18th week – 27.01.2020 – 02.02.2020
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
Zug are playing the most complicated season of their history. Even if only because, after the considerable investment of last summer, they seem forced to win.
Said that in our opinion you can’t say that a team “must” win, it’s clear that the pressure is very high in Zug considering the huge potential of the team. Unfortunately, most people would think that each final’s result other than a title it’s a failure. This, like it or not, is modern sport.
After this introduction, we think that the Bulls are having a hell of a season. Perhaps they aren’t at the top of their game at this moment, but meanwhile they’re at the top of the National League table. Moreover, this last week they won the two games played. The ones against Davos on the road and the one against Rapperswil at home.
In both cases, the performances weren’t top notch. However, Dan Tangnes’ troops were able to make the difference at the key moments and this allowed them to earn 6 points.
Zug won 4 of their last 5 games. They won 12 of their last 16. Thanks to this, they’re currently the league leaders 5 points clear of the ZSC Lions and with two games in hand. What else could you want?
What’s impressive about this team is the completeness and the fact that can count on so many players capable of making the difference. Even the players of the “bottom six”, just like Yannick-Lennart Albrecht just to name one, play a key role. The team is now quite solid and slowly Leonardo Genoni is back being Leonardo Genoni. The coach is managing very well this team that, we repeat, is under huge pressure. And there is even room for improvement. Let us not forget, moreover, that the Bulls are very consistent.
In this regular season so far, Zug have suffered three consecutive defeats only once. And only on another occasion they suffered two consecutive defeats. These figures are impressive. If to all this we add the fact that, as we said, there is room for improvement both in terms of team and individual performance… well, the opponents should be really scared.
Keep it up, Zug!
THE THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Tobias Stephan (Lausanne HC)
Lausanne had a dream week in terms of results. Three games, three wins earned against Rapperswil, Genève Servette and ZSC Lions. When it comes to performance, however, the Lions Vaudois were quite strange. The performances delivered against Rappi and Eagles were not very good, not to say poor. The performance delivered against the Lions of the Limmat only 24 hours after the game played in Genève, was among one of the best of the season.
There was one constant in the last 7 days though. Tobias Stephan’s performances! Tobias delivered three top class performances. In Genève then, without too much beating about the bush, he literally “stole” the game.
We mean, the Lions Vaudois can count on a great goalie and we all know how this factor is important in view of the post-season. Overall, the Lions have so much room for improvement, but they can count on a real wall between the pipes!
Reto Suri (HC Lugano)
Reto Suri is pure class. In our opinion, he’s been way too much criticized for the fact that he hasn’t scored too many goals so far. We mean, his commitment is out of the question. Then again, there is no denying that people were expecting more in terms of scoring. Actually, we think, he is the first one who wanted more.
But let’s focus about this last week.
Reto delivered two very good performances. Firstly, he shined against Davos and all his efforts paid off during the latest stages of the game when he scored the empty-netter, that finally set the 5-3 final score. Then, in Bienne, he was the man of the match for the Bianconeri and he scored two more goals.
Lugano improved a lot and even though they lost their last game in Bienne they remain the team of the moment. Since Serge Pelletier’s arrival, there’ve been so many players who increased their level of play. Including Reto Suri. A player whose commitment has always been commendable and that now, finally, he’s reaping the fruits – also in terms of points – for his hard work. Keep it up, Reto!
Patrick Emond (Coach, Genève Servette HC)
Genève Servette is likely to be the team of the year. Many people thought that the Eagles would fight to avoid the bottom of the table position and instead they never cease to amaze and are always in the upper part of it. This, mostly thanks to the fact that they keep on delivering impressive team performances.
Patrick Emond, together with his staff, is certainly playing a key role.
This last week Genève Servette firstly outplayed Lausanne but lost the game and then earned a clear road win against Fribourg Gottéron. In both cases, we think it’s safe to say that the games were prepared perfectly. Then again, just like in the case of the game played against the Lions Vaudois, Patrick and Jan can’t just put the puck in the net on their own and they can’t even ask Tobias Stephan to let the pucks go in.
One thing is sure though, Patrick Emond is already among contenders for coach of the year!
THE SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR…
People talk about him only when he scores… Gregory Hofmann (EV Zug)
Gregory Hofmann is a scoring machine. Then he also goes through moments when the puck just doesn’t go in. Just like this last week. Yet guys, it’s unfair to talk about “Gregu” only when he scores goals.
He is always extremely committed and even though at times he looks selfish he is always able to create dangers in the offensive zone. And when, just like in this moment, he struggles to score goals too… the impression is that it’s only a matter of time before he can get back to score with regularity.
We mean, people talk about him only when he scores. But Gregory Hofmann is not “only” a scoring machine. He’s much more than that!
A nice gesture that was rewarded… Julien Sprunger (HC Fribourg Gottéron)
Fribourg Gottéron were 1 goal behind in Zürich when the Lions’ goalie – Ortio – had problems with his equipment right before the start of a PP opportunity for the Dragons. At that moment, Julian Sprunger did something very nice. In fact, he helped the hosts’ goalie.
It was a nice gesture that was rewarded… because shortly after that, Fribourg Gottéron scored the tying goal thanks to Matthias Rossi, who deflected a shot of… Julien Sprunger!
When it comes to Davos, it comes to one of the best teams of the National League this season. However, our top & flop is related only to the last 7 days… therefore, the Ibexes are our disappointment this week.
Christian Wohlwend’s troops aren’t brilliant like they were earlier this season. They proved that also this last week, during which firstly they suffered a 4-2 home defeat against Zug and then suffered a 5-3 road defeat against Lugano, even though they had a 2-goals lead at the first break. Let us not forget, finally, also about the Swiss Cup final… that turned out to be a nightmare.
Is this the time to be worried? Of course not, come on. It’s true that Davos haven’t been at the top of their game since few weeks. But let’s face it, this team had to play really a lot of games this winter and therefore a difficult moment was even to be expected.
The Ibexes already showed what they’re made of this season. And they will do it again. If we talk about the last 7 days though… well, they’re our disappointment.
Up and at them!