Thursday, January 31, 2008

Extraliga "trade" deadline ends today

Compared to the last 2 season, we don´t have a lot of movement on the market this year. The moves made in late January aren´t not really trades, trades are mostly made during the regular season. The situation is a little bit different now.
Teams not going anywhere are now offering their best players to teams gearing up for a play-off run. Short term. This helps them to get them off their payroll for the reminder of the season, or even to get in some extra money.

But not all GM´s are willing to take the risk of lending out their best player. What if he gets injured in the play-offs?

One of them is Zlin´s Miroslav Michalovsky: "I have received already several requests regarding Jaroslav Balastik" he says. Other often requested Zlin players are: F Dusan Andrasovsky, D Tomas Kloucek and D Lubomir Vosatko. "I could lend out half of our roster". concludes Michalovsky in the Idnes interview.

Here´s a overview of what happened so far:

D Charlie Cook from HIFK Helsinki to Sparta Praha.

C Miroslav Hlinka from HC Moeller Pardubice to Sparta Praha.

D Jan Novak from Karpat to Slavia Praha.

LW Robert Krajci from Zilina to HC Usti nad Labem.

LW Andrej Podkonicky from Chekhov to HC Bili Tygri Liberec.

Also notably (especially for me):

HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice has signed winger Petr Sailer and Center Tomas Vak to contract extensions which will keep them until 2010 in town.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Your Extraliga MVP?

The regular season is winding down, only 6 rounds seperate us from the play-offs. You can choose from 2 goaltenders, 3 defensemen and 4 forwards. I hope you agree with the nominees. If not just leave me a comment.


Roman Turek, HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice.

The 37 years old is having a stellar season, leading the league in Wins (28), GAA (2.10), and shut-outs (6). His saves percentage ranks 4th with 92.94. Moves his big frame still very well for a goaltender of his age.

Martin Vojtek, HC Ocelari Trinec.

"The Hasek that stayed at home" has been spectacular this season. With starting goaltender Roman Cechmanek playing bad or beeing injured, the 32 year old has a possibility to show his abilities. 1st in saves % with 94.24, 2nd in GAA, 4th in wins.


Vaclav Benak, HC Lasselsberger Plzen.

Defense has been a big problem all season in Plzen, so it is quite a surprise that Benak managed to put up such remarkable numbers: 7 goals, 15 assists in 45 games. The 29 years old mainly earned his nomination because of the fact that he is also only one of 2 Plzen defenseman with a positive +/- rating.

Milan Toman, HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice.

Ceske Budejovice´s pint sized defenseman is currently second in scoring, trailing Benak by a point. Once considered a "too offensive" defender, Toman has proved his critics wrong by posting an amazing +20. A good passer, the 28 years old is a vital part of C.B.´s power play.

Tomas Zizka, HC Slavia Praha.

Even though he missed some games this season, the 28 years old is a dominating force on Slavia´s blue line. Zizka plays well from the point with the man advantage (5 goals, 9 assists) and is very strong in the corners. Leads the league with +28.


Petr Ton, HC Sparta Praha.

The veteran sniper looks like a sure pick for this years scoring title (40 points in 44 games). He also leads the league in goals with 26. Ton is one of the fairest players in the league, as he only picked up 8 penalty minutes all season. While his scoring abilities seem improved, Ton didn´t improve his +/- rating. He´s -2.

Jaroslav Kalla, HC Geus Okna Kladno.

Kalla is getting better every year, already outshining Kladno´s star players Prochazka. With 15 goals and 21 assists Kalla is currently 2nd in scoring. Kalla is also +11. My pick among forwards.

Jaroslav Bednar, HC Slavia Praha.

If healthy, Bednar is still one of the most dynamic players in the league. In only 35 games he scored 23 goals and added 10 assists. Along with Ton the only player near a point per game pace in the "no second assist era". Bednar is also +15

Petr Vampola, HC Lasselsberger Plzen.

You might not agree with this pick, but keep in mind: Vampola isn´t a "star" like the other players on this list. The 26 year old is a hard-working third liner, and he is not playing on a particulary good team. His numbers are even more amazing: 13g, 18a and a plus/minus rating of +15.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Petr Ton gets owned

Besides the fact that he scored both Sparta goals in the heated contest between his team and Kladno, the league´s leading scorer got owned by goaltender Miroslav Kopriva in the deciding shoot-out. Kopriva, a shoot-out specialist, has a special way to celebrate and remember Ton to keep his head up...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who makes the playoffs?

41 rounds played, 11 to go. Who wins the regular season? Who makes the playoffs? Who advances in the "elemination round"? (7th, 8th, 9th and 10th playing for the 2 remaining playoff spots) Who can enjoy extra-long holidays? And who will have to play the 1st division champion to stay in the league?
  1. HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice, 84 points
    After struggling in late December, Ceske Budejovice has returned to its form, winning 4 out of their 5 last games. No stars here, and no real weakness. Arguably the fastest team in the league, C.B. gets scoring from all 4 lines. Best players so far: R. Turek, S. Hrebejk, T. Kurka. They will finish 1st.

  2. HC Slavia Praha, 80 points
    Just like C.B., they also fell into a hole after Christmas, but things start looking brighter after they took a point in C.B. and beat Usti at home. Highest scoring team in the league, but I would be a little bit worried about their goaltenders (A. Svoboda isn´t much of a playoff specialist and backup D. Furch has just turned 18) Best players: J. Beranek, T. Zizka, R. Cervenka. Slavia will finish third.

  3. HC Bili Tygri Liberec, 76 points
    The white tigers gave up the fewest goals with 83, but they don´t have the same offensive firepower like the last two seasons, where they won the regular season. Best players: L. Zib, L. Cermak, A. Krstev. Liberec will come in 2nd.

  4. HC Energie Karlovy Vary, 65 points
    See how much a good start into the season can help? The team from Becherovka-City has been playing quite inconstantly over the last 2 month, but somehow they still manage to hang on to a 4th place. Best Players in 07/08: L. Mensator, V. Skuhravy, P. Kumstat, J. Reznicek. Vary will finish 5th

  5. HC Sparta Praha, 64 points
    After their inspiring performance at the Super-Six tournament in Russia (2nd) Sparta recieved a not-so-warmly welcome home yesterday, as they got beaten 4-0 in Litvinov. Only nine points seperate Sparta from a non-playoff spot. Best Players: P. Ton, T. Netik, J. Langhammer. Sparta takes the 4th spot.

  6. HC Lasselsberger Plzen, 62 points
    Great offense, bad defense. That´s how it looks like in Plzen right now. Tomas Vlasak has only 12 goals and is -16 with his 6.000.000 KC salary. Mario Cartelli (what a name), once the teams best defender has disappeared in a cloud of bad turnovers and Radek Matejovsky also has a season to forget about: 06/07: 13g, 9a, -1, 158pin. 07/08: 3g, 2a, -13, 101pin. Thanks god they have guys like T. Divisek (although his -18 makes your ears bleed), P. Vampola and M. Duras. Plzen will finish 8th.

  7. HC Litvinov, 60 points
    They have won their last 3 games, and obviously the people in Litvinov start to care about their hockey team. Yesterday´s 4-0 win against Sparta saw an attendance of 6120. So far, the team is carried by: R. Reichel, F. Lukes, M. Jenacek and J. Slegr. Litvinov will finish 6th.

  8. HC Ocelari Trinec, 59 points
    Trinec´season has been a wild ride so far, dominated by injuries and winning/losing streaks. This team is very hard to predict, they can finish everywhere between 4th and 12th. Best players so far: R. Tomik, R. Martynek, J. Peterek, M. Vojtek. Trinec will finish 10th.

  9. HC Vitkovice Steel, 58 points
    So far, they have done quite well under new coach Ernest Bokros, but they absolutely need 6/7 wins to be safe. If they miss the playoffs again, I won´t be surprised if the team´s owner moves the whole show to India... Best players: M. Prusek, P. Jurecka, V. Ujcik. They will remain were they are. 9th.

  10. HC Geus Okna Kladno, 57 points
    HC Elephant Cemetery has won all but 2 of their last 12 games, and they show no signs of slowing down. In addition to that, Kladno will play 7 of the 11 remaining rounds at home. Kladno´s best players 07/08: J. Kalla, R. Belohlav, P. Patera, M. Sevc. Kladno will finish 7th.

  11. HC Znojemsti Orli, 55 points
    Watching the Znojmo Eagles play an away game is about as entertaining as pulling your nasal hair. 4 players on their own blue line and a sole forechecker. Who plays that way doesn´t deserve a playoff sport. Lights in the dark: J. Dopita, R. Jares, J. Trvaj. Znojmo will come in 12th.

  12. HC Moeller Pardubice, 52 points
    Pardubice has shown some signs of life recently, putting together their first winning streak of the season with 4 wins in a row. (wow!). Best players: P. Sykora, T. Rolinek, J. Cetkovsky. It´s gonna be tight, but I would say they won´t make it. 11th.

  13. HC RI Okna Zlin, 47 points
    I said it before the season, and I say it again, Balastik and Leska are not enough to get this team into the post season. Balastik is responsible for about 20% of Zlin´s goals, and the teams second position in goals holds Dusan Andrasovsky (who came from Pardubice) with 10. Go figure. Best players: D. Andrasovsky, J. Balastik, P. Leska. Zlin will finish 13th.

  14. HC Slovan Ustecti Lvi, 36 points
    Everybody knew that Usti won´t be competing for a playoff spot, but the team had a very troubled season so far as they fired their coach and released their captain. Best players: P. Janku, A. Novotny, D. Pazourek. Usti will finish last.