National ice hockey team set for Russia
Ice hockey's Stanley Cup playoffs have been underway since early April with results leaving many Czech fans plenty to cheer about. Jaromir Jagr's New York Rangers, for instance, as well as Dominik Hasek's Red Wings have so far seen success. But in the Czech Republic the NHL playoffs aren't the only tournament worth watching: this Friday the Ice Hockey World Championship gets underway in Moscow and understandably many eyes will be on the Czech team.
"We've got a bunch of experienced players here in Europe who have got a lot of games under their belts. If others don't come over [from the NHL] that's their decision. As for our goalies, they're all experienced. Hopefully our forwards too have saved their goals for the tournament. I think we've got a good team."
"I spoke with Martin Erat yesterday and we spoke at length. He's really excited about playing but he's still got a knee injury. I promised to give him a week off, that he wouldn't have to play in the tournament's first few games. He's doing all he can to join us."
In the tournament this year the Czechs will not only be relying on newer players but also old-hands like Vyborny or Cajanek, as well as this year's starting goalie Roman Cechmanek. At 36, he's perhaps not as formidable a goaltender as he used to be but has a brash and confident playing style that Czech fans hope will help intimidate opponents.