The Czechs made a bold move in goal for their Olympic opener against Sweden, and it failed to pay off.
Jakub Kovar — chosen to start ahead of Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec, the lone NHL netminder on the roster — was hooked after allowing three goals on 10 shots on Wednesday.
Kovar, 25, has starred for HC Ceske Budejovice of the KHL this season but looked shaky against the Swedes. Erik Karlsson beat Kovar with a screen shot 10 minutes in, and Kovar was bested again three minutes later on a short-side shot from Patrik Berglund.
Early in the second, Kovar failed to glove Henrik Zetterberg’s slot shot early in the second… and it was curtains.
Kovar was replaced by another KHL netminder — Alexander Salak — as the Czechs made the additionally surprising decision not to even dress Pavelec for today’s game, instead “saving” him for their next group game against Latvia.
Upon hearing news of the decision, Pavelec said he wasn’t “jumping for joy” but tried to put a positive spin on things.
“It’s the Olympics. Everyone wants to play,” he said. “That’s why we’re here. I don’t know. I’ll work hard in practice. The coaches have their reasons. Hopefully this works for us and we win.”
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.