Feb 10, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Undermanned Slovakia had its first practice in Sochi on Monday, and wasted no time getting Chicago sniper Marian Hossa onto one of its top lines.
The line unites Hossa — the leading Slovak scorer in the NHL this season with 50 points in 55 games — with the 23-year-old Tatar, who has a career-high 13 goals and 24 points this season. Handzus, the oldest player on the Slovakian team, will center the two.
The other Slovak lines, per Hokej.cz:
Branko Radivojevic-Tomas Kopecky-Tomas Jurco/Peter Olvecky
Milan Bartovic-Tomas Surovy-Michel Miklik
Richard Panik-Tomas Marcinko-Marcel Hossa/Tomas Zaborsky
On defense, the team loaded up its top pairing with Boston captain Zdeno Chara and Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, who is enjoying a banner season for the ‘Canes. The other pairings were Andrej Meszaros-Ivan Baranka, Martin Marincin-Milan Jurcina and Tomas Starosta-Rene Vydardeny.
The Slovaks were dealt a pair of major blows leading up to Sochi, losing the services of Marian Gaborik (broken collarbone) and Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion). For a country with just 14 active NHLers, losing two as talented as Gaborik and Visnovsky really thins out the overall talent pool, and Slovakia has been forced to call up KHLers Radivojevic and Starosta as replacements.
- Canucks ink Brandon Sutter to five-year, $21.875 million extension 18
- NHL unveils ‘historic’ digital media rights deal with MLBAM 36
- It’s Detroit Red Wings Day at PHT 15
- What does Jack Eichel mean to the Buffalo Sabres? 32
- It’s Buffalo Sabres Day at PHT 33
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 29
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 62
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? (62)
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs (45)
- Owner Pegula: Sabres have gone through ‘two of the most successful seasons we’ve ever had’ (43)
- NHL unveils ‘historic’ digital media rights deal with MLBAM (38)