Trio of Blackhawks assemble at Team Canada's practice

Trio of Blackhawks assemble at Team Canada's practice
August 26, 2013, 6:45 pm
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By Charlie Roumeliotis contributor 

High insurance costs prevented Team Canada from practicing on the ice Monday afternoon, but head coach Mike Babcock took a unique approach by holding a "ball hockey" practice on a floor hockey surface.

"He [Babcock] is a unique individual," said Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. "Certain guys have that about them. You look down over the years at certain players and the history of hockey, he's probably one of those guys where he's got that certain thing about him.

"He wins. His demeanor and his presence, and the way he goes about himself being a professional rubs off on other guys too."

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Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews also recognized the attention to detail in Babcock's coaching style and noted the importance for each player to get on the same page before the Olympics begin.

"He's very detailed and very specific," said Toews. "He requires attention from all of his players and you saw it right away that guys are paying attention to those little details because it does matter. We know that this is the reason that we're here. When we get to Sochi, there's no time for any adjustment. Guys have to be ready to play as a team and play the right way so everyone's trying to focus on that right now."

Toews mentioned the pride which comes with representing your country and reminisced from his experience in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics when Team Canada captured the gold medal.

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"There's a huge sense of pride when you get to play for Canada so I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver," he said. "I think that was the highest point of my career on the international level and there's no reason I don't feel the same motivation to get back there and play well enough to earn a spot on the team again this year."

In other news, Brent Seabrook, who's also vying for a spot on Team Canada's roster, praised Patrick Kane's maturation process over the past year while silencing many critics along the way.

"I think he's matured as a person as well as a player," Seabrook said. "I think he's a great guy. I've never had any problems with Kaner. He was young and made some mistakes and I think he's learned from that, but he's a great guy and a great teammate and we like having him on our team."