Fribourg Gottéron reached the first international break in excellent spirits. It’s true that the Dragons are currently only 11th placed, but it’s also true that they still have a couple of games in hand and, most and above all, it’s also true that their latest results have been brilliant.
A lot has already happened in Fribourg and it’s no surprise, after all. In fact, it will be a surprise if ever one day this club can enjoy a quiet season one day. Though, everything can still happen. Because Gottéron, regardless of the results, proved to have a good potential. A potential that, if full exploited, can allow the boys now coached by Christian Dubé (and Pavel Rosa, and Sean Simpson) to have a good season.
So, let’s see, what is already working and instead what, in our opinion, didn’t work.
The change of coach
Many people mocked Fribourg Gottéron when the club decided to fire Mark French and to name the SD Christian Dubé, assisted by Pavel Rosa and with Sean Simpson, the consulting coach. Even the most sceptical ones, however, must have now changed their minds. The Dragons have been earning 1.8 points on average per game after the change of coach, what means they’re the third best team of the National League. Moreover, they’re rock-solid and very committed. We mean, the change paid off.
Reto Berra and Ludovic Waeber are one of the reasons why Christian Dubé can sleep peacefully. Reto didn’t get off to a brilliant start of the season, but lately he’s been at the top of his game. Ludovic for his part delivered excellent performance as the back-up goalie. We mean, the goaltenders aren’t a problem for the Dragons, in fact, they’re a strength!
When it comes to goals conceded on average per game, Fribourg Gottéron have the best defensive record of the league. It’s not an accident. The Dragons are rock-solid, especially at even strength. Moreover, they can count on two goalies at the top of their game. Reto Berra got off to a difficult start of the season but now he’s doing great. Ludovic Waeber for his part – who will continue his career in Zürich – delivered very good performances and turned out to be an excellent back-up.
The import players
Viktor Stalberg looks almost “lazy” at times and currently he is arguably the less in-form import of the team. But he’s top class, he proved that already and will improve as the season goes on. Daniel Brodin doesn’t score a lot of points, but he’s pure energy and one of that kind of player who make the difference at the key moments of the season. David Desharnais has improved a lot lately, even after a difficult start. Finally, Ryan Gunderson was supposed to be “Mr. Perfect” and he’s living up to the expectations. We mean, Gottéron were baking a lot on their imports, and even though there is room for improvement, we think it’s safe to say that the import players are doing a good job.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
The BCF Arena looks great and it’s likely that from next season it will be the best-looking arena of the Naitonal League. Visitor sector excluded, ça va sans dire. Fribourg Gottéron, however, haven’t been able to be at the top of their game at home and have the worst home record of the National League. 7 games, 3 wins. Never two consecutive wins. We mean, the Dragons must improve their home performances.
Fribourg Gottéron are rock-solid but aren’t effective enough in the offensive zone. Currently, the Dragons have the worst scoring stat of the National League and that’s something that must improve. There is no denying that injures – Julien Sprunger unfortunately got injured almost immediately – are difficult to digest. Yet, Christian Dubé’s guys have all it takes to score more than they’re currently scoring.
Life is hard without Jim Slater and now also without Andrey Bykov (injured). Fribourg Gottéron were always effective at faceoffs in the last few seasons, now instead they darn struggle in this regard as they faceoffs efficiency is only 48.5%. In fact, only Ambrì-Piotta and Bienne have lower percentages. There is no denying that this stat must improve. In fact, it’s always a waste of energies – both physical and mental – when you’re constantly forced to fight hard only to recover the puck possession. Among the players who take faceoffs, only David Desharnais (54.7%) is doing well. No one else has a success rate greater than that or equal to 50%. And Samuel Walser (47.8%) is doing much worse compared to last season (55.7%).
THE THREE STARS
When we presented you Ryan Gunderson last summer, we told you that Ryan Gunderson had earned the nickname “Mr. Perfect” in Sweden. Now, he may not be perfect, but he’s the perfect prototype of the offensive defenseman, capable of doing a great job during PP opportunities and capable of doing a decent job in the defensive zone. Not for nothing, Fribourg Gottéron have already extended his contract.
Lately, Philippe Furrer has been showing what he is all about. That is, a guy that when he is at the top of his game, is the best defensive defenseman around. His latest performances were brilliant, to say the list. If you’re looking for a defenseman who gifts you with magic hockey in the offensive zone, you should to look elsewhere. Instead, if you’re looking for a rock-solid defensive defenseman, capable of making the difference, then Philippe Furrer is your guy!
Daniel Brodin has the potential to do even better in the offensive zone. But even during the earliest stages of this season, when Gottéron were struggling, Daniel always gave the 100%. The Swede forward is pure energy, and in our opinion, he will become even more devastating as the season goes on. We think he’s the classic playoffs animal, a player that when things get tough the tough get going.
THE SPECIAL MENTION
When they say that you have to show your face. Oftentimes, Christian Dubé is criticized for his job, even though it’s always easy to criticize from the outside. Then again, there is no denying that Fribourg Gottéron’s strategy doesn’t look very future-oriented also considering the team’s average age. Christian Dubé, anyway, had the courage to get back in the game and now he’s the coach of the team. And, helped by his staff formed by Pavel Rosa and Sean Simpson, he is doing a great job!
Data taken from:
nlicedata.com / 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.
We all know that Gottéron are always capable of everything and its opposite. Just look at these figures. The Dragons in fact, have the best defensive record of the league and the worst scoring record of the league. We mean, this is what the Dragons are all about 🙂
Goals For & Goals Against each 10′
This chart suggests that Fribourg Gottéron might have a problem with the physical condition. The Dragons in fact, concede way too many goals from the 30th minute of play. They score also less points as the games go on. To note in fact, that the data of the goals scored in the last 10 minutes of play is to be taken with a grain of salt. That’s because Fribourg Gottéron scored 4 of their overall 8 goals in the last game won in Zug 4-0!
Shots & Shots Against
Considering that teams have a different number of games played, we took into consideration the average of shots and shots faced.
Overall, Fribourg Gottéron are among the worst teams of the league, both in terms of shots and shots faced. We mean, it’s difficult to say that the Dragons are dominant.
Let’s see, how dangerous their shots are.
Shots & Shots Against from the Slot – Percentage
When it comes to “dangerousness” of the shots, the figures are way more encouraging. Fribourg Gottéron in fact, are average in the league for shots taken from the slot and meanwhile, they’re the ones with the lowest percentage of shots conceded from their slot. These data bode well for the future. And anyway, these data prove once again that the Dragons are rock-solid and help their goalies a lot in the defensive zone.
Scoring & Saving %
Fribourg Gottéron have the lowest scoring percentage of the league, it’s as simple as that. Regardless of everything, if boys of Christian Dubé want to succeed they must become much more effective when it comes to put the puck in the net.
The saving percentage instead is fantastic. In fact, it’s the highest one of the National League!
PP % – PK %
Fribourg Gottéron must become more effective during power-play opportunities. The 16.7% in fact, is not enough. In fact, only Langnau (13.3%) are less effective during power-play opportunities this season.
When it comes to the penalty killing instead, the Dragons are rock-solid. Only Ambrì-Piotta (85.3%) and Lugano (85.5%) are better penalty killers in the National League.
Let’s see, who are the three best scorers to date.
Currently, Ryan Gunderson is the Top Scorer of the team. We’ve already talked about him. Just like we’ve already talked about Viktor Stalberg and David Desharnais. We mean, the import players of Fribourg Gottéron have room for improvement but are doing their job.
To note, that Killian Mottet is 4th placed with 10 points in 16 games. This is something we’re pleased of. Above all because Killian has been lately doing very well, and slowly he’s getting back at the top of his game. Gottéron need him!
6th – 10th place
Fribourg Gottéron have a great potential that is currently partially unexpressed. Moreover, they’re waiting for the comeback of Julien Sprunger and Andrey Bykov. Considering the problem when it comes to put the puck in the net, the comeback of the two guys we just mentioned would be a godsend for the Dragons. And we think, it’s safe to say, that if they want to have a successful season, they can’t do without them.
Nevertheless, Gottéron have already now all it takes to do well.
However, when it comes to Fribourg Gottéron you should take anything with a grain of salt. Everything can still happen. It can happen that the Dragons make the playoffs brilliantly, just like it can happen that they miss the post-season for the second consecutive season.
If we take the latest performances into consideration though, we think that finally Gottéron will make the playoff.
Good luck, Dragons!