La Suisse a réalisé un sans-faute jusqu’ici. 

Ice hockey: Switzerland must keep their momentum for the quarterfinals


Recent history shows it: Switzerland, undefeated in Helsinki, never feels comfortable against Germany. This Tuesday (11:20 a.m.) it’s all about defending first place in Group A and staying confident going into the final stages of the tournament.

Switzerland has been flawless so far.

Urs Lindt/fresh focus

Despite their sixth success in a row (5-2 win against France on Sunday) and 18 units on the clock, first place in Group A is not yet in the bag. In the absence of Russia (excluded from the tournament and replaced by the Blues), Switzerland were forced to win a top-two spot in their group.

Only to avoid an opponent who would be called Finland or Sweden in the quarter-finals, while the goal for the World Cup announced since last November is (at least) a place in the semi-finals.

th place in Germany, this Tuesday at 11:20 a.m., for the last game of the qualifying phase. Several scenarios (other than losing at least four goals to the Germans, assuming Canada wins their last two regular-time games) speak in favor of the Swiss for first place. But a win in regular time against the Germans would be the surest way to get there.

And then a hypothetical first loss in this competition would fall pretty badly just before approaching the quarterfinals. It could also have negative consequences before the elimination phase by KO

The Germans without Tim Stützle

Timo Meier already said that on Saturday after the prestigious victory against Canada (6:3). “The hardest is yet to come.” Captain Nico Hischier warned: “No matter who our opponents are, we want to be better than our last game.” In other words, Switzerland want to continue to progress (which they failed to do despite winning against France on Sunday) and grow as the competition progresses . And so keep his momentum.

Except that Germany – without NHL forward Tim Stützle, whose tournament ended with a knee injury – is precisely the selection that has caused the most damage to the Swiss team these days: as in 2018 at the Olympic Games in South American PyeongChang Korea, when it defeated Switzerland 2-1 after extra time in the “pre-quarterfinals”. And like in 2021 at CM in Latvia, when Switzerland was defeated on penalties in the quarter-finals this time.

This last game of the group stage against the Germans will be a good test of character for the Swiss. While the Swiss national team has played impeccably so far and is surfing on their invincibility (six games, six wins in regular time), they cannot afford to go into the quarter-finals this Thursday with a quid pro quo against the Germans.

Moritz Seider is the control tower of the German team.

Moritz Seider is the control tower of the German team.

Claudio Thoma/fresh focus

Watch out, Moritz Seider, that’s the bomb. The 21-year-old German defenseman has had a fantastic first season in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings. The tall right-hander (193 cm), trained in Mannheim, has regularly fueled the highlights of the North American Championship: huge loads, a constant presence on both defense and offense and some high-flying goals. Moritz Seider is to Germany what Roman Josi is to Switzerland.

A favorite for the NHL Rookie of the Year award (Calder Trophy), Seider is part of Germany’s golden generation, halfway between oldest Leon Draisaitl (26, currently in the playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers, NHL MVP in 2020) and Tim Stützle (20, Ottawa Senators prodigy whose tournament in Helsinki ended with a knee injury). “Germany’s development is impressive and they are now also producing star players for the NHL,” said Timo Meier. Germany is a team that we respect.”

At the 2018 Olympics, the Germans would have come very close to creating one of the biggest sensations in international ice hockey since the American triumph at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. In the final against the Russians, they led by just a few seconds at the end of regular time, before losing in overtime. Moritz Seider and Tim Stützle, who were only 16 at the time and were still playing as juniors, had not even started the adventure.

#Ice #hockey #Switzerland #momentum #quarterfinals

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