Head to Head: Rozsival vs. Melichar

By Marc Lapointe

Josef Melichar VS Michal Rozsival

Both were paired last year at Wilkes-Barre and at the beginning of the season this year. They were actually doing well, but Kehoe tried to shake the things up and has separated them lately.

Overall Offensive Game:

At the very beginning of the season, Rozsival was more confident and was taking more chances then his Czech partner. Melichar was the perfect example of the stay-at-home defensemen. But now, he his getting more confident and showed his offensive assets (He made Scott Stevens looks like a rookie for example). We saw Rozsi jumping on the play more then often and now, Melichar is copying him a few times. But still, Rozsival is pinching really smartly and he creates more scoring chance then his countryman.

Rozsival has also seen some ice time on the powerplay and didn’t do too bad. He is not Nicklas Lidstrom or the quarterback the Pens desperately need on the PP, but he can do his part on a second unit. As for Melichar, why did the coaching staff never gave him a chance on the powerplay? Michal Rozsival also showed more offensive number so far. 3 goals, 8 assists and 43 shots compare to the 0 goal, 3 assists and 30 shots of Melichar. Even in the WHL, Rozsival has more success offensively.

Grade: Rozsival : B, Melichar : C

Overall Defensive Game:

Try to count the mistakes made by Rozsival and/or Melichar. Both played like veteran defensemen. Melichar is rarely caught out of position and play is simple and aggressive game every night. Rozsival on the other hand is doing a decent job, but he is more inconsistent in the defensive zone and made a few dumb mistakes. He also have a more offensive mind and got caught out of position sometimes. You can also notice that Melichar has one of the fewest giveaways totals in the team. Both have seen ice time during the Penalty killing and respond very well, especially when they play together.

Grade: Rozsival : C, Melichar : B


If you watch these two Czechs play game after game you’re probably not going to be amazed by their skating abilities. They both need a little work on it. They are a little bit below the NHL average. Their foot speed and agility are decent, but nothing flashy. However, the younger “brother” (Rozsival) is more quick, he jumps on the play and creates turnover with his quickness.

Grade: Rozsival : C, Melichar : C-

Physical Play:

Both aren’t really big (6″1, 194lbs for Rozsival and 6″3, 198 lbs for Melichar) but both are strong and play a good physical game. Let’s start with Melichar. Josef is recognized for his hard checks and his good strength since his juniors’ days in Tri-City. At the pro level, Melichar hits hard, at the right time and nobody is gonna blame him for that. As for his teammate, #28 didn’t check as much as Melichar, but he showed some muscles too. At the beginning of the season, Rozsival wasn’t clearing the front of the net effectively or not at all sometimes. But now the thing are getting better for him. Concerning the front of the net “brooming job” Melichar is almost perfect in this area.

Grade: Rozsival : B, Melichar : A-

Passing Skills:

Starting by the overlooked first pass in the defensive zone, I have to give a plus to Rozsival. Melichar prefers to stay simple: make a safe pass or clear the zone and Rozsival is searching more for good pass opportunities. However, Michal is unfortunately inconsistent in his passing game. He sometimes looks like a genius with his smart pass right on the tape, but the opposite also happens too often. Generally, Rozsival is a really decent passer on the Powerplay and in the offensive zone. But don’t forget that he and Josef are still very young and with experience and practice their passing game should improve.

Grade: Rozsival : B-, Melichar : D+

Puck Control:

Melichar showed some really amazing and surprising moves recently. His stickhandling is superior but Rozsival is not too bad either. Melichar also rarely loses the puck for no reason.

Grade: Rozsival : D+, Melichar : C


That’s definitely a hard battle between these 2 Czech and to find who is the better defensemen is like a big puzzle. My final verdict is that Rozsival might have a tiny advantage over Melichar.

Stats : (taken Friday, December 18)

Michal Rozsival
     GP      G     A     PTS     +/-      PIM      PPG      SHG      GWG      GTG      Shots
     37       3      8      11        -1         20         2            0            2              0            42

Playing time:
Average per game : 20:31 (88 in the NHL)
Total in Penalty Kill : 1:51:49 (3 minutes per game)
Total in Power Play : 1:42:30 (2.7 minutes per game)

        Hits          Giveaways        Takeaways
         47                   27                      13

Josef Melichar
     GP      G     A     PTS     +/-      PIM      PPG      SHG      GWG      GTG      Shots
     36       0      3       3        +1         34         0            0            0              0            30

Playing time:
Average per game : 17:27
Total in Penalty Kill: 1:51:01 (3 minutes per game)
Total in Power Play : 00:04:09

        Hits          Giveaways        Takeaways
         62                   12                       11