The Grizzlies have played five of their nine games before the DEL opener. The balance is three wins, two losses. Recently, the German ice hockey runner-up from Wolfsburg left a promising impression at the training camp in Switzerland. These are the most important insights that coach Pavel Gross and vice-captain Sebastian Furchner have gathered so far.
The attitude is right. At the tournament in Olten, the Grizzlies were both against Krefeld (final score 6:5 n. V.) as well as in the final against Langnau (4:5 n. P.) in regulation time behind and still saved themselves in overtime. "This underlines the morale of the team," praises Gross. But what he disliked: "Nine goals conceded in two games is too many. We need to work on our defense."
The integration of the new players is going well. Furchner not surprised. "We didn't have to worry about that either. Here in Wolfsburg, we have a core of players who have been here for a long time. That makes it easier to integrate the newcomers," says the forward. His coach adds: "When we sign a player, we make sure that he also fits in with us in terms of character. We want to preserve the good character of the team. I ame that we have succeeded again. Ultimately, however, it will only become apparent when we have a small crisis," explains Gross.
The CHL participation does not influence the preparation negatively. "We pushed through the first two weeks of training as hard as ever. Now, after four weeks, we are trying to get into league mode. I am not worried. We're just as fit as we've been in previous years," says Gross. Furchner, too, waves off the idea: "The ie is a bit too high-minded for me. For us, this has not changed so much. I don't sense any difference from last year. Instead of the CHL matches, we played test matches."
The Grizzlies can also play hard. Against big and very physical playing teams, the Grizzlies are overwhelmed. Already often they have heard the accusation. "But always only by opponents who wanted to succeed against us with particularly much toughness. In the end, we then still mostly prevailed," Furchner is indignant. Also at the tournament in Olten, it was, as he says. The favored Swiss A-national league team Servette Geneva displayed an extremely rude manner – and lost 2:4. Geneva pro Daniel Vukovic also suffered a broken nose when he challenged Grizzly Bjorn Krupp to a fistfight. "We are not afraid, it's just not our way," explains "Furchi" further. However, Gross fears injuries and suspensions, especially in the playoffs. Due to economic reasons, the Grizzlies had to reduce their lineup. "Depth in the squad is very important, though. Whoever had the most depth prevailed in the past few years," says the coach. Because: "The game is becoming more and more intense."