European Updates – Kladno lost to Plzen, Lev experiencing crisis

Image courtesy of iSport.cz

Kris Beech started his season with HC Pardubice. He was supposed to be a star, but was unable to live up those expectations and had to wait 11 games for his first goal.

Finally, Beech scored against HC Kometa Brno, the leading team of the Extraliga. He was glad to have scored, because the slow start was familiar to him. Slow starts without a goal, that’s the old story every season for Kris. Now he hopes that he can be better in the upcoming games and he can produce more. One more fact about Kris: his linemate is a former Flyer, Pavel Brendl.

Milan Michalek is another player from the NHL who wants to support his home team. In his case, he’s going to play for HC Mountfield Ceské Budejovice; the same team in which Jakub Kovar plays. Michalek believes that he owes Budejovice a lot. They brought him to Extraliga and gave him a chance to play the best league in the Czech Republic before he left for the NHL. Michalek was asked about Prospal and Hanzal, who also joined Mountfield during the lockout. He thinks that it’s a good chance for all of them to play together despite the big expectations.

Andrew Ference, of the Boston Bruins, also joined Budejovice like he did during the previous lockout, where he helped the team come back to the Extraliga from the 1st league (along with Roman Turek who was Ference’s teammate in Calgary). Milan’s brother Zbynek was supposed to help Mountfield, too, but he’s injured and needs some more time for recovery.

Game of the week: HC Kladno vs HC Škoda Plze?

Those two teams have big names on their rosters. Kladno has Jagr, Plekanec, Tlusty, Kaberle, and Zidlicky. Plzen has Straka, Rask, Vlasak, Gulas, and Pletka (former Flyer pick who played only one game in Flyers jersey). Kladno was leading, thanks to a Tlusty goal, but then Ivan Majesky scored on his own team. After the game, Jagr said that it was more about tactics than about hockey. The decision maker, according to Jagr, was that Kladno couldn’t go through the central zone. The game was decided by the shootout where Jagr’s Kladno lost to Plzen.

Lev Prague
Lev is going through a rough patch. They started the season very well, but now the team from Prague is trying to find a way from the dead end. Moreover, Lev lost two players due to injury (as we informed in the last European Updates) – Voracek and Picard. The latter is sidelined for three months with a shoulder injury, according to Lev’s website.

Last week, Lev added one of the best NHL defensemen, Zdeno Chara, who scored his first goal against Kazan. Still, the team was unable to beat SKA St. Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow (with Alex Ovechkin), and also lost to Kazan. Those three teams are top of the Eastern Conference of the KHL, and Lev should have won against at least one of those teams, because they were equal opponents. Chara thinks that Lev should keep on working and they will start winning again, sooner or later. He was also asked about the differences between NHL and KHL, and replied that KHL has a different system of traveling, playing games, etc.

HC Lev has been waiting for one big offensive force – one of the best KHL players of the last season – Roman Cervenka, who is now playing for HC Slavia Prague, where his contract is going to expire October 20. Both Cervenka and Lev think that he might be playing a few days later for the KHL team of Lev. Roman knows that the Czech top league is not enough for him but he feels that he was a good addition to Slavia, which is his home team from where he went to Omsk.