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Phoenix to debut ‘Czech line’ tonight

Mar 20, 2014, 3:08 PM EST

HanzalVrbata AP

There are checking lines, and there are Czech-ing lines — and on Thursday, the Coyotes will unveil the latter when they take on the Panthers at Jobing.com.

Martin Erat, acquired at the trade deadline from Washington, will play on a line with fellow Czechs Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata, marking the first time the three have played together this season.

“Let’s get the line out there,” Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “Let’s see how they work out there.

“Obviously, they understand each other and understand how they play.”

Though Erat has been with the Coyotes for two weeks, the Czech line’s debut was stalled due to an injury to Hanzal, who missed seven games before returning for Monday’s win over the Kings. Erat also missed time with a head injury but, with the trio now healthy, the Coyotes will look to take advantage of the chemistry developed through years of participation with the Czech national team.

The three all suited up for the Czechs at the 2008 World Hockey Championships, and combined to score 16 points in seven games.

“You can see that we can find each other in the offensive zone, tight corners, that we get open for each other and we’re able to make those passes,” Vrbata said. “It’s nice to see.”

Tonight’s game is huge for the Coyotes, though most of their remaining contests are. Phoenix currently holds the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but is just two points up on Dallas and three up on Vancouver.

The Canucks are idle tonight after beating Nashville on Wednesday, while the Stars are in action this evening against the streaking Flyers, who have won three straight.

  1. JoeAvg - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Though they hope to cash in it could turn out to be non sufficient funds.

    This is too easy.

  2. thailer35 - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Been waiting to see this line in action, and will be there tonight to see it in action!

    Another side note for Coyotes fans, tonight is important because of attendance too. This is one of the last games of the season that isn’t against a “marquee” opponent or a close rival (both of which tend to draw well). If attendance is good tonight, we should come out well ahead this year against last years attendance average. Not sure how many can still be bought at the box office, but only a couple hundred remain on stubhub. No more excuses. Let’s support this team!

    (begin barrage of thumbs down and talks of how this team should relocate)

    • phxyotes - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Wish I could be there but I live in Denver now :(

  3. jacketsfan7 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Phoenix will have a czeching and checking line

  4. jacketsfan7 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    A Czech line and a check line lol

  5. jacketsfan7 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    A Czech line and a check line lol

  6. frankiesweep - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Have to win this game going up against the B’s on Saturday.

    My worry is that the Yotes have played down to the level of bad teams.

    After the big comeback against the Kings on the road, I’m hoping they don’t have a letdown….

    • hawksin5 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      the coyotes don’t have a level, they play down to the bad teams and up to the good ones.

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