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05-25-2010, 06:34 PM
Old Man Jags
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Originally Posted by Rexor View Post
This is totally right. Even that - as Freaky Euro would say - "glorious Czech golden generation" wouldn't make it without a little bit of luck. In 1999, the team lost 1-6 to Russia in a group game. Thus, in order to advance to the quarterfinals, we needed: first, defeat our long-time Nemesis Sweden in the last group game; and second, we needed Slovakia to at least draw their game with Russia. Earlier in the tournament, the Russians beat us 6-1 and we beat Slovaks in a blowout: 8-2. So it was pretty unlikely that this much needed scenario would actually happen. But against all odds, the Slovaks managed to draw their game with Russia, 2-2. The Russians actually scored the game winning goal, but right after the final buzz so that it was disallowed.
In the semifinals, we beat Canada in the shoot-out. Jan Hlaváč scored the gold-medal winning goal in OT against Finland.
In 2001, the semifinals game against Sweden was almost identical to that from this year. The Czechs drew it later in the third period then won in the shoot-outs. In the finals against Finland, we were down 0-2 after two periods but eventually tied it and Martin Procházka scored the game winning goal in OT.

And of course, I agree that Czech hockey has deep structural problems. Our junior teams are not competitive. Even though we are still able to build an impressively strong senior "A-team", the future (after Sochi) can be dark if the junior system doesn't undercome some major changes.
I agree with all this. Though one thing I am wondering about is our finals statistic. The Czech Republic played in 7 gold medal games and won 6 of them. That is an incredible win/loss record and much better than any other team's. I wonder where this psychological strength comes from to win all close games. Mostly luck would be a real statistical anomaly. And the game we lost we lost 4-0 and had a team that nobody would have expected to make it into the final. (In some ways like this year )

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