Yzerman tells AP he isn't worried about his legacy

BY foxsports • February 23, 2010

Steve Yzerman looked cool and calm. Sounded that way, too.

``We know the expectations and the hopes of our country,'' Hockey Canada's executive director Monday during an interview with The Associated Press. ``Our players just want to win. They want to do well. It's a great challenge for them. You can't worry about anything other than playing the game - and not worry about the big picture.''

The big picture isn't looking so great right now.

Canada was upset by the United States, needed a shootout to beat Switzerland and routed Norway in regulation.

``Obviously, we hope to do better,'' Yzerman said before Canada practiced.

The lackluster results force the Canadians to play the Germans on Tuesday night just to advance to the quarterfinals, where a win by the mighty Russians could send an entire country into a tailspin.

Yzerman said Canada won't look past Germany to the matchup everyone else is waiting to watch.

``Definitely not,'' he said. ``The Germans are a difficult team to play. They check pretty well. We have to play a good team and win. We can't worry about anything beyond that.''

And if Canada loses, there's only one person likely to bear the blame because he assembled the roster.

``I've chosen this career path and win or lose. They have been great experiences,'' the Hall of Famer said. ``I'm not concerned about my legacy.''

Belarus assistant coach Dave Lewis, who played with Yzerman and coached him in Detroit, said Hockey Canada has the perfect man in charge.

``Steve is one of the best athletes I've ever seen dealing with pressure,'' Lewis said. ``He has a way of figuring it out and I don't see any difference in this.

``He will know what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to and all those things are important to him being the leader of that group.''

Yzerman, though, didn't plan to give his team a pep talk.


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