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The 4 Czech Monkeys

Czech Republic v Germany: Group A - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
This is the next Hemsky IMO
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Time for a story.

The Czechs entered this tournament with 4 ugly monkeys on their backs. These monkeys get bigger and bigger every year. As a huge Czech fan, I hate these monkeys.

Monkey 1 is a real bastard. The Czechs didn’t have a regulation win against Canada in 30 years. In fact, last time we beat Canada in regulation was with Slovaks on the roster. We had Slovak god Pavol Demitra with us for instance. Here is a great story about that team from the IIHF site.

Monkey 1 was put to bed a week ago. The big takeaway from that Czech win is that it broke a 30 year slump, happened in Canada and the Czechs kept Connor Bedard to ONE point. Since then Connor has 17 points in 3 games.

Monkey 2 is just as bad. I hate it almost as much. The Swedes have absolutely owned us at this tournament. Here are the scores going back to 2003:

2003 Sweden 1 and Czechs 3 (last time we beat them)

2006 Sweden 3 and Czechs 2

2007 Swedes 5 and Czechs 1 (Quarters)

2008 Sweden 4 and Czechs 2

2010 Swedes 6 and Czechs 3

2011 Swedes 6 and Czechs 3

2013 Swedes 4 and Czechs 1

2015 Sweden 5 and Czechs 2

2017 Sweden 5 and Czechs 2

2018 Sweden 3 and Czechs 1

2019 Sweden 10 and Czechs 1

2020 Sweden 5 and Czechs 0 (Quarters)

2021 Sweden 7 and Czechs 1

2022 Sweden 3 and Czechs 1 (Bronze game)

This works out to an average of about 6-2 in favor of Sweden. This Monkey is still alive after the Swedes beat us 3-2 in OT. However, first point in 20 years! Still, the monkey continue to eat and get fat at our expense!

Monkey 3 wasn’t awful. He didn’t get too big but he was frustrating. Germany had beat us 3 in a row going back to 2014 (some spunky kid named Leon was on that team). That monkey is done eating too! We finally beat the German’s 8-1 this week.

Now Monkey 4 is actually my least favorite monkey! I hate this monkey! The last time the Czechs medaled was by beating Phil Kessel and the US for Bronze in 2005 (note: the greatest Team Canada in World Juniors history). Kessel is almost done his NHL career. 17 long years.

The Czechs just beat Switzerland 9-1 and are in the semi’s. If Canada wins they get Sweden (Monkey 2) and if Canada loses they get Slovakia.

Two monkeys down and two to go! I wonder if this is the year we finally get a medal?

In a funny twist, if Canada wins tonight against Slovakia then the Czechs have a chance to kill 2 monkeys with one game (beat Sweden and a guaranteed medal).

Hope dies last when you are a Czech (or Oiler) fan!