The coach of the Czech national hockey team, Vladimír Růžička, is reportedly leaving two spots open on the squad’s roster at the Worlds in Prague and Ostrava for additional players. A member of the coaching staff told Czech TV that members were hoping Montreal Canadiens’ forward Tomáš Plekanec might be available – if his team failed to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Montreal dug itself into a hole against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and now trails 2:0 in their best-of-seven series heading back to Tampa. Some contact has been made but the team’s assistant coach Ondřej Weissmann made clear the matter was being handled with a light touch, as Plekanec’s main focus was to help his hockey club. The 32-year-old forward and his wife, Czech pop singer Lucie Vondráčková, are also expecting their second child in the coming days.
The Czech national hockey team faces Team Canada at the Ice Hockey World Championships on Monday. Canada, one of the favourites in the tournament, has been on a roll in the championships so far, clinching two wins in two match-ups. On Sunday, the team crushed Germany 10:0. The Czechs lost their first match against Sweden in a penalty shootout and rebounded 4:2 against Latvia. Ondřej Pavelec, who plays for the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL, is expected to start in net. This year’s Worlds are taking place in Prague and Ostrava.
The Czech Republic beat Latvia 4:2 in their second game at the Ice Hockey World Championship on Sunday night to take the top spot in Group A. Latvia took a lead twice and their second goal forced a change in the Czech goal where Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondřej Pavelec replaced Alexander Salak. The Czechs then scored three power play goals, the second of them by Jaromír Jágr.
The Czech Republic is hosting the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship which runs from May 1st to May 17, 2015. The tournament, entering its 79th year, will feature 16 teams, including consistent contenders Russia, Canada, and the United States. Also included this year are newcomers Slovenia and Austria, which were promoted from the 2014 Division I Group A. The tournament will be played in two arenas: the O2 Arena in Prague which can fit 18 000 fans and the CEZ ARENA in Ostrava which has a capacity over 12 000 people. The puck will drop in the first face-off on Friday, May 1, with the Czechs facing Sweden in their opening match.
Overseas, many hockey fans are largely following the latest results in the NHL playoffs, but in Europe, all eyes in will soon be on the Ice Hockey World Championships, set to begin in Prague and Ostrava. The puck will drop in the first face-off on Friday, May 1, with the Czechs facing Sweden in their opening match.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 7 on home ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday putting them into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The goalies for both sides kept the puck out of the net for two periods but Detroit rookie Petr Mrázek was beaten in the third by a slapshot over the shoulder, top corner, by Braydon Coburn. Goaltending was a key factor throughout the match and the series, with Mrázek earning two shutouts against the Bolts. On Wednesday, Mrázek was named the game’s third star.
Czech rookie Petr Mrázek has been a major asset in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs but wasn’t able to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning from notching up a 5:2 win against his club on Monday to force a deciding Game 7. Mrázek stopped 23 shots on the night and robbed Brian Boyle with a phenomenal stick save that made all the highlight reels, keeping the Red Wings in the game temporarily but Detroit were unable to capitalise. Mrázek, 23, hails from Ostrava and has gotten the nod ahead of veteran goalie Jimmy Howard, earning two shutouts in the series. The winner of Game 7 will face the Montreal Canadiens in the next round.
Montreal Canadiens’ Tomáš Plekanec got an assist on the game-winning goal against Ottawa on Sunday - a puck which Brendan Gallagher batted out of mid-air and slotted past Ottawa’s Craig Anderson in the first period. The Ottawa Senators were trying to force a Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs after winning two games in a row. But Montreal’s Carey Price stopped 43 shots and the team held on for the 2:0 win to advance to the next round. The Habs will face the winner of Detroit-Tampa Bay, next. Detroit, with Czech goalie Petr Mrázek, have the upper-hand in that contest, leading their respective series 3:2.
Some 70 percent of Czechs want Vladimír Růžička to remain in the post of national squad coach ahead of the Ice Hockey World Championships despite allegations that he accepted a bribe, according to a survey carried out by the Median agency for Czech Radio. According to the allegation, the coach accepted a sum of 500,000 crowns from a businessman to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague which he coached. Most of the respondents said Růžička shouldn’t be dismissed unless the allegation was proven. Participants in the survey also said his dismissal could threaten the team’s performance. The World Championships this year take place in Prague and Ostrava.
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