We first reported Thursday morning that the potential for Jakub Vrana being a healthy scratch in the Czech’s quarterfinal game against Germany Thursday evening was a real possibility. As it turned out, Vrana was indeed a healthy scratch, leaving many wondering what was going on in Bratislava, Slovakia. Both Vrana and the Czech’s Head Coach, Milos Riha, would address the benching after team practice on Friday.
The following includes an interview by Jaroslav Tomas for Czech publication iDNES.cz.
For many, it was a surprise that Vrana was in the stands for the quarter-final game against Germany. The team’s head coach, Miloš Říha, explained after the game that he let Jakub Vrán sit because he did not fit his teams tactics (scheme) against Germany. “We know he’s a crack player. Fast and technical. And that didn’t fit us. ”
Will Canada be more suitable for him? “I don’t know what Mr. Říha said after the match,” Robert Reichel, an assistant, responded after Friday’s practice . “There is a new day on Saturday and I will not say anything about it. I know you want to know the information, but no.”
Even Vrana himself had no idea, who stayed on the ice for a long time (after practice) practicing his shot. “How do I experience the current situation? As long as the team wins, everything is fine. I try to keep pace if something happens and there is reason to change the lineup, ” he said.
Are you sorry that you stayed out?
“It is clear that I wish the team success. I’m still a member. It was an important victory against the Germans, and now we’re going to face Canada and I’m getting ready to play. Although I don’t know if any changes will come.”
Do you have experience from Washington where you had to wait long for a chance at the NHL?
That’s obvious, I’ve told you many times that I’m just a player and I’m here to work. I came for one reason – to succeed. If the coach decided so, he decided. I won’t do anything about it and I’ll work to be ready if the chance comes.
When do you know the roster?
Mostly on the day of the match.
How did you experience the quarterfinals in the grandstand?
Nervousness was felt. It is an important match and in the 1: 1 score, I believed that the guys would score, which was successful. It was so important. But it’s history now, we have to concentrate on the semifinals.
There is Canada waiting for you, which you once knocked out at eighteen (Juniors) and won silver. How do you remember that?
Pleased and have great memories. The medal is a huge attraction, that’s why we’re here. We have two games ahead of us and we must not be satisfied. We want to go back with gold.
You were the best shooter on eighteens (Juniors). Now you’re shooting at practice. Do you believe you will play?
That’s clear, that’s why I’m still ready. That’s why I still train extra shots if the opportunity comes. I’d like to help the team as much as possible and be the difference player.
How is Canada?
They are a very experienced team who knows how to play in difficult situations. Anyway, it will turn out to be the one who will do more and win personal battles. I think when you put pressure on the Canadians and they’re mentally down, they can get nervous. Then they start making mistakes and can turnover the puck. It’s just one match and we have to go at it to the fullest.
How is Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray (Canadian goaltender)?
He’s here, okay? He’s big, he takes a lot of space in the goal, so it will be important to move him side to side. We can’t show our shot, because when they see it, they catch it. It is important that he does not see and there is somebody there.