1992 Winter Olympics: Let's Get Physical

Olympic hockey has lost forever its gentle style and any semblance of nationalistic purity

Anyone who watches Olympic hockey in the hope of getting his jingoistic juices flowing is bound to be disappointed this year. The new order is cosmopolitan. The American goalie Ray LeBlanc has blossomed in part because of advice from former Soviet star Vladislav Tretiak, who coaches goalies for the Chicago Black Hawks' farm team in Indianapolis, from which LeBlanc is on loan. Gene Ubriaco, coach of the Italian team, is a Canadian who lives in suburban Baltimore, and had been dismissed as coach of the N.H.L.'s Pittsburgh Penguins before hooking up with the team from his father's homeland. The top-seeded Swedes...

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