TAMPA, Fla. -- Radko Gudas and Ondrej Palat are two different personalities.
Gudas, a defenseman, is articulate and someone whose flamboyant approach to life is evident in the way he skates. Palat, a winger, is collected and someone whose reserved disposition makes him a business-first, behind-the-scenes presence who's trying to make his impact felt in the NHL.
Together, the two Czech players complement each other in the Tampa Bay Lightning's quest to clinch a postseason berth.
They will also represent their homeland next month at the Sochi Olympics, a shared destination that fits within a shared journey that includes humble beginnings but has led to hockey's most prominent stage.
"If you trust him off the ice," Gudas said earlier this week, "you will trust him even more on the ice."
"It's going to be awesome," Palat said of representing the Czech Republic in the Olympics with Gudas. "I'm glad I'm with him on the team."
The NHL is a collection of histories and influences. Perhaps mo...