In Sport News this Monday: Czechs seek to build on excellent biathlon season; Martina Sáblíková wins ninth event in a row in 3000 metres; Brno and Zlín face off for last play-off place; Sparta Prague scrape win to stay in touch with Viktoria Plzeň; and last places filled for UEFA 2016 qualifier against Latvia.
In four matches in the NHL on Monday only a single Czech player got points: Tomáš Plekanec with a goal and an assist for the Montreal Canadiens against close rivals in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Habs have played well this season and are on track to clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs but have had a miserable March so far – winning only two of their last eight games. On Monday, Tampa won by a score of 4:2.
In Sports News this Monday: Czechs have most successful Biathlon World Championships ever, while Moravec is only competitor in Finland to take home full collection of medals; Plzeň leapfrog Sparta as Kolář converts late penalty; Vrba names squad for Euro qualifier against Latvia; and Růžička commits to further year as Czech ice hockey coach.
The head of the top Czech ice hockey league has said that talks are going on about it expanding it to Slovak teams. League manager Josef Řezníček has said talks on the subject have been tabled for the general meeting of the association of Czech ice hockey league clubs with no final standpoint yet being taken. Talks are also progressing with the Slovak association, which would have to approve the move, he said. A positive decision could mean that the two top Slovak clubs, Slovan Bratislava and Košice could join the Czech league in the new season.
Czech ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr has left the New Jersey Devils for the Florida Panthers. Jágr, who recently turned 43, made the move in a trade under which New Jersey acquire a second-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016. The forward – who is the most productive European player in the history of the NHL – notched up 11 goals and 18 assists with the Devils this season but recently complained of not getting enough playing time.
Czech goalie Michal Neuwirth, the Buffalo Sabres’ starter, has brought a much-needed spark to a club which sits in last place in the Eastern Conference. On Tuesday, Neuwirth stopped a barrage of shots by the Blue Jackets - 45 of 47 - while his teammates scored to win 4:2. The club has earned points in its last four games, in each Neuwirth was a key factor, writes news website iDnes.
Czech players made a mark in the NHL on Monday evening: Calgary’s Jiří Hudler helped the Flames come back despite trailing 3:0 against Boston: Hudler put the Flames within one and tied the game at 3:3. The Flames won in overtime, Hudler was named the game’s first star. Carolina’s Andrej Nestrašil was also named first star against Ottawa, scoring once and clinching two assists while fellow teammate Michal Jordán scored his first NHL goal. The Hurricanes won 6:3. Montreal Canadiens forward Tomáš Plekanec scored two minutes from time against Detroit and set up Max Pacioretty for an open net goal to earn points for his fourth game in a row.
Czech hockey legend Jaromír Jágr turned 43 on Sunday, joining the ranks of only sixteen other players, according to sources, who still played professionally at the same age. The veteran forward told reporters in a recent interview he had no plans to hang up his skates, saying he loved the NHL and wanted to return next season, even without a contract if need be (for a trial period). Jágr currently plays for the New Jersey Devils but still draws interest from other clubs. Devils boss Lou Lamoriello described Jágr as being in "phenomenal condition". The Czech forward has retired from international play but fans are hoping he may reconsider and play at the World Championships in Prague and Ostrava this year. Jágr has two Stanley Cup rings, an Olympic gold medal and two World Championship gold medals.
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