In preseason many people thought that Genève Servette would battle at the bottom of the table. We were little bit more optimistic and thought that the Eagles could battle for the playoffs. We mean, to sum up not many people believed in this team. And instead, Patrick Emond’s guys had an extraordinary season!
There are two words that describe very well the 2019-20 season of Genève Servette: “team spirit”.
All the talent in the world won’t take you anywhere without your teammates. This applies to each team. When it comes to the Eagles though, the team spirit they put on display was something out of the ordinary.
Patrick Emond was able to build a Group, with a capital G, for which the quote “all for one and one for all” was not only a quote. Excellent goalies at the top of their game, a “simple” but extremely effective defensive system, dominant imports and talented young guns… all this allowed Genève Servette to succeed.
The Eagles never really had a “crisis” this season. In fact, they never lost more than 4 consecutive games. They got off to a fantastic start – 6 wins in the first 7 games – and many people thought that it was only a flash in the pan… even because let’s face it, at times the performances weren’t top notch despite the good results. Then, however, with the passing of time we all realized that the impressive team spirit put on display during the first few games of the season was no exception but nice reality.
Finally, Patrick Emond’s troops finished the season 4th placed – best result since 2015-16 – only two points behind the league leaders Zürich. Considering the expectations on the eve of this season, in our opinion it’s enough to consider Genève Servette the “team of the year”!
WHAT DID WORK
Many teams, if not all of them, have a good team spirit. But Genève Servette’s team spirit was out of ordinary. All for one, one for all… that was not only a figure of speech, but it was what the Eagles were all about. The team spirit allowed Genève Servette to earn positive results also during bad nights, it allowed them to be rock solid in defense, and to have an impressive away record too.
There is no point in beating around the bush – imports should make the difference in Switzerland. In this regard, we think it’s safe to say that Genève Servette could count on the best imports of the league. Daniel Winnik, Tommy Wingels, the incredible Henrik Tömmernes and Eric Fehr were outstanding to say the least.
Deniss Smirnovs was the first one who made a name for himself but then Genève Servette could count on a great contribution from all the young guns throughout the whole season. It’s ungenerous to name names, all the young players deserve a big round of applause. Patrick Emond gave them confidence and they repaid him with excellent performances and a lot of enthusiasm.
Faceoffs are pivotal in ice hockey. A good efficiency at faceoffs in fact, prevents you from wasting energies only to recover the puck possession. Well, when it comes to faceoffs, Genève Servette was the most effective team of the National League. It’s as simple as that.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
After a great start, the Eagles had their period of poor form in October when they were the worst team of the National League. We mean, the month of October was something that generally didn’t work in terms of results. With hindsight, however, the fact that the team was able to get back on track after a negative month (10 points in 10 games) meant that the group was already very much alive.
Dependence on the imports
Genève Servette’s imports scored almost 50% of the total goals scored by the team. On the one hand, this is a great thing. On the other one, however, it means that the Eagles were too dependent on their imports when it comes to putting the puck in the net.
THE THREE STARS
We could pick any of the imports of Genève Servette as the “first star” and we wouldn’t make a mistake. Henrik Tömmernes’ class, Tommy Wingels talent and grit or Eric Fehr experience. Finally, we picked Daniel Winnik… who, in our opinion, was the most dominant player this year in the National League!
Robert Mayer & Gauthier Descloux
Robert Mayer and Gauthier Descloux deserve the “second star” together. They both had also few bad nights but overall, they were outstanding and additionally capable of stealing few games. Let us not forget also about Stéphan Charlin… a young guy who did great when he had to play. We mean, the Eagles had few walls between the pipes. It’s a pity that Robert Mayer leaves the club…
Simon Le Coultre
So many players would deserve the third star but finally we picked Simon Le Coultre. The young defenseman was at his first National League season and delivered many fantastic performances. Pure class. He looked so mature for a guy his age and proved that he can be already listed among the best Swiss offensive defensemen around.
Patrick Emond (Coach)
People had some doubts about Patrick Emond who was at his first experience as head coach of a National League team. Well, Patrick wiped out all the doubts immediately. He proved capable of building a Group with a capital G that made the fans so darn proud. He gave confidence to young players and led his team very well.
We want to say a few words about Eric Fehr. He’s a very experienced player that, even though probably less “showy” than the other imports, turned out to be an extremely precious player. Perhaps he deserves the Oscar as “supporting actor” of the National League!
Goals For – Goals Against
Goals For – Goals Against even strength
Genève Servette had the 5th scoring record and the best defensive record of the National League. These numbers speak for themselves. Moreover, the team was quite effective also at even strength.
Goals For – Goals Against each 10’
This chart says a lot. It says that Genève Servette was able to score tendentially more than the opponents all over the arc of the 60 minutes of play. It says that the team proved to have some real character and that the physical condition was excellent (see the peak of goals scored during the last 10 minutes of play).
Leading, tied, trailing
Let’s start with the most important fact: Genève Servette was the team that was leading the most (percentage of time) in the National League! This data says a lot. The Eagles, even though at times they struggled, were most of the time in control of the games.
Scoring percentage – Saving percentage
Genève Servette had a decent scoring percentage (6th of the National League) but most and above all had the highest saving percentage of the league on average!
Power-play – Penalty-killing
The Eagles were decent during PP opportunities (5th best in the league) but were mostly the most solid penalty killers of the National League. Again, we’re talking about excellent numbers.
THE SEASON IN ONE QUOTE
I promise to play for the logo on the front, not the name on the back
Sidney Crosby promised to play for the logo on the front and not the name on the back when he signed the contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. We believe that all the players of Genève Servette made the same promise on the eve of this season. It was really a pleasure watching the Eagles play this season. A real Team, with a capital T. The results were excellent, and the impression is that it was only the beginning… you know what we mean? Congrats for the fantastic season!