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IIHF: Czechs solidify roster with Nashville forward

Monday, 05.14.2012 / 9:00 AM CT / Features
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IIHF: Czechs solidify roster with Nashville forward

STOCKHOLM – With the Nashville Predators eliminated from the playoffs, Martin Erat arrives just in time to help the Czech Republic in their quest for a medal. Erat’s recent playoff experience will be an important factor.

Emotionally there will be an adjustment for Erat as he was in a Stanley Cup playoff hockey mindset, attempting to take the Predators well into the playoffs and now with that dream unrealized, he’s in short-tournament mode trying to advance towards medal contention.

“It’s tough mentally getting ready to playing game five in Phoenix and then flying half the world away and then playing in the World Championship,” he said. “But that’s the hockey life and we have to get through it.”

So much emphasis had been placed on Nashville’s growth into a playoff contender. With an outstanding cast that includes Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne, so much was expected for a deep run into the playoffs, possibly conference finals and maybe Stanley Cup finals.

Even bringing Alexander Radulov back from the Kontinental Hockey League was not enough to bring Nashville beyond the second round of the playoffs where they lost the Phoenix Coyotes in five games.

Still, there is a very bright future for the team, provided they can resign Weber and Suter.

“We made the little steps and there is so much exciting in the city of Nashville that we hope things are going to get better and better,” said Erat.

It’s been a tough few days for Erat prior to arriving. He was coming off the tough series loss and then having to switch gears immediately and travel here to Stockholm without so much as a good night’s sleep then suit up and get ready to compete in the tournament. But he’s happy to have the chance to play for the Czech and is immediately getting used to things.

“I’ve played a lot of hockey but when its your country it is always something special,” he said of joining the team. “I don’t know how many World Championships I am going to play now that Nashville is getting better and better with the hope of going deeper in the playoffs the next three or four years. That’s why I decided to come and join the Czech national team.”

Erat has represented the Czechs at every level of international competition, starting with the U18 World Championship in 1999. Twice before he’s donned the Czech Republic national colours at the men’s senior World Championship, including 2006 when he won a silver medal.

With only one game remaining in the Preliminary Round, the Czech Republic is priming for playoff position.

“It’s a World Championship and it’s all about one game,” Erat offered. “If you made it through the quarter-final it is a two-day tournament and anything can happen.”

JOHN SANFUL/IIHF.com

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33