Feb 18, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT
SOCHI, Russia — For a reportedly dysfunctional team, the Czech Republic may just prove to be a tough out when it meets the United States Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament.
Coming off an uneven preliminary round, the Czechs held on to beat their rivals from Slovakia, 5-3, on Tuesday in the qualification playoffs. Since opening the tournament by surrendering four straight goals to Sweden, the Czechs have outscored their opponents by an 11-6 margin.
Even against arguably the most impressive team of the preliminary round, the Americans, veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle doesn’t think anybody should be counting out his side.
“You know what? Anybody can beat anybody in this tournament,” said Kaberle. “It’s been showing throughout the tournament. We know they’ve got a solid team. Play solid in our own zone, and we know we can score a few goals. As long we score a few goals, we should be fine.”
As for those reports of dysfunction – for example, the Globe and Mail writing that some of the Czech players are “apparently not even on speaking terms with” coach Alois Hadamczik – Kaberle dismissed them.
“I don’t know who’s writing about it,” he said. “We’re on the same page. Everybody’s here to do one thing, to compete hard, and this is the best tournament in the world, and you want to finish first. There’s no fights in the dressing room, or anything like that.”
- Silfverberg scores winner with 21 seconds remaining, Ducks complete comeback over Jets 6
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ 54
- So…what do the Oilers do now? 55
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall 162
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action 7
- Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues 16
- Bishop records first career playoff win as Lightning even series with Red Wings 6
- Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks 25
- Blackhawks’ Darling gets the nod for Game 3 30
- Watch Live: Bolts, Blues look to even up their respective series 0
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (162)
- Stone suffered microfracture on Subban slash, Sens confirm (102)
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) (99)
- Report: Players growing tired of Darryl Sutter (94)
- Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs (75)