The fact that last ice hockey weekend was a standout for David Elsner has a lot to do with David Elsner. The Straubing Tigers striker is an emotional ice hockey player – and as such he lives the Bavarian Derby particularly intensely. This time he personally made sure to give extra explosiveness to the Straubing derby weekend in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL).
Before the derby against ERC Ingolstadt, Elsner voiced at the press conference that he would make the game “hell” to Ingolstadt – and then apparently tried to come to terms with the past. “To be honest, I’m glad I’m in Straubinge,” said the 29-year-old. “And as hard as it seems now: I sh … in the club, what’s going on in Ingolstadt right now.” These words came as little surprise, as the striker had played at Ingolstadt for the last six years before moving to Straubing in the summer. How much Elsner wanted to put his words into practice was also made clear by his Tigers teammate Marcel Brandt, who said he had never seen Elsner like this. David, Brandt said, “was so on fire”.
It became the emotional game predicted by Elsner. There were 45 penalty minutes in the first third alone, with the Straubing team eventually winning 4–1 – and Elsner scoring the deciding goal. He didn’t say it was clear he would score, he said later Magenta Sports, “But I did everything to shoot one”. He then apologized to the ERC for his choice of words, which was not particularly well received at Ingolstadt. What and how he said that it is because of emotions, it should not “go down the wrong path”. The emotional Elsner runs particularly hot in the Derby, needing fire on the ice and from the stands to make his physical game even more intense.
In his early days at Ingolstadt, Elsner referred to himself as a “psychotic” who went on ice to “get rid of my aggression”.
Elsner’s career so far has also been intense and turbulent at times. As a 17-year-old, he attracted the attention of North American scouts who were actually there because of his Landshut teammates Tom Kuhnhackel and Tobias Ryder. Elsner was drafted unexpectedly by the Nashville Predators (NHL) and moved to the Canadian junior league OHL. Unlike Kuhnhackel and Reeder, who recommended themselves to the NHL there, he could not prevail in Canada – and returned straight to Germany after a messy season. Since he was not able to really gain a foothold in the local ice hockey business, he was already thinking of ending his career in his early 20s.
But Elsner bit his way, although in his early days at Ingolstad he called himself a “psychotic” who went on the ice “to get rid of my aggression”. In Augsburger Allgemine He did a remarkable soul striptease last season. He couldn’t handle the pressure, saying “I’m afraid I’m not good enough”. All that was to come, the striker not only once argued with ERC coach Doug Shedon and yelled at teammates. To fight it, he organized a mental trainer, “but I don’t make that much money to pay 200 euros an hour every week.” Shaden said at the time that he was now wearing steel toe boots because Elsner needed “so many ass kicks”.
During the last season, ERC gave him the understanding relatively early that he would no longer play a major role at Ingolstadt. So he returned to his homeland in Lower Bavaria.
Along with Straubing, he was denied an opening role in the second half of the previous Tiger Derby weekend. Straubing 3:6 on Sunday in Munich, which really picked up pace in the final leg when the Tigers converted 1:3 to 3:3 with a 34-second double strike and then lost, Elsner couldn’t set the offensive tone . That should change again on Wednesday against defending champions Berlin – at home, where the Tigers have already beaten Adler Mannheim this season. “It was always disgusting to play here at Straubing,” recalls Elsner of his appearance as opponents, “we all tear our asses off to play every home game as well as possible.” He will continue to lead in this discipline at some point in the future.
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