Feb 12, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
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.”
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL 19
- All eyes on Lundqvist 8
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 9
- Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead 27
- (Video) PHT Extra: On Babcock, sticking to the process and housebuilding analogies 3
- Babcock predicts ‘pain’ for Leafs, who are a ‘massive, massive challenge’ 38
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ 47
- Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line 21
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? 70
- It goes to eleven: Lightning edge Rangers in track meet 34
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (172)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (90)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)