Yesterday evening the ZSC Lions won the cup final against Lausanne in an away game. They managed to beat the team from Lausanne in a close fight with a final score of 1:4. Which significance does this title have now? How could it help the ZSC Lions for the playoffs?
We have seen at the celebration in Lausanne that the players from Zurich weren’t as euphoric as with the win of a championship. This has good reasons. Firstly we need to see that we are near the playoffs, which makes it impossible for the players to celebrate with a good conscience. But also the amount of people watching the game was much lower than in a playoff final. Without a huge range of fans watching all over Switzerland, it is rather a hollow victory for Zurich. We can tell that without a big range of viewers, the victory itself is also half the size as a Swiss championship title. But even though the playoffs are near, Zurich can take advantage out of this victory. It shows that they can still win a game if its needed and this could be a good help for a playoff final, which is likely for Zurich to reach in this season. It would give Zurich and especially Niklas Schlegel more confidence, knowing that it is the second final they have been to this year.
What could improve the significance of the Swiss ice hockey cup?
- In the end only “die hard fans” were watching most of the cup games (except for the final). For less educated hockey fans there wasn’t enough marketing made to encourage them to watch the games. A higher amount of commercials for the general public could encourage more visitors to watch the games and improve the cup’s significance.
- The cup final was staged shortly before the playoffs, which made it impossible for the team to focus fully on the cup final. It would be an idea to stage the cup final before the last fifteen games of the playoffs, around Christmas for example.
- Time. The cup has been staged only for the second time in this century and it will take time for a tournament to get more important for the teams and the fans, it needs a history which makes it valuable for a team. In comparison, the Spengler cup wasn’t famous at the beginning, it was time and hard work that made it famous.