Czechs face off against Russia at Ice Hockey World Championships
The wait is just about over for hockey fans anticipating the start of the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championship which begins on Friday. The Czechs play hosts Russia in their opening game in Moscow.
“Any such experience is valuable. If they know their opponents, they know what to expect. On the other hand, these are different teams than in the Euro Hockey Tour. We also have many new rookies. We may see a shaky start to the tournament, before the team gels. Because of that, I am very glad that there are experienced players who will help, Koukal, Červenka, or for example team captain Tomáš Plekanec who is a big factor on the ice. They can bring certainty and calm to the team.”
No one expects Russia to be a pushover, not least as the squad want to dispel memories of the third place finish the last time Russia hosted the tournament, in 2007. The team will be tough to beat.
“I think we should definitely be able to get to the elimination rounds, where anything can happen. But of course we are not the favourites… There are fewer stars so the team will have to hold together more, and will have to rely on defence. The goalie will certainly come under a barrage of shots [and will have to meet the challenge].That is the only chance to succeed.”