Czech Republic Vs. Slovakia: Live Blog

Doug GausepohlCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2010

I'll be live posting on the Czech Republic's first preliminary game against Team Slovakia tonight. Big for the Czech's to get this game (in regulation) to stay even with Sweden going into Day Three of the Olympics.

11:40 PM- Burger King, White Castle, pizza, and Smithwick's in my fridge. I am good to go.

11:43 pm- Twelve minutes until puck drop, and there's 16 minutes left in the Slovakia-Switzerland women's game right now. Looks like it's time to get ready for some channel searching, because there's no way NBC is gonna drop a 2-1 game in the third period, even if it is women's hockey.

11:50 PM- Just five minutes now, and no announcement from CNBC as to when/where this game will air. See, this is why articles like this get published.

11:54 PM- Swiss women just tied it, which does us nothing besides push the airing of the Czech-Slovakia game back.

11:57 PM- Swiss ladies take a 3-2 advantage. Someone out there must like me. And someone at NBC must not have a very good grasp of keeping viewers informed.

12:07 AM- Game according to has just begun.

12:12 AM- Women's game is over. Assuming the Czech game should be on momentarily.

12:15 AM- Game picked up with just over 14 minutes left in the first period. Joe Micheletti saying coach Ruzicka stated the most important player on the Czech team is Tomas Vokoun, and I can't say I disagree.

12:18 AM- I stated about a million times that Vokoun needs to play big in order for the Czechs to have a chance, and he's made three huge saves in the first eight minutes. By the way, Jagr doesn't look like he's slowed down a step.

12:21 AM- Great and possibly unintentional deflection goal off the stick of Patrik Elias.  1-0 Czechs!

12:29 AM - Gaborik gets two for crosschecking at 13:06. The Czechs are 0-for-1 on the power play so far.

12:31 AM- Uneventful power play for the Czechs. Just over four minutes remaining in the first.

12:33 AM- Zidlicky goes off with 2:45 left for boarding. First power play for the Slovakian team.

12:37 AM- Czechs lead 1-0 after one period, due to an amazing deflection by Elias and a few strong saves by Vokoun. Taking a break until the second period.

12:53 AM- Play just begun in the second period.

12:54 AM- Marian Gaborik with a dirty top shelf goal for the Slovakians. Tied at one goal apiece just 0:47 into the second period.

12:58 AM- Slovakian power play, not a great start to the second period for the Czechs.  What are they, the Devils? Nice glove save by Vokoun to stop play.

1:03 AM- The Czech's shoddy power play gets another shot. So far almost a minute gone by and still nothing of note.

1:07 AM- Czech Republic gets another power play just as the other one ends. So far they have one more shot on goal on this one than the last two combined—1.

1:09 AM- Zidlicky slams one off the post on the power play. Tough break, the power play is over, and now they are 0-for-4.

1:10 AM- Bad penalty on the Czech team: too many men. Tough penalty to take in an Olympic game.

1:14 AM- Richard Zednik takes a penalty for the Slovakian team, and now both teams are skating four apiece. Note: The game is 1-1 because Tomas Vokoun is standing on his head at the moment, especially on the penalty kill.

1:16 AM- Czech power play now 0-for-5. Under five minutes left in the second period. So far, I think this is the best game of the Olympics, and I'm not sure it's even close. This of course is coming from someone who didn't see the Sweden-Germany game besides the final score. But besides that, this has been a doozy.

1:20 AM- If Czechoslovakia still existed, they would have one hell of a team.  Jagr, Palffy, Elias, Gaborik, Hossa. Not a bad start.

1:23 AM- Marian Hossa shoots one off the post. Coming the other way, Jagr scores on a breakaway that brought back some memories of his NHL glory (honestly, did anyone think he wasn't going to score on that?). 2-1, Czechs. 2:04 left in the second.

1:26 AM- Chara takes another penalty for the Slovakians with a little over 30 seconds to go. Chara's got to watch these dumb penalties, especially as the captain. 

1:27 AM- IT'S A POWER PLAY GOAL! Tomas Plekanec scores with two seconds left, 3-1 going into the intermission. Be back in the third. Terrible penalty by Chara.

1:43 AM- 3rd period underway. Quick saves for both goalies in the opening minute.

1:45 AM- Interesting view by Micheletti that Zednik is complaining about calls/non-calls too much and "just needs to play." I haven't noticed that, but I'm sure he sees more than I do. Seventeen minutes left in the third.

1:48 AM- I understand that Lundqvist got the shutout, but it may be up for debate, if the score stays the same, that Vokoun had the better performance tonight.

1:55 AM- Ten minutes gone, 10 minutes to go in the third. Still a 3-1 hockey game. 

1:56 AM- Jan Hejda takes a penalty, and Slovakia goes on their fourth power play. This is pretty much a must-score power play opportunity, as they will be down two with only seven minutes left in the game if they do not.

1:59 AM- Huge penalty kill for the Czechs. Vokoun has been clutch tonight.

2:06 AM- Czechs completely content with their two-goal lead: No shots in the third thus far, and there's only 2:40 left.

2:09 AM- Slovakian team not pulling their goalie, possibly due to the GF/GA difference tiebreaker at the end of pool play. I don't buy that garbage, but apparently Team Slovakia's coaching staff does. This is the Olympics, go for the win!

2:12 AM- Game over, 3-1 win in the Czech's opening game. Vokoun had 34 saves. I can't wait to compare his performance to Lundqvist's and differentiate them. MVP-caliber performance from Vokoun regardless! 


Good night, everybody.


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