The restart in the World Cup tournament against the top nations must still succeed without top talent Moritz Seider and probably even without NHL goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer.
After a hockey-free day, the world-class Goalie and Stanley Cup winner went on Friday just for training in Kosice on ice. Seider did not even get ready for the weekend's doubles match with Canada and the United States. "Moritz sure needs a few days until he is fit again," said national coach Toni Söderholm then. On Saturday against Canada and one day later against the USA (both 16:15 pm / Sport1 and DAZN), the selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) without their best defender so far must get along.
Slowake Ladislav Nagy had taken the 18-year-old out of the game in a dramatic German 3-2 win on Wednesday, and for the time being eliminated him from the tournament. Possibly on Tuesday in the final preliminary round match against Finland (12.15 clock / Sport1 and DAZN) Seider should be able to play again.
Grubauer, who had injured promptly in the 4: 1 against France on his first outing, will probably only be spared. "We do not need to take any risks," said Söderholm. Especially since Düsseldorf goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger has convinced so far.
The failure of Seider but hurts, although the quarter-final, the German team is now hardly more to take. "That would be a bitter failure. The Moritz played really well so far, »said NHL defender Korbinian Holzer. Replacement defenders Denis Reul and Benedikt Schopper revealed problems in their previous missions against the supposedly weaker opponents.
With a training-free day Söderholm had tried to give his players new energy for the more difficult games against the top nations. "Yes, that was nice," said Captain Moritz Mueller and laughed. "That's good for the head. Let's get out of the pressure situation. Now we have to start up again. "Only on Friday it went on with the preparation. "We tried a little bit to restart today. Now the big question is how to play against the bigger nations right now, "said Söderholm.
In any case, his team starts off with plenty of self-confidence. "We are far from where we want to go," said Captain Müller. Four games, four wins, twelve points – so far in Slovakia it is dazzling for Leon Draisaitl and Co .: The quarter-finals are as good as perfect even before the remaining preliminary round matches. The direct Olympic qualification for 2022 – the official World Cup goal – is already fixed after four games. But the German team wants more. "If we want to get somewhere, the next games count like the last," said Müller.
Once in the flow also against the favorites points to improve the starting position for the quarter-finals in the coming week. Closing the preliminary round better than fourth place, the DEB selection is likely to avoid Russia's top favorite with all of its top NHL stars Alexander Ovetschkin and Yevgeny Malkin. "We have to stay just as hungry now. The next games can be very decisive », Müller demanded.
Regardless of the failures of two service providers, the DEB captain warned the public of too high expectations for the perfect start: "Now that everyone is so upbeat, I say we have a lot of work ahead of us."
Despite the effectiveness and nerve strength, for example when defeating Slovakia, not everything works perfectly. Although the Söderholm team increased from game to game, but Müller sees "still up." Also in the particularly well-filled offensive this year, not everything works as desired. Many players seem to rely too much on the individual quality of their best player Draisaitl. "I do not care if Leon or anyone else decides the game for us. I just want to win the games, "said Söderholm.