You come back and ice after more than two weeks. You missed six games due to injury. What did you do?
I have already returned to the ice, but I still do not know if I will start the first game. However, my health seems pretty good (winks). My departure will be decided before the match. I will not specify the nature of the injury.
They say that everything bad is always good for something. In February, you had a very demanding program by inserting the Olympic Games. Have you rested and regained your strength for the final phase of the season?
Yes, he rested. But it’s been a long time. When I was just sitting in the stands, I was really looking forward to being on the ice. I wanted to play, so I can’t wait. We’ll see if it works in the first game.
Didn’t you rush back to the ice after the Olympics and fatigue couldn’t affect your injuries?
She could. We met the opinion that I was in a hurry. On the other hand, the number of times a person enters immediately is better than a longer acclimatization. It was worth considering whether to immediately jump onto the ice from the plane. In agreement with the coaches, I opted for an accelerated variant. Besides, it was a derby with Hradec.
Don’t say you didn’t have plenty of glasses. Didn’t you bet that the young body regenerates better?
That’s exactly what I thought. Unfortunately, the young body did not succeed. I overestimated my strength and after the derby I was more upset. I banged my head wondering why I went in there. But I wanted to help the boys, because not everyone was in good shape.
Participation – non-participation in the Olympic Games
How would you rate your participation – non-participation in the Olympic Games?
I still support my decision to take on the role of deputy. I’m glad I got to be part of the team. I am happy to have been able to discover the environment and the atmosphere of the Olympic Games. Of course, I’m sorry I didn’t play under five circles, but that’s life.
You could only train with the team, what did you do with your free time when you were isolated from the team with other substitutes?
Honza Ščotka and David Tomášek and I more or less spent time together. Lots of winters so we don’t have to stick to the hotel. And when we were there, we watched movies or played cards.
Did you hope to play in Beijing?
Maybe at the start. Then, when I saw all the measurements there, it was clear to me that four attackers had to be injured. I already knew that I would not play.
After all you’ve been through, would you want to ride again as such a distant replacement?
I would definitely go. I don’t take the fact that I didn’t play a negative. There will be other Olympic Games and these Beijing substitutes can already play there.
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And while you weren’t playing in China, your Dynamo lost game after game. Did you monitor the performance of your colleagues and what did you say about it?
I had to watch them. I have to admit it was tough when the boys lost and I couldn’t help them. But what’s worse: sitting in the stands and watching his team lose.
You spent the rest of the basic part in civilian life. How were you when you saw Vanity on the ice?
Of course, it was not a pleasant sight. We needed every point. On the other hand, if we had two weeks off, it could be made up for. I believe that even if we had to go to the preliminary round, the boys rested and regained their strength. And we will be all fresh in the quarter-finals.
Would you ever think about it in mid-January and why did it develop like this?
Of course not. Nobody thinks of it that way. Such is sport. Once the team went up and the second time down. We found ourselves on the ground for a few games. I hope we have already chosen him for this season.
Matěj Blümel scored three goals for his Budějovice side out of eight in total.
We have to beat everyone
So is it better to have the nails of your teeth to stay in four and go to the quarter-finals so as not to play with a long string of defeats behind you, or in the preliminary round to regain confidence and ride the winning wave?
Difficult to judge. Of course, it is better to qualify directly for the quarter-finals. However, during those two weeks you can get out of rhythm and you never know what your opponent will do. And if you pass the preliminary round in three matches, you still have free time. During this time, it can be regenerated. We did, so this option is better (laughs). But no one will guarantee it. Just look at the other series, which lasted five matches and their winners only had one day off.
It seems that Pardubice needed a new competition and with it a new impetus like a scratching pig. How did you see the series with Vary as a viewer?
Either way, the playoffs are a new competition. I perceived it a little differently. I wanted to see some great hockey and finally enjoy it in the stands. I was lucky in home games. The boys played very well and I liked their hockey. It was worse in the third game. I watched the show on TV and especially in the extension I had the nerves. But the boys did, which was great.
In the quarter-finals, you will cross the ropes with České Budějovice. With the team that scored in the main draw, in the home draw and in the away draw, exactly the same number of points. What do you say about this rare balance and also about the adversary?
It’s strange. But if we want to win the competition, we have to beat everyone. The fact that we go to Budějovice may seem like a more acceptable option. The coaches will prepare us for the series. We will take information from them and we will go to the games with them. I think we will manage the series better.
Is it possible to tag someone as a series favorite for such constellations?
The favorites are České Budějovice, when they finished in the table ahead of us and didn’t have to go to the preliminary round. And especially based on the last two matches, where they have rebounded significantly to the score.
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However, due to the worst goalscoring ratio in mutual matches, you start and theoretically can finish on the outside. Can you find an advantage in it?
Personally at home – I don’t deal with the outdoors. But the big disadvantage will be the audience. I believe there will also be a good atmosphere there. If it was the seventh game, we wouldn’t have to be under such pressure, because not many people will get there from us.
In the base game, you had two debacles (1:6 and 1:7), paradoxically both with České Budějovice. How do you explain that?
Coincidence? The first match did not tie the score. We anchored them for the first five minutes. So everything came to mind. I can’t rate the second game much, I got injured early on. But all of that is gone. A new competition is launched. We have already learned from our mistakes and a completely different team will start.
But you haven’t learned anything from the first one. What about both? Can you promise the fans that this won’t happen again in the third one?
We will do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen again. It’s not possible for, say, a comparable team to get three times like that
You are doing well against Motor. You scored in three out of four games. Coincidence or favorite opponent?
I come from southern Bohemia, so I have a higher internal motivation. I like it there. Someone from the family will always see him. However, I would attribute it to chance.
A dozen positives
In total, you scored 24 Canadian points for the same number of goals and assists. Are you satisfied with this achievement?
I’m not completely satisfied, but it could have been worse. I was more productive last season. But what was important for me this season is that I had more chances. We had better luck last year, now I missed it. I believe if I play the way I played, the pucks will bounce off me and the odds will start to change.
We must not forget that the competition in the Pardubice team has intensified.
It’s true. The good guys came not just to attack. That’s also why we did well for most of the base part. I felt better on the ice than last season.
But what you will be satisfied with is the balance of points more or less. You’ve won a dozen more…
Well, you see, I don’t even know that’s such a positive review. Of course, I knew I could be in trouble. Not that I would count. It occurs to me that each year these statistics are taken more and more prestigious. I’m glad it turned out that way
Shorthanded, you scored two goals for your team. Do you like to play weak?
First, I have to defend. But when the opportunity arises, my opponents like to run away (laughs).
The top scorer in the extra league shook his hand. Říčka removed the tires, assembled the motorcycles
How far is it in your NHL head?
I’m not thinking about the NHL at all right now. Of course, I would like to play it one day. It’s every little hockey player’s dream. My main focus is on the playoffs. We’ll see what happens after the season…
But being able to play in the same line with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl…
Edmonton no longer has rights over me, so I don’t know if the Oilers would come out. But even if it was another team, I certainly wouldn’t be angry (smiles).
Again in the national team. What do you say to the new coach of the Jalonen team?
To be honest, I don’t know anything about him. Only that he trained Lev Prague. He achieved a lot of success during his career. Maybe his Finnish style might suit me. We will all start from the same line. We will see who enters the national team under his management and who does not.
Does he nominate you for the World Cup, or do you feel lucky? Have there already been contacts between you?
No, no one answered. It will also depend on your performance in the playoffs. I would like him to call me. If it doesn’t work now, I’ll be better prepared for next season. And in there, for example, it will work…