Hasek & Elias Done At the Olympics
Czech Republic star goalie Dominik Hasek is out of the Olympics with an injury that occurred minutes into his first game in Torino. Hasek originally said it was a hamstring injury. But Czech backup goalie Tomas Vokoun later said Hasek told him it was a groin injury.
The Czechs got more bad news: forward Patrik Elias also is out for the rest of the games with bruised ribs sustained in a 3-2 upset loss Thursday to Switzerland. Elias was a late replacement for New York Rangers rookie Petr Prucha, who pulled out because of a knee injury.
Elias is expected to be replaced by Ales Kotalik, who has 21 goals and 23 assists for a team-high 44 points in 56 games with the Buffalo Sabres. Hasek’s replacement will be Dusan Salficky, a 2001 New York Islanders draft pick who has played since 2002 in the Russian Hockey League.
The loss of Hasek shouldn’t hurt the Czech’s pursuit of a gold medal much. Tomas Vokoun from Nashville is a very capable “backup,” through the course of the year he put up very similar numbers to that of Hasek. Elias on the otherhand I think is a little bit of a loss. The guy has been hot since coming back to the NHL after his bout with Hepatitis A. Czech’s were suppose to battle for the gold, that road has just gotten a little bit harder.