MUNICH – After two loses against Mannheim and Cologne and two wins against Iserlohn and Berlin, the EHC stayed in the midfield of the league and still the surprise act of the German Elite League.
If you were to put your money on one team, the EHC Red Bull Munich might well be the safe bet. Not because Munich wins every game rather the results are so predictable.
Two wins are usually followed by two losses and then two wins with just one exception. If it’s an away game in Hamburg, you have to ignore the 2-2-2 rule and just look to the results of the last year. Munich has never won in Hamburg and the games have always ended with just a one-goal differential. With this information, you could be a rich man.
EHC won against the Iserlohn Roosters in a hard fought game, 5-4, and at home against last year champion, Berlin, 4-2. In both games, it looked like EHC was back on track for a fight for playoff positioning.
But just a week later, it turned back into the old scheme. The big stars from North America, Matt Smaby and Jon DiSalvatore, were prevented from skating as they can and the younger Germans were overextended with the game plan of head coach Pierre Pagé.
So, Munich lost against bottom-dweller, Düsseldorf, 0-4 at home in a dreadful game. Two days later the fans wanted to see a positive reaction from the team in the derby against Ingolstadt. It just took two minutes until Ingolstadt scored the first goal and the EHC was breaking apart again. The match ended 1-4, Jon DiSalvatore scored the lone goal three minutes before the game ended.
After a week where Pagé worked the players harder than they ever have been, the traditional road loss in Hamburg took place. And traditionally, the EHC was the better team with the better chances but the Hamburg Freezers won the game.
Daniel Sparre scored the lead goal but just two minutes later a shot from Thomas Oppenheimer tied the score, 1-1. In the last period, Hamburg scored two goals and the EHC had to run after the second. And it was Jon DiSalvatore again who scored, but unfortunately just 4 seconds before the end of the game.
The next game is the important derby against the Augsburg Panthers. If this game will be lost, the team, the management and the coach are in the fire of the newspapers and the fans, you can bet on this.