With representatives on five separate Olympic teams, we knew that some of the Boston Bruins were not going to get a medal in Sochi. Two members of the Bruins team had their Olympic hopes dashed this week as the end of the preliminary round saw a very disorganized Team Slovakia try to scrape a win by the team fielded by the Czech Republic yesterday. The Slovaks just couldn’t keep up with an explosive offense early in the game, and the Czechs quickly added up a 4-0 goal. The Slovak team came back into the game, scoring three goals late. It looked like Zdeno Chara would lead another team into an incredible third period comeback, but it was not to be.
A last minute slashing call left Team Slovakia with a man down. They attempted to pull their goalie to compensate for a man down, but the Czechs seized the initative, scoring an empty net goal fourteen seconds later. That goal sealed the fate of Team Slovakia and they were out of the Olympics, losing to the Czechs 5-3.
We’re one game away to play for a medal and that’s pretty special,” said David Krejci after the game. Zdeno Chara naturally had different feelings, and he was at a loss to explain their early exodus from Sochi. ”That’s the million-dollar question. It’s tough to say. We had a rough game the first game against the U.S. That game kind of put us really down mentally, our confidence was not there. But we bounced back against Russia and played our strongest game of this tournament. We thought we would follow up on that game and obviously we didn’t.”
”It’s a big disappointment and we’ll have to look back and figure out what went wrong.”
David Krejci and the Czech team had no time to rest on their victory. They had to prepare to take on one of the most offensively explosive teams at the tournament, Team USA. The Czechs needed to outfox Johnathan Quick and hope that Ondrej Pavelec would be up to the challenge. (If you’ve ever had Pavelec in your fantasy hockey team, you know back to back workloads aren’t in his repertoire.) He ended up giving up four goals on twelve shots and left the Czech Republic’s medal hopes on Alexander Salak. Sadly for them(while great for America and its hockey team), Team USA only needed the first period to take the Czechs out of the game. The US beat the Czech Republic 5-2.
As it stands, there are still three teams with members of the Bruins organization. Loui Eriksson and Team Sweden will be taking on Tuukka Rask and Team Finland in one bracket, and Patrice Bergeron and Team Canada will be taking on Team USA on Friday. At this point, the Bruins will have at least two medals in hockey. Not bad for a team that only had five representatives