In the first intermission of Monday’s World Juniors game between Austria and Sweden, Minnesota Wild top prospect Marco Rossi was chosen to do the off-ice interview, with his team playing, well to put it plainly, very badly.
It can naturally be a fairly difficult thing to do. To try and explain why you and your teammates aren’t winning the game, isn’t exactly straight forward. There is the option to say, “well the other guys out there are better than us,” but that might be just making it bleak and bland.
Rossi instead, through some hurried words minutes after stepping off the ice, put it a little more eloquently.
It’s not perfect, but he just seems to get it. We are so used to listening to players talk endlessly about putting the puck in the corners and finishing your checks, even when they’re losing, at the NHL level. But to see a 19-year-old just calmly explain how his team has played in the tournament, avoiding the obvious argument that they’re Austria and have to face against the major hockey powers of the world, is refreshing.
Instead of generalities, it’s right to the point. Rossi describes his team’s trouble with getting out of their defensive zone, with an estimate of how long they have been there. Even going so far as to say that they have struggled with their “puck placement.”
Even if it doesn’t seem that special, it’s just nice to see. If Rossi can communicate this detail on national television, I bet Wild head coach Dean Evason is going to have some interesting conversations with him during training camp next month.