We continue with our season preview for the 12 National League teams…
Lausanne HC – A season to avenge!
The city of Lausanne, the fans and the team just can’t wait for the new Patinoire de Malley opening that is expected in September 2019… Before that, however, there is a season to play. And a season to avenge. The team has all it takes to do so.
However, Lausanne had all it takes to have a great season also one year ago. They were suppose to have an even better season than the previous one… And instead, for countless reasons, the Lions Vaudois missed the playoffs.
This year there is a great desire to take part in the post-season. And then, who knows? There is the potential to do very well.
On paper, Lausanne have all it takes to have a great season and to go all the way. Although, realistically, the semi-final would be a great achievement. Many things have changed on the shore of the Lac Léman… most of them in a positive way.
The hope is that Lausanne can be off to a good start of the season. In that case, thanks to the self-confidence gained, the Lions Vaudois can play a leading role in this 2018-19 National League. Instead, if things go south from the start… the risk is, to end up like last year.
Our RS final position prediction: 4th – 9th
In random order and just to name a few… Genazzi, Grossmann, Junland, Lindbohm. And again… Bertschy, Froideveaux, Herren, Jeffrey, Kenins, Mitchell, Vermin, Zangger… Guys, what a strong team on paper! The club has made every effort to reinforce the team and signed already also Tobias Stephan in view of the 2019-20 season. Ville Peltonen is the only question mark. The former Lugano player did very well as Jalonen’s assistant coach in Bern. In fact, he seems ready to have a great career also as a head coach. Will it be like that? Well, regardless of this question mark, Lausanne is an extremely skilled team.
A season to avenge
On the eve of last season, expectations were very high in Lausanne. The Lions Vaudois were coming off a fantastic 2016-17 season even though they lost the quarterfinal series against Davos. Expectations, however, crashed with bitter reality. Injuries, negative streaks of results, chaotic management… all things that led Lausanne to miss the playoffs. Therefore, there is a season to avenge! And this “craving for revenge” can turn out to be the Vaudois trump card to have a great campaign.
The offensive game
Lausanne had defensive problems last season. Therefore, the club thought about strengthening the defensive department. At the same time, however, Lausanne’s main strength seems to be the attack. The attacking-minded players of the team are extremely skilled and Peltonen’s troops can become a steamroller also during power-play situation. We really don’t think scoring goals will be a problem for Lausanne this year.
Sandro Zurkirchen and Luca Boltshauser are good goalies and should ensure good performances. However, they both already know that, considering Stephan’s arrival, next season there will be place only for one of them. We mean, Ville Peltonen has a tough nut to crack. Zürkirchen and Boltshauser will do everything to show off themselves. Maybe also to change team next season since we don’t believe that they want to be Stephan’s back up goalie in a year… At the same time, however, the pressure on them is high. And pressure is never good for a goalie.
Expectations are high in the Canton Vaud. They were high also last season… but this season they’re even higher because the club has made every effort to strengthen the team. That’s all nice, on paper. The problem is that pressure will raise immediately in case of negative results. The fans, mindful of last season, are unlikely to be forgiving long streaks of poor results. Many expectations mean a lot of pressure. When you spend a lot of money you expect to achieve results. Last season at some point Lausanne panicked and never got back on track. What about this season? It’s a question mark.
Lack of experience
Lausanne have all it takes to do well. Both on and off the ice. There are the right men in the right place. Something is missing though… something that money can’t buy. We’re talking about experience. The latter can be gained only over time and through good and bad results. The experience allows you to handle better negative times. It allows you to know when it’s time for a change. And it allows you to prepare yourself at best for the key part of the season. In our opinion, Lausanne paid high price for the lack of experience (especially off the ice) last year. What about this season? The hope is, that last season taught a lot…
Robin Grossmann, Tim Traber, Christoph Bertschy, Ronalds Kenins, Luca Boltshauser, Robin Leone, Torrey Mitchell and Petteri Lindbohm joined the club. Without forgetting Tobias Stephan who will join the club next year and Ville Peltonen who is the new coach. At the same time, for different reasons… Johnny Kneubuehler, Nicklas Danielsson, Alain Miéville, Cristobal Huet, John Gobbi, Florian Conz, Harri Pesonen, Sven Ryser, Eric Walsky, Matt Frattin and Martin Gernat are no longer part of the roster.
Are you lost with all these names? We are too… Lausanne changed a lot. Partially because they were forced to. They strengthen their defensive department this summer and are more solid but lost a couple of charismatic players like John Gobbi, Florian Conz and Cristobal Huet. Without forgetting Steve Ryser, who retired.
All together though, we think that Lausanne is a better team this year. A stronger and deeper one.
THE KEY PLAYER
Joël Vermin has been unlucky to say the least last season… Yet, he has already made one thing clear: he can be a key player for Lausanne. If he remains fit and healthy, he can be a real sensation. His skills are well above average and potentially he’s worth as much as an import player. He can become one of Lausanne’s leaders.
THE POTENTIAL SURPRISE
There were high expectations of Sandro Zangger last season. The former Zug player instead, for hundreds of reasons, disappointed. He obviously paid a high price for the disappointing season of the whole team. Having said that, this forward is very talented and we’re pretty sure that this season he will deliver his full potential!
Oftentimes, the early stages of the season are crucial. In fact, the team has the chance to gain self-confidence. And as we all know, self-confidence is a factor that can make the difference. Even more so in such a tight league like the National League.
The Vaudois will play in Fribourg then will host Biel-Bienne and Genève Servette at the Malley 2.0… Boom! What a start of the season… Surely it will take no time to Peltonen’s troops to jump right in the season. Three games… three big rivals!
After that, Lausanne will play Lugano away, then will host Zug and will visit the newly-promoted side Rapperswil.
All together, a good schedule for this team that wants to avenge last season and are desperately seeking for self-confidence.
Good luck for the season, Lausanne HC!