After each game, until when at least 4 teams are playing, we propose you our “Top & Flop” special version for the playoffs.
Our “Team on Fire”, our “Three Stars”, our “Special Mentions”, our “Surprises” and our “Disappointment”. As it is always the case, among the three stars we won’t include only the players who performed the best… but those that in our opinion, one way or another, have made their mark,
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
The Tigers bit the Lions for a first time… they earned a 5-1 win in Lausanne and therefore won their first playoffs game in history!
At the Malley 2.0 Langnau were the only ones who switched to playoffs mode. Point. Heinz Ehlers’ troops have certainly made their fans proud because of their emotional approach to the playoffs. They delivered a performance that was all about organization, determination, grit and ability to score at the key moments!
And let us not forget the persistence… the game in fact, got so bad during the early stages as Lausanne took the lead. Then, however, as the game went on the Tigers’ claws came out and there was no deal to make for the Lions Vaudois.
The Emmental’s based side never ceases to amaze. Heinz Ehlers assigned each player a perfect role and the system of play is not only based on defensive discipline… actually, the players are able to counterattack efficiently and are able to move the puck around very well in the offensive zone. All these factors came to light in Lausanne during game-1 of the playoffs. Moreover, all these factors allow the players to approach the games with an impressive self-confidence.
It’s better not to pronounce the word “semifinal”… there is still a long way to go. Langnau, however, laid the foundation stone… and this stone weighs a lot on the Lions Vaudois’ heads.
Well done, Tigers… bite on!
OUR THREE STARS OF GAME-1
Robert Mayer (Genève Servette HC)
Genève Servette made it to the playoffs at the last gasp and had a very difficult game to play on the road against Bern. On the way back, however, Chris McSorley’s troops had to make space for an honoured guest… the win! A win that allowed them to go ahead in this series.
By the way… what an impressive strategist and tactician Chris McSorley is!!!
The Eagles’ performance at the PostFinance Arena was very good when it comes do discipline and team spirit. Firstly they took a 2-goals lead within the first 10 minutes of play and then they stood up to Bern… finally, they escaped the moments during which they were under pressure also because of the outstanding performance delivered by Robert Mayer!
Robert has been a real Eagle throughout the whole game… he was a raptor who flew and saved each puck. His “wingspan” prevented the Mutzen from scoring even a single goal. He earned a very improtant shutout, without forgetting that his calm and self-confidence instilled self-confidence to the whole team that has never really panicked over the arc of the game even when under pressure.
Sven Leuenberger (EV Zug)
Zug outplayed Lugano for long stretches of the game. In fact, it’s safe to say the the final score should have been bigger for the Bulls. It wasn’t the case though… be it because Dan Tangnes’ troops weren’t able to kill the game also because Elvis Merzlikins was good. Be it also because, however, Lugano were able to stay in the game until the end.
In all this, in our opinion there is a player that delivered an impressive performance for a guy his age… we’re talking about Sven Leuenberger!
This 20 years old fresh faced boy has a great future ahead of him. Last night he played his first NLA playoffs game and he put an impressive personality on display. Sven recovered the puck that led to Simion’s goal… most and above all, however, during his 9 minutes and 47 seconds on the ice he made clear that the future belongs to him. Another precious gem coming from the EVZ Academy!
Janis Jérôme Moser (EHC Bienne)
Janis Jérôme Moser’s performance against Ambrì-Piotta was excellent. Perhaps he wasn’t the best player on ice… in our opinion, however, he’s the symbol of what Bienne are and what will become. That is, a team that has been built very well. A club that is working well with young players and that can look to the future with optimism.
Janis is playing the playoffs for the first time in his career and made it into the scoresheet with an assist… most and above all, however, he put an impressive maturity on display for a guy his age (18). He’s not playing during power-play situation or when the team is shorthanded… but whenever he’s on the ice, he defends pretty well and can move the puck around like a veteran.
After that he had played very well during the Regular Season, especially during the first part, Janis Jérôme Moser passed the “playoffs test”. He confirms that he’s one of the best young Swiss defensemen around. A future Roman Josi?! Well, it’s quite possible.
THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR… REBORN
Tim Bozon (Genève Servette HC)
It’s pointless to go back to that story of few years ago when Tim Bozon risked his life. What matters is that he’s made it and that now he’s playing… and the recent past, is teaching us that Tim is writing a very nice story.
Tim Bozon had a good Regular Season and has improved his performances each passing game. He ended the Regular Season scoring the crucial game winning goal against the ZSC Lions… and he started the playoffs scoring the game winning goal in Bern!
Destiny at time is cruel, so darn cruel. Tim was strong enough to overcome obstacles and is now living fantastic sporty moments!
Jannik Fischer (HC Ambrì-Piotta)
There was no deal to make for Ambrì-Piotta at the Tissot Arena. Bienne were much better. We mean, it was an evening to remember for the Leventinesi… that’s because they realized that to win against the Seeländers they must do much better than that.
Yet, game-2 was somehow already launched at 15 seconds to the end of game-1… when the Biancoblù were able to score their first goal during this playoffs. And it was Jannik Fischer to score it… by doing so, he even scored his first goal of the season and the first goal for the club.
What about this bodes well for the continuation of the series? Ambrì’s fans surely hope so.
Ready, steady… defeat. Bern got off to a terrible start of the playoffs.
There is no need for drama. There is still a long way to go and the Mutzen have nevertheless all it takes to bounce back, to defeat Genève Servette and even to reach the final and win the title. Something is darn missing though… a plan b.
Our impression from the outside, just like we’ve been saying since a long time, is that Jalonen’s troops are unable to change system of play when things go south. This is something you pay a high price for… especially during playoffs.
Let’s take the game against Genève Servette. It’s true that Bern had enough scoring opportunities to make a brand new game during the second and third periods. However, the truth is that we had the impression that the players haven’t brough enough emotions to the game… which are the keys during the post season.
Ok, it’s time to move on… Up and at them Mutzen, get out of your dan!