Originally written on The PensNation  |  Last updated 10/30/14
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images It’s hard to believe it’s almost been four years since Sidney Crosby and Team Canada knocked off Team USA for the gold medal in the Vancouver Olympics. With the National Hockey League and the union reaching a deal earlier this week, Crosby will be looking add a second straight Olympic gold to his already impressive resume. “It’s gone by really fast,” said Crosby. “Obviously with injuries and stuff like that too, it wasn’t like there has been three full hockey seasons to look back on.” Even though time seems to have gone by quickly, coming to a conclusion to allow NHL players to participate in the 2014 Olympic Games took longer than expected. However, that hasn’t dampened the excitement for Crosby. “It was just kind of a matter of time,” said Crosby. “Working out logistics with it being a little bit further away in Russia, I’m sure there was a little bit more work to do, but I’m glad that we’re going. I’m obviously excited to start the process.” It’s a process that will present many challenges throughout the course of the NHL season too. One of the biggest challenges for the players will be a condensed NHL schedule – especially after a shortened offseason. “Knowing that there’s going to be an Olympic training camp, you’re going to begin that process with the schedule,” noted Crosby. “You find out pretty quickly that an Olympic year schedule is a little more condensed, a little more intense than a typical year.” The NHL will play a full 82-game regular season but will take a 20-day break for the Olympics, starting on February 9 and lasting until February 26. Another challenge that awaits Crosby is adapting his game to the size of the rink. The ice in Sochi will be 15% larger than the rinks were in Vancouver. The Olympic rink will be the international-sized standard, 60×30 meters, which makes for a different style of game. The rink is Sochi will be 15 feet wider than what NHL players will be accustomed to and the neutral zone will be eight-feet larger as well. “It’s definitely a different game. It’s a little bit more of a puck possession game,” added Crosby. “There’s a lot more time with the puck. I think making decisions and things like that, the way you play, your systems, there’s definitely going to be an adjustment there. I think speed will be even more important with that big ice and obviously physical play is always important, but I think with the bigger ice it’ll be a little tougher to establish that. I think speed and skill are going to be a big part of the game.” Photo credit: NHLSI Regardless of rink size, Crosby has plenty of international experience to draw from. Crosby started his international play as the youngest player for Team Canada at the 2003 U-18 Junior World Cup having turned 16 years old just before the tournament. Team Canada lost in the bronze medal game, but Crosby scored four goals and six points over a five game span. He also competed in the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Championships. Crosby was an alternate captain for the 2006 World Championships for Team Canada. Balancing an NHL and Olympic schedule will not be an easy task, especially for Crosby, who has his eyes set on winning both Olympic Gold and the Stanley Cup for the second time in his career. “You want to go there and find a way to win gold,” said Crosby. For a player and a country with such high expectations, anything less than winning it all will be in vein.     Follow Nick on twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.