Today’s blog will be mostly about Kladno Knights, a hockey team in the Czech Republic I own.
It’s a pity that we’re out of the playoffs. We lost the series in the playoff qualification 0-3 to HC Kometa Brno. I know that we were leading 3-1 in the final match in Kladno… But I don’t want to judge the game, I didn´t watch it, we were on our way to Washington at that time. So I don’t want to make any statements like players should protect the lead because everyone knows the right things after the match. It’s very easy to criticize but it’s harder to play and practice.
But it’s a pity that we didn’t start the series at home. It would be a different story. There would be at least two games in Kladno. It’s not about finance and the money from ticket sales but people would feel more playoff atmosphere after the years of battling for the Extraliga spot. And there would be a better chance to advance. Instead of that we started in Brno and it’s very hard to play in that type of atmosphere, especially for guys who have never been in the playoffs and they have a lack of experience. It’s not easy to start playing in front of such a huge crowd.
I believe that after two wins at home it would be very tough for Brno to win in front of our own fans. They would be very nervous and we would win. But it’s an “if”, it just did not happen. And we can’t do anything. It’s too early to evaluate but the players proved that they could succeed. I counted with the qualification round. The team was good enough to make it but then it’s very hard to fight against financially strong teams from bigger cities.
But we‘re happy that we’re not involved in surviving battles for the Extraliga. There will be a very tough competition between Litvinov, Slavia, Boleslav and Karlovy Vary in this season. They will be battling in the final round and maybe it will be more interesting to watch than the whole play off. So it’s a relief that we’re not part of it.
I can’t evaluate what the future of Kladno is because I didn´t see many games during the season. It’s not fair to judge the whole season by the final rank. I have to trust people who were around which is not a problem for me, I trust the people I work with. And I can’t say that my involvement with Kladno limited me in any way from concentrating on playing in Philadelphia this season.
And how could the whole play off in the Czech Extraliga end up? Hard to guess but it’s clear that Sparta aims high after winning the regular season. Moreover they have a very good coach in Josef Jandac. But I think that even Kometa isn’t without a chance to win. I´d thought that they would end up higher than they finally did because of their players and salaries. It was a disappointment for me to see where they were at the end of the regular season. And if they start playing the right way, they might still surprise everyone.
There’s a good chance for Pilsen, too, but that depends on Vlasy´s (Tomas Vlasak´s) condition. He’s a key player for Stracena (Martin Straka) because he can score. Straka is more like a passer. And besides of that, there’s Liberec with the 50-year-old Meda (Petr Nedved)!
When it comes to Philadelphia, ironically we won 1-0 in Washington without our key defensemen. And nearly without a single defenseman we didn’t receive a goal. It’s nice to see Ilya Bryzgalov back in shape.
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