Sunday, January 02, 2005


Czeching into 2005: All is Good!

My friend from Czechia, David, turned 27 today. It was nice that the Czechs were able to give him a nice gift in the form of a 3-0 win at the 2005 WJC's yesterday.

Despite the low score, Czechia really dominated Finland all game long. If not for the great goaltending of Tuukka Rask (One of the better draft eligible goalies), it could have easily been 6 or 7 to nothing for the good guys.

Olé, Olé, Olesz!

Once again, Rostislav Olesz and Petr Vrana carried the Czechs offensively as they scored shorthanded and power play goals respectively. The top line of Kvapil/Olesz/Vrana has accounted for 12 of the 19 goals for Czechia (63%) in this tournament. The second line of Petruzalek/Kaspar/Spare-Part was too quiet, once again, as the chemistry they seemed to have with the Ottawa 67s got lost on the bus ride down to the tournament. Kaspar and Petruzalek weren't really 'clicking' on any of their passes (the frustration was apparent on Kaspar's face as he went offside on 2-on-2) and Team Canada will have an easy time if they can shut down the Olesz line.

The game was marred by a scary indicent in the second period when Michal Gulasi (think Goulash) was hit from behind by Petteri Nokelainen. Gulasi was down cold on the ice and gave enough blood to make the Red Cross proud. It was great to see that Gulasi returned to the ice in the 3rd period, and just has a little headache and cut on the nose to show for what happened.

It wasn't a dirty hit (intent wise), but it should have been a penalty. I was in full agreement with TSN broadcaster Pierre McGuire, who was on the Swedish referee all night for his 'circus-like' ringmaster act. I cracked up when McGuire broke out the circus music. I know IIHF refs are usually pretty shaky, but would some consistancy be too much to ask for?

Ladislav Smid - It was a pretty rough tournament for the Czech's #1 dman coming into the game. I was glad to see that he grabbed his first assist (on the Vrana goal) and was named Player of the Game (Rask won for the overmatched Finns). Smid played well at both ends of the night, and he'll be expected to play 25+ quality minutes against the Canadians.

Conspiracy Theory - If I were with Team Finland, I would file a protest that the game was refereed by a Swedish referee. With just under 4 minutes left in the game, the Czechs' Michal Borovansky was called for a Holding penalty. With the Finns getting read to work on the Power Play, the Swedish ref (Ulf Ronnmark) called a 'Delay of Game' penalty on Finland. The sin? A 'faceoff' violation.

You can't trust Swedish people, can you? :)



That's the only time you'll ever hear me chant that.

The Red-White-Blue did me proud with a 8-2 pasting of the evil Swedes.

The Americans, who are without waterbug Chris Bourque, had some trouble with the Swedes for the first two periods. It was only 3-2 after 2 periods, and I was wondering when the damn yanks would get their act together.

Fortunately 2006 draft Philip Kessel and his mates had themselves a 5-goal 3rd period to send the Swedes home crying. As you can imagine, this made me very happy. I can't ever remember celebrating an American scoring a goal before. It felt dirty...

Kessel, one of the other 2006 phenoms, had 3 goals and 1 assist in the game! Kessel now has 4 goals and 2 assists in 5 tournament games, and the hype machine over at the forums is going to reach Crosby-like levels for the next few weeks.

Speaking of the 2006 phenoms, Simon Richard of has good articles about both players. If you want even more information about two of the game's next big stars, give them a read.

Phil Kessel Article
Michael Gulasi Article

Today's WJC Predictions:
Slovakia 6 - Belarus 2
Canada 4 - Czechia 2
Russia 4 - USA 3

Yeah. Glad the Swedes got a whipping! Thanks for "revenging" us!
hockey fan from Bratislava :)
do pice s kurvenym Svedskom!
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