The Czech Republic’s men’s hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have made quite a startling decision in regards to their first game of the Olympics tomorrow against Team Sweden.
The Winnipeg Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec was expected to be the starter throughout the Olympics for the Czech Republic. However, according to Gary Lawless of The Winnipeg Press, that has changed with the announcement that the team will start KHL goaltender Jakub Kovar. Pavelec won’t be even on the bench as Alexander Salak will back up Kovar.
Pavelec had this to say after the announcement.
“I’m in the stands…I’m not sure. It’s the coaches decision. But he told me I would play in the second game against Latvia.”
“It’s the Olympics. Everyone wants to play. That’s why we’re here…I don’t know. I’ll work hard in practice. The coaches have their reasons. Hopefully this works for us and we win. Kovar has been hot in the KHL. He’s a good goalie and I want him to play well.”
I don’t know what the Czechs are trying to do here. Are they trying to take advantage of being in Russia by starting their goalie that plays in Russia. The Swedes are a team that is heavily represented by NHL players. Pavelec knows those players and might give them a chance. Kovar has probably never played against any of them.
Sure, Pavelec will get the start in game two, but in such a short tournament, a team should be giving itself the best chance to win in every game. Pavelec gives them that best chance.