Warning: apc_store(): Potential cache slam averted for key 'w3tc_blogs.thescore.com_object_9ee1addf54ad00867451ed4d367f2c40' in /opt/blogs/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Apc.php on line 41 Warning: apc_store(): Potential cache slam averted for key 'w3tc_blogs.thescore.com_4_object_69be6f0f58698dc437fd681ecbdd920c' in /opt/blogs/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Apc.php on line 41 2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Preview: Slovenia | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com

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.

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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

Group

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

Roster

Goaltenders NHL Team
Luka Gracnar
Andrej Hocevar
Robert Kristan
Defensemen  
Blaz Gregorc
Sabahudin Kovacevic
Ales Kranjc
Ziga Pavlin
Klemen Pretnar
Mitja Robar
Matic Podlipnik
Andrej Tavzelj
Forwards  
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.)

Depth

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

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

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)

Prediction

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

Schedule

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

Video

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Other Previews

Canada

Sweden

USA

Russia

Finland

Czech Republic

Slovakia

Switzerland

Norway

Latvia

Austria

Comments (6)

  1. The way the Kings season is tanking, having Kopitar fly over there to get beaten down in three games is NOT what the doctor ordered. I’m amazed that Dean Lombardi hasn’t bullshitted an injury and scratched him, even if it would lead to Slovenia immediately declaring war on the US.

  2. I went to watch Slovakia vs. Slovenia in 2008 at the World Hockey Championships in Halifax, and while I thought Kopitar would be able to do more, it was just sort of no. 5-1 Slovaks, 50-11 were the shots.

  3. anyway you put it, it’s damn impressive that this little country beat out two countries that should easily beat them: Belarus and Denmark.

    148 registered players wow then is a shallow pool to choose from.

  4. Thats because HockeyDB is a terrible database. Check out Eliteprospects.com or eurohockey.com for better international statistics.

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