Sunday, May 15, 2005

 

WC: Defeat Served Upon a Silver Platter

Czechia Do PiceThe Czech Republic played the 'best' team game throughout the tournament and got outstanding goaltending from Tomas Vokoun...so it was only fitting that they are the 2005 World Champions!

Czechia 3 - Canada 0







Splattered Thoughts:



Given how Canada fielded a team of players who weren't in great game shape and the loosey-goosey style they employed, a Silver medal is certainly a good result. I can't say that I'm very crushed that they lost this game...

After the game, the tournament awards were handed out, and Canada's Joe Thornton was the big winner as Tournament MVP after leading the tournament with 16 points (6+10) in 9 games.

Best Goalie: Tomas Vokoun, Czech Republic
Best D-man: Wade Redden, Canada
Best Forward: Alexei Kovalev, Russia

Media All-Star Team
Goal: Tomas Vokoun, Czech Republic
Defense: Marek Zidlicky, Czech Republic and Niklas Kronwall, Evil Sweden
Forwards: Rick Nash and Joe Thornton, Canada & Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic.

Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Slegr also captured the 'treble' and now have Gold in the Olympics and World Championships to go along with a Stanley Cup ring.

Back to Jagr...I know Caps and Rangers fans are asking "Why couldn't he play with this much vigour with our teams?"

Jagr finished with 2 goals, 7 assists, and 1 broken finger in 8 tournament games. Instead of infecting the Czech squad with "Jagr Syndrome", Jagr displayed the on-ice leadership and fire that numerous coaches have failed to dig out from under that mass of curly hair.

So, what inspired him now?

Vladimir RuzickaMy theory: Vladimir "Rozy" Ruzicka.

Back in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, it was widely whispered that it was Ruzicka, Jagr's captain and centerman, and not coach Ivan Hlinka, that was able to 'control' Jagr and get the big oaf to buy into the Hasek-is-god defensive system the Czechs used to beat everyone.

Now in 2005, Ruzicka is the coach for the Czechs and Jagr was playing with the same level of fire and focus that he showed in Nagano.

It's a weak theory, but do you have something better? Probably not ;)





As you can imagine, I did get some satisfaction out of seeing Russia beat Evil Sweden for the Bronze Medal by a 6-3 count. Sweden goes home empty-handed after opening the tournament with such promise.

Sweden forgot some very basic rules for success in International competition.

What's left for this 'season'? The Memorial Cup!

The London Knights, Ottawa 67s, Kelowna Rockets, and Rimouski Crosbys are your Memorial Cup competitors and I'll be sure to have some stuff about this fun tournament in the days to come.

Comments:
If you're talking about the brunette girl, I'm pretty sure that was Martin Rucinsky's girlfriend, model Petra Faltýnová. You need a bigger paycheck, pal. :)
 
I see you do a great job in keeping track of the dating habits of Czech hockey players :)

If I could skate better, I could always pass myself off as a tall Slovak centerman ala Michal Handzus. Would that help?
 
Hey now, don't be catty. :) I assure you I don't go out of my way looking for Martin Rucinsky's personal status.

And I dunno if that would help or not. I'm about as far from being a Czech model as you can get, who knows what requirements they have in their pretty little heads?
 
I was watching on MediaZone.com, and the announcers were SOOOOOO annoying talking about Jagr getting his triple gold, and not a word about Jiri Slegr reaching the same accomplishment. They must have mentioned it at least 10 times per period. At least the cameras showed Jiri celebrating with his daughter after the game. Thanks for acknowledging it, Jes!
 
I'm glad Vokoun showed you his real stuff. I think what happened in Czechia was that he had no defense in front of him and got worn out trying to chase pucks down 435 times a night. The Vokoun I know and love is the one who helped the Czechs win this tourney.

I can't wait until my Czech jersey gets here. I'm having it shipped here from the homeland!
 
- Jagr... it's no surprise that he would get all the attention and poor Slegr would get none... think of Wayne Gretzky versus Matt Cooke.
Slegr is popular in Litvinov, but Jagr is a minor deity in all of Czechia.

- Vokoun... he admitted that he didn't expect the level of competition in Czechia to be so high, and he was unprepared. Still, Znojmo's defensive corps was one of the absolute worst and didn't help his cause. It's good for Preds fans that he found himself again and didn't get shellshocked.
 
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