’s returned — "I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m. the last couple of days" — so he decided to get a good, exhaustion-inducing practice in on Monday. He probably got it: coach Joel Quenneville skated players hard on their second consecutive practice day, and Rozsival was one of the first off the ice when practice ended.
Quenneville said he gave Rozsival the option to come back Wednesday if he wanted.
“He probably felt that, ‘Let’s get back out there,’” Quenneville said. “And at the end of practice he (probably) wished, ‘Maybe not.’”
Rozsival said he was happy he participated.
“It was a tough practice, for sure,” he said. “I saw them skating (Sunday) and it looked tough, so I knew what I was getting into. I don’t regret it at all. I just needed to get out there and get my legs going again. Hopefully it’ll help me get a better night’s sleep.”
Rozsival will be joined by his fellow Olympians soon enough, including Team USA’s Patrick Kane. The U.S. squad eliminated the Czech Republic, and Rozsival said he thought, “(it) would be the team to beat.” But the U.S. team didn't score another goal after that game, getting blanked by Team Canada and Finland en route to no medal.
“It had been scoring, playing really well. It looked like the loss to Canada took a lot out of them. They didn’t play the same game anymore as they did earlier in the tournament. But that’s the nature of the game,” Rozsival said. “Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. (Team USA) was good at the beginning but it couldn’t sustain that play the whole tournament.”