6th week – 22.10.2018 – 28.10.2018
Let’s see our Top & Flop of the week!
THE TEAM OF THE WEEK
Fribourg Gottéron won 2 of their 3 games this week. First they earned a comeback 3-2 overtime win against Ambrì-Piotta. Then they suffered a 2-6 defeat in Bern but, within 24 hours, they delivered their best performance of the season and earned a well-deserved 3-0 win against the same opponent!
There are several reasons why, in our opinion, Friborug Gottéron is the team of the week.
Firstly, the Dragons delivered an excellent performance against Ambrì-Piotta. Marck French’s troops were 2-goals down in less than 10 minutes, but after that they literally outplayed their opponents for the rest of the game. Finally, they completed the comeback by scoring the game winning goal during the overtime period.
Secondly, Gottéron delivered arguably their best performance of the season Saturday night against Bern. The Dragons Saturday night performance was impressive in terms of defensive soundness, detarmination and attitude. Without forgetting a perfect penalty killing.
Thirdly, finally, we want to talk again about Saturday’s game. Gottéron were coming off a 2-6 defeat suffered against the same opponents 24 hours earlier at the PostFinance Arena… that defeat could have been a huge blow. And instead, Fribourg reacted and sort of outplayed one of the best team of the league! In this respect, it is worth emphasising Mark French’s gamble… The Canadian coach in fact, on Friday night in Bern when 4-2 under in the score at the end of the second period, replaced Berra with Waeber. That’s because he wanted to save the team’s strength for the rematch scheduled 24 hours later. He even sort of admitted that after the game. Well, with hindsight, it was a good call!
Then sure… If Fribourg Gottéron had underperformed and lost on Saturday night, Mark would have looked like a complete fool… but instead, it went very well. And in our opinion, that was a sign that the Canadian coach blindly believes in his team!
We mean, guys, what a Fribourg Gottéron! The Dragons got off to a complicated start of the season but recovered quite fast and are currently among the most in-form teams of the league. Their defense is rock-solid… not to mention the penalty killing efficiency. Moreover, they can count on a great goalie and are extremely determined. It’s a pleasure to watch them!
All fine then?! No, well… the accuracy in front of goal can and must improve. The team must become more consistent over the arc of the 60 minutes of play. Without forgetting that the power-play, contrary to what you might think considering their 19.05% efficiency, has extensive room for improvement to say the least.
But overall, this team is growing well, at times is literally on fire and might even become a sensation on the long term!
OUR THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Elvis Merzlikins (HC Lugano)
Lugano suffered a 0-1 home defeat against Zug on Tuesday night… but then, the Bianconeri met their week-end’s target by earning 6 points out of 6 against Davos. The latter two wins were a godsend for the players morale!
Let’s don’t beat around the bush though… the team’s performances were only about decent. It was probably impossible to think / hope for something better. And so, Elvis Merzlikins played a key role. The young Lugano goalie, once again proved to be the best goalie of the National League!
He performed very well against Zug on Tuesday… He wasn’t very busy on Friday night against Davos but he was always on point. On Saturday night then, always against Davos, he performed once again brilliantly!
It’s always darn difficult for a team to get out of a negative vortex. Especially because the players lack of self-confidence during these periods. However, when a team can count on a goalie like Elvis, things are slightly easier. That’s because the extrovert goalie of Lugano, is capable of giving great confidence to all his teammates thanks to his performances!
Harri Pesonen (SCL Tigers)
Langnau had yet another successful week. The Tigärli in fact, first earned a 4-3 home win against Lausanne and then earned a 6-2 away win against Genève Servette, thereby putting the Eagles home undefeated run to an end!
Once again, Harri Pesonen played a key role. The former Lausanne Finnish forward, who moved to the Emmental last summer, is on fire! He’s a true leader on the ice… and he’s able to increase the level of play of whoever is lined up with him. He scores and helps his teammates to score. Not for nothing, he’s the Tigers Top Scorer!
This week, Harri first “punished” twice his former teammates of Lausanne and he even added an assist for Gustafsson’s goal. And then, in Genève, he delivered yet another great performance and made it 3 times to the scoresheet thanks to 3 assists!
We mean, game after game you realize that Harri Pesonen is the right player in the right place at the right time. And just to say… Many of Langnau’s fans weren’t happy about his arrival. We seriously think that they have changed mind! Only imbeciles never change their minds, after all.
Joël Vermin (Lausanne HC)
Lausanne were in trouble… and the 3-4 defeat suffered in Langnau Tuesday night seemed like the knock out punch. Maybe even the early end of the Peltonen’s era. But then, a bit out of nowhere, the Vaudois bounced back and delivered two excellent, smart and winning performances against the current league leaders Bienne within 24 hours!
Joël Vermin played a big role. In Langnau he had an assist… in Bienne he scored the game winning goal… and finally, Saturday in Lausanne against the same Seeländers, he scored a fantastic goal!
Apart from the points scored though, Joël Vermin’s performances were top notch.
Lausanne surprisingly put a kind of a different attitude on display during last week-end. The performance were less chaotic compared to the recent past… even less attacking minded. But surely, the performances were smarter. Ville Peltonen’s troops in fact, looked much calmer, relaxed and much more resourceful. In our opinion, this made the difference.
And if we are talking about being more calm, relaxed and resourceful… well, Joël Vermin was the perfect example!
Martin Ness (SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers)
Rapperswil had a positive week all in all. First they earned a 4-3 home win against Genève Servette and then undeservingly suffered a 0-1 home deteat against the ZSC Lions.
During both games, the Lakers put an impressive determination on display!
Let’s don’t beat around the bush… the newly-promoted side pays a high price in terms of quality compared to all the other 11 teams of the league. But if we’re talking about goodwill, they’re second to no one!
Martin Ness is the perfect example of what we’re saying. He puts his heart and soul into each shift. He’s everywhere and you always notice him when he’s on the ice. Certainly not because he’s wearing the Top Scorer’s helmet… In fact, his grit and determination can help Rapperswil to earn more points from now until the end of the season. And then, who knows… survival is not impossible.
THE SPECIAL MENTION
Viktor Stalberg (EV Zug)
Viktor Stalberg came back in action Friday night in Ambrì after he missed several games because he got injured. And he immediately came back to show who he really is… namely, a top class player!
Obviously he needs to work on his form. It will take some time. But the way he set up Sven Senteler for the equalizer was a showstopper! And it doesn’t really matter if Ambrì-Piotta’s defense was totally out of position.
Moreover, he scored the first goal of the night taking advantage of Benjamin Conz’s mistake and finally he scored the decisive goal during the shootouts series.
Yep, Viktor is back! Great news for Zug.
Unfortunately, Davos are our disappointment for the second consecutive time.
Del Curto’s troops lost their two games of the week against Lugano and now are in serious trouble.
Within 24 hours, the Ibexes suffered two sort of similar defeats. In fact, during both games they had their chances to turn things around… but made way too many mistakes. Some of them, inexplicable ones.
Or maybe, not really inexplicable after all…
Davos in fact, entered into a negative vortex from which is darn difficult to get out. The players are downhearted… Moreover, let’s face it, even Lady Luck seems like she doesn’t care about the Ibexes situation and she’s just looking another way intentionally…!
Up and at them, Steinböcke!
2 games within 24 hours… between the same teams!
We’re already against the fact that teams are forced to play Friday & Saturday and / or Saturday & Sunday. We actually think that the games should be scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Just like during the playoffs. But we’ll talk about that on another occasion…
This time, we want to stress that several teams had to face each other within 24 hours! We’re talking about Fribourg Gottéron & Bern, Lugano & Davos and Lausanne & Bienne.
It happens every year. True. Every year though, we keep thinking that this doesn’t make any sense!