11th week – 25.11.2019 – 01.12.2019
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
Bienne had their perfect week. Two games, six points. They’re the only National League team capable of winning both games of the week. The Seeländers in fact, firstly earned a 4-3 road overtime win against Zug on Thursday night and then earned a 3-2 home win against Rapperswil on Sunday afternoon.
Two different kind of performances delivered against two very different teams. Two performances that made it clear just how good Antti Törmänen’s guys are!
Let’s face it, the impression from the outside is that Bienne are less “dominant” compared to last season. In this regard, there is room for improvement. However, as we have mentioned already in the past, even though Bienne aren’t at the top of their game yet – also because they had to deal with many injuries… – they’re already at the top and they’re one of the most fearsome teams of the National League!
The excellent results achieved in the last two seasons could lead to two things. They could lead to some sort of “contentment”, or even to “performance anxiety”. Or else, they could lead to build even more a “winning mindset”.
Well, now you can say that there is no doubt that the excellent results achieved in the last two seasons led the Seeländers to build a winning mindset. A winning mindset that allows you to earn wins also when you’re not at the top of your game, that allows you to earn wins also when you have to deal with absences, that it allows you to “scare” the opponents already in the tunnel before entering the ice rink, just before the first puck drop of the games!
Right, because by now Antti Törmänen’s troops “scare” everybody. The club, as we always love to say, has been doing a terrific job since years and is reaping – season after season – the fruits for the incredible efforts done on and off the ice.
And so, keep it up!
Performances such as the one delivered last Thursday in Zug are impressive in terms of organization, solidity, commitment and quality. Performances such as the one delivered on Sunday afternoon against Rappi instead, are impressive in terms of ability of making the difference at the key moment, in terms of ability of not panicking in times of trouble and ability of handling the situation when you’re leading.
We mean, if you still have doubts… don’t. Bienne are a full-fledged big team now!
And you know what is, in our opinion, the best part? The best part is that the Seeländers are making it to the top of Swiss hockey more thanks to the hard work than finances. Because, when it comes to mere money, there are wealthier clubs around in Switzerland. The Tissot Arena, however, became a very coveted place by the players. Why? For money, of course, but also – if not above all – because the club is very serious and because there is so much passion around this team.
THE THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Stéphane Charlin (Genève Servette HC)
He was born on August 30th, 2000. He’s 19 years old and played for the youth organization of Genève Servette. He played the last few seasons with Patrick Emond as a coach in the U-20 Elit of the Eagles. We’re talking about Stéphane Charlin, who was Robert Mayer’s back up this last weekend as Gauthier Descloux got injured during the training session of Thursday. And we’re talking about the one who, in our opinion, fully deserves a star this week!
On Friday night in Zürich, Robert Mayer was assessed a game misconduct penalty after 33 minutes and 59 seconds of play and… and Stéphan replaced him, making his National League debut. Firstly, in the remaining 26 minutes and 1 second of play, he helped Genève Servette earn a prestigious win in Zürich. Then, on Saturday night against Bern at les Vernets, he confirmed to be an excellent goalie. Regardless of the fact, that the Eagles suffered a 2-1 defeat.
Stéphane is a previous gem, who recorded a 96.4% saving percentage during his first National League weekend! He put an impressive personality on display for a guy his age and, at a difficult time, he made it clear that Genève Servette can count on him too!
Jeff Tomlinson (Coach, SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers)
On Saturday night Rapperswil hosted Lugano and Jeff Tomlinson was back behind the bench for the first time in a National League game after his surgery. The team gifted him with a fantastic 2-1 comeback win. On Sunday afternoon then, Rappi played against Bienne on the road and suffered a 3-2 defeat but the performance was good to say the least. In this last case, the Seeländers were “only” better. It’s as simple as that.
Anyway, Jeff Tomlinson deserves a big round of applause. On Saturday night against Lugano in fact, Rappi earned yet another comeback-win this season. It’s not an accident, because the Lakers at times might be down but they’re never out!
The impression from the outside is that this coach is very respected by all the players. Moreover, his presence behind the bench seems very important for the whole team. Jeff arrived in Rapperswil in 2015… firstly he brought back Rappi where they belong – to the National League – and then, after an adaption season, he was able to turn the team from a “sacrificial lamb” into a “tough nut to crack”.
In our opinion, also considering the club’s potential, he’s doing a terrific work. Keep it up!
Brian Flynn (HC Ambrì-Piotta)
Ambrì-Piotta delivered two very good performances this last weekend. Firstly, they earned a 3-1 home win against Fribourg Gottéron and then suffered at last gasp 4-3 road defeat against Langnau. The team, anyway, is very much alive. And it’s also improving…
Just like the often-criticised Brian Flynn is improving. The former Zug’s forward didn’t get off to a brilliant start this season but he’s improving a lot. Lately, moreover, he’s been able to turn his good performances into points that helped the team. This last weekend for example, firstly he scored the game winning goal against Fribourg Gottéron and then in Langnau scored the important goal during the third period that, at least temporary, restored the Leventinesi’s lead.
Points, however, aren’t the only thing that count when you judge a player. And so, as we said, lately – regardless of the points – Brian Flynn’s performances have been excellent. Then again, there is no denying that, especially for a forward, points are a huge confidence booster. And so, now that he’s also scoring, we’re pretty sure that Brian will become more and more an added value for Ambrì-Piotta!
THE SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR…
Hockey is also, if not above all, this… Chris DiDomenico & Scottie Upshall
The so-called “Finnish style” is becoming increasingly used in Switzerland. It’s a winning style that, however and unfortunately, oftentimes leaves no room for emotions.
Luckily enough though, not all the teams play hockey that way. There are, moreover, scenes that reconcile us with ice hockey. Let’s take what happened between Scottie Upshall and Chris DiDomenico on Saturday night at the Ilfis when Langnau and Ambrì-Piotta faced each other.
Scottie Upshall and Chris DiDomenico share some thoughts in the sin bin pic.twitter.com/2SHzUZNOfk
— Dino Kessler (@dino_kessler) November 30, 2019
Well, guys. In our opinion, hockey is also, if not above all, this… emotions!
Despite everything, a good work… Tomi Karhunen (SC Bern)
Said that, in our opinion, goalies weren’t the main problem – at least not the only one – for the Bears… Bern signed Tomi Karhunen as their new goalie, hoping that this new addition can help the team get out of hibernation mode.
This last week, Tomi Karhunen made his debut. At home against Davos – 4-3 shootout defeat – he looked clumsy at times but, overall, he did ok. The following night in Genève then – 2-1 win – he wasn’t flawless when Deniss Smirnovs scored the tying goal for the Eagles, but for the rest his performance was solid.
We mean, despite everything, good work!
Yep, he’s back… Damien Brunner (EHC Biel-Bienne)
This Sunday afternoon Damien Brunner played his first game of the season after the injury that prevented him from playing for a couple of months.
Bienne earned a 3-2 win against Rapperswil and Damien Brunner scored the first goal and the game winning goal. What can we say? Yep, Damien Brunner is back!
Lugano are our disappointment for the third week narrow. We mean, guys, we’re very sorry… it’s a bit like shooting a fish in a barrel. But, frankly speaking and in terms of performances, once again the Bianconeri were the less convincing team of the National League.
Regardless of the two defeats suffered against Zug and Rapperswil in fact – that anyway, extended the number of lost games out of 10 played to 9 – the thing that in our opinion is very alarming is the fact that, apparently, the team doesn’t bring in emotions in the games.
Then again, it must be said that when things go south… also the episodes generally turn out to be all against you. Let’s take the post hit at home against Zug and in Rapperswil at the key moments of the game… we mean, they’re the perfect examples of how episodes aren’t favourable.
One may wonder, anyway, what is happening with this team? Lugano in fact, were in great shape until one month and a half ago.
Now, there is still – relatively – a long way to go and the Bianconeri certainly have all it takes to turn from “flop” to “top”. At times one game, one goal, one last gasp win, is all it takes to turn things around.
Sometimes, some more emotions are all it takes…
It’s never easy to bounce back after a negative period. When, as we said, also the episodes are never in your favour and you enter a darn negative vortex of emotions that prevent you from doing also the simplest things. When also Lady Luck is mocking you and it looks like she wants to play hide and seek. And so now, it’s time to go and search for Lady Luck. With a public display of emotions…
Go Lugano, show what you’re made of. Up and at them, Bianconeri!