The Czech Republic skated on Monday in preparation of Wednesday’s Olympic opener against Sweden and, as several pundits expected, iced a top line featuring New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr, Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec and former Calgary forward Roman Cervenka:
Czech 1st line for #Sochi2014 hockey tournament will be as we all expected: Jagr – Plekanec – Cervenka.
— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) February 10, 2014
Jagr has a history with Cervenka dating back to their days in the KHL. In 2009-10, Cervenka teamed with Jagr to play for Avangard Omsk, and the pair emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic scoring duos. The following year, with Jagr in Philly, Cervenka shouldered the load solo and wound up leading the KHL in playoff scoring (22 points in 20 games.) Plekanec, who will serve as the Czech captain in Sochi, has been a linemate of Jagr’s at a number of international events.
According to Sport CT’s Robert Zaruba, the remaining Czech lines look like this:
Jakub Voracek-David Krejci-Ondrej Palat
Petr Nedved-Patrik Elias-Martin Erat
Michael Frolik-Jiri Novotny-Milan Michalek
Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky and Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal looked to be the extras, though that could be largely due to their health. Hemsky was dealing with an ankle injury prior to the Olympics, while Hanzal fell ill prior to the break and missed a game against Chicago.
On defense, Zaruba has it:
Marek Zidlicky-Zbynek Michalek
Michal Rozsival-Tomas Kaberle
Radko Gudas-Ladislav Smid
Lukas Krajicek-Michal Barinka
Not much to glean from this, other than acknowledging three of the blueliners (Kaberle, Krajicek, Barinka) currently play in the Czech Extraliga, and made the team over NHL blueliners like St. Louis’ Roman Polak (injured at the time of roster selection), Colorado’s Jan Hejda and Detroit’s Jakub Kindl.