Monday, January 10, 2005


Extraleague Update Machine: 01-10-2005

If this past weekend wasn't a slow news weekend, then I don't know what constitutes one.

Over in the homeland...

1. Martin Prusek, after being benched game after game for Vitkovice, was loaned to the Znojmo Eagles to replace the departed Tomas Vokoun. In his first game with Znojmo (on Saturday vs. Pardubice), he let in quick goals and was yanked early in the second period...but he did fare better yesterday.

2. Jiri Hudler returned from his ankle injury/surgery, but didn't score in a Vsetin loss.

3. HKm Zvolen beat Dynamo Moscow 2-1 and their 3-0 record gave them the Continental Cup victory. Michal Handzus had both goals for Zvolen, which means the Slovaks have won this rather strange tournament twice in a row.
"The representatives of the Slovak league refuse to be the weak sisters of the top Euro hockey leagues. HKm Zvolen won the 2005 Continental Cup title on Sunday following a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Moscow in a confrontation of current leaders from the Slovak and Russian league. The victory comes exactly one year after Slovan Bratislava from the same league won the 2004 Continental Cup when they defeated Russia's Severstal Cherepovets in the process. When experts are asked to rate the best European hockey leagues, they often start with the Russian, followed by the Swedish, Finnish and the Slovak league is usually mentioned somewhere together with the Swiss and German, way behind. Following Slovan's and Zvolen's victories this could probably be reconsidered."
An interesting point my friend Daniel makes:
Payroll of Dynamo Moscow: Between $30-$35 million
Payroll of HKm Zvolen: around $2 million

Sure it was one game, but it's great to beat a team with over 10x your payroll :). Still, one game doesn't mean the Slovak Extraliga is in the same category as the top leagues like Russia, Czechia, Finland, etc...

4. Zlata Helma! This week's Golden Helmet clips are on the web for voting.

The best of the bunch...
1. Jan Hlavac goes coast-to-coast for a nice goal
2. Jan Lasak gives the greatest post-save embelishment I have even seen. William Shatner would be proud.

Stats from yesterday's round of games...


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