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Thread: 2015 IHWC prelim. round days 5-12 Group A (Prague)

  1. #51
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by partizanhk View Post
    Germany will let Austria to win or at least one point to take. 100%
    reminds me of forum stuff in Spain during soccer Euro. Spanish people thinking that Switzerland and Austria will help each other with results having no clue of the rivalry this two countries have in sport.(specially because of skying)

  2. #52
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BASSA View Post
    I think that member Partizanhk still living in Serbia where people don't know that second WW is finished, and where Partizans can't recognize German nation and Austria nation.. you must to explain that now these countries are divided, and have separate lands, and borders :) and today they are not on the same side as economy, or sport :)

  3. #53
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    What to say after this game. It was obvious that Germans playing today with non motivations, without passion, just hanging around on ice.

    Austrans and Germans are true brothers.
    Love is in the air
    Everyone are happy

  4. #54
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    What to say after this game? First thing is that AUT wasted another bunch of chances that could be enough to win two games. Incredible how the guys are not able to finish. Germany was certainly tired, that helped, but AUT had the game firmly in their hands and given that the scoring efficiency on our side is abysmal it is as great on the side of the Germans (or Latvians). The equalizer was a "shot" Reimer couldn't believe himself, it just went on goal and in. And the worst thing is that Lebler's goal 13 seconds to the end was as far as I saw it clean as can be. When the pass came he had his left skate completely out of the crease and the puck bounced of the skate without any kicking motion. Why the hell had whistled down the play is just beyond me.
    Anyway, I jsut have the dire feeling that these two points won't be enough. Canada will slaughter us tomorrow and France and LAtvia can both stay up with a French win in overtime. As the Latvians are save already with 1 point they don't have to risk anything which makes a tie more likely than in any other constellation. And should the game go to OT its just 50-50.
    If AUT hast go down again, I will not believe how fucking close it was this time.

  5. #55
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    Austria was far better today, minimum 2-3 goal diference....germans does almost everything to lose but austrians was awfull at the goal.

    I dont think that france-latvia will go to overtime. It would be totaly unfair.

  6. #56
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    I'd say this years Canadian team has as much offense as the 2014 Olympic gold team. Hall, Seguin, Giroux Eberle are all top notch scorers and overall the forwards are excellent. Defense & Goalie on the other hand are not nearly as good. Even though 4-0 against Austria, Austria has had several breakaways and scoring chances. I was impressed, 91 on Austria, Heinrich outskated speedy Tyler Seguin for a breakaway.

  7. #57
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    I watched the third Austrian goal several times and could not comprehend why did referee disalowed that goal. Anyway, I'd like for Austria to break that yo-yo connection with Slovenia just as Italy let Kazakhstan go back to elite with Hungarians for a change.

    On the other hand, I would have lost no tears had Germany got itself relegated. Such large country, so many players, so many leagues, such tradition and it is little better, if that, than Norway or Denmark.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drax View Post
    I watched the third Austrian goal several times and could not comprehend why did referee disalowed that goal. Anyway, I'd like for Austria to break that yo-yo connection with Slovenia just as Italy let Kazakhstan go back to elite with Hungarians for a change.

    On the other hand, I would have lost no tears had Germany got itself relegated. Such large country, so many players, so many leagues, such tradition and it is little better, if that, than Norway or Denmark.
    Apparently the games was whistled down already before the puck came to Lebler (that's also why there was no video review). There was, however, no reason for stopping the game as the play behind the net was clean and what happened then was all inside the rules as well. It just sucks because that goal could possibly make a very big difference in the tournament...

    I wouldn't be too hard on Germany, despite the size of the country and the fact that hockey is widely played the number of clubs and places whith high level youth hockey is not that big. And given the number of their best but absent players their performance hasn't been too bad. Not really good but also not bad.

  9. #59
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    So, what is the prediction for France - Latvia game?

  10. #60
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    Our very own

    Steigs: LAT vs FRA 2-1
    Kiraly: LAT vs FRA: 4-2
    WHawks: LAT vs FRA 3-2OT
    Jokos: LAT vs FRA 2-4
    Bjarni: LAT vs FRA 1:2 OT
    Acroni: LAT - FRA 2-3 ot
    Heatleysucks: LAT 1 FRA 2
    RexKramer: LAT vs FRA 3:1
    Piotrek: LAT vs FRA 1-2
    Snapshot: LAT - FRA 1:3
    rcv94: LAT vs FRA 2-3OT
    Bennison: LAT - FRA 1-3
    Prsljen: LAT - FRA 2:1

    I like all but 3 of them ;-)

  11. #61
    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    Let me guess... Bjarni, Acroni and rcv94. *smile*
    Cum bibam cervisiam gaudeo.

  12. #62
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    My life would be much happier should those three come true. :D

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennison View Post
    Let me guess... Bjarni, Acroni and rcv94. *smile*
    very true! Latvia is currently leading 1:0 (PP goal by Daugavins), and the game so far doesn't look at all as if the teams have an agreement. High intensity.

  14. #64
    IHF Member Kiraly's Avatar
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    France trying hard not to get relegated, shots 12 to 2 so far in their favour.

    I'd like to see Austria break the trend and stick around one more year. Hungary coming up, France going down would be a nice change of pace.

  15. #65
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    This game was ridiculuous....fixed game.....unfair totaly

  16. #66
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    fuck this game.....This is bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. #67
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Ohhhhhh I can breathe easy, all is right in my own little world. Thank you Fleury, Desrosiers and Da Costa!

    Masaļskis....you had yourself a wonderful tournament and if not for you we most certainly would of been relegated but boy Im glad you sucked in this shoot-out.

  18. #68
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    Masaļskis prevented the relegation and then behaved like a drunkard during the shoot-out. It can't be proven of course, but noone is ever going to convince me that Masaļskis tried to stop any of the French shots.

  19. #69
    IHF Member WHawks's Avatar
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    As I see it, it would be a huge advantage for Latvia if France got relegated considering next season where neither Germany or France can relegate. So I really doubt it was a big conspiracy to get Austria relegated ;-)

    Edit: I've learned that France even as co-hosts the following season can in fact relegate.
    Last edited by WHawks; 12-05-2015 at 21:36.

  20. #70
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drax View Post
    Masaļskis prevented the relegation and then behaved like a drunkard during the shoot-out. It can't be proven of course, but noone is ever going to convince me that Masaļskis tried to stop any of the French shots.
    Even worse....franche player didnt want to score few seconds till the end...it was obvious that both teams playing fixed game. This us big shame fir both!!!!

  21. #71
    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    Give it up partizan, you have been shouting about match fixing after every other game... tiresome.
    Cum bibam cervisiam gaudeo.

  22. #72
    IHF Member partizanhk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennison View Post
    Give it up partizan, you have been shouting about match fixing after every other game... tiresome.
    Dont be angry...i just feel sory of Austrians.

  23. #73
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    Good and fast game to watch and a SO final decided by the CZECH. Some kind of final run down before the quarter final. BERRA was hundert percent present during this game with some nice saves. Nonetheless I think he is playing too high on the penalties, leaving the cage early and elevating his big body like a barrier with allows the shooter to adjust the lower part.
    Quiet happy of what I saw of the Swiss, the CZECH pressing in the last to get a late equalizer.
    The OT was a thriller when STREIT got a impardonable two minutes letting the team three on four without consequences.

  24. #74
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    It was a most enjoyable groups a pity for development that again the two promoted nations relegate.
    Straight back down. At least on this occasion one team is Promoting that is.different.

  25. #75
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    I wouldn't be too hard on Germany, despite the size of the country and the fact that hockey is widely played the number of clubs and places whith high level youth hockey is not that big. And given the number of their best but absent players their performance hasn't been too bad. Not really good but also not bad.
    So many imports in their top league that it gives far less opportunity for their top domestic players to have impact roles. This translates to the NT to a degree IMO (just as with GBR). Not having top players from overseas hurts, but they should be able to develop good players at home, having as strong a league as they do, yet they can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Our very own

    Steigs: LAT vs FRA 2-1
    Kiraly: LAT vs FRA: 4-2
    WHawks: LAT vs FRA 3-2OT
    Jokos: LAT vs FRA 2-4
    Bjarni: LAT vs FRA 1:2 OT
    Acroni: LAT - FRA 2-3 ot
    Heatleysucks: LAT 1 FRA 2
    RexKramer: LAT vs FRA 3:1
    Piotrek: LAT vs FRA 1-2
    Snapshot: LAT - FRA 1:3
    rcv94: LAT vs FRA 2-3OT
    Bennison: LAT - FRA 1-3
    Prsljen: LAT - FRA 2:1

    I like all but 3 of them ;-)
    ... I was thinking of switching to a 3-2 OT French win last night in my prediction, but thought it was just too unlikely and held off doing it. ...really regretting it today.

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    So many imports in their top league that it gives far less opportunity for their top domestic players to have impact roles. This translates to the NT to a degree IMO (just as with GBR). Not having top players from overseas hurts, but they should be able to develop good players at home, having as strong a league as they do, yet they can't.



    ... I was thinking of switching to a 3-2 OT French win last night in my prediction, but thought it was just too unlikely and held off doing it. ...really regretting it today.
    I strongly have to object the widely followed "too much imports to develop domestic players" theory. That song is now sung in Austria again as well and frankly I think it is just not that simple. The number of import players in the top league of a country is not the root cause for a lack of high end domestic players, instead it is a consequence of a country's inability to create a highly productive youth hockey sector which supplies the players in numbers who can deliver what the imports are. In the U18s and U20s the Germans are a borderline top pool nation and on senior level they are just about on the same level. What a country produces in terms of the quality of the juniors on a consistent basis will determine the level of the seniors in the long run. Short term deviatons between that are due to factors like team chemistry, proper management, player availability etc. down to pure luck. If the Germans get their top players on the team again they can absolutely challenge for the quarterfinals.

  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starkovs View Post
    Ohhhhhh I can breathe easy, all is right in my own little world. Thank you Fleury, Desrosiers and Da Costa!

    Masaļskis....you had yourself a wonderful tournament and if not for you we most certainly would of been relegated but boy Im glad you sucked in this shoot-out.
    Don't really understand why you're glad with Masalskis slightly strange performance in the shoot out. Had he stopped some French shots Latvia could have won the game and ended up with more points on a better final rank. Or does your feeling have a betting background ?

    For Austria this completely sucks. On the one hand the team had it in the own hands to stay up which we didn't due to a lack of goals despite plenty of chances in all three decisive games. On the other hand we simply had as good as all the bad luck you can imagine...the called off goal against Germany, the lucky second goal of ther Germans, the French guy's lone rush at Masalskis at the end of the game etc... So many ways were so close such that our 5 points would have been enough, it just didn't want to come that way....

  28. #78
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Fixed game? Give me a break... Do you really think the French forward did not want to score with 10 seconds to go in the third? Sure the Latvians did not really care about the OT/shootout, but you simply can't play with the same intensity when you've reached your goal already and your opponent is playing in desperation mode.

    Definitely a pity to see Austria relegated this way, but they simply beat the "wrong" opponents. If they had beaten Latvia or France instead of Germany and Switzerland, the situation would have been different.

    @WHawks
    As far as a I know, this is how it works: IIHF only gives one wild-card per tournament. In case Germany and France get relegated to Division 1A, only Germany will get the wild card since France is only co-host. If though only France finishes last in its group (= technically relegates), France will get the wild card.

    @RexKramer
    The goal against Germany was disallowed due to goal crease violation. Brian Lebler was in the goal crease (without the German player pushing him) before the puck and that's why the play was stopped.

    Concerning the EBEL import rule: Calling for 3-4 imports in EBEL is stupid, since the league lives from a good level of play, which is only guarenteed when you have a certain amount of good quality imports (+ EBEL clubs have the necessary €€€ to aquire many imports).
    Still, the current point system is also far from ideal. Sure, young Austrians get the chance to play 4th/3rd line minutes, but when they reach the age of 25 (or 24?), they count more points and are easily scratched from the roster.
    I think an easy import rule suggesting for instance a number of 9 imports per team would be more beneficial. Maybe add a rule, that every team needs to carry at least 2 U22 players per team. IMO such a solution would be better than the current system. Might not be perfect, but better.

    Germany is another topic. Much bigger country, more fans, teams and players than in Austria. I think they should really try to adopt the "Swiss model" step-by-step if they want to become a serious Top 8-contender again. Of course you also need to work on your junior development, but you can develop as much as you want, if your young players don't really get a chance to prove themselves in the top senior leagues afterwards.

  29. #79
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    Phill, I didn't see the scene on video again (is it somewhere accessible on the net?) but during the live broadcast I didn't see any "Torraumabsteits". The puck was behind the net with Raffl and a German guy battling for it and when the puck came to Lebler he had one skate clearly out of the crease. Can't recall that he obstructed the goalie before that moment in a way that justifies stopping the game. Maybe my memory deceives me but as I can recall it was just a bad call.

    And sure the point system does put up pressure for players that hit the age beyond being assigend 0 points by default. But the probability that a player who drops out of the league because of that could be a noteworthy contributor to the national team is extremely low.

    Germany lacks the broad basis of high-level junior development the Swiss have put up by now and I see no reason why a higher talented and hard working young player is denied the opportunity to play pro because of the imports in DEL. DEL II is a good league which does have a pretty low import limit (5 afaIr), there's the farm player license system that allows young players to move between DEL and DEL II, don't really see the issue. Being given a chance to play is one thing but earning the chance to play in a competitive environment beats it in the long term. All top hockey countries do have highly competitive junior leagues with tons of well trained youngsters aspiring to go pro and only the best really make it (whats the ratio of players breaking the pro ranks from the total number of kids who start hockey in Canada vs. say Germany or Austria? I bet it is much lower there). In small hockey countries people believe there's a shortcut on the way of producing international caliber senior players magically bypassing the necessity for a strong grassroots programe with a state of the art junior development system on top. I just can't grasp who that shall work. And I also don't believe in the effect of higher demand for domeastic players by import quotas triggering the necessary investment for a top notch junior program and broad grassroots sector...I think that this would work is simplistic whishful thinking.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 13-05-2015 at 13:38.

  30. #80
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    At 4:55 in this video: https://youtu.be/H47S0r1-by0

    IIHF rules are very strict on it. Lebler is in the goal crease, without Krüger pushing him in, before Raffl passes from behind the net. This was the right call IMO. Whether he touches the goalie or not is only relevant if the puck enters the goal crease before the attacking player.

    IIHF Rulebook, Rule 184
    [...] Although an attacking skater is
    allowed to skate through the goal crease, he runs the risk of incurring a
    penalty or nullifying a goal by doing so [...]

    i. If an attacking skater establishes position in the goal crease, play will
    be stopped and the ensuing faceoff will take place at the nearest
    faceoff spot in the neutral zone

    Still, I have to admit Austria would have deserved 3 points in this game, definitely outplayed the Germans, but just like Italy they seem not to be able to score on a wide open net.

  31. #81
    IHF Member PhilHell37's Avatar
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    Germany:
    Total Players 29,371
    Male Players 8,389
    Junior Players 18,084
    Female Players 2,898
    Indoor Rinks 202
    Outdoor Rinks 45

    Switzerland:
    Total Players 26,415
    Male Players 11,584
    Junior Players 13,740
    Female Players 1,091
    Indoor Rinks 158

    Germany has more or less the same amount of player as Switzerland. Not saying Germany has to become the new Canada, but I think they have the potential to improve a lot. I don't think reducing the number of imports from 9 to 4/5 in one season would be ideal, but that's why they should be working on it step-by-step (maybe 8 in two seasons, 7 in three seasons).
    DEL2 is a good leauge, but even though 5 imports might be the "official" number, champion Bietigheim for instance had I think 11 if you include the dual-citizen players. Not sure if this is the sense of a second-tier league.

  32. #82
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    There is no point in time on the play in which Lebler is entirely placed within the crease, his right skate is outside the crease all the time and he is not obstructing the goalie in any moment. My understanding of crease violation was always that you are allowed to have the margin of the crease between your legs (i.e. one skate inside, one skate outside) jus as it is with the on resp. off-side position at the blue line. Even if this is not the case, I'm sure there were goals scored like this in IIHF tournaments before that have not been called off. Whatever...it just fits the picture that the bastard of a ref didn't allow that one...

  33. #83
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Don't really understand why you're glad with Masalskis slightly strange performance in the shoot out. Had he stopped some French shots Latvia could have won the game and ended up with more points on a better final rank. Or does your feeling have a betting background ?
    No, no betting, my record here on various pick'em games proves I should never place money on anything. Just simply wishing to keep my life happy, dont want my mother to be sad France was relegated.

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilHell37 View Post
    Germany:
    Total Players 29,371
    Male Players 8,389
    Junior Players 18,084
    Female Players 2,898
    Indoor Rinks 202
    Outdoor Rinks 45

    Switzerland:
    Total Players 26,415
    Male Players 11,584
    Junior Players 13,740
    Female Players 1,091
    Indoor Rinks 158

    Germany has more or less the same amount of player as Switzerland. Not saying Germany has to become the new Canada, but I think they have the potential to improve a lot. I don't think reducing the number of imports from 9 to 4/5 in one season would be ideal, but that's why they should be working on it step-by-step (maybe 8 in two seasons, 7 in three seasons).
    DEL2 is a good leauge, but even though 5 imports might be the "official" number, champion Bietigheim for instance had I think 11 if you include the dual-citizen players. Not sure if this is the sense of a second-tier league.
    The overall number of players is highly deceptive, what matters is the number of players that go through a high level development process in all stages of their training. Second, I have a great amount of distrust for these IIHF figures, they might suffer from all sorts of problems (not updated, different criteria of which players are registered or not...you and me would count to the number of registered players in AUT for instance, go figure what that means for the basis to select the national team ;-)
    People here in Austria also often refer to the Swiss example if it comes up to import numbers and development of domestic players. People see that Switzerland is pretty good in hockey and have a fairly strict import restriction in their top leagues which btw. is also softened by plenty of dual-national players just as in the case of Germany (Herburger, Ulmer brothers, Kostner, Morini brothers etc...). What the people don't see is that the Swiss junior hockey is on all accounts bigger and better than the Austrian. More teams, more players, codified quality standards of training for the top level teams etc. Franky speaking it is a different world...reducing imports will just not take you there.

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    Switzerland does have better national team than Germany but it also suffers, although slightly less, from the fact that the top scorers in their teams are usually Canadians and Americans which have an effect on the scoring capabilities of the national team. If a promising youngster is relegated to checking line and denied the opportunity to play during power play because there has to be a place for some import than than in few years what could be a solid scorer is turned into a checker if he wants to play professionally. Rare exceptions get their opportunity to play in NHL which usually means that the national team, as well as league is deprived of their talent.

    Something similar is going on in Croatian basketball. For the last few years Croatian national team has an American on the position of playmaker. The official explanation is that Croatia lacks good playmakers. Why? Because it is cheaper and faster to get some NCAA drop out to play the playmaker in Croatian professional teams than to wait for the development of own playmakers. Years are passing by and Croatian clubs and national teams all play with American playmakers.

  36. #86
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    For every foreigner playing in DEL/EBEL, one junior/home grown/national, looses his place this is clear like water. How can this be good...for development???

    But lets see what a long time coach in NLA and lately in DEL(INGOLSTADT) says. He must have some clue of what he is talking
    about I guess.

    LARRY HURRAS will be new coach of MODO IN SHL next season he critizizes the development of German hockey:

    The German will get problems, there is no place for young players, they cannot develop there are too many foreigners
    http://slapshot.ch.sportalsports.com...248100000.html

    The same is true for EBEL. I am not the one saying this. It is what Austrian HERBURGER said when he signed for EHCB in an interview in the club Webpage.

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibizajp View Post
    For every foreigner playing in DEL/EBEL, one junior/home grown/national, looses his place this is clear like water. How can this be good...for development???

    But lets see what a long time coach in NLA and lately in DEL(INGOLSTADT) says. He must have some clue of what he is talking
    about I guess.

    LARRY HURRAS will be new coach of MODO IN SHL next season he critizizes the development of German hockey:



    http://slapshot.ch.sportalsports.com...248100000.html

    The same is true for EBEL. I am not the one saying this. It is what Austrian HERBURGER said when he signed for EHCB in an interview in the club Webpage.
    The players always argue for their peers, that's nothing new. Point is that the players that do not get to play in the league are simply much weaker than even the lower range imports and most likely would never ever be able to help a national team. It's a matter of ability and potential. And I don't know for instance if Herburger woiuld have made the career he did if his opponents and teammates had just been homegrown players instead of Canadian/American/Swedish etc. professionals. Speed, intensity, precision etc. would be much lower if those players were not here but only Austrians. How can you develop into an international caliber kind of player when you play in a weak league?

  38. #88
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    The answer is in slowly lowering the number of foreigners with an aim of getting to a minimal in x years with the parallel development of better juniors. Easy to say but that must be a challenge for any fed.

  39. #89
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    which btw. is also softened by plenty of dual-national players just as in the case of Germany (Herburger, Ulmer brothers, Kostner, Morini brothers etc...). orld...reducing imports will just not take you there.
    There are Duals but most with Swiss licences and mostly from the Swiss junior system(KOSTNER, MORINI are good example of this) the percentage is very low certainly nothing to compare with DEL and not enough to usurp a young talent's place. You can check this on each rosters of NLA teams in ELITE PROSPECT But the biggest difference is made at second tier were NLB has only 2 imports compared to five with DEL2. Thats means that a young talent a bit short for NLA is lent to NLB team to develop further until fit for a NLA spot(or not).like ROUILLER,HORANSKY,JEKER for EHCB last season. NO WAY used in fourth line as checker like stated in a post further up. Players have specificity/abilities and they must be developed not crushed.

  40. #90
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    I strongly have to object the widely followed "too much imports to develop domestic players" theory. That song is now sung in Austria again as well and frankly I think it is just not that simple. The number of import players in the top league of a country is not the root cause for a lack of high end domestic players, instead it is a consequence of a country's inability to create a highly productive youth hockey sector which supplies the players in numbers who can deliver what the imports are. In the U18s and U20s the Germans are a borderline top pool nation and on senior level they are just about on the same level. What a country produces in terms of the quality of the juniors on a consistent basis will determine the level of the seniors in the long run. Short term deviatons between that are due to factors like team chemistry, proper management, player availability etc. down to pure luck. If the Germans get their top players on the team again they can absolutely challenge for the quarterfinals.
    A borderline top nation in U20 is a top-10 nation, basically. Yet at the senior level they seem to be a couple spots behind that, and well behind the level of nations with much smaller systems than theirs.
    Quality of training is one aspect, but if you don't give your young players a good chance to develop in their early 20s, they won't reach the peak level that their potential would indicate they should. And when you have the (monetary) ability to bring in so many foreign players that the young guys are relegated to playing 5 minutes or less per game, they often won't develop past their U20 years.
    And if they don't improve, they won't get to the point of being able to play those top-2-line minutes. Top-line and bottom-line styles are often different, meaning that it's harder for a guy to go from third-line play on his club team to top-line play on the NT. You end up with a bunch of guys who are less scorers and more grinders/muckers/defensive specialists, and the result is something like Team Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    A borderline top nation in U20 is a top-10 nation, basically. Yet at the senior level they seem to be a couple spots behind that, and well behind the level of nations with much smaller systems than theirs.
    Quality of training is one aspect, but if you don't give your young players a good chance to develop in their early 20s, they won't reach the peak level that their potential would indicate they should.
    And that is backed up by an IIHF study. The study was commissioned as a way to persuade Europeans from going to Canadian major junior or the AHL but the underlying message was that players haven't hit their potential until their mid-20's.
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  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    A borderline top nation in U20 is a top-10 nation, basically. Yet at the senior level they seem to be a couple spots behind that, and well behind the level of nations with much smaller systems than theirs.
    Quality of training is one aspect, but if you don't give your young players a good chance to develop in their early 20s, they won't reach the peak level that their potential would indicate they should. And when you have the (monetary) ability to bring in so many foreign players that the young guys are relegated to playing 5 minutes or less per game, they often won't develop past their U20 years.
    And if they don't improve, they won't get to the point of being able to play those top-2-line minutes. Top-line and bottom-line styles are often different, meaning that it's harder for a guy to go from third-line play on his club team to top-line play on the NT. You end up with a bunch of guys who are less scorers and more grinders/muckers/defensive specialists, and the result is something like Team Germany.
    Looking at the readily available data of the world ranking (back to 2007) Germany was hovering around between a high of 8th and a low of 12th. I leave it to you to calculate an average ;-) but that suggests to me that the results of the seniors are fairly consistent with what the U20s who bounce around between the lower end of the elite level and the upper end of divIA achieve. At least as consistent that any statistical deviations might be insignificant and/or due to many other factors apart from the DEL-imports story.

    Austria for instance in the last decade or so had the consistent pattern that the U18s placed a little worse than the U20s who in turn are world ranking wise very much where the seniors are. My theory to explain this is that once the players hit the U20s a majority or at least a good part gets invovled in practicing and to some extent also playing with their clubs' pro teams which induces a development the junior sector simply doesn't allow due to a lack of competitiveness. If that was true (and I think it is not far off) it would be a point of the highly competitive EBEL with all its imports actually contributing to get beyond the level of the juniors instead of holding back.

    That said, I don't deny that players of course have to mature as young adults in many aspects (physicality, fitness, mental toughness, hockey sense, tactical understanding of the game...) which takes trust from the coaches who have to give them the ice time to actually develop these aspects when they are not yet fully there. What I want to say is that certain deficits in skills (foremost skating, stickhandling, passing/shooting) that a player has by the age of 20 (or even younger) due to mediocre coaching and training and or a lack of talent are to say the least very unlikely to be removed by giving the player exposure to professional hockey with age >20. These deficits can only be avoided and the potential of the player be fully exploited by having proper training and coaching throughout the early development time. Players who get such coaching and training in a highly competitive environment (thats what smaller countries typically lack due to low numbers of players in the teams...EBYSL squads in AUT are often just 2 lines + some odd players because the depth is simply lacking) are likely to exploit their potential which enables them to work their way up the ranks as young seniors even despite strong competition of older players. I mean that's whats happening in all the big hockey countries. Due to the high number of kids playing hockey in such countries the number of high potentials among them is greater than in smaller hockey countries and when these guys are exposed to state of the art coaching and training they simply become great players who are able to compete and eventually surpass older players (be it imports or not) once they hit the seniors without requiring much extra protection.
    My impression (and for Austria I have the insights) is that trying to mitigate the deficits of the junior sectors by isolating young players from competition by older (and better) players (imports or not) is an insufficient way to produce high end players. And reducing imports which translates to lowering the level of play in a league also has a cost in terms of a country's established top players being held back because they have to play on a level that is further away from that of international play. Any player who has to play on a level below his potential in terms of speed, precision, etc. will deteriorate himself over time.

    So to cut a long story short, broadening the base of players on the grassroots level and establishing a top notch development program up to the juniors are absolutely mandatory to advance as a country. If that doesn't happen nothing you can ever do with respect to the number of the imports in the top league will ever compensate.

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