DEB escapes the horror of Stützle: Germany impresses at the World Cup

DEB escapes the horror of Stützle
Germany shines brightly in the World Cup Finals

By Tobias Nordmann

Germany must deal with a brief shock at the World Ice Hockey Championship: young captain Tim Stutzel has to leave the ice early against France. But it is clear that his injury is not very serious. The players of Meister Berlin jumped admirably for the best talent.

The question of what currently prevails in the German ice hockey team, whether relief or anxiety, was answered on Tuesday afternoon. The pendulum swings in the direction of satisfaction. Not final, but very urgent. Because Tim Stützle, a brilliant talent from the NHL, previously caused unsettling moments in the World Cup. The 20-year-old, who has so far handled the offensive DEB match admirably, had to break off the ice in the first third of the match against France on Monday. He had just received a difficult examination of his knee. The question arises: can he return again in the tournament? The first answer: doubtful.

On Free Tuesday, there was the first day free of everything. “It looks good. We are looking at it from day to day,” Christian Kunast, sporting director of the German Ice Hockey Federation, told dpa. Posted in the subsequent cycle of the tournament is “likely”. The association did not announce the diagnosis. “He’s in good hands with our medical department, and we’ll wait and see the next few days,” Konast said. For national coach Toni Soderholm’s side, Stutzel’s knockout was another bad news on the way back to the top of the world, in the elite circuit they played at the last World Cup before there was brutal. Damper in the Olympics. Instead of playing for gold, Germany was knocked out of the competition ahead of the quarter-finals. Many were questioned. Fortunately not all.

Because not much has gone wrong in German ice hockey in recent years. A remarkable rise began under coach Marco Storm, which Söderholm was able to continue to hone. Despite the frequent setbacks. Before the World Cup in his homeland, the Finn again received many bad news. For example, NHL-experienced Tom Kunkel (Stanley Cup champion), Tobias Ryder and Dominic Kahun have all been lost. Even the best players from DEL like Frederic Tevils and Patrick Hager are unavailable. It’s so amazing how well Germany has played during the World Cup so far.

Niederberger also excels

DEB was clearly inferior against Canada (3:5) for a long time, but not without a chance. The slots played hard against Slovakia, winning 2-1, thus successfully avenging their knockout at the Winter Games. Most importantly for the course of the tournament: a 3-2 victory over France. why? Because Germany resisted steadfastly, played with courage, speed and creativity, and defended with passion. Until the 60th minute, goalkeeper Matthias Niederberger had to make a strong save again to secure the victory. The team can claim to have learned admirably from the mistakes of the Olympic defeat. Without fighting, focus and physical tension until the last siren, matches in major tournaments can rarely be won, if at all. In the third preliminary round for the World Cup, the balance between enthusiasm and struggle was perfect.

Niederberger came in in place of NHL goalkeeper Philipp Grobauer, who was outstanding against Slovakia. Goalkeepers form the strong foundation of the German game. Before that, Moritz Seder was excited. The 21-year-old defends what Stutzel was and should stay on the offensive: the leader. The team in Beijing, for example, lacked courage, apathy and youthful speed. Because these qualities are so good, DEB is still hoping for the nominations of defender Leon Gawanke and striker Lucas Reichel of AHL. “They are both exceptional players in German ice hockey,” said Moritz Muller. A decision is scheduled for Wednesday at the latest, one day after the fourth round match against Denmark is scheduled (3.20 pm live on Sport1 and in the live broadcast tape on ntv.de), Another major match in the fight for the quarter-final ticket.

For now, the national trainer can and should rely on his war horses in Berlin. And above all for Leo Pföderl, who has been an established force on the DEB team for years, but may never have been as important now. Against France, he made clear the victory thanks to a superb pass from his friend polar bear Marcel Neubels. It was already his fifth top scorer point in this tournament. “Berlinians, that’s crazy,” Soderholm enthused, who isn’t necessarily known for singing such anthems. Small spoiler: He was only babbling for a while. That champion players perform in this way is not normal. DEL Champion’s cracks haven’t always prevented a drop in tension after the party and before the World Cup.

Pföderl, more important than ever

Five polar bears roam the German team – and they all make their contribution to the fact that the team is successfully gliding over the ice once again. In addition to Pföderl, who is circulating in videos showing him barefoot and with a bottle of beer in public in celebration of the tournament a few days before the World Cup kicks off, there are also veteran Knoppels and defenders Jonas Muller, Kai Weissmann and Niederberger. But the winner of the match against France stands out: Pföderl describes him, Söderholm as one of the “smart German players” – and the most successful. He is the team’s top scorer after the first three matches.

Noebels and Pföderl, who form the World Cup series with AHL striker Mark Michaelis, know each other from the inside out. Already in the brilliant match 2: 1 against Slovakia, a combination of the duo led to a goal. “You can be confident, and you convey that. A tournament like this is like a second tournament,” Noebbels says. Regardless of the strength of the Berliners, the team pins all hopes on a speedy recovery from Stützle. “Timi is one of our best players,” Captain Muller said before the recall letter from the medical department. “Of course it would be bitter.” The responsibility he bears is “incredible”. A real leader. A person who can continue.

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