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10-10-2004, 11:34 AM
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Tomas Vokoun interview

This interview was on czech site the last week. I tried to translate it. Sorry for my english but I hope it can interest you.

Here is link to interview:


Znojmo team was considered to be one of the secret favourit of Tipsport extraliga. However actual situation is different. After two opening wins came mostly losses and wins were against the teams from the bottom of the table. Not even after arrival of stars Elias and Havlat nothing changed. Goalie Tomas Vokoun was in Znojmo from start of the season. Meanwhile he took a free time and after comeback he didnīt find the Znojmo team where he would like. He is not satisfied with himself as well. In 4 games allowed 3.5 goals average on game. He keep the faith the better will only come.

By yourself, how do you explain current standing of your team?
„We donīt play like we should. We make a lot of defensive faults. My performances are not ideal as well. We could find more reasons, itīs not only one thing. We have one of the best teams but we didnīt play according to that so far. We have to be more responsible.“

Does the defensive faults result from the fact that Znojmo has a lot of rather offesive minded players?
„As I said, we make big faults especially in critical moments of games. Weīve players able to play very well forward. It would be a fault not utilize their abilities. We are not well coordinated as well. Sometimes there is not good understanding with defensemen. We are not accustomed each other. Iīam also not satisfied with myself although in last game I had for first time in Znojmo quite good feeling. But meanwhile I was on holiday in Egypt whith my family. I took a holiday. There was World Cup I practised a lot and I wanted to be with my family for a while. I wasnīt be 100% ready for extraleague yet. Itīs not simple to play here.“

On the official site of Znojmo team appeared your quote that you little underestimated extraleague.
„Well, I dinīt say it exactly in this way and I didnīt mean it in this manner. I underestimated nothing rather I wasnīt prepared good enough. But Iīm not only. There was World Cup at which I was concentrated as at every highest-level competition. We played by a little bit different rules. Even though NHL didnīt start we thought about it in subconscious. We lived in uncertainty. NHL doesnīt have a lot of common with czech extraleague. So it was a quite jump to czech extraleague.“

Is the change after transition to european hockey really so strong?
„We play different hockey here. But itīs not necessary to find something about that I didnīt play so well up to now. There is not necessary to do some conclusions about it too. Sometimes itīs getting better, some other times worse. Sometimes happen that two games doesnīt turn out well like to us now. But next week it may be all different.“

Patrik Elias received personal penalty in funny situation when he shot the chestnut slung on the ice by one of spectator. On the other side referees are not so anxious to dirty play. Itīs not such a problem for you as goalkeeper. Despite of that what do you think about it?
„Eli deserved personal penalty because he shot that chestnut to the referee. I respect their work. I know they have it very difficult. I speak for myself now. But I recognized that they are really the weakest element of czech hockey. Problem isnīt they are bad but in their unconsistence in what they whistle and what they donīt. In America they are consistent. The players know what they can expect. Here one whistle this and other something different. They donīt penalize horrific fouls but when player dive they whistle it. The league management should more push on referees to be everything in order and players were sure what they will whistle and what they wonīt.“

Donīt you have a feeling that referees too little protect skilful and creative players?
„They shouldnīt protect them or take their side. If itīs Jagr or whoever else it should be same for all. In America players donīt dive so much but here the referee swallow it sometimes. On the other side some fouls are really horrible and they do nothing. The referees have a hard job but sometimes it looks like they whistle when they are not completely sure about it.“

The end of lock-out in NHL is in far future. How would you react if you would receive a invitation to national team to Karjala Cup before next national team break in extraleague? Would you accept it or would you rather concentrate on extraleague and take a rest?
„I donīt handle these things. I always concentrate on next occasion and itīll be Fridayīs game against Jihlava. If I will receive an invitation to national team I will think about it. I was on World Championship, World Cup and I needed a rest after that. My performance isnīt so good yet. But it can change. I have to stay cool. It will be better.“

You mentioned that hockey in czech extraleague is different from NHL. What are the biggest differences?
„Players have a much more time on everything. Play is so lengthily. Players will get accustomed to it. I play on World Championship I have a experience with that. Goalies stats are not only goalies performance but performance of all team. If you loose itīs always see on the team atmosphere. But we know we have a good team and it depends only on us when our strength will prove.

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