In image (From left to Right): Alex Salak, Michael Frolik and Ondrej Pavelec
Written by Jordan LeClair - community contributor
Here’s a quick preview on the three goalies that will represent the Czech Republic in the 2014 Olympic Winter games.
Club team: Winnipeg Jets
Ondrej Pavelec is the current starting goalie for the Winnipeg Jets. Although he tends to retain the starting position, he has been continually average over the years. His save percentage in the NHL tends to hover around .905% seasons in and season out. Pavelec will likely be playing back-up through the Olympics behind Jakub Kovar. Though Pavelec’s stats aren’t anything to brag about, he is still a very capable goalie and able to steal games. He also has the hot hand as of late under Paul Maurice going 7-3-0 in his last ten starts.
Club team: Yekaterinburg Automobilist
This relatively young goalie has posted some pretty good stats playing 44 games in the KHL this season. This will be Kovar’s first Olympic appearance although he does have a pair of Bronze medals in the World Championships in 2011 and 2012. Kovar is able to bring a positionally sound game to the table. Don’t expect him to make a bunch of flashy saves every night, not because he can’t, but because he doesn’t have to. He also had the best goals against average and save percentage in the Czech Extraliga in the 2012/2013 season. Expect Kovar to be Team Czech Republic’s number one through the tournament.
Club team: St. Petersburg SKA
This starting goalie for St. Petersburg is posting a hefty .933 save percentage and .186 goals against average in 31 games played for his club. I see Salak playing in the third spot for this team, possibly making a couple of starts based on Pavelec and Kovar’s performances. It’s a win now kind of tournament and Salak is definitely capable of bringing a solid game to the ice. Though I see him as a third, he could be playing second string.