19th week – 10.02.2020 – 16.02.2020
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
Anyone wonders why Rapperswil is at the bottom of the National League table? The answer is obvious: when it comes to quality, it’s clear that the former, newly promoted side is not as well equipped as basically all the other teams of the league. As a result, obviously, whenever this team is not at the top of its game darn struggle to earn positive results.
However, when this team is at least in decent form – just like this last week – it’s indeed capable of gifting their fans with magical nights!
During the last 7 days, firstly Rappi earned a 7-3 home win against Langnau thanks to a great team performance. Then, it suffered a 5-3 road defeat against Fribourg Gottéron despite the decent performance. And finally, it earned a 5-2 home win against Davos – first regular season home win against the Ibexes since January 24th, 2015 – thanks to yet another very good team performance.
And now, in short, Jeff Tomlinson’s guys are “only” 7 points behind Langnau and Ambrì-Piotta that are 10th and 11th placed. We mean, it’s difficult but mostly not impossible to dream of avoiding the playout final.
That would be an outstanding achievement for Rappi, who comparing to last season, currently is very often a tough nut to crack. A “nut” that can play even some enjoyable hockey to watch – especially at the SGKB Arena – thanks to the commitment of everybody and thanks to the quality that the imports bring in. A “nut” captained by Andrew Rowe who is turning out to be an impressive player and leader. A “nut” that has all the right men in the right place to go on dreaming and to amaze!
The club is working very well, and the SD Janick Steinmann is doing a terrific job. Already this season, the SD was able to bring in class to the team (Cervenka, Rowe, Egli), to bring in experience and solidity (Vukovic, Randegger) and to bring in players who are maybe not consistent but that are capable of making the difference (Simek, Pyatt). And well, the positive results are the logical consequence.
Compared to last season, this is just another Rappi. It’s a stronger Rappi, that is doing wonders at home, it’s a Rappi that – if compared to quality – is having a very good season and that it’s delivering good performances. We mean, it’s a Rappi that has a future.
And finally, it’s a Rappi that still has the chance to avoid the playout final. We’re sure that the players will try their hardest until the end. And we’re also sure that, provided they can keep up the same level of performances, they can even do it.
Keep on going, Lakers. Great job!
THE THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Taylor Chorney (HC Lugano)
We don’t think there is a more criticized player around than Taylor Chorney. At times, rightly so. Other times, in a too severe and biased manner. But it’s also fair rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…
This last week for example, Lugano won two games out of three. Firstly, they prevailed against Ambrì-Piotta and Lausanne and then paid a high price because of tiredness and suffered a home defeat against Genève Servette. In each game, however, Taylor Chorney played very well.
He was always the player of Lugano with the highest time on ice and it’s not an accident. Perhaps Taylor is not that kind of a player capable of gifting fans with moments of magic hockey… but he’s very disciplined, often solid, and when it comes to skating skills, he’s second to no one in Switzerland. During the last 7 days, moreover, his efforts paid off as he tallied 3 points (3 assists) and he even had few chances to score goals.
We mean, again, let’s render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Or rather, let’s render unto Taylor what is Taylor’s. Chorney may not be a spectacular player but certainly doesn’t deserve to be criticized so often.
Viktor Stalberg (HC Fribourg Gottéron)
From a criticized player… to another criticized player. Let’s talk about Viktor Stalberg of Fribourg Gottéron. It’s true that Viktor, after a good start of the season, struggled for a while. Lately though, the top-class Swedish forward has been increasing his level of play a lot… and this last week he came back also tallying points. We mean, all his efforts finally paid off.
Let’s face it, at times Viktor is irritating for the fans. But his above-average talent is undoubted. Moreover, when he is in-form, well… he’s a real added value for Fribourg Gottéron.
In fact, he’s one of that kind of a player that can decide a game on his own thanks to an individual play. And now that it seems like he got back the joy to play, he is a joy to watch. We mean, how do you say? In form at the right moment, at the key moment of the season. Top class players are also made like that.
Pius Suter (ZSC Lions)
Pius Suter never ceases to amaze. He already set his new record of points scored during the regular season and continues to deliver impressive performances. We mean, he’s playing a key role for the fantastic ride that the troops coached by Rikard Grönborg (what a coach, by the way!) are having. Troops that won three games out of three this last week and that are now second placed even though with two more games played compared to Davos.
Now there are no more doubts, Pius Suter is back at the top of his game. He’s a completely dominant player, capable of scoring and of making his teammates score, and capable of making the difference. It’s as simple as that.
He tallied 6 points (3 goals) in the last 7 days and now he is the Top Scorer of the whole National League in front of his teammate Garrett Roe. But the points are not the only thing… the truth is that Pius Suter is a very complete and lethal player that would play a key role in each team!
THE SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR…
You don’t see such things every day… Mattias Tedenby (HC Davos)
During the Davos vs Ambrì-Piotta shootout series of Tuesday night, at some point we started to salivate. Why? Because there are things you don’t see every day. It’s as simple as that. We’re talking about Mattias Tedenby’s goal. No words needed, just enjoy the video…
Touching… Luca Cereda’s guys (HC Ambrì-Piotta)
When a player is injured, it’s a problem for each team. When it comes to Ambrì-Piotta, however, each injured player is even a bigger problem. Even if only because, due to limited financial sources, the club can’t afford to have a very deep roster.
And yet, ignoring all the absences, Luca Cereda’s guys are making the fans feel all emotional because of their incredible team and fighting spirit they put on display during each game. In terms of results, Ambrì-Piotta is having ups and downs even though oftentimes they’re not rewarded enough. Overall though, what this team is doing is just impressive. Touching, in fact.
In between, an outstanding performance… EHC Biel-Bienne
Bienne suffered a 6-5 shootout home defeat against Fribourg Gottéron in the first game of the week and then suffered a 5-2 road defeat against the ZSC Lions in the last game of the week.
In between instead, the Seeländer delivered an outstanding performance that allowed them to earn a clear 4-0 win against Bern. Which one is the real Bienne? The fans hope that the real Bienne is the one that won the derby on Saturday night…
This last week, Lausanne played three games and earned three points. Put it like that, it’s not a disaster. When it comes to level of performances, however… the matter is quite different. Ville Peltonen’s troops in fact, delivered three rather disappointing and emotionless performances.
The Lions Vaudois have proved time and again this season that they’re capable of playing a very dominant hockey. Moreover, they’re generally rock solid and difficult to face. However, way too often their games turn out to be real snooze-festivals.
We mean, perhaps we’re very ungenerous to them. We’re sorry about that. But we think that, considering the potential, Lausanne could play the most spectacular hockey of the National League. And instead, the reality is that too many times they play in a too defensive-minded, calculated and emotionless way.
During the playoffs – that LHC should make, after all – we will understand what the Lions Vaudois are really made of. But this last week, considering the performances, they’re our disappointment of the week.
Up and at them, dear Lions… you have all it takes to go a very long way. But let your claws come out, show some emotion 🙂