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10-19-2013, 09:49 AM
  #103
duga
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Zuerich
Country: Switzerland
Posts: 624
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ey together, hope you guys had a nice off-season!

came here to share my thoughts about sotchii... just to find out that you did point out most of it already... as usual a lot of quality


2 things I wanted to point out:


1)We are pretty close to turn a page in book of swiss hockey history.

this could be the last international tournament for quite a bunch of players. guys born between 76 and 80. who were the first generation in modern swiss ice hockey to challenge the top-nations at junior level, establish the swiss behind them, bring home the first medals and most important created a new dimension of confidence and team-spirit...

Some of them already helped bringing the A-Nati back to the Top Level (98' Zurich 5-1 against France...what a game) and a lot of them had their big share for the next 15 years to keep them there... year after year they postponed the end of their personal season to give a great team-effort for a solid placement at the WHC.

so my deepest respect and thanks for all those years your offered us supporters a platform for hopes and suffers... it's your fault that every year, spring time in my inner calender starts not before the end of WHC

thanks to the ex-internationals like Rüthemann, von Arx, Jeannin, Riesen, B.Plüss, Demuth, Wichser, Conne, Christen, Reichert, Winkler, Äbischer, Bührer and to everyone I forget.

thanks to the ones that are left fighting for a spot: like Streit, Seger, Vauclair, Bezina, M. Plüss, Gardner, Liniger, Steiner...

thanks for being the fundament of swiss hockey for a decade!




2) last year was great!
and IMO the after-burner of that year and the anticipation of Sotchii is very noticeable in NLA.... the speed is on a new level... it's a lot of spectacular north-south run and gun game... similar to that type of hockey that was so successfull in Sweden last year. Beside the Lakers, Biel and Lausanne the league is ridiculously balanced. the depth is growing, even with a lot of talent leaving for NA, which makes it tougher and tougher to pick the most purple cherries out of the basket for the Nati.

Most important: the opponents at the OGs are stronger than at the WHCs, so the Swiss have to improve their team too if they want to challenge for a medal. There is the obvious addition of the NHL-Talents but there's more to do IMO. Simpson has to take more risky selections for the roster, which raises the ceiling of this team and therefore has to sacrifice some of the solidness.

IMO the special teams are the gamebreakers at this level:

they need 2 strong blueline pairs for the PP and all forwards must have a certain amount of offensive game... because the opposing 4th lines will be very strong... and the problem is: if you try to match so strong 4th lines with pure defensive specialist, it's a high risk that you can't neutralize them... and so you end up in a situation where your 4th line can't stop the opponents and can't score because of lack of talent... so the risky way is the only way !!

When every body's healthy the top 9 forwards are pretty much set IMO:
Romy, Cunti, M.Plüss on C.
Brunner, Nino, Moser, Hollenstein, Wick (his puck protection skills could be very important for this team) and S. Bärtschi (he's the weak link IMO, of course not because of lack of skill, but he is unproven on this team and hasn't played big ice hockey in quite some time... so he's the risky choice)

I totally agree with STV11: I wan't to see the reunion of the Brunner-Romy-Moser combo again.

Cunti-Hollenstein (-Bodenmann) are locked together, but they had their problems against physical strong opposition at the WHCs... so Nino is the best compliment IMO. Bringing strengh, firepower and crease play.

That leaves S.Bärtschi- M.Plüss- Wick as 3rd line, all 3 of them are among the very best puck possession/protection players in Switzerland. No real sniper on this line tough.

the 4th line bears the most questions in my opinion.

With my argumentation about pure defensive specialist further up this post I'd skip Trachsler. I know he was very solid at the WHCs, but this is played on another level and he isn't as strong at FOs that he'd be indispensable. Especially with Romy on the team, who's better at face-offs and as good as a defensive C (and miles ahead on attack), I just can't see him in the top 12.

I know I'm abit biased, because he's one of my favourites and I've supported him for a role in the Nati for a long time... but IMO it's time for Walker to take over the 4th line C-spot. (Just watch him with Lugano, he does it all, plays PP, plays BP, takes important FOs, once centers a line with youngsters than compliments the foreigners at the wing... he makes Lugano a contender IMO)

And I have a hard time leaving Suri off the team, he's got energy, heart, smarts, the speed, and the finishing skills and strong WHCs as reference.

So there's only one spot open IMO: and as a long time critic of Ambühl, I've always thought that the swiss'd be medal contenders as soon as they can afford to put Ambühl on the 4th line (I stand corrected there, they medaled anyway) where he can create havoc in the opposing defense without having the responsibility to collect scoring points and share the puck well timed.

M.Bieber would be a more solid alternative but hes inefficiency on attack is even more distinct.

D.Wieser could take over as well. this combination of strengh, courage, skill, shot is remarkable.

so my attack is:

Brunner-Romy-Moser
Nino-Cunti-Hollenstein
S.Bärtschi-M.Plüss-Wick
Ambühl/Bieber-Walker-Suri

they can call 22 fieldplayers correct?

if so it's probably 8D/14F

so the 13th/14th forward would be one of Liniger/Gardner and one of Bieber/Wieser/Bürgler

STV11 was correct last year: no space for Richard/Bertschy/Hoffmann/Vermin/Walser yet... (i remember the discussion) maybe at the next WHCs... we'll see...


sorry for this novel (as usual ) I'll do the Defense another time

cheers
duga


Last edited by duga: 10-19-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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