Volume 95, Issue 14

Tuesday, September 25, 2001
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Marauders lay the s-mac-down

Soccer team kicks ass

Laziness breeds laziness

Laziness breeds laziness

Standing O
Ryan Dixon
Sports Editor

When there is a task at hand, often the worst thing you can do is take a break because you never want to get back to work – you just want another cold one.

Such is the dilemma facing the Detroit Red Wings and their new padded pride and joy – Dominik Hasek.

When the Wings acquired 'The Dominator' early this past summer, Detroit fans were red in the face with hearty boasting. Hasek, we were told, would bring redemption for the past three years, when Wings' fans were forced to watch their once mighty team look mighty old against Western Conference rivals in the playoffs.

Hasek they reasoned, would bring the cup back to Mo'town. But perhaps they shouldn't start planning the parade route just yet.

Hasek is an all-world talent capable of single-handedly making a team both a playoff and Stanley Cup contender. He did it for the Buffalo Sabres, guiding a team with a solid work ethic, but thin talent pool, all the way to the finals in 1999. But his role on the Red Wings is about to shift.

When Hasek was getting bombarded in Buffalo with constant shots, he thrived. The more the opposition turned up the heat, the more Hasek cooled their hopes with save after stunning save.

In the 1998 Olympics, he got pasted with more rubber than the Daytona Speedway, but each shot seemed to up the ante for Hasek, who responded with even more sensational stops. Now, in the Motor City, he'll have some time on his hands.

The Red Wings are a solid team with a deep blue-line corps that will shelter Hasek from the evils of NHL snipers. He won't see 30 shots a game – on a good night, he might see 15-20. While this may seem like a treat at first glance, it also means Hasek will have to adjust his game.

No longer will he be riding the adrenaline wave of facing shot after shot. Now, he'll have time to flag down the pizza vendor while Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull pelt the opposition's net minder. Believe it or not, this could be a real detriment to Hasek.

Hasek needs to learn the 'Dryden Drill,' which is a little known manual for goalies on exceptional teams. It's named after Ken Dryden, who manned the Montreal nets during their glorious cup teams of the late '70s.

For minutes on end Dryden stood, chin on the butt end of his stick, mind on his L-SATS, watching the Habs ruin their opponent. Inevitably though, there would be one moment in the course of the game when Dryden was needed and he was there to respond with the one big save the Canadiens required. Hasek better start studying the game film.

No one could ever question Hasek's ability to make a good team great – but can he make a great team into champions?

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Copyright The Gazette 2001