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Hemsky not pleased with minimal ice time vs. Sweden

Feb 12, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

Hemsky AP

To say Ales Hemsky wanted a better start to his Sochi Olympic experience is an understatement.

The Edmonton forward was benched for the entire first period of Czech Republic’s 4-2 loss to Sweden on Wednesday, and finished with less than seven minutes of ice time. Following the game, Hemsky tried to put the situation in perspective.

“It’s hard if you don’t play the first half of the game,” Hemsky said, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “I’m not used to it. I didn’t sit like that for how many years, but it is what it is.

“I just tried to get back and just get my legs going.”

As mentioned, Hemsky didn’t play at all in the first period. He then received 1:23 in the second period and 5:35 in the third, which included some power play time — something of a curious decision, as Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik opted to put Hemsky, the forward he used the least through two periods, on a crucial man advantage with his team trying to mount a comeback.

Hemsky, 30, has struggled with injuries this season and missed seven games in January with an ankle issue, so it’s possible he wasn’t at 100 percent heading into this game (also, starting goalie Jakub Kovar said a few Czech players had fallen ill). But he wasn’t the only NHL forward that saw limited ice — Ottawa’s Milan Michalek got just 6:46 while Winnipeg’s Michael Frolik played 9:44.

Hemsky’s former Edmonton teammate, defenseman Ladislav Smid, spent the entire game on the bench.

Related: What’s going on with Pavelec and the Czech Olympic team?

  1. thailer35 - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Sounds like the Czech coach has been drunk the entire time. As were the decision makers who picked Nedved over Vrbata.

  2. btlpper68 - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    He wasn’t that bad he probably had the best scoring Chance but wanted to pass. Real problem is leaving hurler and vrbata while scratching hanzal

  3. luz56 - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Your lucky you are even on the team ..Juri Hudler was certainly more deserving than you….

  4. c9castine - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    The Czech team seems to be trying to prove that they don’t need NHLers to win or something. I don’t know…

    Its quite clear they do. Pavelec in the stands is idiotic. There is a reason he plays in the NHL and those other two dudes don’t. Hudler, Vrbata are upper level NHL players let alone for the Czech team. Hanzal, if healthy should have been on the ice. Hemsky should have played more.

    Oh well, not my country.

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