Langnau is always considered a pushover team on the eve of the season but then turns out to be a tough nut to crack many times. The Tigers couldn’t make the playoffs for the second consecutive year – it would have been the first time in history – and finished the regular season 11th placed. Put it like that, you can think about a catastrophic season.
However, nowadays is very difficult to make it to the post-season in the National League. Even more so for teams less strong on paper like Langnau. Therefore, we think you can’t say that Heinz Ehlers’ troops had a dire season in every way. Of course, they had an overall not very satisfying one. In fact, we think it’s safe to say that they had a decent first part of the season (1.6 points on average in the first 19 games) and a disappointing second part of it (1.1 points on average in the remaining games).
Overall, it’s no surprise that the Tigers missed the playoffs even though they finished only 6 points behind 8th placed Lugano. Overall, you can say that the Tigers did somehow what had expected, even though they earned 15 points less compared to the previous season. We mean, overall, it was some anonymous season… even though there is regret for many points literally wasted at the key moments.
WHAT DID WORK
The first part of the season
As we said already, Langnau earned 1.6 points on average in the first 19 games of the season. We mean, until mid-November the Tigers were doing a good job and were placed in the middle of the National League table. They even had a 5-games winning run that seemed to bode well for the second part of the season… then, however, starting from the 4-1 road defeat suffered against Bienne on November 22nd, everything changed.
Except for rare occasions, Langnau never really suffered heavy and large defeats. Often the team – that we recall, is one of the weaker of the league on paper, was able to stand up to their opponents. This means that the attitude was the right one.
Import players goal contribution
Langnau’s imports certainly didn’t make the difference just like they did the previous season. Yet, their contribution in terms of goal scored is to be considered satisfactory. The imports scored a total of 58 goals this season. Only the imports of Rapperswil, Bienne, Genève Servette and Davos scored more.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Langnau finished the regular season with the second worst defensive record of the National League. Moreover, the defensemen didn’t contribute enough in the offensive zone. Yep, defensive play was a problem for the Tigers this season. That’s strange considering that coach Heinz Ehlers is usually able to build rock solid teams.
Oftentimes in the past, the Ilfishalle was a real fortress. This season instead, the Tigers only had the 10th home record of the league. That’s not good enough in order to hope to succeed. For teams like Langnau in fact, a good home record is the key.
Power-play and penalty-killing
Langnau wasn’t effective during PP situations (the worst power-play efficiency of the league) and wasn’t a solid penalty killer either (11th PK efficiency). There is no denying that Heinz Ehlers’s troops darn struggled this season during PP and PK situations. Therefore, better performances during PP and PK situations could have helped to achieve better results.
THE THREE STARS
Harri Pesonen was less devastating compared to the previous season but nevertheless he was the most “on fire” Tiger. His determination and his class made him a key player. He is a real leader on ice capable of making the difference. Certainly, Harri Pesonen wasn’t the problem of Langnau.
Yannick Blaser had one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 30. Actually, he had the best season ever in terms of points per game. But that’s not it… Yannick in fact, put a great attitude and commitment on display. He blocked countless shots and always gave it the 100%.
Ivars Punnenovs delivered many outstanding performances this season. He certainly wasn’t one of the problems of Langnau. Oftentimes he made the difference and he was even able to steal few games. The Tigers can rest assured, their problem – also in view of next season – is not between the pipes.
Eero Elo came back to Langnau before Christmas after his unlucky experience in his home country Finland. Let’s face it, he didn’t play a lot and collected only 10 appearances. However, during those 10 he scored 6 goals. We mean, he did his job!
Goals For – Goals Against
Goals For – Goals Against even strength
Langnau had the worst scoring record and the second worst defensive record of the National League. These numbers speak for themselves. It’s interesting to note, however, that there are several teams that were worse during even-strength play.
Goals For – Goals Against each 10’
This chart shows that Langnau certainly didn’t have a problem with the physical condition… The Tigers in fact, scored a lot during the last 10 minutes of play. However, this chart also shows us that Heinz Ehlers’ troops struggled a lot in terms of goals scored and goals conceded between the 10th and 50th minute of play.
Leading, tied, trailing
Langnau were leading only 23.7% of the time and were trailing 34.2% of the time. That explains a lot…
Scoring percentage – Saving percentage
Langnau had the worst scoring percentage of the league tied with Ambrì-Piotta and had the second worst saving percentage overall of the league. Even that explains a lot…
Power-play – Penalty-killing
As we said already, PP and PK opportunities were a problem for Langnau. The Tigers had the worst PP efficiency of the league and were the second worst penalty killers around. Unfortunately this, again, explains a lot…
THE SEASON IN ONE QUOTE
Small details make the difference
Oftentimes, Langnau was a tough nut to crack this season… but the Tigers had the worst scoring percentage of the league, the worst power-play of the league and were not rock-solid penalty killers. Way too often, Heinz Ehlers’ guys literally wasted golden opportunities to win when they seemed to control the game. Power-play, penalty-killing, scoring percentage and so on… these might be “small” details but are actually “big” details that make the difference.