Dienstag, 3. April 2012

[Hockey] Imagine you win the Stanley Cup an no one knows about it - German players in the NHL

When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in game 7 in Vancouver on June 15th 2011, I guess not many people here in Germany realized, that a German, Dennis Seidenberg was a part of that team, and was just the second German player who won the cup. (First was Uwe Krupp with the Detroit Red Wings in 1996). Although there were two German players in the Stanley Cup finals, with Christian Ehrhoff for the Vancouver Canucks, this season with the Buffalo Sabres, and Seidenberg, this players didn´t get a lot of credit, but everyone here was talking about Dirk Nowitzki and the NBA title the Dallas Mavericks just won on June 12th. Sure he was the first German to do so, but I am not sure that basketball is more important than hockey these days in Germany, a country that is obviously more focused on soccer than any other sports.
Well let´s go back to Dennis Seidenberg, not that he was just part of that team, he got one assist in game 6 the Bruins had to win to force a 7th game and he also got two assists in the final game, the Bruins won 4:0. And this year, the defending Stanley Cup winner is on the road again, just qualified for the playoffs last weekend. They are playing great hockey at the moment and I am excited to see that team in the following games and the playoffs (First round could be aganist their Division rivals the Ottawa Senators).

So let´s talk about the Germans in the NHL in general, this season we have 7 players in 4 different teams (out of 30 NHL Teams):
Boston Bruins: Dennis Seidenberg
Buffalo Sabres: Christian Erhoff, Jochen Hecht, Alexander Sulzer
Florida Panthers: Marcel Goc, Marco Sturm
San Jose Sharks: Thomas Greiss

Christian Ehrhoff is just leading the statistics (under the Germans) with 32 points in 66 games (and you have to add that he is a defenseman), unfortunately he hasn´t played since March 27th, with a knee injury and there aren´t any news when he´ll be back. Without him, it´ll be more difficult to reach the 8th place and the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
Second in this statistics is Marcel Goc from the Panthers with 23 points in 55 games, followed by Dennis Seidenberg who got 23 points in 77 games (latest news on him are that he scored the equalizer, April 1st against the New York Rangers, after missing 2 games due to an infection in a cut on his left leg, and the Bruins won that game 2:1).
Jochen Hecht is fourth with 8 points in 22 games, but made his last game January 22th and is out with an injury. Alexander Sulzer takes place 5 (6 points in 26 games) and Marco Sturm 6th (3 points in 45 games).
As Thomas Greiss is a goaltender there is no such statistics for him, but he has played 18 games this season and has a 91.4 % saving percentage.

I already mentioned, that the Bruins reached the playoffs, the other three teams have still the opportunity to reach them, especially the Panthers have a great chance to make it, leading the southeast divison. Buffalo´s chances will depend on the performance of the Washinton Capitals as both teams root for the final place (Although Washington is two points ahead, the Sabres have a game in hand, but they need to win and need to be, at least, one point in front of the Capitals after 82 games because the Caps have more wins in total and that would put them in 8th place after the regular season). While all the teams above in this paragraph are placed in the Eastern Conference, the San José Sharks are in the 8th place in Western Conference, beeing just one point ahead of place 9.

So you see, there is still a lot of hockey to play this last week of the regular season, with 7 German players, batteling with their teams for a playoff seat. And probably we will have another one int he Stanley Cup finals.

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