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Slovaks Slide Into Olympic Playoffs

by Samantha Wood / Boston Bruins
Chara – Bruins teammates Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan helped their Slovakian team to a decisive 6-0 victory over Latvia Saturday.

It was Satan’s first time back in a game since injuring his hand in a Feb. 11 Bruins game in Tampa Bay.

Satan said he’s taken extra measures, including a special tape job on his stick, and despite missing the first two games with his Olympic team, Satan remained in good spirits.

“It's all right; I've got a special knob [on the end of the stick], so it looks like a goalie now basically,” he said with a laugh. “It helps. It makes it possible.

“It was tough, but for me, it was impossible to play two days ago. It was improving everyday, but today was the day that I was finally able to get the doctor to say that I was able to play.”

With his off-ice perspective, the four-time Olympic veteran said he liked what he saw from his team, especially in their 2-1 win against Russia.

“In the game against Russia, I basically liked the whole game,” he said. “There were a lot of good things and that was our best game I've seen in a while.”

“Right now we feel like the system is good for us and the team is  coming together,” he added.

After the trouncing Latvia, Satan and Chara agreed that the Slovakian momentum is building as the medal round nears.

“Hopefully it's going to work in our advantage,” Chara said. “We're going to play somebody from the top standings, obviously, and it's going to be somebody really with a lot of quality.
“Hopefully we can pull it off.”

Going into the playoff qualification round with a 2-1 Olympic record, as of Sunday it’s anybody’s guess which team Chara and Satan’s squad will play next. When prodded for a prediction, both said the only thing they can do now is rest for two days and be prepared for whatever is thrown their way.

“Whoever we're going to play, we're going to try to beat them,” Chara said. “So it doesn't matter if it's US, Canada, Sweden, Russia, I mean, anybody can beat anybody.”
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