Photo: Yves Seira
Lausanne was supposed to be one of the most interesting teams to follow on the eve of this season. The roster was impressive, there was a brand-new fantastic Arena to inaugurate and the experience gained in the last few seasons could allow the team to aim at the highest possible goals… we mean, there was everything it takes in the Canton of Vaud to have a fantastic season.
Then, however, the Lions Vaudois have dealt with reality. Let’s face it, Lausanne didn’t have a negative season in every way. Moreover, it’s a pity that the playoffs didn’t take place because we’re pretty sure that the team could go a long way. Then again, there is no denying that something went wrong overall.
Often, Ville Peltonen’s troops delivered emotionless performances to say the least and we think it’s safe to say that the fans didn’t have so much fun following their team. At times, Lausanne delivered outstanding performances and literally outplayed the opponents but, frankly speaking, it didn’t happen enough times.
The Lions Vaudois seemed to be… caged lions. Caged into a system of play that left no room for emotions. This was probably the main reason why the club parted ways with Ville Peltonen (and Jan Alston) shortly before the end of the regular season and appoint Craig MacTavish the new head coach. Ville Peltonen certainly has qualities and clear ideas. Initially it seemed like he was even able to make his team play in a less “stubborn” and more “aggressive” way compared to last season. But the truth is that, in the end, it wasn’t good enough.
Mind you, such a critical analysis is due only to the fact that this team had such an impressive potential. A potential that, however, was untapped. We’re sure in fact, that the Lions Vaudois had all it takes to be one of the most spectacular team of the league.
WHAT DID WORK
Lausanne finished the season with the 4th best away record of the National League, and never lost more than 2 consecutive games on the road. That’s great. You almost can believe that on the road, when the opponents are “forced” to step up to the plate and when the visitors have to “handle the emotions”, the Lions Vaudois were able to get the most out of their system of play.
Lausanne was quite solid and finished the season with the 4th best defensive record of the league. Let’s face it, emotions or not emotions, Ville Peltonen’s troops were highly organized and this allowed them to be solid. Moreover, the fact that they mostly wanted to control the games helped. Let us not forget, finally, that also Tobias Stephan did a good job and had a very high saving percentage.
Lausanne was one of the best team of the league at even-strength. Again, the Lions Vaudois always tried to control the games. This fact, even though at the expense of a spectacular hockey, allowed the team to be very effective at even-strength.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
The Vaudoise Arena was supposed to be a fortress… and instead, this brand-new and fantastic Arena is not yet a “magical” place. Not like the old dear Malley was. Is that the reason why Lausanne had, by far, the worst home record of the National League? One thing is sure. The Lions Vaudois darn struggled to earn points at home. 25 home games, 35 points. Only 6 wins in the last 17 home games. That’s not good enough.
Lack of emotions
Way too often, Lausanne delivered emotionless performances and it’s safe to say that so many times the fans bored themselves to death. Emotions can make the difference, especially when games are tight. And they can make even more the difference when a team has a potential like Lausanne.
Power-play and Penalty-killing
Lausanne darn struggled to be effective during PP opportunities and wasn’t a solid penalty killer either. Again, we expected much more considering the team’s potential. As a fun fact, however, the Lions Vaudois had the second worst PP efficiency at home but the third best PP efficiency on the road…
THE THREE STARS
Many people wondered what Josh Jooris could really bring in. We expected a hard-working player and instead we soon discovered that Josh Jooris is not only a hard-working player but also a guy who can make the difference. His commitment was impressive, and he was even able – at his first National League season – to tally 30 points in 46 games. He delivered very good performances with continuity and in our opinion is the “first star” of Lausanne.
We said that Lausanne delivered too many emotionless performances. Well, Christoph Bertschy was one of the few who, instead, tried to bring in emotions. Moreover, thanks to his speed he was a constant treat for the opponents. Christoph is pure class, an impressive player capable of making the difference also thanks to individual plays.
Lukas Frick improves every season. He’s solid in defense and this season he even set his new record of points scored during the regular season. He’s 25 and still has room for improvement… he’s one of the best Swiss defensemen around, it’s as simple as that.
Dustin Jeffrey leaves Lausanne after 4 seasons spent on the shores of the Lac Léman and joins Bern. Dustin wasn’t always at the top of his game this season but nevertheless finished the season as the Top Scorer of the team. Either way, he will be missed. He gave a lot to Lausanne and deserves a special mention.
There is no point in beating around the bush. With all due respect, Tim Traber isn’t the most talented player around. However, he is second to no one when it comes to commitment and he was one of the few guys who tried to bring in emotions. Lausanne didn’t extend his contract… in our opinion, a guy like Tim Traber can be useful for many teams.
Goals For – Goals Against
Goals For – Goals Against even strength
Lausanne finished the season with the 6th scoring record and the 4th defensive record. When it comes to offensive play, the Lions Vaudois were about “average” while we mentioned already that overall, they were very solid defensively and quite effective at even-strength.
Goals For – Goals Against each 10’
This chart shows that Lausanne was tendentially in control of the game until the half-an-hour mark… There is to understand why, however, the team “collapsed” between the half-an-hour and the second break. Actually, the latest stages of the second period are often crucial.
Leading, tied, trailing
Lausanne is the team that was leading the most (35.9% of the time) in the National League. Moreover, only Lugano and Zug were trailing less than the Lions Vaudois. We mean, we’re back talking about emotions. In our opinion, Lausanne had often the games under control but wasn’t able to kill them because of lack of emotions.
Scoring percentage – Saving percentage
Lausanne had a decent scoring percentage (7th of the league) even though could do even better, considering the roster. It was good instead the saving percentage (5th of the league), on the one hand because Tobias Stephan did a good job and on the other hand because the defense protected the goalie well.
Power-play – Penalty-killing
We talked already about PP and PK. Lausanne had the second worst PP efficiency of the league and was the third worst penalty killer. That’s not good enough, always considering the team’s potential.
THE SEASON IN ONE QUOTE
Lack of emotion causes lack of progress and motivation
It was a strange season. Off the ice, not everything went well, suffice it to look at how the “case” Jonas Jonland was handled. On the ice instead, sorry if we repeat ourselves again, we still think that the lack of emotions was the biggest problem. That caused lack of progress and motivation. The Lions Vaudois had – actually, they have – an impressive potential and the hope is that next season it will be untapped. We mean, overall, in our opinion Lausanne had an “anonymous” season… even though, we think the Lions Vaudois could do well during the playoffs.