Ice hockey national coach Tony Soderholm talks about his disappointment at the Olympics and the World Cup, starting this Friday.
National ice hockey coach Tony Soderholm has an instructive year behind him. In 2021, the national team missed out on a medal at the World Cup and Germany made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2010. In February, the Olympics followed before the quarter-finals. The next World Cup starts against Canada in Helsinki on Friday (7.20pm/Sport 1 and MagentaSport). In an interview with Christina Puck from the German Press Agency, the 44-year-old talks about her disappointment at the Olympics, her claims and the NHL trio on the team.
BZ: The Beijing Winter Games were disappointing. What happened in the World Cup that it could be considered compensation?
Soderholm: The important question for me is how can we answer the question. How do we win the game? So that we can see ourselves in the mirror again with identity. We had high hopes, but somehow we-win-lost a bit. It is important that we do not talk too much about the consequences.
BZ: What mistakes might have been made in preparing for the Olympics and what lessons did you learn from them?
Soderholm: There were some mistakes. One was bigger than the other. But that is now in the past.
BZ: Have the relationships between the players on the team and yours have changed as a result of the disappointment at the Olympics?
Soderholm: not at all. I think the subsequent conversation was worrying for everyone. It was also instructive to know how everyone reacts when things don’t go as expected. Everyone wants to present themselves in a better way.
BZ: Last year at the World Championships in Riga, the team missed out on a medal. Would it be foolish to dream of another semi-final in a row?
Soderholm: You can, and probably should, dream every day if you want. But first let’s win the first point in the first game – and then we’ll see. Tough, down to earth, tough – that’s how we have to work to put ourselves in a position to succeed. I do not care anymore.
BZ: How disappointed are you that apparently all the national players can’t pull themselves together for this World Cup?
Soderholm: There are many reasons. If a player is injured, he is injured. If a player has no energy, he has no energy. If a player thinks he can’t help the team, he doesn’t help the team and then we take the next one. There is nothing for me to discuss. Some are injured, so it’s frustrating for players when they can’t be there.
BZ: NHL goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer should take the role of number one. How do you see his role in the team?
Soderholm: That’s very important. Philip also has a very good character. He also brings a lot of confidence. He brings out a spirit that boosts the confidence of the entire team.
BZ: Defenseman Moritz Cedar played a strong first NHL season. Where do you see the limits of its development?
Soderholm: are there any? I don’t think so.
BZ: Moritz Cedar has always expressed great confidence in the past. How important is their role in the team?
Soderholm: Necessary. I think there’s a great balance between when it’s time to get serious and it’s time to have fun. When he puts on his skates and goes on the ice, it’s full business.
BZ: What weight can 20-year-old NHL forward Tim Stutzl carry in offense despite his young age?
Soderholm: He can certainly do a lot. It is important for us to have this mindset in the team that someone can score a goal. Tim has great offensive ability, is technically talented and reacts very quickly. In addition, his eyesight and creativity on offense are at a very high level.
BZ: Which is your favorite title?
Soderholm: I think you will have to overtake the Finns at some point. I think Canada will have a strong team. And it will be interesting to see what the Czechs do with Kari Jalonen as their new coach.
Tony Soderholm (44) surprisingly succeeded Marco Sturm at the end of 2018. The former professional was coach at the time in third division SC Reserci. His departure from the German Ice Hockey Federation was expected after the World Championships in Helsinki and Tampere, until the Winter Games. At the end of March, Soderholm extended to 2026.
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