Team Czech Republic 2010

Ok, I said I was only going to do five teams, but after looking at what the Czechs have to offer, I am switching it to a preview of “the Big 6”:

Goalies

  1. Tomas Vokoun
  2. Ondrej Pavelec
  3. Michael Neuvirth

There will not be much competition for this squad in net with the recent news that Dominik Hasek will likely not be participating due to a leg injury. Hasek would have likely battled Vokoun for the starting job, but now it is the Panthers’ netminder’s role. Backing him up should be Atlanta’s beat Ondrej Pavelec, and soon to be backup for the Washington Capitals, Michael Neuvirth. By soon, I mean next season when they don’t resign Theodore.

Defensemen

  1. Tomas Kaberle
  2. Marek Zidlicky
  3. Pavel Kubina
  4. Jan Hejda
  5. Michael Rozsival
  6. Roman Hamrlik
  7. Filip Kuba

Nothing special here. Jan Hejda has been a horse in Columbus for the past few seasons, but besides Kaberle, I would not be shocked if any of these guys were left off and replaced by the likes of Zbynek Michalek, Rostislav Klesa or Jaroslav Spacek.

Forwards

Here is where things get interesting. Aside from the Canadians, this team probably has the toughest decisions to make on forward due to the number of players that are around the same level in skill. Russia, Sweden and USA will all be leaving players off their teams, but that is because those players pale in comparison to the elite stars of that country. The Czechs lack some of that high end talent and therefore will be leaving a lot of worthy players at home.

  1. Hemsky   Elias   Jagr
  2. Prospal    Plekanec    Hudler
  3. Fleischmann   Krejci   Havlat
  4. Michalek   Hanzal   Hejduk
  5. Voracek

Now this is also the team that can change the most because of injury prone players like Hemsky, Havlat, Jagr and Hejduk. Missing the team are players like two time Olympian Robert Lang, Martin Erat, Michael Frolik, Radim Vrbata and Ales Kotalik. That is the order of who I think will go on if either one of  my guys is not picked or someone goes down with an injury.

KHLers Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Hudler will most definitely be on this Czech team as important components. The Czechs are a little bit small down the middle, which is the reason for me picking 6’6, 230 lbs Martin Hanzal. There is absolutely no way that the slow start from Havlat will keep him off this team; he is a big time talent that they are lacking. David Krejci and the suddenly on fire Tomas Plekanec give them some nice set up men down the middle.

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