Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"The Winner"

Sports Illustrated’s NHL playoffs preview this week features a superbly-written feature article by S.L. Price on Chris Drury, covering his exploits from Little League champion to Hobey Baker Award winner, clutch performer for the Colorado Avs and leader of the Buffalo Sabres, and exploring what makes him tick and how he’s made—or inspired—teammates to be better. A couple of Terrier-related snippets from the S.I. article:

"I had no idea he was going to get so much better so quickly, that his competitiveness would make him so special," says Parker, who has coached 19 Olympians and 54 future NHL players. "He's not the guy who wows you with speed or stickhandling or the hardest shot. But I don't think I've ever coached anybody as competitive. If you were to wake Chris up at three o'clock in the morning and tell him, 'We've got a pickup game,' when he'd get on the ice he'd have to beat you to that puck."

Still, Drury fought with teammates who wouldn't match his fire in practice. He called out anyone he thought was dogging it. Once, as the players were doing sprints on stationary bikes, Drury sat next to a freshman who was just going through the motions. When the drill ended, Drury said, "If that's the way you're going to do it, why don't you get out of here right now?"

Mike Eruzione, the 1980 Olympic hockey star who as an assistant at BU coached Drury, says, "He's not superskilled. He just wins."

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