Walk in the bowels of any NHL arena hours before a game and without fail you'll see a handful of hockey players gathered around in a circle in some hallway kicking a soccer ball to one another, playing a game known as two-touch.
You thought these guys were competitive on the ice? You should hear the whooping and hollering that goes on in these games of elimination, where players can only touch the ball twice and the last guy to touch it before it hits the ground is out.
This isn't kids stuff. These guys are going full out.
While there is debate among some in the game as to whether two-touch soccer is too risky and may cause injuries -- some GMs hate seeing their guys play -- there's little debate that the high-powered, often vicious game can only help a player's hand-eye coordination.
Before their 4-3 overtime victory over Vancouver in Game 6, a group of Blackhawks players, including Marian Hossa, gathered in a little-used hallway in the United Center to get in one final game of two-touch.
Hours later, a play started by Hossa in which the veteran forward appeared to two-touch the puck -- using both his stick and his skates to keep it alive -- resulted in Ben Smith's game-winning goal … and a trip to Vancouver for Game 7.