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Thread: 2009 IHWC Team Austria thread

  1. #51
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    3 times in a row!!!

    The next jersey for the Austrian NT gets an elevator as logo instead of the (wrong) eagle.
    What can I say. On the one hand there's some frustration as AUT had a brilliant start and played for the first 30 minutes keeping the Danes from really being dangerous while getting opportunities for long break away passes. Of course, the first Danish goal should have been counted but Mr. Werenka as a proper sportsman compensated the opponent politley. I have never seen such a mistake (except the Furrer and the Sugawara maybe). Second period started with a commanding Austrian team forcing Denamrk to 3 consecuitve penalties. The first PP was very ok but when A. Lakos served the puck to Bödker for the equalizer (well done) the tide had turned. Austria was obviously shaken, the morale gone. The Danish go ahead goal was a matter of time and the subsequent Austrian efforts to come back opened the space for the 2 on 1 rush that brough the 4:2.

    In the end it is pretty obvious that this defensive perormance was insufficient. Unforced errors by experienced players helped to resurrected the Danish team. Sure also other key players, foremost Thomas Vanek, delivered much less than what they were expected. The way Vanek let himself shut down and wasted the best opportunities says a lot - despite his obvious efforts. It was not enough again. Next try 2011, maybe.

  2. #52
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    I don't know what to think about this next clip:

    "Lord Baelish, what you suggest is treason."
    "Only if we lose."

    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  3. #53
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    I pretty much know what to think...he's been taunted by someone outside and he didn't have the format to react as a pro should - ignoring whatever he heard.
    Apart from that there's been many instances in hockey where players in this situation would have climbed the bench and started to swing their sticks or whatever. At least he kept it verbal and in proper English.

    After the game against Germany he was asked by some reporter if the team would watch the tape from the game against Denmark in 2005 (yes, we were leading 2:0 and lost getting relegated) to avoid the mistakes made then. He asked the reporter if he would listen to what he was recording in that moment again in future to avoid stupid questions...

  4. #54
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    So, what is needed for Austrian hockey to overcome Dannish one? Stronger league? I'd say that EBEL is no worse than Oddset Ligaen.

    Less foreign players in top teams in order to make more room for youngsters? I think this is too obvious a solution not to be attempted already.

    More Austrians in foreign European leagues? Maybe, but the problem is the abundance of Canadian players that clog "natural" leagues like DEL or NLA where for top Austrian players could go to play on higher level than EBEL.

    Danes who don't make AHL or NHL often go to Sweden. Is EBEL too cozy for Austrians so they don't look elsewhere?

    I am really curious.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drax View Post
    So, what is needed for Austrian hockey to overcome Dannish one? Stronger league? I'd say that EBEL is no worse than Oddset Ligaen.

    Less foreign players in top teams in order to make more room for youngsters? I think this is too obvious a solution not to be attempted already.

    More Austrians in foreign European leagues? Maybe, but the problem is the abundance of Canadian players that clog "natural" leagues like DEL or NLA where for top Austrian players could go to play on higher level than EBEL.

    Danes who don't make AHL or NHL often go to Sweden. Is EBEL too cozy for Austrians so they don't look elsewhere?

    I am really curious.

    Ok Drax, here you get my complete analysis of the situation ;-)

    By all accounts I am sure that EBEL is a stronger leage then the AL-Bank league. This is because the imports in EBEL are typically of higher caliber and when it comes up to domestic players EBEL teams draw from the pool of three countries not just one. The best Danish players typically play abroad which is only to a lesser extent true for EBEL countries (at least for AUT this is the case)....but we have discussed that before and it is not really the point

    In the Austrian hockey community today after the 3rd relegation was achieved many people started to argue that we need to cut back the imports in the league. I think this is completely beside the point and nothing more than a cheap excuse.

    I'll quickly line out the problems for AUT in this championship (the short term perspective):

    For a small hockey nation we had a too high number of good to very good unavailable domestic/European based players. These are:

    Dieter Kalt (still THE leader of the team and always good to score, normally a winger but able to play a good center as well)
    Philipp Lukas (clearly our #2 centerman)
    Daniel Welser (despite a not so good season he's physically strong and defensively sound)
    Thomas Raffl (natural scorer, no surprise he landed a contract with Lulea)
    Mickey Elick (one of the best "Austrian" defensemen in the league, very solid player)
    Robert Lukas (he's known for giveaways just as the other ds but at least he's not as immobile)
    (Here I list just the most prominent ones the total list of unavailable players is longer and together with the players Bergström doesn't want it has quite a lot of names on)

    The first line of the relegation round with Koch, Vanek and Setzinger was basically really good maybe Bergström should have joined these forces earlier (already for the game against Latvia, then we maybe would not have been shut out). Vanek was however in total very disappointing. He assisted nicely on some goals but apart from this he was just pale. He missed chances he would convert blindly with an at least normal shape (today against Denmark...) and did not show the presence at all he was expected to. That was of course a burden.

    The second line was inadequately centered by Kaspitz who was completely ineffective (despite his goals). Thus, Trattnig and Nödl (who were both at least ok) were somehow wasted, with either Lukas or Kalt this line would have been stronger in both offense and also defense because Kaspitz is not a strong defensive player anyway.

    In the third line Schuller was misplaced from the start as centerman and although he improved later on he was a weak point with lots of horrible mistakes. Harand was invisible the games he played, Ofner who replaced him did better but has not the caliber to make a difference. Peintner played up to expectations imho.

    The fourth line did an ok job although they youngsters Kristler and Schellander still have to learn. Baumgartner in this line was called out of the holidays midway through the preparation camp and played under his level accordingly.

    Alltogether the forward lines were considerably weaker than last year in Innsbruck. Bad luck.

    But the department that by all accounts prevented success against Denmark is the defense. It is clear that the Austrian potential in this department is very low so in the short term there's not much room for improvement By league affiliation we basically have only two high profile defensemen: Pöck (NYI) and Andre Lakos (Chelyabinsk). Pöck was not available which has to be accepted as all comparable teams lack the one or the other of few NA based players. Andre Lakos was however one literally big disappointment - he made one mistake after the other and took lots of very unnecessary penalties. His brother played better than expected but that is mostly due to expectations being very low. Unterluggauer was ok imho but far from from where he was at his best. Rebek was one big source of danger for AUT playing absolutely disastrous. Werenka is known for his lack of speed but normally knows what to do with the puck - ironically his absolutely hilarious give away turned the game today. Oraze had fine moments and also big mistakes. Werenka
    Put together there was a d-corps overwhelmed by the speed of international competition and partly insufficient support by the forwards (yes, it takes all skaters to play good defense). AUT played a very good PK and one could see that the guys tried hard. But this worked out only in static boxplay situations as soon as attacks were fast with lateral movements of the opposition the lack of speed and agility of the defense was immediately obvious just as the weak performance from the point on the power play (which is usually a strength of this defense).
    That said, with such a weak performance of the whole defense it is no surprise that we could not get past Denmark. If the key players like Lakos, Werenka and Rebek had at least played in normal shape and with Robert Lukas and Elick on the team things might have been different. At least Bergström would have had options to replace the biggest dropouts.

    Goaltending was solid by Brückler. Maybe he reacted wrongly on the first goal of the Danes but overall he had four very good games (LAT, HUN, GER, DEN). Nothing to complain here.

    In the past Austrian teams had apparent problems with discipline off the ice and spirit in the locker room. I think this has not been an issue here. But the team was far second to Denmark with respect to handle giving up goals. The seond period began with Austria being in command and having consecutive PPs. These were not used and each was played worse then the one before. With Lakos serving Bödker the puck for the equalizer the confidence was visibly gone and the mental battle lost.

    Put together, bad perfromance of an in general not very strong defense plus the absence of too many key players together with the fact that it was 1 out of 3 instead 2 out of 4 was too much to overcome.

    In the mid to long term the only way to improve consistently is to focus on player development. EBEL as it is now did fairly well to integrate young players in the last two seasons. I even have the fear that the point rule will overemphasize young players such that they will lack competition and have an too easy way of going pro without having to invest enough in their skills.
    Where Austria loses ground to countries like Denmark and Norway is not integrating young players but bringing enough high quality players up. That's the fundamental problem. We don't have enough clubs with top notch youth programs. Austria nevertheless produces very good players sometimes but in total it is not enough. If we want to improve this is the way to go. EBEL is imho not a part of what has to be changed - at least not fundamentally.

  6. #56
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    great analasis.

    just my 2 grosch

    ebel = div1 league
    aus, hun, slo, cro :)

  7. #57
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    After the third strike in a row the newspaper "Kleine Zeitung" published certain details about the weak organisation and insufficient management of the national team by the Austrian federation:

    After more and more players became unavailable during the preparation campain the team leadership wanted to call Salzburg forward Manuel Latusa who had a pretty good season for the Red Bulls (and many observers wondered why he was not selected). Latusa was basically willing to join the team but he had already booked his holidays in the Caribbean and the federation refused to pay for the cancellation fee which was as high as 2.400 Euro.-

    The Austrian team was the only squad without an off ice team uniform - the federation claimed it couldn't afford one because a sponsor has withdrawn his committment.

    The players were left without any information about how they would be compensated for taking part in the campain. Only after they directly demanded to be informed they were told to be paid a little under 3.000 Euro.

    That financial difficulties are related with the insurance payment for Thomas Vanek. As Vanek is one of the best paid players in the NHL the federation had to pay extra for his insurance. Basically I'm happy that he joined in and that this money was spent but unfortunately he played very different than what one would expect from a NHL top earner.

    In total this doesn't shed a good light on how the national team is run and maybe explains why some usually well performing key players did so lousy.

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