Veteran star Jaromír Jágr has crowned a successful season with victory in the Golden Hockey Stick poll of Czech ice hockey player of the year. The third most productive player in NHL history, who is 44, picked up the prize for the 12th time in a ceremony in Karlovy Vary on Saturday night. Jágr said that he had first been in the 10 best in the Golden Hockey Stick way back in 1990 and that it remained a huge honour for him.
Florida Panthers’ forward Jaromír Jágr has become the first Czech to be awarded the Bill Masterson Trophy recognizing outstanding sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. At 44, Jágr is the oldest player in the NHL but is known for training tirelessly; he led his team last season with 66 points and helped the club set a franchise record of 47 wins and 103 points. Jágr could not attend the award ceremony in Las Vegas on Wednesday as his father is ill, but said on Florida’s website that it was an honour to receive the trophy. He called hockey “a passion he was motivated to excel at each day”.
In ice hockey, Czech players Tomáš Hertl and Roman Polák have definitely missed on a change of winning the Stanley Cup. The San Jose Sharks went down 3:1 in the sixth match of the Stanley Cup finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night. That means Pittsburgh clinch the series and the cup 4:2. Forward Hertl started the finals series but has missed out on the last games through injury.
Bleacherreport.com writes it is uncertain whether San Jose Sharks forward Tomáš Hertl, suffering from a lower-body injury, will be set to return for game four of the Stanley Cup final. The game between the Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins is set for Monday evening. NHL.com quoted Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer as saying Hertl was day to day. A win by the Sharks on Monday would see them square the series against the Pens at two apiece, while defeat would put them on the brink. This year’s Stanley Cup final has been a very close affair: each win was by a single goal. The Penguins won the first two games 3-2 and 2-1, the Sharks won the third by a score of 3-2. Two of the wins came in overtime.
Czech forward Tomáš Hertl scored one of two San Jose Shark goals on Monday in the opening game of the Stanley Cup final but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens outshot the Sharks 41:26 and got the game-winning goal from Nick Bonino late in the third period. The goal came with 2:33 remaining. The final score was 3:2.
Canadian writer Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has ranked the Czech Republic’s national hockey team eighth out of eight squads to compete in the prestigious World Cup of Hockey this September. The power rankings were released after the rosters for the competition were finalised; a disclaimer in the article reminds readers not to take the rankings as predictions; rather they can be interpreted as a summary of teams’ overall strengths and weaknesses. Campbell expressed the opinion that Czechs were weakest when it came to defense but had several “serviceable” NHL forwards. He praised as “good” the goalies Michal Neuwirth and Petr Mrázek. On the list, the Czech squad boasts the second-fewest Stanley Cup rings (although a San Jose Sharks win this year would add two). Czech coach Josef Jandač, meanwhile, told idnes.cz that the team saw the situation neither bleakly nor with rose-coloured glasses, saying they knew they could only surprise.
Ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr will not join the Czech squad for the sport’s World Cup in September. The Florida forward, who is 44, informed the Czech Republic’s general manager Martin Ručinský of his decision at the weekend, the newspaper Sport reported on Tuesday. Though Jágr officially retired from international hockey last year Ručinský and new trainer Josef Jandač hoped to persuade him to take part in the tournament in Toronto.
Czech Tampa Bay Lightning back Andrej Šustr scored his first goal in the club’s Stanley Cup campaign. Šustr scored to make the score 2:0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tampa then build up a 4:0 lead by the end of the second period but Pittsburgh came back with three goals in the final period. Tampa’s win levels the Eastern Conference series at 2:2.
Expectations were low at first but grew as the group stage advanced. And most Czechs probably thought they had a better than even chance of reaching the ice hockey World Championship semi-finals and a chance of the medals by overcoming the United States. But a penalty shoot-out following a tense quarter-final match decided otherwise and the Czechs are now on their way home.
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