Polar Bear A Good Tuesday for Berlin, April 19, 2011. A good ten years ago it was in the vicinity of the arena at Osbahnhof. That day, the Berliners closed the final series at the Grizzlies Wolfsburg, which at the time was still called Grizzly Adams, with a third win of 5: 4.
But Wolfsburg felt close, the pubs not far from Warsaw Bruck were full – there was ice hockey and a horny concert on the street after the Polar Bear victory. Meanwhile, thousands of fans created a ruckus on public view in the arena. Many of them were out when the team came to the ground in the early hours of the morning. Spokesman Daniel Goldstein stood in front of the curve and shouted: “Everything but the polar bear sucks.”
Ten years later, there is no danger, and not just because Goldstein is no longer employed by polar bears. When a final series in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) between Eyesbrain and Wolfsburg is announced for the second time on Sunday, almost everything is different.
From 2.30pm (live on Game 1 and Magentasport) Ostbnahoff will be seeing only the usual suspects (journalists and hall staff) in the arena, only the bars in the area will be closed and then only played in the epidemic play-offs “Best of Three” “According to the mode.
“It’s not about the past, it’s just about tomorrow.”
The distribution of roles is not the same as it was ten years ago, when the Berliners were clear favorites at their wedding and Wolfsburg was still a provincial contingent that once reached the finals. If you look closely, Wolfsburg is also a favorite this time – in a duel between two Canadian coaches who have built their teams a lot.
In the main round, the Grizzlies won all four games against the Berliners; Three times only in overtime or in penalty shootouts. Still, it’s a scary record for polar bears, who are otherwise so strong in the main round Her trainer Serge Abin But Aubin says, “Irony is ironed with a common set of empty phrases:” The play-off is a new season. “When we played against Wolfsburg, our team was still developing. And it’s not about the past, it’s about tomorrow. ”
[Mehr guten Sport aus lokaler Sicht finden Sie – wie auch Politik und Kultur – in unseren Leute-Newslettern aus den zwölf Berliner Bezirken. Hier kostenlos zu bestellen: leute.tagesspiegel.de]
In the Wolfsburg case, however, tomorrow is not uninterrupted. Lower Saxony has downed 2019 champion Adler Mannheim in their series. It was no less impressive than the Polar Bears’ performance in the three-match semi-final series against Ingolstadt, which the Berliners finished Friday with a 4–2 win. How does Aubin assess the opponent? “Wolfsburg is a good team, well organized and good in the power play.” Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Of course, the play-offs are verbally paired with 46-year-old Aubin, who never wants to say too much. He has been working very successfully with Eyesbrain for two years and knows to win a title as a coach: In the 2016/2017 season he was the champion in the International Austrian League with Vienna Capital, losing in the Viennese play-offs under. Not even Aubin. The former NHL professional had little success as a coach at two other clubs (Hamburg and Zurich).
Aubin’s Wolfsburg colleague Pat Cortina is an exciting figure in German ice hockey. The now 56-year-old Canadian once topped the then EHC Munich and then became a national coach, but that too did not go well. Probably also because he misjudged himself here and there. When he was suggested to allow an 18-year-old player named Leon Driacital to take the lead in the team, Cortina has said: “Why, I have Alexander Barta.”
After an embarrassing 0:10 against Canada, Cortina’s exit from the German Ice Hockey Federation was already a deal during the 2015 World Cup. Cortina feels more like a man for shorter stages: he was with the Schweninger Wild Wings and now works in Wolfsburg.
The coach, who, unlike many of his North American colleagues in the league, speaks fairly near German, is considered a hardworking worker and has breathed a lot more into his team this season. Whereby the Wolfsburg-based company is very well represented and structurally very well positioned with its Nordic faction led by Swed Max Goeertz.
Polar bears could have applied a little less pressure
The coaches of the finalists have one thing in common, they seem closed rather than the outside world. If you think of the current season’s 100 most entertaining episodes in Pandemic, you won’t have Serge Aubin or Pat Cortina at the slip – not even in the context of the involuntary comedy for which Cortina was already good. Let’s see if one of them will come out on Friday at the latest of the final series, Game Three, if he and his team win the title.
Aubin felt slightly less pressured than the polar bear Allies with the Wolfsburgers, who were unsuccessful in the final series, not only in 2011, but also in 2016 and 2017 (each against Munich). The Polar Bears, on the other hand, lost only once out of eight (2018 against Munich) and that season they also defeated Wolfsburg en route to the final series (in the quarter-finals).
Viewed this way, it is also different from ten years ago: at the time Wolfsburg could still play independently, no one expected anything from an outsider.
But there is one thing that it was in 2011 – polar bears see themselves at an advantage. Your captain Frank Hoardler, already and with all seven championship titles, says: “We pushed the door, and now we want to pass as well.”