Grizzlys Wolfsburg: Cortina needs a victory, otherwise it threatens the end

Even after bad performances, Charly Fliegauf usually takes a stand. After the 1: 2 n.V. against Düsseldorfer EG on Wednesday, Wolfsburg’s manager remained taciturn. And that doesn’t bode well. Highly unsatisfactory performances and results, basically an ultimatum for the coaching staff, which could primarily concern head coach Pat Cortina and assistant coach Petteri Väkiparta. The game on Friday (6.30 p.m.) against the Iserlohn Roosters, it could be the last for Cortina as coach of the Grizzlys.


The ultimatum: Fliegauf called for changes “quickly” last week. Defensively it was a little better against Düsseldorf than before, but everything else was almost an oath of revelation. The team seemed insecure, imprecise, lacking in ideas, the body language was poor, the power play was weak. By “fast” Fliegauf certainly didn’t mean that a miracle would have to happen in the following game. However, something should now be visible two days later. An analysis could then be carried out because there is again a break until Wednesday.

The series: It is not the first negative series. Early last season there were seven bankruptcies in a row, and at the end another five in a row. Recently, five bankruptcies in a row followed after a victory in the League Cup and in the DEL it started with a smooth victory – against bottom light Krefeld. It was the only three-point victory.

Cortina never had credit with the fans, criticism of the bad game and his being too passive about the gang is increasing again on social media.

The team: The Grizzlys have had the longest preparation time of all teams, they are perhaps the most expensive team in the north because, unlike other clubs here, the squad was early (other teams were able to fill their squads cheaper late). And other clubs agreed to reduce salaries by up to 60 percent. It didn’t go that far down in Wolfsburg.

In the case of the grizzlies, many supposed high performers disappoint. Defender Julian Melchiori is the only one of the new import field players to make a good impression. Everyone else – nothing special. And that’s not enough from import players, from Phil Bruggisser, Max Görtz, Matti Järvinen or Jordan Boucher. And most of the players who have been playing in Wolfsburg for a long time are on average at most. Jeff Likens in his last career year and the youngsters Valentin Busch and Jan Nijenhuis are convincing.

The silence: That the grizzlies are as good as many – not only those responsible – thought, is not yet apparent. The trainer is the weakest link in the chain. Ex-captain Tyler Haskins, who is just starting a coaching career, and goalkeeping coach Ilari Näckel should sit more firmly in the saddle than the boss and his preferred assistant coach Väkiparta. Noticeable: In the seven-game series last season, Fliegauf took an offensive position behind Cortina, which was followed by an immediate victory. This time he called for change “quickly”. And remained taciturn, only announced yesterday: “We want to prepare without big comments.”

Candidates: Cortina’s contract is expiring, the severance payment would no longer be that high. Fliegauf is always able to find someone new. A possible successor candidate: Mike Stewart, who had huge successes with Bremerhaven and Augsburg. Until the end of the season he is still under contract in Cologne, where he was on leave last season after a record bankruptcy series. It should be financially solvable – especially as a long-term solution. By the way, Cologne’s bankruptcy series of 17 games (!) Ended with a cracking 5-0 against Wolfsburg.

Savory reunion: Perhaps Brent Aubin will shoot the grizzlies even deeper into the crisis. Wolfsburg no longer wanted him, but the Iserlohners wanted a target player in the power play. Now Aubin has four power play goals (five in total) and eight scorer points, more than any grizzly. The long-standing Wolfsburg crowd favorite says before returning for the first time: “After the sudden end without play-offs and without a proper farewell, it is now a sad return. It’s not the same without fans, without my family, who would certainly have come with us. ”But: He feels very comfortable in Iserlohn,“ the atmosphere is as good as I experienced in Wolfsburg. Games with the grizzlies will always be special to me. But I’m coming back to win with the Roosters. “

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