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Ice hockey – Play-off 2022: editorial predictions

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The members of the hockey section of the morning.ch get wet, as the quarter-finals begin this Wednesday evening with a Zurich – Biel.

Will Leonardo Genoni and the Zugois achieve the double?

Andy Mueller/freshfocus

Cyrill Pasche

LMS

Zug – Lugano 4-1

HC Lugano has been in a positive dynamic since qualifying for the play-offs against GE Servette. But the reigning Swiss champion has more depth (four competitive blocks) and above all the best goalkeeper in the country (Genoni, six championship titles). The route of the Bianconeri will end here.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 4-2

The LHC is on the rise and FR Gottéron had a complicated end to the regular season (six defeats). The temptation is therefore great to bet on Lausanne, especially since Friborg has not passed a play-off round for… eight years! Regardless, Gottéron will qualify because he has the most balanced team and the best individuals.

Zurich – Biel 4-3

A HC Bienne on the tails side or the tails side? This is always the big question with the team of Antti Törmänen, which you never know if it will blow hot or cold. The same question is also valid for the Zurich Lions, a moody and unpredictable formation. Qualification of the “ZSC” at the end of the suspense.

Rapperswil – Davos 0-4

Davos rely on a strong quartet of foreigners and a keeper (Aeschlimann) who has proven his worth in the regular season. Rapperswil is the nice surprise of the current exercise, but the Saint-Gallois, dependent on Cervenka and goalkeeper Nyffeler, will not repeat their exploits of last spring (semi-finalists).

The champion: Zürich

Jerome Reynard

LMS

Zug – Lugano 4-2

The collective of the defending champion will end up making the difference in this series, where Leonardo Genoni will be the other great asset of the Zugois. The EVZ finished the regular season with five losses? He has enough experience and talent to restart the machine for the play-offs.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 4-3

Like Zug, Friborg (6 consecutive losses at the end of the qualifying round) is capable of reviving for the play-offs. But the “new” Lausanne is equipped to cause him many problems, in the game as well as in the physical and provocation domains. Building on their victory over Ambri in the pre-play-off, the Lions will have the advantage of pace and confidence at the start, but the state of freshness could be the difference in the end. Like homogeneity.

Zurich – Biel 4-2

It is the other big favorite for the title with Zug. And Zurich will assume its status. The ZSC Lions have gained momentum in 2022 (2.16 points per game on average) and they will be ready to show their obvious intrinsic qualities from the quarter-finals.

Rapperswil – Davos 4-3

This series has several unknowns including the following: will Rappi confirm his magnificent regular season in the play-off? Not impossible, given what the Lakers had already achieved twelve months ago (semi-finals). In the end, Stefan Hedlund will win his duel from a distance with Christian Wohlwend.

The champion: Zug

Chris Geiger

Sebastien Anex.

Zug – Lugano 3-4

The reigning Swiss champion will not keep his crown. Grégory Hofmann and his teammates, who ended their regular season in freewheel (five consecutive defeats), will not be able to restart the machine in time against a Ticino formation in rhythm and euphoria.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 1-4

Beaten during the last six days of the championship, the Dragons will nevertheless leave with the status of favorites following their fine second place. A label historically difficult to wear on the side of the BCF Arena. The Lions, whose confidence has only grown in 2022, will be happy to take advantage of it.

Zurich – Biel 4-1

The Zurich formation will compost their ticket for the last four of the play-offs without too much problem. Rikard Grönborg can count on an experienced squad and a veritable attacking armada. The Seelanders will have absolutely nothing to lose, but they will struggle to compete on bench depth.

Rapperswil – Davos 2-4

Saint-Gallois and Grisons will struggle to exist on the outside, but Christian Wohlwend’s men will manage to win once away from their base. For the HCD, which can pride itself on having a quartet of talented foreigners, the key to the series will certainly lie in its ability to muzzle Roman Cervenka.

The champion: Zürich

Simon Meier

LMS

Zug – Lugano 4-2

After a complicated warm-up against the well-launched Bianconeri, Zug will gently consolidate its hold on the series. In other words: the ingredients that were enough to beat a feverish GE Servette will not be such as to make the champion tremble.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 4-3

Two teams capable of the best and the worst, two ice rinks conducive to incandescent delirium, all under a cascade of emotions. The series will go in all directions and Gottéron will find at the right time what made its strength during the regular season.

Zurich – Biel 3-4

Zurich, winner of three of the four duels played during the regular season, will confirm the trend by starting the series with their feet on the floor. But Bienne, strong in its past mistakes, will not panic and will end up dropping the shoulder.

Rapperswil – Davos 1-4

Last season’s sensation, this year’s confirmation, Rappi is about to become a victim of his own success. Oddly placed in a costume of favorites that suits them badly, the Saint-Gallois will lose the magic. Davos, in ambush, will take advantage of it.

The champion: Zug

Gregoire Surdez

LMS

Zug – Lugano 2-4

The sacred union was sealed in the Luganese locker room. After a disappointing season, some freedom was given to the leaders of the Corner Arena who threw their weight in the pre-play-off against GE Servette. Justin Abdelkader (champion with Zug in 2021) will be the one who will extinguish Jan Kovar. The key to the series? The look. If Lugano has reserves, he could create a sensation.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 1-4

A team was born, the LHC, while another, Friborg Gottéron, seemed to be slowly dying out. The end of the season leaves a big doubt about the state of the Dragons, who completed the exercise with six losses (3 goals scored!). Will Christian Dubé’s men be able to take off again? At the Vaudoise Arena, the lights are green and the vital signs are obvious. Pleasure, solidarity, humility. It’s new. The X factor? Aurélien Marti will trip Chris DiDomenico.

Zurich – Biel 3-4

Arguably the tightest quarterback. Bienne felt the wind from the pre-play-off ball caress the back of her neck. Narrowly qualified in 6th place, the Bernese were able to produce the effort and remain solid in the last two games. Zurich, he remains on a failure in 2021. He is under pressure and showed, precisely last year, that he did not like it too much.

Rapperswil – Davos 4-1

Rapperswil surprised everyone twelve months ago by reaching the last four. He won’t surprise anyone this time around. If Roman Cervenka evolves on his cloud, Davos will have a hard time existing. Graubünden struggled in 2022 and never seemed to find a real playing identity. In the play-off, Christian Wohlwend’s pats on the back to his players will no longer be enough.

The champion: Lausanne

Christian Maillard

Photo LUCIEN FORTUNATI
Lucien FORTUNATI

Zug – Lugano 3-4

Chris McSorley, who savored a sweet revenge during the preplay-off against his former club GE Servette, does not intend to stop there. His HC Lugano, which is gaining momentum, can count on the experience of former Zugois Alatalo and Abdelkader. Enough to physically challenge the inflated defending champion. It’s up to the people of Ticino to solve the Genoni enigma.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 4-3

The Dragon, on fire for three quarters of the season, has lost its luster in its last six outings that have resulted in six defeats. But in play-off, we erase everything and start again. Faced with an LHC that went through all the moods against Ambri, the people of Friborg should regain the efficiency that made them a formidable opponent, especially in front of their home crowd.

Zurich – Biel 4-3

With a plethoric contingent, Zurich, eliminated in the semi-finals by Geneva last year, has no right to miss out during these play-offs. The upscale Limmat club has been waiting for a title since 2014. Biel, freewheeling in February, narrowly escaped the preplay-off. The Iceland goalkeeper Joren van Pottelberghe, victim of a charge against Zug ten days ago, will be replaced by Dimitri Shikin. This will be the key to this series.

Rapperswil – Davos 4-2

Behind a well-balanced and quality bench, the excellent coach Stefan Hedlund has improved the Lakers on the momentum of last season (semi-finals). Around talented young players, who have gained confidence, Roman Cervenka who makes his teammates better, gives his team a chance to win every night. The Saint-Gallois will be difficult to get.

The champion: Lugano

Julien Boegli

LMS

Zug – Lugano 4-1

The defending champion took advantage of the relaxation of Gottéron to steal the first place at the end of the regular season. An almost anecdotal fact for this collective built to win a new title. Getting ousted in the first round of the playoffs is an inconceivable prospect for the central Swiss club. The Ticinese of McSorley will have no trouble hanging on, they do not have the technical quality of their opponent.

FR Gottéron – Lausanne 4-3

A missed end of the championship and ten days without playing will serve the people of Friborg at the start of the play-off. They will end up qualifying hard against a liberated and more legged LHC, but which will still have to drop the case in front of a rival who always finds a way to impose himself in front of his public when it counts.

Zurich – Biel 4-3

With the return to play of captain Gaëtan Haas and the precious Russian defender Alex Yakovenko, recently ill, with that of the injured artist Damien Brunner, Biel can integrate the last four. The face shown by the HCB will depend in part on the state of form of the trio. In front of the cage, will the Russian Dimitri Shikin manage to make people forget the absence of Joren van Pottelberghe?

Rapperswil – Davos 3-4

This series is the meeting of two men. Roman Cervenka, the league’s leading scorer, will manage to lead Rappi’s Lakers to a second “half” in a row, unless Sandro Aeschlimann, Davos’ guardian angel, decides otherwise.

The champion: Zug

(Sport Center)

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