Hockey can be a funny thing sometimes. For instance, on Saturday, Jakub Vrana attended the biggest soccer game of the year with the NHL goaltender that beat him in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Like Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Vrana was in attendance for the Champions League Final that pitted Tottenham against Liverpool. The Capitals winger attended the game with Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek and Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar. Mrazek’s Hurricanes defeated the Capitals in seven games in Round One.
Russia defeated the Czech Republic in a shootout of the bronze-medal game on Sunday. The contest pitted five Washington Capitals players against each other.
After the game, Czech Republic forward Jakub Vrana did a Czech-language interview with sport.cz in the Mixed Zone.
Alex Ovechkin walked by and gave him a face wash.
Five Washington Capitals players went toe-to-toe in the bronze medal game of 2019 IIHF World Championship: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov for Team Russia and Jakub Vrana and Dmitrij Jaskin for the Czech Republic.
The Russians would be victorious in the shootout.
Jakub Vrana is involved in some World Championship drama similar to an ordeal Evgeny Kuznetsov endured involving Hockey Night In Canada analyst Don Cherry during the regular season. Cherry called Kuzy a “jerk” for his bird celebration.
Marek Sykora, an expert for iSport.cz, said in an interview after the World Championship preliminary round ended that Jakub Vrana “doesn’t work enough.” He added, “I can see [his] celebrity manners.” Vrana had 5 points in 7 group stage games, including 4 goals.
Thursday, in the World Championship quarterfinals, Vrana was inexplicably scratched ahead of the Czech Republic’s game against Germany. An anonymous member of the Czech media explained the benching saying that Vrana is a “dick” – a personal insult that may leave many Caps fans scratching their heads.
Vrana, of course, has shown class during the spat.
Sunday, the Czech Republic faced off against Team Austria at the IIHF World Championship.
In the third period Jakub Vrana scored the team’s eighth goal in a shutout win. Capitals teammate Dmitrij Jaskin had the primary assist and the Dallas Stars’ Radek Faksa had the secondary assist.
The Czech Republic took their team photo Saturday in Slovakia.
And ya bois Jakub Vrana and Dmitrij Jaskin were full participants.
Capitals forward Jakub Vrana scored his third goal of the World Championship against Latvia on Thursday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Czech Republic scored four unanswered goals in the second period, which included Vrana’s tally with 1:20 remaining in the stanza.
V showed off some great hand-eye coordination on the goal.
One reason why the World Championship can be fun is the awkward situations it creates. For example, on Monday, Russia played the Czech Republic, pitting five Capitals teammates against each other. The Caps troika of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov suited up for the red machine while Jakub Vrana and Dmitrij Jaskin donned white and blue for the Czechs. It went exactly how you would predict.
“[P]ersonally I was trying not to let [Ovechkin] get in my head,” Jakub Vrana said in a Czech TV interview as translated by Alexandra Petakova. “He was trying to provoke me a bit and make me lose focus on my game, but I was more trying to concentrate on my game to help the team the best I could and I didn’t want to allow myself to be distracted.”
After the game was over, the Caps opponents high fived and hugged each other in the handshake line, letting bygones be bygones. Ovechkin even gave Jaskin a respectful tap to the calves from his stick.
“Well, as for me, he’s my captain and I respect him a great deal, but when we play against each other, we are opponents and you can’t consider the season,” Vrana said, seemingly conflicted. “He might be my captain, but right now we’re opponents.”
Vrana’s TV interview is translated below.
Jakub Vrana had another strong showing in the Czech Republic’s 7-2 win over Team Norway on Saturday.
In the third period, Vrana showed off his brilliant puckhandling as he made Team Norway’s defense look very very silly.
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