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Langnau are currently 8th placed with 24 points after 17 games. That’s not bad. Of course, you can’t compare this start to last season, when the Tigers earned 31 points after 17 games.

But not all is bad. In fact, we think that Langnau have the chance to make the playoff again. Firstly, their current table position is good. Moreover, also the first few games of the regular season and the last few before the international break were good. And finally, the Tigers never really suffered heavy defeats.

So, let’s see what is already working and instead what, in our opinion, didn’t work.

WHAT WORKS

The results

Like every season, Langnau’s target is to survive and possibly fight to make the playoffs until the end. In this regard, the results are decent. The Tigers earned at least 1 point in 12 games out of 17. Moreover, they suffered a defeat with more than a 2-goals margin only once. We mean, there is room for improvement, but Heinz Ehlers’ troops are a tough nut to crack as usual.

Organization

The Tigers aren’t at the top of their game yet, but most of the time are nevertheless able to put their usual highly organized hockey on display. Overall, Heinz Ehlers’ troops protect well their goalies and it’s difficult for the opponents to create clear scoring chances. Things can improve in terms of consistency, but oftentimes Langnau make everybody’s life difficult regardless of the results.

Faceoffs

Faceoffs are pivotal plays in ice hockey. We all know, in fact, how important it is to be effective during faceoffs in order to avoid wasting unnecessarily energies – both physically and mentally – just to recover the puck possession. Well, in this regard the Tigers are doing a great job. Nolan Diem, Robbie Earl, Aaron Gagnon and Ben Maxwell all have an above 50% faceoffs’ succes rate. Only Pascal Berger (49.3%) has a slightly lower than 50% success rate.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK

Power-play

Nope, power-play doesn’t seem to be Langnau’s thing. In fact, the Tigers are the worst team of the league when it comes to PP efficiency. Overall, Heinz Ehlers’ guys scored only 8 power-play goals, and they’ve been al scored in 6 games. Way too often, the Tigers struggle to create clear scoring chances, and when they do… they mostly miss them.

Goals difference

Langnau don’t score enough. They scored less than 3 goals in 7 games out of 17. Moreover, surprisingly, they concede too many goals. Or rather, they alternate nights during which they concede little or nothing to other nights during which they concede too many. This is something that must improve.

First periods of play

Only 3 times Langnau were leading in the score at the first break. That’s not enough. Even more so, all these three times came during the first four games of the season. It’s true that, oftentimes, the Tigers showed to have some real character and that they try their hardest until the end. However, it would be better for them to take the momentum on their side right from the start more often.

The Swiss should score more

Langnau don’t score enough in relation to the scoring chances created. Moreover, the Swiss guys should score more. If we look at the leading scorers table in fact, there are four import-players at the first four place. We mean, on the one hand this is good… on the other one, however, it would be good if the Swiss score more points. The problem is that when the imports aren’t at the top of their game, the Tigers darn struggle to win games.

THE THREE STARS

Harri Pesonen

Perhaps Harri Pesonen isn’t lethal like last season yet, but he’s certainly having a second impressive consecutive season! He’s a leader on ice, he puts his heart and soul into the games and he’s oftentimes able to make the difference thanks to his talent. We mean, last extraordinary season wasn’t an accident.

Ivars Punnenovs

Ivars Punnenovs played more than Damiano Ciaccio during this first part of the season and this is no accident. In fact, Ivars is in top form. Last season Damiano Ciaccio had played more, now instead looks like it’s Ivars time. The truth is, however, that Heinz Ehlers can count on two great goalies. Two great goalies that perhaps aren’t always consistent… but two goalies that once are at the top of their game, can literally “steal” wins.

Chris DiDomenico

Chris DiDomenico’s charisma is crucial, and it’s even more crucial when the moment is complicated, and you win games more with your “head” than with your “talent”. Probably, neither Chris is at the top of his game yet. Ufortunately, he got injured right on the eve of the international break, but when he’s on the ice, he makes the difference. He’s a key player for Langnau. Always.

THE SPECIAL MENTION

Heinz Ehlers

At some point, it seemed like Langnau were about to collapse after 4 consecutive defeats. At that point, Heinz Ehlers was smart enough to go back to the basics. That is, to cut the chase and make his team play in a solely solid and concrete way. We had the proof for that during the last 3 games before the break, during which the Tigers were finally solid and effective again. The coach deserves a big round of applause, as he proved to be able to handle every situation very well for the umpteenth time!

STATISTICS


Stats 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.

These tables show that Langnau don’t score enough and concede too much. These data, however, must be interpreted. As we mentioned above, the Tigers lack consistency in terms of performances. Just to make an example… they conceded 4.43 goals on average in 7 games while they conceded only 1.80 during the remaining 10 games. We mean, Heinz Ehlers’ troops can be extremely solid, it’s a fact.

Goals For & Goals Against each 10’

Here is another thing we said before. Langnau tend to concede way too many goals during the first periods of play. It’s encouraging, however, to note that the Tigers can make the difference during the last 10 minutes of play. This is a symptom of good physical condition and character.

Shots & Shots Against

Considering that teams have a different number of games played, we took into consideration the average of shots and shots faced.

Langnau shot on goal a lot, in fact only the ZSC Lions shot more. Meanwhile, they don’t even face so many shots. We mean, this looks like the perfect recipe for success.

Let’s see, in fact, how dangerous the shots are.

Shots & Shots Against from the Slot – Percentage

These data are very interesting. Langnau shot on goal a lot but only the 39.3% of their shots is taken from the slot. Meanwhile, the Tigers can protect well their goalies, as their opponents are able to take only the 39.5% of their shots from the slot.

Scoring & Saving %

The scoring percentage is too low. As we mentioned above, the Tigers must become more accurate. Meanwhile, the saving percentage is not out of this world but it’s good. To note that, individually, Ivars Punnenovs’ saving percentage is 92.5%, which is the third highest of the National League!

PP % – PK %

We talked already about Langnau’s power-play… and here, the chart shows very well that the Tigers must improve. Their efficiency (13.3%) is by far the lowest of the league.

At the same time, however, the Tigers are quite good penalty killer. That mostly thanks to their highly organized hockey and to the fact that they can protect well their goalies.

LEADING SCORERS

Let’s see, who are the three best scorers to date.

Langnau would need more points from their Swiss guys and this table is the proof of that. Anyway, Harri Pesonen is the Top Scorer of the team followed by Chris DiDomenico.

Robbie Earl for his part is third placed. Robbie had got off to a so-so start of the season, but he’s been improving lately. In fact, he scored 8 points in the last 7 games. Well done!

To note that the Swiss leading scorers are Julian Schmutz and Larri Leeger, who both tallied 7 points in 17 games.

OUR PREDICTION

7th – 9th place

Langnau have room for improvement and are nevertheless currently 8th placed. In other words, it’s likely that also this season the Tigers will fight to make the playoffs until the end.

In this regard, the experience gained last season should help.

Perhaps Langnau haven’t been gifting their fans with “fireworks” so far, but the Emmental’s based club starts every season with every intention of surviving and then finally turn out to be a tough nut to crack. We mean, it will not be easy for the Tigers to make the playoffs. Even if only because it never happened in history that they made the playoffs for two consecutive seasons.

Yet, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers will make it, finally. One thing is sure: no one can underestimate them.

Good luck, Langnau!

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