Beat jet lag, win gold medal

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Canada’s quest is to win Olympic gold in hockey again.

Its immediate mission, though, is different.

Canadian coach Mike Babcock said his goal for the team’s first practice Monday afternoon was simple after a long night of traveling.

“Keep the players up,” Babcock said. “To be honest with you, it’s been a long day. We had an opportunity to see how big the ice is and to go through some things.”

Babcock saw something he didn’t like when he put Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter together with Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby and one of his NHL linemates, Chris Kunitz.

Carter shoots early and often for the Kings, he’s tied for fourth in the league with 3.9 per game, but he passed too much for Babcock’s taste during a short skate.

“If he’s giving it back to Sid, he can’t play with him,” Babcock said.

Carter might get an incredible chance to play with one of the best players in the world known as Sid the Kid.

“You always have to be ready with him,” Carter said. “He won’t even be looking at you and the puck’s coming to you.”

Canada’s hopes of becoming the first to win two straight golds and three overall since NHL players joined the Olympics in 1998 may hinge on how well it fares in front of the net.

Canada and the host Russians are regarded as the favorites.

“Hopefully we do bring home a gold medal,” general manager Steve Yzerman said.

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