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Rossi: USA’s Orpik still haunted by 2010 Olympic loss to Canada.

Brooks Orpik spent his Wednesday afternoon celebrating the New Year with a nice dinner and a viewing of the Rose Bowl game. This happened a few hours after a badly kept secret became official. Orpik is again an Olympian, joining Penguins teammate Paul Martin as a member of Team USA for the upcoming Sochi Games.

This is not the spot for roster analysis. Instead, let the offer be this Q&A with Orpik regarding the Olympics:

 

Q: Will having gone through this all for the 2010 Olympics make life easier on you a second time around?

 The time change in Russia is a lot different. I’m sure the food will be different. There will be some things to adjust to. But, yeah, experience is always helpful when you’re doing something like this. It’s always better if something isn’t brand new to you.

 

Q: You and Martin have played as a defense pairing for the Penguins the last two years. Do you think that factored into Team USA’s decision?

Well, I’d only be speculating. If you look at the roster – though we’re the only ones like this on defense ­– there are a lot of other guys that have played with one another and are or were teammates. That’s a huge advantage, I think.

We had one practice before our first game in Vancouver (2010 Games). There wasn’t a lot of familiarity. My familiarity with Paul and other guys’ familiarity with one another will be critical because this isn’t an 82-game season; you really can’t afford to lose one game in this tournament. You have to come together quick and there isn’t a lot of time.

So, yeah, I do think familiarity probably played a factor for Paul and me, but I’m only guessing on that.

 

Q: An Olympic gold medal is about the only thing you have not won. How important is that to you?

You know what it is? It is how we lost last time (3-2, in overtime of the gold-medal game to Canada). The silver medal seemed like a disappointment because we feel like we gave it to them, like we lost it more than anything else. So that is something you think about a lot.

 

>> Orpik, Martin and their Olympic opportunity: http://triblive.com/sports/nhl/5340438-74/martin-penguins-orpik#axzz2pAdwb7CA

 

>> A woman with local ties is going back to the Olympics: http://triblive.com/sports/olympics/moreolympics/5345095-74/games-mclaughlin-winter#axzz2pAdwb7CA

 

>> The Team USA men: http://olympics.usahockey.com/page/show/1067902-roster

>> And the women: http://olympics.usahockey.com/page/show/862508-2014-u-s-olympic-women-s-ice-hockey-team-roster

 

>> A couple of thorough inside look at the selection process.

Scott Burnside of ESPN: http://espn.go.com/olympics/hockey/story/_/id/10195703/how-us-hockey-team-bound-sochi-olympics-was-named

Kevin Allen of USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/2014/01/01/how-olympic-hockey-team-was-picked/4279829/

 

Be EXCELLENT to each other,

Rossi

 

 

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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