Modern and well-frequented arenas… a level that continues to improve… teams that we all know by name to a greater or lesser extent… yet, we don’t talk much about the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) in Switzerland. Wrongly so!
14 teams fight each season to be crowned German champions. And this season – 2018-19 – the Adler Mannheim won the title thanks to the 4-1 overall win in the final against the EHC Red Bull München.
In doing so, by the way, the Eagles of Manheim put to an end the series of 3 consecutive titles won right by the Bavarians, who previously had won the title uninterruptedly between 2016 and 2018.
But let’s see how the 2018-19 DEL season developed. Let’s start by having a look at the table at the end of the Regular Season.
At this point, it’s important to stress that each team plays 52 Regular Season’s games. At the end of the Regular Season then, the teams placed between 7th and 10th placed play a best-of-three series preliminary round to establish the eight teams that will play the playoffs.
DEL – 2018-19 REGULAR SEASON TABLE
Adler Mannheim and EHC Red Bull München were by far the best teams of the Regular Season and the only two teams who topped 100 points. Therefore, right like in our National League, this season the two best teams of the Regular Season made it all the way to the final… and always just like in our National League, the league leaders at the end of the Regular Season then lifted the coveted trophy!
Anyway, the season was very exciting. Between the trio formed by Augsburger Panther & Kölner Haie & ERC Ingolstadt… and the pair formed by Pinguins Bremerhaven & Straubing Tigers (who are, the two teams who were forced to play the playoffs preliminary round) there were only 5 points of difference.
And the formula that forces the 7th and 8th placed at the end of the Regular Season to face the 9th and the 10th placed in a best-of-three series to make it to the playoffs… gifted us with a surprise. Right, because the Eisbären of Berlin (9th placed at the end of the RS) and the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers (10th placed at the end of the RS) won the preliminary round and made it to the post-season!
To note that the leading scorer at the end of the Regular Season was Jeremy Williams (Straubing Tigers) who collected 57 points. To follow, Jonathan Matsumoto (Iserlohn Roosters), Daniel Pietta (Krefeld Pinguine), Jacob Berglund (Krefeld Pinguine) and Philip Gogulla (Düsseldorfer EG) made it to the TOP 5.
The three best goalies on the other hand were Mathias Niederberger (Düsseldorfer EG, 92.9%), Danny aus den Birken (EHC Red Bull München, 92.6%) and Oliver Roy (Augsburger Panther, 91.7%).
DEL – 2019 PLAYOFFS
PLAYOFFS QUALIFYING SERIES
Pinguins Bremerhaven – Thomas Sabo Tigers 1-2
Straubing Tigers – Eisbären Berlin 0-2
Adler Mannheim – Thomas Sabo Tigers 4-1
Kölner Haie – ERC Ingolstadt 4-3
EHC Red Bull München – Eisbären Berlin 4-2
Augsburger Panther – Düsseldorfer EG 4-3
As we said before, Eisbären Berlin and Thomas Sabo Tigers won the preliminary round and made the playoffs… but their ride didn’t last long. At the quarterfinals stage in fact, the two teams were defeated by the Adler Mannhei and the EHC Red Bulls München. The two best teams of the Regular Season who therefore made it to the semifinals.
They made it to the semifinals together with Kölner Haie and Augsburger Panther, to whom it took 7 games to get rid off ERC Ingolstadt (coached by the former Lugano coach Doug Shedden) and Düsseldorfer EG (coached by the former Zug coach Harold Kreis).
Adler Mannheim – Kölner Haie 4-0
EHC Red Bull München – Augsburger Panther 4-3
Did Kölner Haie and Augsburger Panther pay the price for the great effort? Probably the Haie did, since there was no deal to make against the Adler Mannheim. The Augsburger Panther on the other hand, sold their lives dearly as it took 7 games to the favourites EHC Red Bulls München to win the series and make it to the final.
Adler Mannheim – EHC Red Bull München 4-1
Adler Mannheim and EHC Red Bulls Mïnchen were therefore the two finalists. And the Eagles proved the better side as they won overall 4-1 the series… and were crowned German Champions for the first time since 2015!
Here are the highlights of the game that allowed Pavel Gross’ troops to win the title!
The Adler Mannheim were leaded by Andrew Desjardins, Benjamin Smith and Mark Katic… who all tallied 14 points during the post-season.
THE PARTY IN MANNHEIM
IT WAS A LONG, EXCITING… AND FOLLOWED SEASON!
Well, it was a long and exciting season. And a very followed one too. Right, because the DEL in Germany is very followed. As we previously said, the arenas are all modern and well-attended.
This is evidenced also by the fact that Eisbären Berlin, Kölner Haie and Adler Mannheim all had an above 10’000 average attendance per game. And by the way, these three teams were the 3rd, 4th and 5th teams in Europe with the highest attendances. Only SC Bern and SKA St. Petersburg had higher attendances.
If to that we add that Düsseldorfer EG (8’531 average attendance) are the 11th team in Europe… we discover that fans love the DEL. The environment is great and fans have fun. Even in a country where usually football (the Bundesliga) is the master.
But Germany is a country where sport is very followed, after all. Therefore, these figures do not surprise us. Anyway, we present you the average attendances of the 2018-19 DEL Regular Season.
2018-19 DEL – AVERAGE ATTENDANCES
TRIVIA – THOSE WHO WERE IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE IN THE PAST
It’s not unusual that a player or a coach who was in our National League then transfers to the DEL in Germany. And vice-versa.
Therefore, let’s have a look – in random order – at our former NLA players who played a role in the 2018-19 DEL.
Doug Shedden (ERC Ingolstadt, former HC Lugano coach)
The former Lugano coach has been coaching in Ingolstadt since the 2017-18 season. And he will be coaching over there also next season. During both DEL seasons, Ingolstadt were eliminated at the quarterfinals stage. Doug will try to improve this record next year.
Ville Koistinen (ERC Ingolstadt, former HC Davos and SCL Tigers player)
In the same team coached by Doug Shedden, we find also the former Davos and Langnau player Ville Koistinen. The Finnish defenseman left Langnau during the 2017-18 season… and in a season and a half in the DEL, he collected overall 75 appearances tallying 51 points. Also Ville will play again in Ingolstadt next season.
Petr Taticek (ERC Ingolstadt, former HC Davos player)
Petr Taticek was in Davos for a long time… he arrived back in 2007 and definitively left in 2014 when he joined ERC Ingolstadt. This season he collected only 31 appearances (4 points) but he will have time to make it up next season, since he will stay in Ingolstadt.
Harold Kreis (Düsseldorfer EG, former EHC Chur, HC Lugano, ZSC Lions and EV Zug coach)
Right on the eve of this season, Harold Kreis agreed terms with Düsseldorfer EG after he had spent four seasons in Zug. In fact, it was a come back for him to Düsseldorf… considering that he had already coached the DEG Metro Stars between 2008 and 2010. And it was a comeback also to the DEL, considering that he had coach also Adler Mannheim between 2010 and 2014. This season, anyway, his Düsseldorfer EG only made it to the quarterfinals.
Chad Kolarik (Adler Mannheim, former EHC Kloten player)
Chad Kolarik played the 2015-16 season in Kloten where he collected 38 appearances and tallied 28 points. He’s been playing in Mannheim since three seasons, and during this last one he played a key role in winning the title. He played overall 60 games and tallied as much as 59 points. He will continue his career in the EBEL starting from next season, as he agreed terms with EC Salzburg.
Kevin Poulin (Eisbären Berlin, former EHC Kloten player)
Maybe not many of you remember him… but Kevin Poulin was Kloten’s goalie during the last part of last season when the Airmen were relegated. Kevin collected 7 appearances with the Airmen. This season, he played overall 51 games with the Eisbären Berlin and helped the team make it to the quarterfinals. Kevin, overall had a 92% saving percentage.
Hans Kossmann (Grizzlys Wolfsburg, former HC Fribourg Gottéron, HC Ambrì-Piotta and ZSC Lions coach)
Hans Kossmann won the title last season with the ZSC Lions… and basically it was a fall from grace for him in Germany, considering that his Grizzlys Wolfsburg missed the playoffs.
Colby Genoway (Kölner Haie, former HC Lugano, Lausanne HC, HC Fribourg Gottéron and EHC Kloten player)
Colby Genoway played for several teams in the National League. His committment was always very appreciated by the fans. Starting from this season, he’s under contract with the Kölner Haie and he’s even the assistant captain. The Sharks’ season came to an end at the semifinals stage… Colby overall collected 60 appearances and tallied 30 points.
Jared Aulin (Straubing Tigers, former SC Rappperswil-Jona Lakers)
Jared Aulin spent 3 seasons and a half in Rapperswil… and right during the 2018-19 season moved to the Straubing Tigers. He collected overall 21 appearances and tallied 10 points (only 1 goal). Straubing’s season came to an end – a bit surprisingly – at the playoffs preliminary round.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE THE DEL
To conclude our 2018-19 DEL season review, we show you a couple of videos that might get you into the DEL.
For our part, if we still exist, we’ll talk again about DEL in late summer… to present you the 2019-20 season!
TOP 10 of the first week of games
The derby Kölner Haie vs Düsseldorfer EG… a game like you never seen before!