During the dog days of the summer sports season, hockey fans have tried to find something that can replicate the game they love. Fortunately, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have been a welcome distraction until NHL training camps open in September.
But it hasn't just been marquee sports basketball and track and field that have drawn the attention of hockey fans. NHL players and fans alike have rallied around water polo, a sport with more than its share of similarities to hockey.
"[They both] have nets and power plays and goaltenders and penalty shots. Also, the resilience the [water polo] players have is very comparable to hockey," said Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick, who has called hockey play-by-play for almost 40 years and is doing the same for NBC's Olympic water polo coverage. "There is a feeling, too, that part of the character is similar to hockey. Unless [an injury] is really bad, you don't go for repairs. You just get back in."