Ambrì-Piotta are having this break with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they’re at the bottom of the table, even though only few points away from the line that separates heaven from hell. On the other hand, however, there is the feeling that – also thanks to the latest good performances – there is still the chance to have a great second part of the season.
Paradoxically, for a team with limited sources like Ambrì-Piotta, Luca Cereda’s guys were able to give the best at the most complicated time, when the injuries of key players came one after another and put them up against the wall. And anyway, this team rarely underperformed.
So, let’s see what is already working and instead what, in our opinion, didn’t work.
Ambrì-Piotta’s commitment is great most of the time. Regardless of the results achieved, Luca Cereda’s troops were almost always a tough nut to crack. They bring in a log of energy and can make the opponents underperform. Moreover, the players – injuries excluded – seem to be in an excellent physical condition. Finally, when the system of play of Luca Cereda is followed to the letter this team always has a chance to win. We mean, it’s hard to believe that the Leventinesi are currently at the bottom of the table.
Commitment, organization, spirit of self-sacrifice… all these factors allow Ambrì-Piotta to be rock solid and a great penalty killer. In fact, only Lugano are better penalty killers in the National League. The Biancoblù’s PK percentage is 85.3%, what is impressive.
Currently, Ambrì-Piotta have the third worst defensive record of the National League but the goalies aren’t the problem. Daniel Manzato is having a very good season and Dominik Hrachovina did his job when called to replace the nr. 1 goalie. Moreover, Benjamin Conz is ready to come back. We mean, when it comes to goaltenders… Luca Cereda can sleep well at night.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Ability to make the difference
Oftentimes Ambrì-Piotta can make life difficult for their opponents, but then darn struggle to turn the good performances into wins. All, because they just can’t make the difference at the key moments of the games. Way too often, the Leventinesi were not able to seal wins, and way too often they suffered painful defeats. In this regard, the focus must improve. Let us not forget, finally, that the Biancoblù darn struggle to score goals.
Ambrì-Piotta won 3 of their last 4 away games, including two against Lugano and Bienne. This suggests that things are getting better. Overall, however, the Leventinesi have the second worst away record of the National League with 7 points in 9 games. Only Rapperswil (5 points in 9 games) are doing worse. Moreover, the last win earned in Bienne was the first one “3 points” of the season. We mean, the away record must improve.
Injuries are a problem. Do they sustain injuries because of a poor physical condition? Absolutely not. In fact, we think that Ambrì-Piotta have a very good physical condition. Bad luck? Oftentimes, to talk about bad luck it’s only an alibi. The fact remains that the Leventinesi need to deal with countless injuries also of important players. So many injuries would be a problem also for the best teams of the league. For Ambrì-Piotta, it’s even a bigger problem that can have a huge impact on the results.
There is no need to stress just how important face-offs are. When you’re effective at face-offs you immediately have the puck possession and, most and above all, you don’t have to waste energies – both mentally and physically – in order to recover the puck possession. Well, in this regard, Ambrì-Piotta are currently the second worst team of the league with only 47.7% of face-offs won. Only Bienne have a lower efficiency. Among the players who are taking normally faceoffs, only Brian Flynn (51.55%) has an acceptable rate.
THE THREE STARS
Luca Cereda (Coach)
We praise Luca Cereda very often, and therefore also indirectly his staff and Paolo Duca. But we feel like doing it again. Ambrì-Piotta have a soul and a precise identity. These factors make them a tough nut to crack. There is also something else we like to say frequently… that is, when Ambrì-Piotta follow the coach’s system of play, they always have a chance to win games. And we think it’s safe to say that this is the truth. We mean, Luca constantly talks about “working hard” and he’s right. He’s a STAR of Ambrì-Piotta, after all.
Each year, many people think that Matt D’Agostini is over the hill. And each year instead, Matt D’Agostini surprises everybody! Also, this season the Canadian forward of Ambrì-Piotta is turning out to be an added value in every way, a player capable of making the difference and scoring important points.
Daniel Manzato started this season as the nr. 1 goalie for the first time in a while. And he did a great job! Daniel delivered excellent performances and he’s among the best goalies of the league in terms of saving percentage (91.9%). Now Benjamin Conz is back, and Ambrì-Piotta can count on two very realiable goalies.
THE SPECIAL MENTION
At times, Michael Fora makes mistakes. But who never makes mistakes? Michael is back at the top of his game and is lined up with Dotti. Considering that the club have now an emergency situation, Michael took even more responsibilities. Moreover, he’s on his way to break his record of points scored set during the 2017-18 season.
Data are taken from:
nlicedata.com and leading-sport.com
Goals For & Goals Against
Considering that teams have a different number of games played, we took into consideration the average of goals scored and goals conceded.
When it comes to goals scored, Ambrì-Piotta have the second worst attacking record of the National League. Only Fribourg Gottéron scored less. Their defensive record instead is not bad, considering that the Leventinesi have the 8th best defense of the league.
Goals For & Goals Against each 10’
Generally, Ambrì-Piotta concede way too many goals during the first period of play and meanwhile they don’t score enough goals during the first 20 minutes of play. In fact, as a trend, the Biancoblù concede more goals compared to the goals they score all over the arc of the 60 minutes of play. Yet, things look better in the second and third period. This means that the physical condition is good.
Shots & Shots Against
Considering that teams have a different number of games played, we took into consideration the average of shots and shots faced.
Ambrì-Piotta shot a lot on goal, as a matter of fact only the ZSC Lions and the SCL Tigers shot more than Luca Cereda’s troops. Meanwhile, the number of shots faced is about the average in the National League. We mean, the figures suggest that Ambrì-Piotta aren’t outplayed when it comes to shots on goal.
Let’s see now how dangerous their shots are.
Shots & Shots Against from the Slot – Percentage
This table shows that, oftentimes, the Leventinesi’s shots aren’t taken from the most dangerous area, that is from the slot. In this regard, Luca Cereda’s guys are the worst of the league as only 36.6% of their shots are taken from the slot. Meanwhile instead, the figure of the shots faced from the slot shows that Ambrì-Piotta are doing a decent job.
Scoring & Saving percentage
Ambrì-Piotta’s scoring percentage is very low (6.9%), In fact, only Fribourg Gottéron (6.6%) have a lower scoring percentage. There is no denying that the Biancoblù have less talent compared to many other teams of the league, moreover the countless injuries didn’t help. We’re nevertheless convinced that Luca Cereda’s guys can do better than that.
When it comes to saving percentage instead, the figure is good. After all, when a saving % is higher than 90 % we’re talking about a good one.
PP % – PK %
Ambrì-Piotta are good during power-play opportunities. 20% in fact, is to be considered the limit between a good and a poor power-play efficiency. Compared to last season, however, the data worsened… Dominik Kubalik’s loss is difficult to digest, moreover the new additions didn’t bring in what expected in terms of efficiency in the offensive zone. Let us not forget, finally, that all the injuries aren’t helping.
On the other hand, Luca Cereda’s guys are excellent penalty killers. In fact, Ambrì-Piotta are the second-best penalty killers of the league, only Lugano (85.5%) are better.
Let’s see, who are the three best scorers to date.
Currently, Matt D’Agostini is the Top Scorer of the team. We talked already about him. We also talked already about Michael Fora, who’s currently second placed among Ambrì-Piotta’s scorers and he is also among the most productive defensemen of the league.
Third placed instead, we find Marco Müller. Marco got off to a difficult start of the season, but he’s been brilliant lately. At times his talent led him to be a little bit individualistic and inevitably he makes some unforced mistakes. Yet, when it comes to talent, the former Bern is among the best players of the league and he’s improving each season.
7th – 12th place
It’s difficult to make a forecast when it comes to Ambrì-Piotta. This team, as we’ve already said, considering the performances, doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of the table. However, the countless injuries – together with the fact that in terms of talent there are better teams around – can have a huge impact on the results in this season.
Without forgetting that the Leventinesi played also the Champions Hockey League and will participate also in the Spengler Cup. Two fantastic competitions that, however, are also very tiring physically and mentally.
If the Leventinesi can make a virtue of necessity until the comeback of all the injured player, and if they can keep a good physical condition, they have all the chances to make the playoffs for the second year narrow. Otherwise, there is also the risk to finish the regular season at the bottom of the table.
Yet, anyway, this team has a future. Because the philosophy is clear, and the job done is brilliant.
Good luck, Ambrì-Piotta!