Men's Olympic Hockey Preview - Czech Republic

December 30, 2009

Czech Republic

Olympic Appearances: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Best Finish: 1st (1998)
Total Medals Won: 2
Pool: Russia, Slovakia, Latvia

I don't think there is a Canadian out there who still isn't bitter about the 1998 semi-final. Goddamn you Hasek, and goddamn the shootout!

The Czechs have faired pretty well in their short time at the games, in four appreances they've won gold, and never finished lower than 5th. I wonder though, despite their reputation, if this Czech team might be a little overblown:

Tomas Vokoun (Florida Panthers/NHL)
Ondrej Pavelec (Atlanta Thrashers/NHL)
Jakub Stepanek (Vitkovice/CZE)

Miroslav Blatak (Salavat Yulaev Ufa/RUS)
Jan Hejda (Columbus Blue Jackets/NHL)
Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs/NHL)
Filip Kuba (Ottawa Senators/NHL)
Pavel Kubina (Atlanta Thrashers/NHL)
Zbynek Michalek (Phoenix Coyotes/NHL)
Roman Polak (St Louis Blues/NHL)
Marek Zidlicky (Minnesota Wild/NHL).


Petr Cajanek (Saint-PĂ©tersbourg/RUS)
Roman Cervenka (Slavia Prague/CZE)
Patrik Elias (New Jersey Devils/NHL)
Martin Erat (Nashville Predators/NHL)
Tomas Fleischmann (Washington Capitals/NHL)
Martin Havlat (Minnesota Wild/NHL)
Jaromir Jagr (Avangard Omsk/NHL)
David Krejci (Boston Bruins/NHL)
Milan Michalek (Ottawa Senators/NHL)
Tomas Plekanec (Canadiens de Montréal/NHL)
Tomas Rolinek (Magnitogorsk/RUS)
Josef Vasicek (Yaroslavl/RUS).

I see the Czechs as a similar team to the Fins, if maybe half a step ahead of them. I like their depth alot, but they're still missing the true superstar. Jaromir Jagr of course used to be that guy, but really, this is 2010, not 1994. I'd still be watching him at all times out of the corner of my eye, but he's not the elite player he was through the 1990s.

Put me down for the Czechs to see the quarter-finals, and they should make the semi's. But I don't put them on the same level as Canada/Russia, and I think I like the Swedes over them too. I'll call a bronze-medal game loss here!

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This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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