Slovakia lost in their Home Arena

In a crowded Orange Arena I saw Slovakia lose vs Germany late yesterday evening. Germany was the better TEAM and it did not help that Slovakia has a better Line up individually. A lot of the Slovaks so called “Stars” was a big disapoinment. To be out on the ice, looking as if you are the greatest Ice Hockey Player ever, could be ok IF you give 100% of yourself. Some of the Players that I’ve seen play in Sweden was just as big disapointments that what I’ve seen of them before. Players like Granak, Bartecko, Strbk etc etc should be ashamed of themselves. Germany although was playing smart and scored on the chances that was given to them.

I mentioned in my speach on the IIHF Symposium Friday, that I have coached five or six Slovak Players through the years. They have great offensive skills but their defensive skills are brutally bad. It was exactly what the Slovak Team showed yesterday. So when the stars can’t score on  the chances that they creat then sooner or later the oponents will be given chances from the Slovaks – who is everywhere and nowhere in the defence. It looked in fact like a “Chicken Farm” in the Slovaks defensive end.

Anyway I must say – once again – that Germany played well. Good defence with a lot of good basics and they were good in keeping the oponents outside the slot. The goalie did what he should and when SLK was forcing, for a tie up goal, in the end of the game he stood up very good for his Team. In fact it was much closer that GER should have scored a few more goals in the empty net than it was that the SLK should tie the game. In the German Team the Player “Tipp” was awarded MVP of the game. He was one of the offensive players that could execute when the scoring chances was given. Well done!

The whole arrangement around the Game was super. The crowd were outstanding and they supported their team very well, even when it didn’t work out the way that they wanted – or expected………

Full speed from start in the media cube, the musik etc etc made the whole thing to an experience that every spectator should be satisfied with. This is something that I really believe can be better in the Swedish Arenas. Send the people that is in charge of this things to take a look here – and other Arenas in middle and south of Europe. We can learn an make a lot of improvements.

The game was followed up with some friends from the symposium and some other very nice people of USA Hockey staff. The discussions was VERY interesting – both from a work ethic side and from a more friendly side. I can mention that in the US and Canada they can also tell some good Coach stories from “real life”. Some of the old Fairy Tales that we have in Sweden from legends like Abris and Nygren fitted very well into the level – and we all have some new good laughs to bring home.

Seriously I also got some new ideas regarding my job in Linköpings Hockey Club and for Swedish Ice Hockey. Talking with these Ice Hockey people makes me feel confident in what I and we are working for in Linköping and Östergötland. The americans and Canadiens have heard a lot of what we are creating and they are, in fact, impressed. They are also taking over a lot of things from the Swedish Development Programme and that should make us all proud in what we are doing.

Time to work again – see you later.

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International Ice Hockey Coach. Born 1956 Married "In good shape"
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