For the Boston Bruins, with Czech players David Krejčí and star forward Jaromír Jágr, it will be “do or die” in the final game of their best-of-seven series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Krejčí leads in the playoffs on goals, having scored five (including a hat trick) against Toronto; Jágr managed an assist in Game 6 but has been less of a presence. Toronto, by comparison, has seen strong performances by its goaltender, James Reimer, and players like Phil Kessel, who was key to Toronto’s forcing a seventh game.
The national team will have to beat Norway on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stages at the Ice Hockey World Championship. A loss on Sunday against Team Canada put the Czechs on the brink of being knocked out of the tournament; the squad, however, gained a reprieve with Switzerland’s 3:1 defeat of Norway later on Sunday evening. Norway are a point ahead of the Czechs in their group standings. Switzerland has been the Cinderella story of this year’s championship, remaining the only undefeated team.
In Sports News this Monday: The Czech Republic just about hang on at Ice Hockey World Championship – and now need to beat Norway to reach playoffs; defeat for leaders Plzeň allows Sparta to cut gap to two points with three rounds to go in soccer league; Kweuke gets 12-match ban for leg-breaking “tackle”; and Nicholas Kemboi wins Prague Marathon.
The Czech national team lost 2:1 to Canada at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Stockholm on Sunday, seriously jeopardizing its chances of advancing to the quarterfinals. The Czech team, which had been struggling since the beginning of the tournament, put up a valiant fight against their strong opponent with Petr Koukal equalizing an opening goal by Canada’s Wayne Simmonds in the first period. Although the Czechs managed to maintain the score through the second period a goal from Jeff Skinner close to the end of the third period dashed their hopes of victory. The loss means that for the first time in the country’s modern history the Czechs might not advance to the quarterfinals.
Marek Židlický will join the Czech national team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm on Monday. After announcing the arrival of Montreal Canadiens forward Tomáš Plekanec on the same day, the Czech national team will use their last spot on the roster for New Jersey Devils defenceman Marek Židlický. Both Plekanec and Židlický are to play in the last preliminary-round game against Norway on Tuesday.
The Czechs improved their standings at the Ice Hockey World Championship with a hard-won 4:2 victory against Slovenia on Friday night. Slovenia turned in a strong performance and the game was undecided until the third period when Zbynek Michalek took advantage of a power play and Jiri Novotny scored an insurance goal to clinch the badly-needed victory. The Czechs have so far given a lacklustre performance at the Ice Hockey World Championships and Zbynek Michalek said after the game that despite the win he was far from happy with the results.
If anybody was counting on Switzerland being an easy match-up at the Ice Hockey World Championships underway in Sweden they have since learned their lesson. The Swiss are the surprise of the tournament so far: first they upended hosts Sweden, then edged Canada, and on Monday added another scalp, defeating the Czechs.
MP Jiří Šlégr has admitted he may give up his seat in the Chamber of Deputies to return to the sport of hockey, Czech daily Lidové noviny writes. Šlégr, one of the faces of the LEV 21 party, founded by former Social Democrat leader and former prime minister Jiří Paroubek, told the daily he was considering the idea of playing for Litvínov and said the posts clearly were not compatible. Šlégr is a former defenceman and both a Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medal winner. If he steps down, he will be replaced by Petr Benda, party leader Jiří Paroubek confirmed.
The Czech Republic’s national hockey team faces the Swiss at the Ice Hockey World Championship on Monday afternoon. The Swiss so far have been the surprise of the tournament, upending first hosts Sweden and then Canada. The Czechs have won one and lost one so far. They beat Belarus but were defeated by Sweden 2:1 despite an outstanding performance by goalie Salák, who will be in net again against the Swiss team.
In Sports News this Monday: Czechs get off to winning start at World Ice Hockey Championship with win over Belarus but are comprehensively outshot in defeat to hosts Sweden; Plzeň open up five-point gap on Sparta in the race for the Czech soccer title; and Slavia trounce Jablonec in first game under Petrouš following his return.
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