EV Zug and this burden … it’s modern professional sport! – Leading sport | Swiss ice hockey magazine

Zug is the 2018-19 finalist and has gotten a lot stronger. We think it’s safe to say that the Bulls have, on paper, the best training in their history.

Switzerland’s top goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni has joined the club from Bern. And players like Gregory Hofmann – one of the most feared strikers of the moment – Eric Thorell – an importer who has everything to make a difference – and the talented Jérôme Bachofner.

All these arrivals make up for the big losses of, among others, Tobias Stephan, Dennis Everberg, Garrett Roe, Reto Suri and Dominic Lammer.

In such cases it is quite common to say that for Zug… any result that is not the title victory, is a failure. But is it really?

First of all, we would never use the word “failure” in sports. Even more when we talk about the Swiss National League. This is because – as we saw last season – in Switzerland the line between success and failure is very thin. In addition, we must never forget that there are also opponents there … very competitive opponents. In particular, Bern and ZSC Lions… which, even if it seems to have something less compared to Zug on paper, have all the assets to win the title.

Finally, we talk about ice hockey and professional sports. Suddenly everything can change during the playoffs. And in modern professional sport, with the mindset that makes all the difference, you just need to let your guard down for a moment and you risk bursting into bitter tears.

So let’s not forget the pressure. Zug will be under tremendous pressure throughout the season and every underperformance will be criticized by most … it’s because a lot of people, way too many people take it for granted that if you have a great team (on paper ) is synonymous with success. Or rather, it’s synonymous with MUST win.

Again, why do you HAVE to win? Guys, we are talking about sports after all.

The example comes to mind when there are athletics matches… some of them are defined as “disappointing” if no world record is broken. But why? The beauty of sport is competition, the will to go beyond your limits, the will to win! It doesn’t matter if the world records are broken or not? World records broken are usually only good for headlines.

But back to ice hockey… There are 12 National League teams that fight every night to win. And they’re all ready to get in your way. There are those teams that are very strong and those that, on paper, look less talented. But they all deserve respect.

Because money doesn’t necessarily make you happy … in life as in sport. Most importantly, money does not have to be synonymous with success. There are plenty of examples to prove it.

Let’s take an example from the recent past and talk about the 2018-19 ZSC Lions season… they were the title holders, they had strengthened their roster… yet everything went wrong and they missed the playoffs. Who would have thought of it?

Let’s also take Kloten and their 2017-18 season… the Aviators were not the favorites to win the title, far from it. But they were a strong contender for a playoff sport. How did it end? Well, Kloten was relegated after more than 50 years. Who would have thought of it?

Now let’s take Bern and their 2015-16 season… the Bears, as usual, were among the favorites. However, the regular season has turned into a real test. Finally, Bern managed to qualify for the playoffs at the last breath and even won the title … but who would have thought that the troops trained at the time by Guy Boucher then Lars Leuenberger could miss the playoffs?

Let’s move on to Friborg Gottéron and their 2014-15 season… the Dragons were coming out of a final and a semi-final. We mean, it seemed like the good old days were back on the banks of the Sarine. How did it end? Gottéron had a terrible regular season and ultimately missed the playoffs.

Let’s talk about Bern again, but this time from their 2013-14 season… the Bears were the defending champions and were among the favorites to win the title. How did it end? It all went south… and this time around the Bears, unlike 2016, were forced to play the playout.

Are these examples sufficient for you? We could do a lot more …

The truth is, it’s hard to win. And it’s even harder to do when you’re the number one favorite. This is because they all want to upset you and you are under constant pressure. In such cases, in general, only teams with a proven winning mindset (like Bern…) can withstand the pressure.

So… is Zug one of the favorites to win the 2019-20 title? Of course they are. Will it be a failure if they don’t win it? No, or rather… it all depends on how the season unfolds.

As has been said in sport, and in ice hockey, it’s always difficult to win and a good roster doesn’t necessarily mean success. Thank goodness it would be so boring otherwise.

These days, however, we feel like too many people are exaggerating with judgments. Let’s leave ice hockey and talk football for a while… Juventus have won the last 8 titles in Italy, yet some say the seasons are disappointing because they haven’t won the Champions League… Manchester City sometimes isn’t considered a great team because they did not win the Champions League…

We mean, guys… only one team can win, while everyone else is doing their best. Zug will also do its best and this year must be ambitious. They have everything it takes, on paper, to win the first title after more than 20 years. But in our opinion, you cannot think today that “Zug cannot fail”. It is a burden to bear.

Again, we can’t wait to see the Bulls play. Dan Tangnes was already one of the most spectacular teams last season. Now, given the players available, Zug can seriously offer us moments of magic hockey!

As for the title though, for the answers, let’s wait for the… last puck of the season.

Good luck to everyone!


Sara R. Cicero