Haas: Palat Riding Wave Of Success To Sochi

by Jason Haas | Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014

OPalat2Many NHL players are riding in planes to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Ondrej Palat is, however, riding one huge wave onto the world stage. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

January’s NHL Rookie of the Month has 12 points in his last ten games, including a two goal performance in Saturday’s big division win over the Red Wings. Though Tyler Johnson has received the most (albeit comparatively little) buzz as a potential Calder Trophy winner for the Bolts, it is Palat who has a chance to use an impressive Olympic Games performance to propel himself into the conversation.

The Czech Republic is not thought of as much of a medal threat, but the team contains a good amount of talented NHL forwards including the ageless Jaromir Jagr, Jakub Voracek and David Krejci. Palat will likely be called upon to do what he does best; play a speedy, two-way game while chipping in on offense occasionally. The larger ice surface will serve Palat well, especially with talented playmakers like Patrik Elias and Ales Hemsky on the roster. He’ll be able to use his speed to get open and make plays, much like he does in Tampa Bay with Johnson and Martin St. Louis.

With a round robin schedule of games against Sweden, Latvia and Switzerland, Palat and the Czechs should be able to find a place in the medal round. If Palat continues to play the way he has been for the Lightning, he’s likely to find himself being talked about the way he should be when he returns to NHL play. 

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About the Author

Senior Writer Jason Haas is a native Michigander who came to Tampa after graduating college with an Advertising and Marketing degree. It seems as if fate intervened since he has shared his hockey fandom with the Lightning since 2002.

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  1. BigKahuna BigKahuna says:

    Here’s hoping he tears it up and gets some big press. Great two way player.

  2. Jason Haas Jason Haas says:

    I’m hoping for that as well. He’ll have a great opportunity on a Czech team that isn’t expected to do much.

  3. BigKahuna BigKahuna says:

    So much for Palat playing well at the Olympics. Brutal so far. Looks like he doesn’t belong.

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