Seriereview

Rapidly gaining tv-audience in Sweden the most probably perfect in the modern bandyworld product Elitserien has passed more than 1/3 of its sports range. But true 5 clubs have a few extra games postponed each but it does not fundamentally change any configuration of standings. On the scene today are in general those who were supposed to be there based on pre-seasonal forecasts, however, with a mass of clauses. Thus as well as on an opposite side that is so called sludge-transit zone.

There is a surprise which is always on the air and heated by each round for already the whole month. A surprise primarily about incredibly powerful and effective play of the serie leader Sandvikens AIK. SAIK is just unholdable now! There is no way to stop its striking power and wellrun defence play. Sandviken comes easily over obstacles on its path regardless any force-majeure and sweeps away his rivals leaving them no chances.

Stefan «Dino» Söderholm who is steering team now was luck to feel for a fragile balance of equality which provides for trouble-free maintenance of team’s mechanism on the ice and brings such a glory result as well. There is only one question on agenda today: whether Claesson takes Erik Pettersson to the first national team or not? No longer to ignore achievements of 18-years old striker the head coach can afford. Recent statements by Jonas Claesson come to that it seems the time has come to try Pettersson on the most higher level. Especially due to coming up landskamps with the world champions Russia in western Sweden very soon. So an occasion has tucked in time — a guy is eager to fight and he may deliver russians a lot of problems.

Young Pettersson starts increasingly to play first violin in the orchestra that obviously motivates Christoffer Edlund not to stand still for a long. «Crille» can’t afford to give away laurels of triumpher to his young team mate. So that is why he is a top scorer today with 25 goals not only in Sandviken but in the whole Elitserien. But Pettersson lags behind him slightly with 20 goals whose position is the third among serie’s best snipers. Having such a striking couple, but rather troika as there is a one team mate more in SAIK who scores no less than 1 goal per match Linus Forslund, so everything becomes clear.

However goals in Sandviken are produced not only by this trio. The remaining amount of assets in a form of goals falls on the workers of midfield Magnus Muhren and Erik Säfström. They supply no only goals alone but distribute assists to their partners in the upper zone as well, so this group of five is the main strike force at the team. Add to them Östblom from the lower zone who manages both to score and assist, young Henriksen and universal backs Nillson-jr, Rasmus Forslund and Joakim Bergman so you get perpetuum mobile that drives SAIK. All the others spoil no picture…

To say the pursuers hot on the heels to Sandviken means palter. It seems that no one but Hammarby only can chase the leader although there is a variable success fight for the 2nd position observed between 4 clubs: Hammarby IF, Västerås SK, Edsbyns IF and Villa-Lidköping BK.

Last year’s champion Hammarby started somehow on the first serie stretch but now it seems he has found a key. Primarily this is due to return of Patrik Nilsson to a start squad who missed first games but nevertheless quickly managed to come to his stable production of 2 goals per match in average. In his absence players of midfield, in particular the team’s captain Stefan «X-et» Erixon, had to undertake playmake upon them, however, huge amount of work for themselves and those guys had been always carried by midfielders at Bajen so it is thought that with such the suppliers as brothers Einarsson, Pizzoni-Elfwing, Jonsson and Gilljam Patrik Nillson will make a fierce competition to a pair from Sandviken for the title of a best goalscorer.

Another one of Elitserien’s favorite Västerås obviously did not glean points in the first rounds and is forced to work on in an emergency mode now making up for the lost time. Noteworthy that VSK had lost its luggage of points while competing to his main rivals where the most painful defeat occured in a premier home match vs Hammarby. But the recent games of mesta mästarna seem to have finally allowed to assume stable persistence and good luck which this fundamentally renewed team was lack of on all previous stages. Ted Bergström returned back into a squad while Patrik Sjöström finally escaped an idea to end up with bandy in his heydays. Esplund and Holmberg confirm with their high class and Jonas Nilsson is stable on the edge. Overall the team is very well balanced and shows all signs to start takeoff.

After extremely good start with 5 wins in 5 games Edsbyn has begun skiding and lost 60% points in subsequent 5 games. It’s a quite normal and explainable occurrence. Guldbyn urgently needs to endure to pause to blow up its ballasts. But it seems no likely for the team to blow ballasts with maximal effectiveness because 4 key players engaged in U23 Sweden national team and go to Obukhovo, Moskva vicinity to take part in the World championship next week. The most short bench in the serie makes Edsbyn constantly to reshape its squad for finding the most effective combination to respond to force majeure and to patch holes appeared. But this is usually done by limiting team’s creative potential and leads sometimes to the simplest solutions. Successful start still allows red farmers to be at a head group but short resources come to have ended soon. Struggle for survival puts head coach Thomas Liw in a necessity always to experiment and look for the something new. Well on the other hand there is no better environment for creativity at this young, ambitious and very promising team.

Villa-Lidköping admitted inadvertent breakdown in Söderhamn in 7th round 2:4 which has entailed inexplicable failure in the next game in Sandviken 3:12 that was nearly to become a run of bad luck. But the team conationly could prevent diving and rectify situation having localized crisis. Thus the loss of these very important points prevents Villa today to be on a higher position.

Two dark horses IFK Vänersborg and Vetlanda BK take by right their places in the middle of standings although prior to the serie start Vetlanda was allocated a role on the higher floors of the rank table. But critically updated and unpredictable VBK now is too unstable and no really so competitive compared to those the team should compete with on the top. In addition Vetlanda loses often important points on a level ground with those their rivals the team should pass through by definition. A bad luck can’t be attributed the fact that in nowadays Vetlanda parity is rather zero than positive. This makes a very distinctive and interesting team to quickly find that its style is there where there is a place for bandy of its every kind backgrounds. Challenge for experienced Tommy Österberg who came as a head coach in this season is quite workable and it depends a lot for him, as he is an alien at the team, primarily on his own future of how he is going to cope with this task.

Otherwise Vetlanda Bollnäs GIF seems ready to fall down just in a moment when the club suffered latent conflict on a coach-administrative level. This case is not of where an alien but their own homegrown Patrik Larsson has exploded situation when declared discrepancies with a sport chef regarding his policy towards the master team. But this is the only declared explanation. A real reason of Larsson’s dismiss as a coach is seen as his arrogations with the clan of Törnberg, one of those Peter was Larsson’s colleague at a cockpit and another one Pär was and still remains a key figure on the ice. In this all one thing is obvious that there must be a clear division of powers at the team in each process of management from a material provider to a sport director which was just a lack of in the internal environment inside collective that sooner is traditionally closer to anarchy than to dictatorship.

At the bottom of standings fight is no less stubborn and exciting than at the top, with the only clause that class of performance of the last 7 teams is markedly lower than the first ones. Random in this group is no one so everyone who is there has more clear grounds or less to be there. Therefore the 10th position of Ljusdals BK can be called as a conditional with the same equal share of true as it could be the last one, 14th place. The same attitude can be referred to the several teams more.

So far it is clear that there is no obvious outsider this season so it makes only to follow with great interest on what is happened not only at the top but at the bottom as well. Such an interest is fueled by perfect broadcast of everything Elitserien lives on. TV also makes its business well broadcasting high quality supply every round performed by high-grade coordinated team of bandy and tv experts.

Someone to lose and someone to find but no one except Sandviken shows permanet stability at the moment, so one more time one is to make sure of how modern and attractive bandy product Elitserien 2013-14 is for a fan.