Thursday evening it was serious for the Nation: the Swiss team had a lot to say for the quarterfinal victory against the United States.
Unlike previous years, this year Switzerland was not a challenge, but the World Cup favorite in the quarterfinals. After being shown in the preliminary round, one must make it clear: Nate’s defeat against these Americans would be a major setback. This shows how much the Swiss needs have increased – which applies equally to players and supporters throughout the staff.
Switzerland – Live on USA SRF
The quarterfinals between Switzerland and the United States can be watched live on SRF zwei and stream on the Sport App from 7pm on Thursday. The game starts at 7:20 pm and will be broadcast live on Radio SRF 3.
But if the national team regains their place from the group stage again in Helsinki on Thursday evening, there are many reasons to be optimistic. We selected 4 of them.
1. More experience
As usual at the World Championships, the various young talents on the American team still have to prove themselves overseas. Overall, current American players bring it to 137 World Cup games.
With the Swiss, things are completely different. Only 5 of the 25 players in the Swiss squad (Tristan Sherwe left out due to injury) are competing for their first World Championship title in Finland. In all, Coach Patrick Fischer’s supporters have the full experience of 554 World Cups. Record holder Andres Ambul is the only player to have played in 122 World Cups.
It should also be noted that the importance of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Switzerland is significantly higher than in the United States, where the NHL focuses on the playoffs. When it comes to who wants to win more, Switzerland should benefit too.
2. Special groups
As always in knockout games, special teams can tip the scales. Switzerland has shown to be significantly stronger than the United States in the course of the competition so far. The national team has the best power play of 16 World Cup participants, with 8 goals in 22 overtime situations (36.36%). On the other hand, with the Americans, the majority of the game has not yet worked optimally. Only the eliminated French (12.5%) and the relegated Great Britain (11.11%) have a lower success rate than the United States (19.23%).
North Americans are much better at boxplay. Fewer in number, the USA have conceded just 4 goals in their previous 7 games and have a penalty-kill rate of 85.19%. So winning the Power Play will not be an easy task for Switzerland. But this also applies to Americans, because Nati still has a better shorthand ratio (92.31%).
3. Shared Liability
In the course of the match so far, Fischer has always relied on at least 7 defenders, thus spreading the responsibility on various shoulders. No Swiss player has been in the snow for more than 25 minutes in a game. This is different for Americans.
Chicago Blackhawks teammate Philip Khurashev Seth Jones was used for over 30 minutes in 2 games. Defender had a 34:37 minute ice time in the United States 3-2 against Sweden. Nate Schmidt had 8 minutes less than the defender, who had the second-longest ice time of the game. U.S. coach David Quinn has played with only 5 defenders in the last 3 group matches.
4. “Home Benefit”
Not to be underestimated is the fact that you will not have to spend a trip to Switzerland tomorrow without a game on Wednesday. Thanks to 7 wins in 7 games and a flawless opening round to finish first in the group, Natty can also compete in the quarter-finals in Helsinki. The United States finished fourth in their preliminary round, and had to move from Tampere to the Finnish capital. This means: new room, new snow, new atmosphere.
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