Switzerland: National team discussion

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by stv11, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. stv11 Registered User

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    The "Swiss young guns" thread started to become a national team discussion, so I thought creating one was a good idea. Now the other thread can be kept for young players discussions.

    To hopefully start some good debates, I will post what would be my best possible Swiss national team. Feel free to criticize:



    So, I would base my team around some lines that have worked well in recent international tournaments: The Ambühl-Monnet-Brunner one who was impressive at the 2010 WC, the Lemm-Jeannin-Wick one based on their play at the 2009 WC and the Vancouver Olympics, the Plüss-Rüthemann duo and the Lötscher-Trachsler-Moser line from the last WC. Some tweakings would obviously be necessary: Lötscher is unavailable and may never play as well as last season, some positions such as Trachsler's and Lemm's could be upgrader, and someone has to play with Plüss and Rüthemann. Now let's see who's available:


    Ryan Gardner: He's been tried with Plüss and Rüthemann in two tournaments, and the results were disappointing. I think those two work better with a physical player along them and thus would pass on Gardner.

    Thomas Déruns: He's been a fixture on the national team for quite some times now, and if until 2009 it was a bit questionable, since 2010 he's been an important part of it. Could be the third guy on the Plüss-Rüthemann line, or could play on the fourth line.

    Paul Savary: Does his job well, but I don't see him as an upgrade over anyone, neither as a center nor as a winger.

    Kevin Romy: Got his share of critics, but his combination of strength and skill is rare among Swiss centers. The fact that he's finally having a good season does help his case. Could be an upgrade on Trachsler.

    Patrick Bärtschi: Hasn't featured much in the national team lately, so it's hard to know where he would fit. Good offensive player, but I think there are better options.

    Hnat Domenichelli: Isn't the skater he was before his knee injury, but his goal scoring skills are hard to pass on.

    Matthias Bieber: Had a good tournament last season and can be an interesting player in the future, but we have better options now.

    Andrei Bykov: Seems like he reached a new level this season. Great skater but untested at the international level. Although a big part of his success can be attributed to the chemistry in his line, I think his individual skills can definitely be used.

    Julien Sprunger: Discussed in the other thread. Not a big fan of what he's shown in the national team so far, and in my opinion not strong neither quick enough.

    Paolo Duca: Not as good as he was two seasons ago, and doesn't really have any top notch skill. He's a good player to have at the WC, but I don't think he'd fit in the best possible national team.

    Peter Guggisberg: Great wheels and some goal scoring instinct, but his lack of national team experience makes me wonder where I would fit him.

    Fabian Schnyder: Hard to pass on his chemistry with Brunner, I think he'll be a fixture in the national team from now on.

    Bjorn Christen: Smart and strong player with some talent, maybe the right guy to play with Plüss and Rüthemann.

    Inti Pestoni: Good offensive instinct, but I think his other skills are too limited for him to be efficient at the international level.

    Dino Wieser: Good forechecker, but that's not exactly a role in which we are weak.

    And last but not least, Nino Niederreiter: I obviously have to fit him somewhere. Fast and physical with some good offensive skills, maybe I finally found the best guy to play with Plüss and Rüthemann.


    And now to the final lineup: I'm too much of a fan of what the Ambühl-Brunner-Monnet line showed in 2010 to change it. That would mean there's no place for Schnyder, though. Then we have the Plüss-Rüthemann line. I think Niederreiter fits well here, which would leave the other options like Déruns or Christen available for the physical line. Then there is the Wick-Jeannin-Lemm line. Wick and Jeannin should be locks to make the team, but I'm not sure Lemm's chemistry with Wick is enough to keep him, even though I like the player. Maybe Domenichelli would do well here? Then there's the fourth line. I like Romy over Trachsler here, and I think Déruns is a lock for the forechecking role (I'd like to base that line on the Rüthemann-Ziegler-Paterlini one that worked pretty well for years, with two strong guys and a great forechecker), and the other spot would be for Christen or Moser. I would choose the latter because of the great season he's having. Now a player I would really like to fit somewhere is Bykov, but as I said before, I'm not breaking the Ambühl-Monnet-Brunner line nor the Plüss-Rüthemann combo (although Plüss is the guy he could replace, no way I'm letting Martin off the team). He's obviously not fit for the fourth line or to replace Niederreiter, so that would let the Jeannin line available. Maybe he could play on the wing here, and we could have Domenichelli as a 13th forward who could provide some timely offense. Which would give us:

    Rüthemann - Plüss - Niederreiter
    Brunner - Monnet - Ambühl
    Bykov - Jeannin - Wick
    Déruns - Romy - Moser
    Domenichelli

    Ouch, that was long. I think I'll come back later for the defense! ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  2. stv11 Registered User

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    Ok, now I'll have a look at the defense. It's harder that it seems, there are many puck moving guys but we could use some Sbisa clones.


    Streit, Sbisa and Diaz are obviously locks. Now the other guys available:

    Roman Josi: I don't know how the injuries are affecting him, but he's hard to pass on.

    Yannick Weber: Wasn't a big fan, but he has proven me wrong. Is having a pretty good season start. The hardest part could be to find him the right partner.

    Patrick Von Gunten: I obviously haven't seen him this season, but no reason to doubt he's no longer a smart player with a good first pass, though that's not exactly what we are missing.

    Félicien Du Bois: Another smart player with a good first pass, but after seeing him play a lot of WC games, I feel like he's a bit limited when playing against top teams.

    Julien Vauclair: With his strong stride when carrying the puck, he can be a difference maker in games against lower teams, but his style isn't as efficient against better opposition. The poor season he's having isn't helping either.

    Goran Bezina: Never liked him, weak skater and poor at handling the puck.

    Steve Hirschi: Good player to have, can do pretty much everything efficiently, though none of his skills is top notch.

    Severin Blindenbacher: Is no longer the defensive liability he was early in his career, and can still provide some offense. Can provide a right hand shot on the power play.

    Beat Gerber: Good defensive guy, though he doesn't have the skating and first pass most of the other defs have.

    Matthias Seger: Has been a great national team player, but I'm afraid he's best years are behind him and he can't provide anything more than what newer guys bring.


    I've never been a big fan of playing my two best defensemen together, but in this case Streit and Sbisa are too much of a good fit. Then Diaz should obviously play on the 2nd pair, and Weber is just doing too well to stay off the team, but I can't see them playing together. The other guys I'm considering are Josi, Blindenbacher, Hirschi and Von Gunten (In my opinion, Bezina, Vauclair, Seger and Du Bois are just not as good. Regarding Gerber, I simply prefer defensmen with some puck skills). I think Josi doesn't have the experience needed to be paired with Weber, while Blindenbacher shouldn't be played in a defensive role. Out of Von Gunten and Hirschi, I think the latter's experience playing with Nummelin makes him the right guy for that job. For the last spot, I like Blindenbacher to play with Diaz, and Josi for the 7th spot, though it's very hard to let Von Gunten out:

    Streit-Sbisa
    Diaz-Blindenbacher
    Weber-Hirschi
    Josi


    My goalie would be Hiller and Gerber of course, and the number three spot would be a coin toss between Stephan and Genoni, which Stephan would win.

    Ok, now you can start flaming my choices :D
     
  3. ares89 Registered User

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    I didn't take a look at the offense, but the defense looks ok.
    Some changes I would do are diaz- josi and weber - blindenbacher, i know it looks hazardous, but I have more confidence in Josi then in Hirschi.
    I would also take one of the younger goalies as Nr. 2 (genoni / stephan) instead of gerber to give them a platform to show what they can.
    This were my thoughts, but it could be a little bit too much offense
     
  4. jonas2244 Registered User

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    So we speak about the best possible selection at the moment.

    Goalies:
    By far Hiller/Gerber. #3 goes to Stephan.

    Defence:
    Not much to discuss here also, the 5 guys from NA and Blindenbacher. 7th D-place would go to Du Bois or Von Gunten.

    Offence:
    A lot more to discuss here. :)
    Rüthemann is struggling these days, in my team he wouldn't get an offensive role anymore. Didn't see much of Jeannin also, if he's in a good shape he may profit of the rarity of good centers. But he also isn't getting younger.

    So, my team:

    Hiller/Gerber/Stephan

    Streit - Sbisa
    Diaz - Weber
    Josi - Blindenbacher
    Von Gunten

    Wick - Plüss - Niederreiter
    Brunner - Monnet - Ambühl
    Rüthemann - Jeannin - Dominichelli
    Déruns - Romy - Moser
    Gardner

    Bykov may replace Monnet, Sprunger could catch Hnats or Ivos place. Sven Bärtschi could also be a candidate, it's difficult to say how far he is, but he surely has skills we are missing.
     
  5. swisdan Registered User

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    My choice is pretty the same yours. However, it's sure Josi would have his spot in the team. The defense part is pretty easy. But i would consider Bezina too. His physical touch could be interesting. If by miracle, we have your 5 mercenary for the team: Bezina, Von Gunten or Blindenbacher. But i think i choice Blindy.

    For the forwards, it's harder. I like the check line Deruns, Romy and Moser. Rüthemann and Monnet struggle a lot. Is Ruthemann become to old? It's possible. But i think i take only Plüss in that mystic duo. For the offensive line, the Bykov/Sprunger season is too impressive to ignore them, especially because it's a pretty young line. But if i have to choice for the 3 others lines (the checkline is settled), let's go like this:

    Wick - Plüss - Brunner
    Sprunger - Bykov - Niederreiter
    Lemm - Jeannin - Ambuehl

    Lemm and Jeannin are questionnable.


    But don't forget it's a dream, with the injuries and others stuffs, we'll never see that entire squad!
     
  6. tycho Registered User

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  7. Elverpond Registered User

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    anyone think that this weekend's Pokal was a waste of time? clearly nobody had their best selection. this is obvious when germany edges usa 1-0
    I must say however that Inti Pestoni look like he could be a solid player in the future.
    thoughts on either of these topics?
     
  8. jonas2244 Registered User

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    Nice goal by Pestoni, indeed. Also Berra looked quite solid. I saw yesterdays game vs. USA. Wasn't impressed by Bykov, Walker showed much more than I expected, could maybe turn into a solid player for the 4th line. Overall it was a solid performance by those who were there, I think Slovakia and Germany were much nearer to their top (european)-lineup than Switzerland was.
     
  9. Krotak is the Legend

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    Man, maybe it looked like that, but the truth is really different. There were only 4 players from Slovak top European team (Graňák, Hossa, Starosta and Baranka). 16 top players denied invitation...
    There were 8 players from Slovak and 7 players from Czech Extraliga and youngsters from Slovak league scored 6 of 10 goals of Slovak team. It was a big surprise in Slovakia.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  10. jonas2244 Registered User

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    Looks like we'll may have Hiller, Sbisa, Streit and Niederreiter at WC 2012. :)

    And still we have 3 Swiss forwards leading the scoring list in the NLA (Brunner with 31 points in 23 games, Bykov 28/24 and Sprunger 27/25).
    Very impressive also the numbers of Simon Moser who already has more points than last year in the regular season. I also noticed Kevin Romy who hast 0.73 points/game, which is much better than he ever was. I always liked his talent as a defensive center, if he's able to get points also he could be a lock for the national team.

    And a quick look on the Defence, Eric Blum already with 15 points (last year he had 20). Blindenbacher is not back at the level he had in his last season with the ZSC (0.72 p/g, now 0.48 p/g).
    But it's quite interesting that most of our Top-End Defensive talent plays elsewhere (NA or Sweden) while our Top Attackers (beside Niederreiter/Bärtschi) still play in Switzerland. I hope that they'll change that.

    If you watch at very young players (under 20) who scored we have Vermin and Bertschy topping the list (13p/21 g and 8p/12 g), then Walser and Simion with 5 points each (Walser already has 4 goals). And we have only 2 defenders who played most of the games for their teams (Samuel Guerra/Davos and Christian Martin/Kloten). Second round draft Hofmann scored his first goal this weekend, I hope he can step up now.
     
  11. Mattia Mei Registered User

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    List for 14 dic in slovenia and for Austria cup:

    Berra Reto (Biel), Gerber Martin (Växjö/SWE).

    Bezina Goran (Servette), Blindenbacher Severin (ZSC Lions), Chiesa Alessandro (Zug), Furrer Philippe (Bern), Hirschi Steve (Lugano), Loeffel Romain (Fribourg), Seger Mathias (ZSC Lions), Wellinger Thomas (Biel).

    Ambühl Andres (ZSC Lions), Bykov Andrej (Fribourg), Christen Björn (Zug), Déruns Thomas (Bern), Moser Simon (SCL Tigers), Pestoni Inti (Ambri), Plüss Martin (Bern), Rubin Daniel (Servette), Rüthemann Ivo (Bern), Sprunger Julien (Fribourg), Suri Reto (Rapperswil), Trachsler Morris (Servette).

    Can't understand if this only is another try, or simpson is looking at WCs: where is Brunner?
     
  12. jonas2244 Registered User

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    Brunner played in November in Germany and it is an agreement that the top-players only have to play one tournament for the swiss team.
     
  13. Elverpond Registered User

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    The Swiss team could be great at the WC this year, Anaheim, Montreal and NYI are not making the playoffs.
     
  14. torero Registered User

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    Meaning that the best (ex Brunner) will be playing 1 tournament + WC + Olympics in a year ?
    i didn't know that.
    Smart to use the national team not as a absolute end objective but as a mean to improve the national level.

    I am sure that MTL will make the playoffs, ANA may still make them if they finally find the click ...
    I agree about the Islanders ... , The Predators should make the playoffs.

    On the other hand, I found it not bad when we only had our NLA guys. That gives them the opportunity to show up and to play higher level opponents.

    And it puts fire on the NHL - NLA debate which is always funny to think that our LNA guys may beat full rosters of NHL players. Absolutely contradicting all theories and bla blas ... of big speciallists pretending that the NLA guys have an AHL level !
    (i am saying NHL - NLA ... but it is not exclusively NLA ... it is more general NLA vs all other "minor"(or lower salary) leagues)
    It is funny because the number of wins of NLA guys vs NHL guys has become so much in favour of NLA guys (in regard of what it should be considering the difference in level) that statistics make no sense anymore. The whole model would be back end loaded to the point that, in order to have a decent return to the mean, we should lose all games for the 10 years ahead.
     
  15. stv11 Registered User

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    Sure it's nice to have NLA guys showing what they can do and getting a chance to play in the NHL, but what's the point of them getting used to a better level if they can't show it in the national team?
     
  16. torero Registered User

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    I still believe that Switzerland is in a launching phase. It needs to export players access to a good level and to maintain it.

    EXEMPLE : i was champion in Kung fu thai boxing here in Switzerland. After that i spent almost a year in Thailand training Muay Thai. Coming back i simply didn't have the same dimension. After some years of training her in Switzerland in different places (which i absolutely dominated in fighting ... i wouldn't say it of course ) i took over a club and ... unsurprisingly my guys started after 1.5 to 2 years to make very good results in the competitions they would go to. My broader dimension would start paying fruits ... more than only for me.

    Swiss hockey needs to have more exports, to come back and be coach in Switzerland. That is a 20 year process. We are at the beginning of it with the armada of young guys going to NA. What Pokechecker (Roost) suggests, which is to import foreign trainers at a junior level is ok ... but it is a temporary ersatz. Long term level, which means culture of good hockey will come when the 35-40 year old trainers will have international experience.

    It is like a company, that has to diminish its earnings to invest, in order to guarantee future good earnings.

    On the other side i would also like to see our Swiss team finally finish with a bronze medal or something like that.
    But even their, in the last years, a medal seems doable with our NLA guys.

    I am convinced that on a per dollar invested basis, we are amongst the most efficient countries in hockey. Our heads are doing a very good job.

    I stop their because I could write down .... for hours and hours.
     
  17. Elverpond Registered User

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    if switzerland has hiller, sbisa, weber, diaz, streit and niederreiter at this years WC, then third place is doable.

    also, @Torero
    any good places on the internet to read about swiss hockey history?
    i was looking at rosters of past competitions on wiki and i noticed we have two olympic medals from a long time ago, sure but still i dont know when the drop off happened or were those medals pure luck?
     
  18. Mattia Mei Registered User

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    There was that thing called war.....involving Usa, Urss, Canada, Cecoslovakia, Finland.....
     
  19. stv11 Registered User

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    It was another time, when international hockey was amateur, before the USSR started to play the game. Those medals weren't luck at the time, more like the result of a different context.
     
  20. Systemfel <b><i>Hockey Talk by Country</b></i>

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    PVG has been nothing but awesome this season. Like you said, he's an extremely heady hockey player, and has been virtually unbeatable one-on-one. He's also brought a surprisingly physical game and is set to sign an extension shortly.
     
  21. torero Registered User

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    Great to hear this from Von Gunten ... ! i thought the contract was already inked ! so soon. tks for your feed back.

    How is Gerber doing ? in statisticks he is being 6th with a 92.something %save with a team that just accessed to the Elitserien. Seems ok. but quality wise ... are Vaxjo Lakers happy with him ? is he essential ? or rather benefiting of a good system allowing for shots channeled to make routine saves ?
     
  22. Systemfel <b><i>Hockey Talk by Country</b></i>

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    Gerber has been playing very well. Bit worse now than at the start, though. Same as the team. Växjö probably has the worst group of defensemen in the league and only two SEL goalies have faced more shots than Gerber.
     
  23. Belenos Registered User

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    If Berra continues like that, he will be part of the WC team. Incredibly strong, huge saves every game and the main reason Biel is doing well right now.
     
  24. stv11 Registered User

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    Not sure about this, I think Gerber, Stephan and Genoni still are ahead of him (and of course Hiller if available), but he would be my next choice if one of them declines to play.
     
  25. Mattia Mei Registered User

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    you are right

    but against team US Berra showed what is possible whit the good size: the difference between a talented but little goalie and a talented and high.
     

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