No commitment, no heart, but also no personalities that would pull the whole team down. As if Czech hockey players don’t care if they succeed or fail. As if they don’t care what the Czech fans think about their game. “He who does not jump is not a Czech!” A cry that several years ago pushed the Czech representatives to the media.
However, the Czech Republic has been out of the world’s top for a long time. Mandatory wins against Kazakhstan, Norway or Slovenia are not enough. The Latvians have already shown us how hockey is played now. And what about the Swiss and Canadians. Quick combination, immediate transition of the middle zone, emphasis in attack and, above all, hunger for goals. The Czechs under Jalonen played cautiously, letting some thirds go completely as if they had weights on their feet. They did not win face-offs, the opponents easily escaped them, they passed better, combined better and created scoring opportunities. We are losing, but we are spinning minutes in our own third, looking for a suitable place to pass. And we still lose pucks because the opponent is faster in all phases.
Finnish coach Kari Jalonen calmly watches the game. He doesn’t stir up his team, he doesn’t shout, he doesn’t try to change the game or tactics. Do you remember coaching Hlinka or Růžička? When the team was not doing well, they were able to regroup the players during the game, combine the offensive lines according to the current form, reduce the lineup from four to three fives, in short, give the team a new impulse, a spark that would ignite and turn around the unfavorable situation. Jalonen only decided to do so in the last third of the last match.
Yes, it’s hard to mix up a lineup when there aren’t that many strong and skilled hockey players to compete with the Swiss or the Canadians. This year, none of the Czech hockey players met with form. Dominik Kubalík led the Canadian scoring until the quarter-finals, but he was the only exception. He shot mainly in power plays, but in the five-on-five game he often lost pucks and spoiled plays. Červenka, the most productive player in the Swiss league, looked tired. He might have caught himself, but he got hurt. And so we could continue.
No, the Czechs currently have no medals. Coach Jalonen should resign and the union should find a new coach. But mainly to think about what we are doing wrong. Why is not only the national team losing its luster, but also the Czech league, which in recent years has been unable to train “world” players.
It’s a shame. Because now the championship is over for us, the Czech fans. We won’t hear “Who doesn’t jump, isn’t Czech” on the squares this year. And who knows when we’ll shout it from the top of our lungs and heart again.
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Tags: Barren game Jalonen Czech hockey players deserve medal year