Rapperswil are having a very good season, a much better one compared to the last one. The team has been reinforced and the extra year of National League experience certainly helps.
What impressed us the most about Rappi, however, is the impressive character of the players. Let’s take the last home game played against Davos, for example. The Lakers were behind in the score but were able to score the tying goal at the last gasp. Then it’s true that they suffered an overtime defeat, but they put an impressive fighting spirit on display.
And it wasn’t the first time this season that it happened. In fact, it happened several times.
It happened on September 21st, 2019, when they were 2-goals behind against the ZSC Lions but then earned a 3-2 comeback overtime win. It happened on October 11th, when they were 3-goals (!) behind against Bern after the first period of play but finally earned an amazing 5-4 comeback overtime win. Ten days later then, Jeff Tomlinson’s troops were 3-goals behind against Bienne but were able to earn a crazy 5-3 win thanks to 4 goals scored during the last third.
And finally, as we just said, it happened also few days ago against Davos. In that case, however, their comeback wasn’t successful as the Ibexes won the extra point during the overtime period.
Anyway, the “former newly-promoted side” is second to no-one when it comes to fighting spirit and never giving up. That’s great.
There is, however, also the other side of the coin. In fact, we all know just how important it is to go into the lead and then handle the situation. In this regard, it must be said that Jeff Tomlinson’s troops are very rarely ahead in the score.
Thanks to the data provided by the “added value for Swiss Hockey” site NLicedata.com, we can show you a very interesting table.
Rapperswil spend only 19.56% of time leading and that’s the worst figure of the National League. And again, Rappi went to the first break ahead in the score only 6 times in 23 games, and it’s worth to mention that 4 out of these 6 times they finally won the game. 11 times instead, they were trailing at the end of the first period of play.
Moreover, we think it’s important to stress that Rapperswil spend 29.67% of the games “tied” and even 50.77% trailing their opponents. Therefore, needless to say they are the worst figures of the league.
All this should improve. Because on the one hand it’s true that being capable of coming back is symptom of great character and of a good physical condition. On the other hand, instead, the problem is, that you must make extraordinary efforts – both physically and mentally – “only” to chase your opponents.
Let’s face it, Jeff Tomlinson’s troops looked “distracted” during the early stages of the games, way too often. Is it a problem of “approach”? Or rather, is it because the opponents (who do not underestimate Rappi anymore) push forward from the very beginning since they know that it’s no longer a walk in the park to defeat Rapperswil?
We don’t know that. One thing is sure though, the Lakers should find the way to be more solid at the beginning of the games. This would allow them to conserve their strength and to build confidence.
Other than, obviously, saving the fans’ hearts 🙂
So, to answer the question of the title… yet, it is a problem. Even though, guys, this team’s fighting spirit is impressive!