Igor Larionov said words that Igor could not even dream of in his active days. Not even in the worst nightmare. After the 3:4 defeat of his Russian pick on Thursday in Krefeld, the former ice hockey star praised the opponent almost overwhelmingly for his circumstances. The Russian coach said the Germans are strong, experienced and well-organised. And this international level is something else, his players have learned a lot. from the Germans.
Definitely, the success of Tony Sood’s teamsHolm can be put into perspective. There was no doubt that two better reserve teams faced each other in his team’s first game in the Deutschland Cup, because not only were the stars from abroad missing, but many good players on both sides. The fifth in the world rankings can easily be spoken of over the third – especially since it was nothing more than a test match en route to the Olympics in 2022.
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However, I don’t have to look back all that long, Germany B would never have turned their early 0-2 deficit against Russia C into a 4-3 win. The overall development of German players is astonishing and is only evidenced by the appearances of Leon Drysittel or Moritz Seider in the NHL. Many other countries do not have players of this quality.
But what is more surprising is that this rise in ice hockey in Germany is underappreciated in the sport of ice hockey in Germany either. There were 1,560 spectators at the game in Krefeld on Thursday, and the Krefeld Penguiné match against the Bettgheim Steelers would have required the staff at the ticket booth much more. The lack of interest of ice hockey fans in the national team is upsetting, especially since in the past, in the Deutschland Cup, the worst teams were allowed to play poor matches in front of more fans. Success alone does not attract more attention, even if the German team is hoping for something big to come out of the games in Beijing – this is by no means impossible.
But another Olympic medal probably won’t cause a landslide in popularity, especially since radio programs will return to Europe during the night. And why should people, outside of the ice hockey scene, care about a national team that doesn’t even care much about the scene. At this point, German ice hockey lags far behind, in German handball, for example, looking the other way like a Krefeld game would be unimaginable.
The German Ice Hockey Federation, this federation, which looks less homogeneous as ever and depends on the outside, is in demand: funny tweets like after the match against the Russians with the information that tickets for the game against Switzerland on Saturday are still miserably effective. There should be more in terms of display ads.