Tomas Kopecky and his Slovakian teammates are in a deep hole now after the 7-1 whooping they took at the hands of the Americans. With Russia and Slovenia still left to play, it appears that a third place finish is the best that the Slovaks can hope for right now.
Kopecky’s final stat line: 17:37 TOI 5/13 Faceoffs
Tatar Lone Bright Spot
Tomas Tatar was the lone star of the game for the Slovakia, who finished a surprising fourth place in the 2010 Vancouver games, scoring the team’s lone goal and displaying some of the speed that makes him such a good young player.
Tatar has come full circle in his international career, after staring for the Slovakian junior team during the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships tournaments. In those two tournaments, Tatar scored a combined ten goals and 16-points. His 11-points in 2009 was good for fifth overall in the tournament and he did that as a draft eligible player.
If Slovakia wants to get into the quarterfinals, Tatar will have to continue to have games like he did against the Americans, and the rest of the team is going to have to actually show up.
Up Next for Slovakia
Slovakia has Friday off before taking on Slovenia in what will be expecting the battle for third place in the group. Slovenia wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight with Anze Kopitar as their only NHL player but they gave Russia everything they could handle for a good chunk of the game.
The game will be another early start, as it will begin at 3 am ET, and you can find the game NBC Sports Net.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor of The Rat Trick. You can follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.