Ice expert Zag guides the hockey season – Part 8 with HC Lugano

Under pressure in Lugano: Chris McSorley.Photo: imago/geyser, shutterstock

Ice Master Zag

Chris McSorley twice reached the final and lost with Servette. He had a good excuse: If he had a million more, he could put together a champion team. Now, for the first time, thanks to Lugano’s millions, he has a champion team and no other excuses.

Klaus Zag

Watson Ice Champion, Klaus Zaugg, is looking forward to the new National League season starting September 14. In the reverse order of his predictions, he took a closer look at all the clubs in the league. Day 8 of 14 Parts – HC Lugano.

“All tools, no toolbox”: This North American adage applies when everything is available and success still fails: Perhaps no other hockey company has so many brilliant minds in management and in the environment who understand so much about the sport (Vicki Mantegazza Hanna Domenicelli, Chris McSurley, Andy Nasser, Stephan Lichsteiner, Marco Werder, Jean-Jacques Eichlemann, Toto Marti, Paul DiPetro, Flavian Kohn). However, operetta coaches, lottery targets, and foreign losers were repeatedly hired.

This season, Chris McCorley should finally deliver.

This season, Chris McCorley should finally deliver.Photo: cornerstone

Since the 2018 final, Lugano has not won a playoff series and has only made it past the quarter-finals twice since the last title in 2006.

Is everything finally getting better? Every summer, Chris McSorley makes everyone feel like something big is about to happen. Anyone who does not believe him is considered ignorant. And if the big thing doesn’t come, no problem. Then he makes well-thought-out excuses. This is how the charismatic Canadian became a bestseller for himself in Europe.

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His record after the first season in Lugano is amazing: ninth place and no chance against Zug in the quarter-finals (0:4). No other coach will survive such a record at Lugano. But Chris McSorley is still revered as “Jesus Chris” (the name was invented by local Geneva historians): neither criticism nor controversy. They are all over the place and praise for this – and again a boost to transformative investing.

However, the promotion to title candidate ends “McSorley’s excuse system” after 20 years: For the new season, the Canadian for the first time owns an NL team that is good enough to challenge the giants from German-speaking Switzerland. With Mikko Koskinen also goalkeeper. Big Chairman Vicki Mantegazza invested, sporting director Hanna Domenicelli signed and now Chris McSorley has to deliver.

He doesn’t even have an excuse that he wasn’t conveyed correctly: at every opportunity he explains how close the cooperation was with the president and head of sports. At the age of 60, Chris McSorley has yet to reach the end of his career. But at the end of all excuses. Above all, the most important excuse – the goalkeeper’s excuse – no longer exists.

Mikko Koskinen, who became a millionaire in the NHL, begins his two-year contract at Lugano with high hopes. He can take advantage of a well-organized game of Lugano in a golden career fall. Especially he proved his fit in European hockey between 2013 and 2018 in the KHL with two titles (St. Petersburg 2015 and 2017).

Tall goalkeepers may not always age well and it may take a while for the giant Finnish goalkeeper to polish, clean and comb his confidence after his tough years in Edmonton. But that doesn’t change the fact that Lugano is expected to return to the top half of the table.

Other Ice Master Predictions:

Predictions: seventh place

In the end, it was only enough for a ninth place last season, and a victory in the preliminary rounds against Servette was just a sporting consolation prize. The biggest problem was the upheaval in the goalkeeper’s position, which required the use of five different goalkeepers who were often lottery targets. With NHL giant Mikko Koskinen, this problem must be resolved. Kaley Anderson could almost replace Roman Lovell and Marco Muller better than Alessio Bertagia. 150 goals (with Roman Lovell, Mirko Muller and Santeri Alatalo in defence!) was too many last season. It was worse in defense only for Ajoey and Langnau. Chris McSurley should and will solve this problem. If he is not able to do so, he will have to fear for his job until 2024 despite the contract.

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