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Swiss showed: NHL, KHL, SHMHL don't matter, you need a team

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Old
05-19-2013, 02:43 AM
  #26
albator71
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
It's not wrong to say that NHL is the league with best players, because it is but:

Ice hockey on small ice (NA hockey) is different from the hockey played on large ice. NA hockey requires some attributes that are not needed that much on big ice: size, physical strength to wrestle on the boards and mentality to play in physical style. Elite NHL players are successful also on big ice, but big ice doesn't suit for all NHL players.

The are huge amount of forwards skilled enough for NHL top-6 in Europe. Why they are not then playing NHL? First, there are only limited amount (=180) of top-6 spots available and if you're as skilled as existing top-6 players it's hard to break in the team. Existing players have proved that they can play at NHL level and they have their contracts.

It's also takes time to get used to NA hockey and get a proper chance in NHL to prove that you're good enough. If you've got used to play top minutes in offensive roles and then you get to play in NHL 8 minutes per game defensively with some grinders, it's hard to show your skills. If you want to get top minutes and show your skill, why would player want to play dump 'n chase with minimum minutes?

What many skilled European skilled forwards lack is size and physicality. It means that it's already hard for them to get in top-6 if they're only as good as existing players, but they don't fit lower lines because they're too small and soft.

AHL could be useful "training camp", but many or players prefer playing in European top leagues instead, which is very understandable: they want top minutes, they want to use their skill and not just dump in and wrestle in the boards and they want to earn something. A Swiss player must be really fond of NHL and NA style of hockey if he wants to change a spot in Swiss league team to a spot in AHL team.

My point is that there are a lot of players outside NHL who are as skilled as top-6 players in NHL. Lower line grinders in NHL are often primarily physical and not so skilled. It's not correct to say that they're best of the world just because they play with best players of the world. Leo Komarov got easily a spot in Leafs this season, but he just isn't better player than some Kontiola who still plays in KHL. Komarov is just a perfect grinder for NA style hockey.
I agree with you, I might be the only Canadian who prefers watching European hockey than NHL, there's a ton of fantastic hockey players playing in the different domestic leagues in Europe. I love to watch the game on the big ice, players can be a lot more "creative" on the big ice, u can control the puck more.

But what i love the most about European hockey is the fans, the atmosphere is second to none, the chanting, all the flags, the beating of the drums its unreal. And the players are more close to the fans in Europe I think, they appreciate their fans more.

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05-19-2013, 03:16 AM
  #27
roto
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I think the problem is that people think the ice hockey leagues can be ranked like this:
NHL > KHL > XXX > YYY > ZZZ

Ice hockey world is not that black and white. Not all skilled players can't fit top-6 lines of one league and the game is not the same on big and small ice.

Here's my estimate in short:
NHL 1st liners are usually elite players who can succeed on both big and small ice
NHL 2nd liners in general are not more skilled than top players in other leagues, but they're more suited to NA style of hockey
NHL 3rd liners are usually as skilled as European top players, but they have also the tools to play NA style hockey
NHL 4th liners can't usually be called best players of the world. They have enough skill but primarily they are grinders. Many/most of them couldn't make it to top lines of top teams in top European top leagues.

Even though 1st liners can be considered as elite players, most of them are not able to dominate 2nd liners, for example. Also this tournament has shown that top Euro players can compete with elite players as well as their counterparts in NHL.


Last edited by roto: 05-19-2013 at 03:21 AM.
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05-19-2013, 03:22 AM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roto View Post
My point is that there are a lot of players outside NHL who are as skilled as top-6 players in NHL. Lower line grinders in NHL are often primarily physical and not so skilled. It's not correct to say that they're best of the world just because they play with best players of the world. Leo Komarov got easily a spot in Leafs this season, but he just isn't better player than some Kontiola who still plays in KHL. Komarov is just a perfect grinder for NA style hockey.
It's also worth pointing out that on the smaller NHL ice surface the tough bottom 6 grinding forwards will typically beat out the skilled non-physical European forwards. It isn't nearly as entertaining but playing a physical and defensive style hockey is a skill in it's own right and shouldn't be discounted.

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05-19-2013, 03:38 AM
  #29
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It's also worth pointing out that on the smaller NHL ice surface the tough bottom 6 grinding forwards will typically beat out the skilled non-physical European forwards. It isn't nearly as entertaining but playing a physical and defensive style hockey is a skill in it's own right and shouldn't be discounted.
Yes, you're absolutely right. Grinding NHL forwards have the useful skills suited for NHL ice. It was my point that the game is different in NA and Europe and they require different kind of skill sets. Elite players, however, can make it on both big and small ice.

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05-19-2013, 03:47 AM
  #30
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And Sweden showed the opposite with their complete sucking until the arrival of the Sedins.

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05-19-2013, 03:57 AM
  #31
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The same was proven 3 years ago in Germany. There was a final game between Czech Rep. and Russia. One team with just 4 addition from the NHL but playing as a pure team (and with great goaltending) and the other team with pure talent and skill (Russia had more or less an Olympic squad there).
And yes you need both. Team play and talent and skill as well.

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05-19-2013, 04:18 AM
  #32
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This has certainly been a historic run for the Swiss and I'm sure the fans there are very excited but as always people are getting a little carried away about the quality of the players vs the performance of the team. Siberian is right, team success and individual skill can be very hard to correlate as there are many factors involved. We see it every day in league play where teams with clearly less skilled individual players beat ones with better line ups, win playoff rounds, etc, etc.

Based on the IIHF's own number the Swiss have around 1.5 to 2% of the world's total hockey population which proportionally speaking is not even enough to fill one NHL roster. The odds are even the full Swiss national A team would finish last if they played an entire season in the NHL. Same would have been true for the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.

The best thing this WC run can do is if it gets more Swiss kids out playing the game, hopefully that will be the case.

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05-19-2013, 05:08 AM
  #33
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I can see where some posters are coming from: You don't win anything with chemistry alone but no talent. On the other hand, you won't win if your team is not a "team" but only a group of talented players that was randomly put together.

Concerning the quality of the Swiss players: Not knowing about most of the Swiss players is more a sign of ignorance from other fans than an indicator for the quality of the Swiss players. I won't say they are the best. There are better players out there, no question. But it's not like there are only unskilled grinders on that team. Those are all very good, skilled hockey players playing in one of the best leagues in Europe. Guys like Niederreiter, Hollenstein, Cunti, Suri, Plüss or Moser are all players that can make a difference in international competition, not because of their teamplay but because of their individual abilities.

And honestly, who cares about talent on a team if that talent doesn't win anything? IMO that's the opinion of bitter losers. "butbutbut we are more talented!!!" I'd rather have our maybe less talented NLA players win gold or silver than a bunch of NHL divas not winning anything. In the end, the winners are those who have actually won and not those who were more talented. But that goes the other way as well: If you put up a good fight but didn't have the talent to win it, then you don't win. This was many times the case for Switzerland in the last few years.

You need a balanced relationship of both. For a long time, Switzerland was imbalanced towards team. Now the talentpool is catching up and it's finally going to show. But to be clear: Of course this year is an outlier. Switzerland won't compete for the gold medal all the time from now on. But it is expected to make the quarterfinals for sure and to put up a good fight for the semifinals on a more regular basis.

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05-19-2013, 05:27 AM
  #34
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The only question now is,will they be able to display the same level at the Olympics,where other teams like Russia,Sweden,US,Canada,will not only have better teams,but OVERWHELMINGLY better teams,guys like Malkin,Crosby,Ovechkin,Backstrom can really break the resistance of even the best chemistry.

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05-19-2013, 05:31 AM
  #35
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Well, I think the last two olympics showed that it is possible. They lost to team USA just 0-1 in the quarters after getting CAN to the shootout. But it was with Krüger as coach, we'll see what Simpson does, how he fills his roster. He may have near to 10 NHL-players to choose from.

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05-19-2013, 05:58 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by SwissAvsFan View Post
It's not like the Swiss Team is just a bunch of talentless goons... and you can hardly call it a fluke if you have seen all the games. The tournament is quite short tough which gives for a small sample size.
This!

Greece won the whole Euro Champs in Soccer some years ago. No one thought they would and the competition in that tournament was really good. And I would say they were less talented than the Swiss hockey team.

My point is this stuff happens and it's no secret that Swiss hockey is good.
Many of the players have US or swedish hockey experience aswell. So it's not a bunch of no names with lucky bounces.

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05-19-2013, 06:15 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by PJ A Oates View Post
This!

Greece won the whole Euro Champs in Soccer some years ago. No one thought they would and the competition in that tournament was really good. And I would say they were less talented than the Swiss hockey team.

My point is this stuff happens and it's no secret that Swiss hockey is good.
Many of the players have US or swedish hockey experience aswell. So it's not a bunch of no names with lucky bounces.
It's really not fair for the swiss to be compared to that greek team. All they did was pack their own half and hope to score a random goal on a counter-attack. Their games were extremely annoying and unpleasant to watch.

Switzerland on the other hand is lighting it up all across the board. Best PP, third best penalty killing, best goalkeeping, third best scoring efficiency, best offense in the preliminary round, best defense in the preliminary round, etc. It's a surprise they managed to make the final with such a young unexperienced team leaving a lot of stars at home, but it shouldn't be a big surprise that they finally made it past the QF in like their 100st or so attempt.


Last edited by SillyBilly: 05-19-2013 at 06:31 AM.
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05-19-2013, 06:33 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by SillyBilly View Post
It's a surprise they managed to make the final with such a young unexperienced team leaving a lot of stars at home, but it shouldn't be a big surprise that they finally made it past the QF in their 100st or so attempt.
Messieurs Seger, Plüss and Ambühl are happy that you call them young.

Given that they've personally participated in most of those 100 attempts.

How many are old enough to even remember a watching live game of Swiss hockey without at least one of them?

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05-19-2013, 06:34 AM
  #39
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NLA is a fantastic league and on top of that they have guys like Josi and Nino, they don't lack talent that's for sure.

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05-19-2013, 08:23 AM
  #40
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NLA is a fantastic league and on top of that they have guys like Josi and Nino, they don't lack talent that's for sure.
And they had success on junior level (mostly U20) in recent years, so they have nice group of up and coming young players. Vermin, Hoffmann, Muller, Baltisberger, Bertschy...

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05-19-2013, 08:38 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
We see it every day in league play where teams with clearly less skilled individual players beat ones with better line ups, win playoff rounds, etc, etc.

Based on the IIHF's own number the Swiss have around 1.5 to 2% of the world's total hockey population which proportionally speaking is not even enough to fill one NHL roster. The odds are even the full Swiss national A team would finish last if they played an entire season in the NHL. Same would have been true for the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.
What's your point? Swiss national team won't play in NHL and its performance isn't measured by comparing it to NHL. I bet you know that NHL is a league where ice hockey is played in North American style in small rink. In this tournament teams play on large ice. Swiss steamrolled USA (with NHL players) yesterday and the 3-0 numbers flattered USA.

I guess I don't need to remind what are the differences between European ice hockey in on big ice and NHL hockey in small rink. They require and emphasize different skill sets. On big ice you can be skilled and succeed, but in NHL you have also to be big and strong. Swiss players don't need to play in NHL in order to be good players and play well on big ice.

I'm amazed how difficult it's for many to understand that there's also other hockey than dump&chase of NHL, and success in NHL doesn't define how a player can perform on big ice.

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05-19-2013, 09:31 AM
  #42
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And they had success on junior level (mostly U20) in recent years, so they have nice group of up and coming young players. Vermin, Hoffmann, Muller, Baltisberger, Bertschy...
Mueller, I saw a lot of the kid in the dub and he looks like a guy who could end up as a top 4 defeneman in the NHL.

EDIT:

For some reason I didn't see Mueller mentioned when I quoted your post.

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05-19-2013, 09:39 AM
  #43
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NLA is the 3rd best league in the world right now IMO.

Gaps between the NLA, SEL and FEL aren't big but it's the best after KHL.

To be honest i've been anticipating the Swiss team getting a medal for few years now. It's really been a disappointment that they haven't been able to get one.

But now they had it all going for them right from the get go. Some big teams have also been bad in this tournament and because of that it opened the door for Switzerland.

And let me tell you a player like Josi is a major boost to any team in this kind of tournament.

But let's not get carried away here. Switzerland is still behind all the other big countries except Slovakia.

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05-19-2013, 09:59 AM
  #44
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A few years ago I suggested to some fellow workers around the water cooler that one of the lesser hockey countries was going to play or win a world championship soon. My reasoning was that they were not quite talented to lose their players to to the NHL but could still play at a high level as a "high level team". Seems that the Swiss have proven me right.

What they have proven is that they are good enough hockey players to play as a team and defeat other more skilled teams that have been thrown together as individuals. After the round robin it becomes a winner take all format which favours the more cohesive team.

Congrats to them but let's not read into this that they are at the level of the top 5 countries.

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05-19-2013, 10:05 AM
  #45
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Congrats to them but let's not read into this that they are at the level of the top 5 countries.
Switzerland is at the 8th spot on the ''number of registered players by country''-list and I believe they've both a Top3 european hockey league and a Top7 national team. If hockey doesn't get suddenly more popular, there's no reason why this would change (in other words, they won't close the gap to Top5 countries).

Canada - 617,107
United States - 511,178
Czech Republic - 95,094
Sweden - 69,921
Russia - 64,326
Finland - 56,626
Germany - 27,068
Switzerland - 26,166

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05-19-2013, 10:07 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
What's your point? Swiss national team won't play in NHL and its performance isn't measured by comparing it to NHL. I bet you know that NHL is a league where ice hockey is played in North American style in small rink. In this tournament teams play on large ice. Swiss steamrolled USA (with NHL players) yesterday and the 3-0 numbers flattered USA.

I guess I don't need to remind what are the differences between European ice hockey in on big ice and NHL hockey in small rink. They require and emphasize different skill sets. On big ice you can be skilled and succeed, but in NHL you have also to be big and strong. Swiss players don't need to play in NHL in order to be good players and play well on big ice.

I'm amazed how difficult it's for many to understand that there's also other hockey than dump&chase of NHL, and success in NHL doesn't define how a player can perform on big ice.
The smaller ice not only dictates the physical but requires the ability to make decisions faster, handle the puck and move more quickly in smaller spaces. On the big ice surface you have more time and space to do what you want. Lots of fancy plays and skating. Players can look more skilled because the game is more like what we would call pond hockey or river hockey in Canada.

But you are right it is a different game.

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05-19-2013, 10:29 AM
  #47
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Originally Posted by roto View Post
What's your point? Swiss national team won't play in NHL and its performance isn't measured by comparing it to NHL. I bet you know that NHL is a league where ice hockey is played in North American style in small rink. In this tournament teams play on large ice. Swiss steamrolled USA (with NHL players) yesterday and the 3-0 numbers flattered USA.

I guess I don't need to remind what are the differences between European ice hockey in on big ice and NHL hockey in small rink. They require and emphasize different skill sets. On big ice you can be skilled and succeed, but in NHL you have also to be big and strong. Swiss players don't need to play in NHL in order to be good players and play well on big ice.

I'm amazed how difficult it's for many to understand that there's also other hockey than dump&chase of NHL, and success in NHL doesn't define how a player can perform on big ice.
My point is that by far the best way to evaluate individual players is to look at their whole body of work, the vast majority of which is how they performed in the league they played in. International tournaments are fun but they are very short and infrequent and for various other reasons they provide little meaningful evidence on how good an individual actually is. Since right now the NHL far and away attracts the most talented players in the world it is the best measuring stick for the world's top players.

The biggest obstacle for any team in the WC is how quickly they can gel together and start playing an effective team system. The amount of team prep time in the WC is next to nothing compared to what is done in leagues and clubs and in such a short time it seems that who can most quickly develop this team chemistry is pretty random in any given year.

Secondly the ice size and rules do play a major factor. I'm sure that with enough time all of the top skilled players can adjust to either system but how long it takes each player to adjust will vary considerably and also certainly relates to the amount of experience they have playing on the big or small ice. I think any reasonable person would agree that someone who has just finished playing an entire season or more on the big ice is going to have an advantage at the WC over someone coming over from NA. Furthermore someone who is coming over from the NHL who has played a lot on the big ice previously is probably going to make the adjustment more quickly, seems kind of obvious.

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05-19-2013, 10:32 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
My point is that by far the best way to evaluate individual players is to look at their whole body of work, the vast majority of which is how they performed in the league they played in. International tournaments are fun but they are very short and infrequent and for various other reasons they provide little meaningful evidence on how good an individual actually is. Since right now the NHL far and away attracts the most talented players in the world it is the best measuring stick for the world's top players.

The biggest obstacle for any team in the WC is how quickly they can gel together and start playing an effective team system. The amount of team prep time in the WC is next to nothing compared to what is done in leagues and clubs and in such a short time it seems that who can most quickly develop this team chemistry is pretty random in any given year.

Secondly the ice size and rules do play a major factor. I'm sure that with enough time all of the top skilled players can adjust to either system but how long it takes each player to adjust will vary considerably and also certainly relates to the amount of experience they have playing on the big or small ice. I think any reasonable person would agree that someone who has just finished playing an entire season or more on the big ice is going to have an advantage at the WC over someone coming over from NA. Furthermore someone who coming over from the NHL who has played a lot on the big ice previously is probably going to make the adjustment more quickly, seems kind of obvious.
Spot on.

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05-19-2013, 12:06 PM
  #49
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Ridiculous argument. Most of these teams are using tier-2 talent and the Swiss have most of their best players. Chemistry definitely helps, but this team is nowhere near top level talent.

Remember Germany a few years ago? Went on a huge run and almost won bronze? Just shows any team can have a great tournament one year then back to normal the next. Heck, didn't Slovakia win silver last year?

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05-19-2013, 12:42 PM
  #50
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Ridiculous argument. Most of these teams are using tier-2 talent and the Swiss have most of their best players. Chemistry definitely helps, but this team is nowhere near top level talent.

Remember Germany a few years ago? Went on a huge run and almost won bronze? Just shows any team can have a great tournament one year then back to normal the next. Heck, didn't Slovakia win silver last year?
Swiss doesn't have best team here. They are missing Romy, Wick, Ruthemann, Streit, Weber, Sbisa, Hiller, Brunner, Bartschi.


German 2010. run can't be comparable to Swiss. Swiss beat ALL teams here so far, while Germans lost to Finland, two times to Russia and Sweden in year when they won 4th place. And they run were much more on shoulders of Endras than this Swiss's one is on Berra/Gerber.

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