Krefeld Pinguine fire coach Leif Strömberg​

No surprise
Penguins fire coach Leif Strömberg after nine games

After only nine games of the season, the Swede has to go. Multifunctional Saveljev assumes responsibility on an interim basis with the support of Zakharkin and Bäcklin. Tuesday the ice pirates Crimmitschau are guests.

22 hours before the home game on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against the Ice Pirates Crimmitschau, the Krefeld Pinguine announced the immediate release of head coach Leif Strömberg. “The club management is reacting to the unsatisfactory sporting orientation of the team in the first nine games,” says the press release. Multifunctional Sergey Saveljev will take over the coaching position on an interim basis with the support of assistant coaches Per Bäcklin and Igor Zakharkin. After Saveljev had already counted the head coach after the defeat against Kassel and before the game in Freiburg, the Swede was already on the drawing board.

“We watched the team’s performances in the pre-season and first-season games with concern. Although the results could allow the fallacy of satisfaction about the start of the season, we see deficits in the game system and its transmission between Leif Strömberg and the team in particular, which we have to tackle quickly, purposefully and decisively. After conscientiously evaluating the previous games and consulting the team council, we came to the conclusion that further cooperation with Leif Strömberg no longer goes hand in hand with our high standards. We thank Leif Strömberg for his work and commitment and wish him all the best for the future,” Saveljev said in the press release.”

For the penguins, an eight-game marathon begins within 19 days with the home game against the ice pirates Crimmitschau (see info). This task will certainly not be easy. Crimmitschau comes to Krefeld with a big chest. The selection of head coach Marian Bazany, who was an assistant coach under Rick Adduono with the Penguins in the 2017/18 season, made people sit up and take notice with two wins last weekend. Freiburg was beaten 5:3 on Friday, and the Ice Pirates won 6:2 in Bayreuth on Sunday.

Bazany said on Monday when he was on his way to visit his family in Düsseldorf: “I’m happy to be back in Krefeld on Tuesday, even if it’s now in the DEL2. Krefeld is an ice hockey location with a great past and actually belongs in the DEL.” But he and his team don’t want to simply acknowledge the points on Tuesday: “The penguins are the favourites. They have a very good team with many players who have played in higher leagues. We want to make life as difficult as possible for them.”

The penguins needed regeneration on Monday after the very intense and tough game in Heilbronn, especially in the last third: “We have to use the short time until the game on Tuesday and regenerate well. Crimmitschau is a solid team, they will demand everything from us, but we play at home, so with the support of the crowd we want a home win,” said Philip Riefers on Sunday after the game.

His defensive colleague Pascal Zerressen classified the 4:3 success after the penalty shoot-out as follows: “We had more possession of the puck and more chances, but in the end we can’t complain and we still have to be happy with the two points. The third goal for Heilbronn shouldn’t have counted.” Looking ahead to the game against Crimmitschau, the experienced defender said: “We’ve got a tight schedule, we need to regenerate well and then on Tuesday, with the fans behind us, get three points to be able to win in the to stay at the top of the table.”