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”
Whenever Lausanne disappoint us, like on Tuesday night during game-1, that’s when they promptly prove us wrong… Just look at the fantastic performance they delivered only two days later, that is game-2 won 5-4 against Zug after 71 minutes and 6 seconds of play!
We mean, like they’re the modern version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Lausanne showed what they’re all about during game-2 played at the Malley 2.0. They can be spectacular. Like during the first two periods of play – especially the second one – when they played arguably their best hockey of the season. But… they can also get from the top of the world to the bottom of the heap in no time. Just like they did in the third period, during which – also because of tiredness and because Zug increased their level of play – they struggled a lot.
Finally though, and that’s very important, they showed some real character just like during the Regular Season. After that third period in fact, the momentum was clearly in Zug’s favour. However, that’s when the Lions Vaudois’ claws came out… and that’s when Joël Genazzi roared and thanks to an individual play earned Lausanne the first ever playoffs semifinal win!
Last but not least, Ville Peltonen’s troops drastically improved their level of physical play during game-2 and that paid off.
The whole, it must be said, against Zug that once again turned out to be a great side. But considering the Bulls’ strengths, Lausanne’s win and performance are even more valuable.
The environment at the Malley 2.0 was thrilling and surely this team doesn’t want to cease to amaze.
Keep it up, Lions!
OUR THREE STARS OF GAME-2
Damien Brunner (EHC Bienne)
Bienne earned the first playoffs home win against Bern of their history thanks to a real Team performance. With a capital T! All of Törmänen’s guys deserve a big round of applause for the magic night they were able to gift their fans with.
Then again, all the commitment in the world makes little sense unless there is someone who can put that darn puck in the net. And here is when Damien Brunner comes in…
The top-class Swiss forward, other than delivering a terrific performance, scored twice. Firstly he opened the score during the early stages of the game… and then, gave the fans something to scream about at about two minutes to the end when he scored the crucial equalizer that sent the two teams to the overtime period!
And just to say, there were those saying that Damien was an old war horse…
Lukas Frick (Lausanne HC)
Lukas Frick has been on fire basically since january… it’s impressive just how this guy is solid in the defensive zone and how he never, but never, panics!
During game-2 against Zug, Lukas tallied a secondary assist and ended with a great +2. What was impressive, however, was the fact that whenever he was on ice, Zug darn struggled to create clear scoring chances!
His hockey sense and good positioning always allow him to be in the right place at the right time. Moreover, he doesn’t lack of personality and self-confidence… in this regard, his body language speaks for itself.
We mean, this is what you call a terrific defenseman who is, by the way, the perfect picture of Lausanne’s defensive soundness.
Garrett Roe (EV Zug)
Garrett Roe might not be a giant when it comes to size… but he surely is a giant on ice for the way he plays!
In Lausanne, during game-2 of the playoffs semifinal, he tallied 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) but most and above all he was a constant pain in the neck to the Lions Vaudois. Garrett is some sort of a shooting machine… and let us not forget that he’s great when he takes face-offs too.
The 31 years old American is having some great playoffs and he’s one of that kind of a player who seriously helps you to win games. His grit, his commitment and his winning mindset are great weapons at the Bulls disposal. Bulls who, even though suffered an overtime defeat in Lausanne, delivered once again a decent performance if we exclude the central period.
THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR… THE “BLACK SHEEP”
Anssi Salmela (EHC Biel-Bienne)
If we look at the “Time on Ice” of Bienne’s players… it’s clear that, even though the game was tight until the end, Antti Törmänen kept on rotating all of his lines for the whole game.
Always looking at the “Time on Ice” of Bienne’s players, however, you can see that there is a black sheep… named Anssi Salmela, who was on ice for a total of 25 minutes and 8 seconds!
We mean, Antti counts a lot on what Anssi brings in… and it’s not an accident. In fact, Salmela is pivotal for the Seeländers defense.
Loic In-Albon (Lausanne HC)
The young Loic In-Albon is playing the first playoffs of his career and is doing great!
Against Zug in game-2, Loic put a lot of energy, grit and intensity on display and he was great for the team. Moreover, he even tallied his second playoffs point thanks to a secondary assist on the occasion of Benjamin Antonietti’s goal.
In-Albon has a great future ahead of him but obivously also has a great present. Moreover, he even proved able to increase his level of play during the playoffs. That’s not nothing for a guy 21 years old.
Way to go, Loic!
Bern were leading until approximately 2 minutes to the end of the third period… but finally, suffered a second consecutive defeat against Bienne and therefore also put an end to their playoffs undefeated away record.
Let’s don’t beat around the bush, we expected more from Bern.
You can’t say that Kari Jalonen’s troops underperformed at the Tissot Arena. Moreover, everybody should consider that Bienne are an extremely tough nut to crack. However, in our opinion, if we look at the four teams who are still fighting for the title, Bern are the ones less in “playoffs mode”. This, considering that on saturday night game-3 of the semifinal is scheduled, it’s a huge problem.
A problem to be solved as soon as possible. The series is far from being over and the Bears have all it takes to turn things around. But now, considering that we’re in spring, it’s really time to get out of the den…
Up and at them!