21th week – 24.02.2020 – 29.02.2020
THE TEAM “ON FIRE”
And the fifty heroes…
The saddest week of Swiss hockey is finally over. A week at the end of which, however, there is a team that can smile… this team is Ambrì-Piotta!
Luca Cereda prepared this last weekend perfectly. His “boys” firstly earned a well-deserved 3-0 home win against Davos and then another as much well-deserved 4-1 road win against Lugano.
By doing so, the Leventinesi earned 6 points that are a godsend in view of the ranking round. Assuming that, there will be a ranking round…
Ambrì-Piotta finished the regular season 10th placed tied on points with 11th placed Langnau. Only 6 points behind Lugano that made the playoffs as 8th placed. There are regrets. Now, it’s clear that history isn’t made with ifs… after all, if our grandpa was a blackbird, we’d all be on a tree croaking.
Yet guys, this last week was the perfect example of what Ambrì-Piotta is really made of!
Determination, the will to go beyond the limits, capability of standing up to every opponent, the will to do well. Sweaty jerseys!
Here, this is the 2019-20 version of Ambrì-Piotta and this is also last week’s version of Ambrì-Piotta. Ambrì-Piotta was extremely unlucky during the regular season and seriously had to make a virtue of necessity… in fact, this team spent the whole season counting injured players. But Ambrì-Piotta was nevertheless able, from start to finish, to make its fans darn proud.
Just like, among others, those real heroes that supported the team from outside the Valascia on Friday night. One way or another, those guys were able to make their voices heard. That was a romantic scene – yep, we’re romantic – and a scene that, unfortunately, we won’t be able to see in the future anymore in the new Valascia. We mean, perhaps that was the best image of the years and perhaps also the last episode of a hockey that will never come back.
Well, can you be 10th placed and yet be promoted? Yep, Ambrì-Piotta is the perfect example. And now, the paradox is that this season can still turn into an ordeal… with all due respect to each single team, we think that the Leventinesi would not deserve to play the playout final. For what we’ve seen, they would deserve to save their place immediately. In this regard, the 6 points earned this last week could help.
THE THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
Patrick Emond (Coach, Genève Servette HC)
Genève Servette won the last two regular season games – against Lausanne at home and against Fribourg Gottéron on the road – and therefore finished the regular season 4th placed with 89 points. Only 2 points behind the RS winners Zürich. That’s not bad for the Eagles, sentenced by many to fight at the bottom of the table.
We think that Genève Servette is a contender for the “symbolic” title of team of the year. And we also think that Patrick Emond is a contender for the title of coach of the year.
What Patrick is doing in Genève is impressive. The Eagles have been putting an impressive team spirit on display throughout the whole regular season… and this last week, in a very particular context, was no exception.
Reto Berra (HC Friborgo Gottéron)
Fribourg Gottéron firstly earned a shootout win against Zug, then suffered an overtime defeat in Bern and finally suffered a heavy defeat against Genève Servette. We mean, the Dragons lost 2 games out of 3, even though the defeat suffered in Bern was like a win thanks to the point earned.
Christian Dubé’s guys completed an amazing comeback this last week. A comeback that allowed them to make the playoffs. The reasons for this comeback? Surely the impressive team spirit. Together with a goalie that turned out to be a wall between the pipes. We’re talking about Reto Berra.
Reto didn’t play on Saturday night against Genève Servette, when the whole team looked not focused enough after the game of the night before in Bern. But both on Tuesday night against Zug and on Friday night against Bern, Reto Berra was outstanding to say the least. In Bern, at times the game turned out to be some sort of Bern vs Reto Berra… and finally, the Dragons’ goalie won! Yep, Reto Berra deserved to be one of our three stars of the week in every way.
Patrick Geering (ZSC Lions)
This last week the ZSC Lions lost in Bienne but then earned a home win against Zug and therefore finished the regular season at the top of the table. A position that, potentially, could mean that the team coached by Rikard Grönborg can be awarded with the 2019-20 title… that’s a remote possibility, but it’s still a possibility.
Zürich had a fantastic regular season. The coaching staff did a great job and the Lions played one of the best – if not the absolute best – hockey of the league. Let us not forget about excellent individual performances though. Just like the ones of Pius Suter (regular season Top Scorer) obviously. But also like the ones of Patrick Geering.
Patrick had miss half of last regular season but this season he came back to deliver very good performances. His form increased as the season went on and this last week, especially against Zug, he was outstanding! Yep, Patrick is back at the top of his game. At the best possible time.
THE SPECIAL MENTIONS FOR…
The name is enough to make us nervous… this “thing” that generated an amazing psychosis among people, risks ruining also the ice hockey season!
Mind you, we know that there are more important things in life compared to the playoffs eventually played behind closed doors. Here, however, we talk about sport. And we’ve had enough of the word “coronavirus”.
This virus deserves a special mention though 🙂
Now it’s over. Bern wasted all chances and therefore missed the playoffs.
The Bears had started this last week with their destiny in their own hands. And then, they lost it in Davos… In the end though, if they had won in Lausanne, they would be in the top 8. Again, all great chances. All wasted.
There is no denying that Bern is the biggest disappointment. We’re still convinced that this team had the potential to win the title. Was Kari Jalonen dismissed too late? After all, the Bears proved to be reborn especially in terms of emotions after Hans Kossmann’s arrival. Or, shouldn’t Kari Jalonen be dismissed? After all, you can also think that Kari squeezed blood from a stone and perhaps he was not the one to blame.
With hindsight, it’s easy to judge. The only fact is that Bern had a catastrophic regular season but nevertheless had the chance to save the day until the end. But right during the last week, it all went south…
That’s a huge disappointment. The whole regular season was a disappointment. The last week was a disappointment. It’s as simple as that.
Up and at them Bears, you’ll be back stronger next season!