Puckarinen Hits A Post
Entries with the tag: elitserien
Pressure – pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure - that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
– Queen, “Under pressure”
Playoff race is on, and for many teams, that means that the pressure, too, is on. But going for a playoff spot and missing it, while sure a disappointing experience, is nothing compared to the pressure that a team trying to avoid relegation feels.
Even with the pressure, a missed playoff spot is just a missed opportunity to get to the throne. Life goes on.
A relegation form the top division, on the other hand, is the end, a complete dismissal from the court, a disaster on all levels.
That’s why Stockholm’s Djurgården (and its fans) are starting to feel the panic. Even the thought of playing for their spot in the Elitserien is frightening, even if there’s still a good chance that they will finish in the top 2 of the double round-robin against the best teams in the second division, and play in the Elitserien next season as well.
Fighting’s been a hot topic in many hockey markets recently. The KHL has had its share of it with the Vityaz team creating havoc on and off the ice, and not for the first time - and dare I predict - not for the last. The Wikipedia tells me that Vityaz “is a Russian term for a valiant warrior or knight [and] usually given to a man who owns a horse and proves himself in battle”. Now the KHL is looking to take the horses away from some of the Vityaz players, making them take a walk from the league.
In the Finnish SM-liiga, Helsinki IFK and Lahti Pelicans broke the league record in penalty minutes in a game when fights broke out in three separate occasions within eight seconds (of time on the game clock), including 16 players. The league disciplinary committee handed out suspensions to 14 players and both head coaches, Petri Matikainen (HIFK) and Kai Suikkanen (Pelicans).
Between the actual incident and the suspensions, the hockey fight debate was already in full swing.
This is apparently what happened: HV71’s Daniel Rahimi and Färjestad’s Czech defenseman Martin Sevc got into an bit of a scrap which ended with Sevc using a racial slur. The linesman heard it, and Sevc was thrown out of the game.
Växjö’s coach Janne Karlsson was upset with a goal that Linköping scored on overtime and he flipped the finger. His defense was that he wasn’t sending any messages to the referee, but to Andreas Jämtin, a Linköping player who Karlsson said had disrespected him.
When Skellefteås Fredrik Styrman visited his former team, Luleå, for the first time, the local fans welcomed him by chanting “Styrman will be taken out of the ice on a stretcher”.
And that’s just last week. Apparently, Sweden’s not all IKEA meatballs and Pippi Longstocking.
It’s the NHL week in Europe, that time of the year when the National Hockey League big machine rolls into Europe and gives hockey fans a taste of the big league/s.
This year, the NHL Premiere, and the training camps that precede the regular season openers, sees NHL teams play in Helsinki, Hamburg, Mannheim, Berlin, Bratislava, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Zug, and Prague. That’s four teams playing 11 games in Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
And with the flags waving, and the people cheering, the obvious question is: could it be done all the time? Is there room for the Helsinki Fins or the Stockholm Swede? Or, more importantly, would the marketplace support an NHL team?