Slovenian team

It’s finally here. With the Olympics getting under way and the hockey starting soon, it’s time to roll out our preview of each team between now and puck drop. May the best team win.


The basics

The Slovenian national hockey team is currently ranked 17th overall by the IIHF. They have a single NHLer on their roster, they’re coached by Matjaž Kopitar (pff, of COURSE the coach’s son* made the team), and they did not qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics. (*Note: I did specify coach’s son. Not sons. Sorry Gaspars.)slovenia

Member Since May 6, 1992
Total Players 886
Male Players 148
Junior Players 687
Female Players 51
Total Referees 38
Indoor Rinks 7
Outdoor Rinks 0
Nation Population 1,992,690
President Matjaz Rakovec
Men’s World Ranking 17
Women’s World Ranking 21


A, with Russia, Slovakia, and the United States of America.


Goaltenders NHL Team
Luka Gracnar
Andrej Hocevar
Robert Kristan
Blaz Gregorc
Sabahudin Kovacevic
Ales Kranjc
Ziga Pavlin
Klemen Pretnar
Mitja Robar
Matic Podlipnik
Andrej Tavzelj
Bostjan Golicic
Ziga Jeglic
Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings
Anze Kuralt
Jan Mursak
Alas Music
Ziga Prince
Tomaz Razingar
David Rodman
Marcel Rodman
Robert Sabolic
Rok Ticar
Jan Urbas
Miha Verlic

Biggest names

Anze Kopitar. Jan Mursak used to play in the NHL too. Oh, and also “Sabahudin Kovacevic,” if we stretch the definition of “biggest” to include “most characters.” (While we’re talking names, there’s two Rodmans. There’s a Prince. There’s a Music. There’s even a Rok Ticar, which sounds like a heart attack from partying too much. Awesome.)


Noooooo. No-ho-ho-ho. Not so much.


They have this one guy you may have heard of, Anze Kopitar? Apparently he plays for the Kings. That’s a team in the NHL, so I think that qualifies him as a team “strength.”slov_cat-2


The majority of the players that pushed Slovenia into the Olympics aren’t NHLers. They aren’t KHLers. They aren’t even the type of players you’d find in the best Swiss or Swedish Leagues. They’re 2nd and 3rd division players who are now going to be tasked with reining in the Russians, Americans and Slovakians. Also…

It could be an unfun tournament for them, though just being there and being a part of it all is sort of the point. Here’s to hoping they don’t get embarrassed.

Route to the Olympics

Rob the Hockey Guy explains here:

Slovenia was not one of the top 9 countries in the IIHF rankings, so they needed to win theirqualifying group to book their ticket to Sochi. Their group included Belarus, Denmark and Ukraine. Slovenia qualified without their only marquee player, Anze Kopitar (he was playing in the NHL at the time), in emphatic fashion. They won all three games in regulation time en route to winning the group.

(Check out Rob at VanCityBuzz)


My prediction is predictable: 12th of 12. Hey, somebody’s gotta finish in that spot.


Times are GMT+4, (MSK – Moscow Standard Time)

Thursday, February 13th: RUSRussian Federation 16:30 SloveniaSLO
Saturday, February 15th: SVKSlovakia 12:00 SloveniaSLO
Sunday, February 16th: SLOSlovenia 16:30 United StatesUSA



Other Previews






Czech Republic