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”
Let’s face it… how many of you seriously believed that Bienne, after that they had lost the last two games narrow, would have been capable of travelling to Bern and smoke the Bear out of the cave?
Well, what the Seeländers have done in game-5 at the PostFinance Arena was huge!
The situation was darn complicated. Probably the fans started to think that they were about to assist the same story of 12 months before when, in the same situation, Bienne hosted Lugano and suffered a 2-4 defeat… we were saying on the eve of this game in Bern, however, that dynamics were totally different. Moreover, the Seeländers improved a lot compared to a year ago.
They’ve clearly demonstrated that throughout game-5 in Bern. Let’s face it, it can be frustrating to play against Jalonen’s troops… even if only because of their excessive discipline that annoys you. We mean, if you want to prevail against the Bears you need to be immeasurable patient, solid in the defensive zone, organized in the neutral zone and… you need to be merciless in the offensive zone.
Well, they Seeländers have done it perfectly. It’s obvious that Antti Törmänen prepared the game very well and he proved smart making clear that he learned a lot from mistakes of the previous games.
Then again, when you face Bern it’s difficult to be spectacular… that’s because Jalonen’s troops are like an emotionless steamroller. And instead, emotions are required when you play hockey, even more so during playoffs.
Bienne brought in more emotions and now are deservedly so close – and yet so far… – from reaching a historical final that would be nothing but the right reward for the astonishing work that the club has been doing over the years.
OUR THREE STARS OF GAME-5
Dan Tangnes (Coach, EV Zug)
Zug are the first finalist of the 2018-19 season… our heartfelt congratulations!
Once again, the Bulls delivered a real Team performance against Lausanne in game-5. Overall, it must be said, the game was rather boring and not really a “playoffs one”. Yet, Zug are not to blame for that… we mean, you can’t accuse Dan Tangnes’ boys if the Lions Vaudois forgot their claws in the Canton of Vaud and were almost emotionless.
Having said that, we say it once again. Zug delivered a real Team performance. Therefore, symbolically, we reward coach Dan Tangnes and indirectly also all his staff!
They’ve been doing a fantastic job throughout the whole season and created a Bull who can play a very entertaining hockey… well done!
Jonas Hiller (EHC Biel-Bienne)
If some of you has got nothing to do – since in the end, we’re only talking about sport – we kindly ask to visit the Registry Office in order to check if Hiller’s real name is really “Jonas” and not… “Wall”.
Right, because during game-5 at the PostFinance Arena, Hiller was a real wall in front of the net!
Bienne delivered a solid defensive performance, but it’s also fair to say that the players can always play confident since they know that the goalie is darn effective… Jonas Hiller in fact, inspires a lot of confidence!
Moreover, he earned a shutout at the PostFinance Arena only two days after game-4 when he had made a mistake that was at the origin of Bern’s first goal… well, this means that Hiller has got even a great mental toughness!
Dustin Jeffrey (Lausanne HC)
In Zug it was Dustin Jeffrey’s first semifinal game this season. Therefore it was difficult to think he could make the difference. In fact, overall his performance was just decent.
That’s not the reason why, however, we include him among the three stars.
We do it because we want to reward him for a fantastic albeit unlucky season as he suffered two injuries, including the one right on the eve of the semifinal series. The Lions Vaudois darn missed him during this semifinal.
He’s is one of the most skilled and telented players of the league. He’s that kind of a player who can seriously go outside the box and make the difference also with an individual play. He’s among Lausanne’s pillars!
Anyway, Dustin deserved to play at least this one last game this season!
THE SPECIAL MENTION FOR… WIND FROM NORTH
Bern & Lausanne
We’re winter and cold lovers, therefore we love the wind that comes from north.
However, we have the impression that during this post-season way too many games have been played without emotions. Ice hockey is a fantastic sport but, our hope is that we’re not going to the direction of a purely tactical, defensive-minded and totally disciplined game…
It’s true that the zero-tolerance is accustomed by now (excluding during overtime periods…). It’s also true that the “Finnish” system of play can pay off. Yet guys, where are the emotions? The fights? For the umpteenth time we repeat ourselves… we’re not saying that the players must turn into beasts who bite down into the flesh of each other… but some more physical play wouldn’t hurt. It’s part of hockey, after all. And, always after all, Bienne and Zug are proving that you can be disciplined and at the same time go outside the box now and then…
Therefore, come on guys… let’s nail this!
Sven Senteler (EV Zug)
Sven Senteler is an excellent player and a precious element at Dan Tangnes’ disposal. Moreover, he tallied 26 points in 50 Regular Season’s games… including 17 goals.
During the playoffs, however, Sven hadn’t scored a single goal before game-5 against Lausanne. A problem? Not really… in Zug, anyone can become the hero of the night, after all. That’s because we’re talking about a real Team, with a capital T.
Yet, we’re pretty sure that it was a godsend for him to finally score the first two goals of the 2019 playoffs!
Lausanne were up against the wall and only a win would have prevented them from going on holiday. Considering the context, we expected the Lions Vaudois to roar, to claw and even to put a great fighting spirit on display!
And instead, we were left disappointed…
Of course, it’s always easy to talk from the outside. However, considering the situation, we were expecting an emotional game. But the truth is that it looked like the Lions forgot their claws in Lausanne.
Then again, Lausanne had a good season overall and we’ll have time to talk about this in the analysis of the season. Still, we were hoping that Ville Peltonen’s troops would go out of the box during game-5 in Zug and that didn’t happen.
It’s a pity. But having said that, congrats for the good season Lausanne!