Pastrňák: We are experiencing something unreal here. Towards the end, hockey could no longer be played

Pastrňák: We are experiencing something unreal here.  Towards the end, hockey could no longer be played

He arrived at the Hockey World Cup at the last minute as a superstar reinforcement who will save the Czech Republic in the most difficult matches. In the Prague quarter-final against the United States, David Pastrňák was the most active Czech scorer with six shots. However, the 1:0 win was decided by someone else, Pastrňák’s partner from overseas Boston, Pavel Zacha.

What do you think of his act?

I am very happy for him. It couldn’t be otherwise. The first championship and the first goal for the boy. And so important! I am very happy. Be that as it may, he’s here today, that’s all that matters. He scored the winning goal.

How much did Lukáš Dostál hold you back, who caught all 36 shots?

He was standing there on his head. Incredible performance. He was able to concentrate the whole match, he was ready for every shot. It’s easy to win a quarter-final when the goalkeeper has zero.

What happens inside you after the procedure, especially in the home environment?

Unreal joy. We gave an excellent team performance. I’m mostly glad that we all made it for the nation, because what the guys are going through here for two weeks and I’m going through for a few days is unreal. The fans create an incredible atmosphere. We managed to bring this beautiful tournament to the medal fights!

In the quarter-finals, the atmosphere was perhaps even more stormy than in the group stage. It’s different than the NHL, isn’t it?

Something completely different. They don’t cheer very much in the NHL, Europe does it much better, people cheer together and especially the whole match. It’s a little different in America, but that’s how it’s set up. I don’t think that will ever change.

The Americans went after you a lot in the match. Was it nice to stroke their egos a bit?

That’s their style of play. They play hard. For someone who follows more European hockey, it might seem strange, but for me it’s completely normal. They play like this all the time. It’s not like they’re mastered. They’re more Canadians.

You personally had several chances in the match, the biggest one was a solo escape. What was missing?

I tried to do a loop, which I do often, but on the ice… Maybe I was going too fast, I haven’t been that fast for a long time. Then the puck skipped over my stick. I think I should have shot. We all know ice isn’t ideal. Fortunately, we didn’t miss the goal and won it.

It was a hard fought win, wasn’t it? You defended a tight lead for more than half the match.

Quarterfinals are like that sometimes. It’s closed, by one goal. Then in the third period, the ice is not ideal, so you can’t play much hockey. It was just being thrown around. And we defended it. We are very much looking forward to the medal fights.

You will face Sweden in the semi-finals.

It was about time! I’ve never experienced this fight before. It lasted, I don’t know, about seven years. It will definitely be special in our family (Pastrňák has a child with a Swedish girlfriend, he last played against the Swedes at the 2016 World Cup, i.e. eight years ago, but he only met them in the play-offs in major tournaments at the 2014 youth Hlink Memorial, editor’s note).

2024-05-23 22:25:47
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