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SOCHI, Russia – When the Canadian management team, headed by executive director Steve Yzerman, gathered in recent months to evaluate the crop of players that would be selected to play for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics two central attributes emerged above all else. Wholesale NFL Jerseys 2020 . There was the requisite hockey sense demanded from the countrys very best and of equal importance, if not more so, was the ability to burn up and down the ice, the latter of significant consequence on the generally unfamiliar international ice surface. "I think we have a really good mix of players here that bring a lot of elements," said Doug Armstrong, the Blues GM and a member of Team Canadas management team, "but the one element they all have is skating ability." Its likely why someone like 34-year-old Joe Thornton – a member of the gold medal winning squad in 2010 and top point producer again this season, but certainly not the fleetest of foot – was not named to the team this time around, replaced by explosive types such as Matt Duchene and Jamie Benn. In fact, the Canadian roster in Vancouver featured a number of players who were probably never be described as quick – Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow, Dany Heatley, Eric Staal – but could get around just fine, at that point in their respective careers, on the NHL-sized ice. "I think you see some players that can play on the North American ice [that are] not quite as fleet of foot, but the space they have to get to they can get to quicker and hold it longer. From the corners to the front of the net the distance isnt as great. I think its a different style," Armstrong said. "A bigger man can have success maybe in the North American game thats a little harder to have here." Absent is a single player on this roster who cant get up and down the ice effectively. Quickly adjusting to the larger international ice surface – 15 additional feet wide – will be among the greater challenges facing the Canadians as they look to become the first back-to-back gold medal winning squad in the NHL era of the Olympics. All of which explains why swiftness on skates – not to mention the ability to move the puck with equal speed and precision – was such a fundamental asset in the selection process. Canada managed to win its first gold in 50 years on the Olympic size ice in Salt Lake City, but fell badly short four years later in Torino – they finished a distant seventh. Though other gold medal hopefuls face a similar challenge – with the vast majority of talent migrating to Russia from the NHL – the Canadians (and Americans certainly) will be required to climb a somewhat higher hill, having only played on the 200 by 100 foot surface sparingly. "Theres no question," said head coach Mike Babcock, "when youve grown up your whole life playing on one surface youre probably pretty comfortable with that surface. I know we are in North America. So theres a little adjustment, well get it worked out." One adjustment Babcock will seek is shorter shift lengths: from the NHL standard of 45 seconds down to 40 seconds with more space to cover and ground potentially to protect. He and the coaching staff, which includes big ice expert and former Swiss National Team coach Ralph Krueger, will also stress the need to attack inside on the offensive end, rather than linger on the perimeter as an opponent would prefer. "As much wider [as] the rink is you still want to play an up and down, north and south game and I think its the strength of our team to be able to play at a high speed, high tempo, all four lines," said John Tavares, who played on the bigger ice in Switzerland during the last lockout. "I think thats where were going to be at our best." Other immediate challenges facing Canada (and just about every country) include the required role alterations demanded of NHL stars and energy-sapping jet lag, an adjustment most countries will face in some way or another. "We can talk about the size of the ice surface," said Yzerman, "but I think its adjusting to playing a lesser role. Youve got forwards that are used to playing 21-22 minutes a game that are going to play 10 and 11 and defencemen that are used to playing 27 playing 18. Thats a huge adjustment for them all." Stars and scoring champs are fighting for even the slightest bit of ice-time. Martin St. Louis was the oldest Art Ross winner in NHL history last season (he was 37) and has kept the Lightning afloat save the injured Steven Stamkos again this season, but he finds himself grinding amongst 14 forwards for an opportunity. He and Duchene, a fellow first-timer were on the outside of the forward lines on the opening day of practice at Bolshoy Ice Dome. "When I talked to St. Louis in Tampa I told him he was one of 14 forwards and that he has to grab his piece," said Babcock. "Thats what weve told everyone; theyve got to find a way to grab their piece." Babcock was flipping through lineups and line combinations from the triumphant experience in Vancouver alongside assistant coach Claude Julien and came to a very simple conclusion: things can change in a hurry. Mike Richards for instance, rose from the 14th forward to a key member of an effective trio which included Jonathan Toews and Rick Nash. "Its a competitive environment and we expect our guys to compete for their ice-time," Babcock said. The Canadian head coach got creative in his attempts to quell the effects of jet lag. Players were given a special package for the plane ride over to Sochi, a kit that included eye covers, ear plugs, melatonin, vitamins, and compression socks to reduce the possibility of swelling in the feet. They were also told to sleep no longer than four hours (some did anyway) and stay up until midnight if possible. All to curtail the effects of the drastic change in time zones. "Keep the players up," Babcock said of his goals for a practice that begin at 8pm local time. "We thought if we got some exercise at this time of night we had a better chance of staying up til midnight." Stitched NFL Jerseys .m. ET, CBSOPENING LINE — Packers by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 7-4, Green Bay 5-5-1SERIES RECORD — Tied 5-5. Discount NFL Jerseys 2020 . Nick Young scored 17 points for Los Angeles, which lost five of its last seven before trouncing the Pelicans, who beat them handily last week in New Orleans. Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry scored 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who led by 20 points in the first half before coasting to their 12th win in their last 13 regular-season meetings with New Orleans. https://www.nfljerseys2020.com/ . Winnipeg trailed by five points in the final minute when quarterback Drew Willy completed a 13-play, 75-yard drive with Feoli-Gudinos 18-yard touchdown catch on third down to lift the Bombers to a 34-33 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night.DAVIE, Fla. -- Knowshon Moreno was activated Wednesday. But active? Not so much. The Miami Dolphins running back came off the physically unable to perform list and joined practice, a big step in his recovery from a knee injury that forced him to miss the first 12 days of training camp. But he spent most of the workout watching, sat out 11-on-11 drills and is certain to miss the first exhibition game Friday at Atlanta. "Today was testing the knee out and seeing how it feels," Moreno said. "I feel good. What I did today I felt pretty good doing. Now the next couple of days Ill just progress and do more and more each day. The main thing is to be ready for the season." Moreno signed a $3.275 million, one-year contract in March after five seasons with the Denver Broncos. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in June and said his rehabilitation went as expected. "Every day I did more and more in the training room," he said. "Now its time to do a little bit more on the field." Moreno lingered with an assistant coach after practice and was one of the last players off the field. "Its good to see the guys we expect to be playmakers this year come off the sideline and start getting some work," guard Daryn Colledge said. Lamar Miller led the Dolphins in rushing last season and has looked good in training camp, meaning Moreno will have to play catch-up in competition for the starting job. Because hes an excellent blocker and receiver, Moreno might be best-suited for the role of third-down back. But he also could help upgrade a ground game that ranked 26th in the NFL last year. "I cant really think about the depth chart," Moreno said. "Im going to do every play, every practice, every game 100 per cent. Whatever happenns after that will happen. NFL Jerseys 2020. " Moreno and Miller will be running behind an offensive line with five new starters in the season opener. Even so, third-year coach Joe Philbin said hes optimistic about the running game. "The only thing I can tell you right now is that it has looked better in training camp so far than I remember it looking in prior training camps," Philbin said. "Thats the one thing that my eyes have seen so far. Obviously we havent seen it in a game yet, but I liked what Ive seen. I like the space weve created. I liked the way our lines have worked together so far. Thats really what gives me confidence right now." Moreno enjoyed a breakout season last year with the Broncos, ranking fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage. He rushed for 1,038 yards, caught 60 passes and scored 13 touchdowns -- all career highs -- to help Denver reach the Super Bowl. But that was with Peyton Manning. Now Moreno will line up with inconsistent third-year starter Ryan Tannehill in an offence that scored once in its final 24 possessions last year. Moreno and the rest of the Dolphins are learning a new scheme under first-year offensive co-ordinator Bill Lazor. "Im good with the playbook," Moreno said. "Its a totally different scheme from Denver, but I feel comfortable about it. Now its just going out there seeing it full speed versus the defence." Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was among those happy to see Moreno in pads. Ellerbe recruited Moreno to Georgia, where they were teammates in 2006-08. "Im ready for him to get healthy and get out there on the field and help this team," Ellerbe said. "Hes a kind of guy with a lot of energy. Hes a fighter, a good player. Hes athletic. Ive been a fan since college." ' ' '