The polar bears have great artistic freedom in the final sprint for the play-off places these days. Even a mixed performance was enough for the Berliners on Tuesday evening at the Fischtown Pinguins to reduce the gap in tenth place to two points two games before the end of the main round in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL).
The fact that the 2:3 after a penalty shoot-out was ultimately of value for the Berliners was solely due to the fact that the tenth-placed Frankfurt Lions did even worse than the Eisbären and, completely overwhelmed, slipped into a 1:5 against the Kölner Haie. Schwenningen also only got one point in Düsseldorf (2:3 after a penalty shoot-out), while Iserlohn has probably already said goodbye to vacation with a brisk 3:8 at the very possible next champion Munich.
It’s exciting, yes. But also adventurous. The teams in the DEL, which are still fighting for the last place in the first round of the play-offs (Nuremberg has been through since Tuesday in ninth place), don’t look as if they really belong there. It takes a lot of imagination to imagine that whoever cheats through to tenth place at the weekend then makes it to the quarter-finals or even further.
Anyway, it’s exciting
But of course there is still hope for sudden great deeds, especially with the champions from Berlin, who can still hide a messed-up main round before things like the rebuilding of the team start after the probable early end in the play-offs. In the meantime, it is well known that goalkeeper Tobias Ancicka is moving to Cologne and that there is also a lot to do for sports director Stéphane Richer, who has recently had a little luck with personnel policy.
Anyway, it’s exciting. For the polar bears especially because Leo Pföderl is now scoring again. Twice on Tuesday in Bremerhaven, which didn’t impress his coach. Serge Aubin was, you don’t usually know that from him, fretted, spoke of “desperate ice hockey” and said: “I didn’t like the game today, especially not the first two thirds. We weren’t ready to play this game. I’m satisfied with one point, but not with our performance.” The amazing thing is that the performance can actually still be valuable.
The polar bears still have two games left, on Friday in Augbsurg and on Sunday at home against Schwenningen. Predictions about the outcome are forbidden, six points for the Berliners would be rather surprising. However, the competition in the fight for tenth place, measured by their most recent performances, will probably not be able to pull through cheerfully. That could be decisively good for the Berliners.
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