German Elite League Hockey * English coverage of Germany's DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Get inside the DEL! Hamburg Freezers goalie Boris Rousson - nicknamed "The Spider" - opens his web journal. Check out the latest issues of "Spider's Web":
New start (September 5, 2005)
The last stretch (February 21, 2005)
New year, new hope (January 13, 2005)
It's not the size of the dog (December 4, 2004)
Good time for a little break! (November 16, 2004)
Can't buy any goals (November 1, 2004)
2nd shutout (October 21, 2004)
Power Play festival (October 14, 2004)
Exciting (October 9, 2004)
Here we go! (September 20, 2004)
Disappointing (April 14, 2004)
Four teams left (March 25, 2004)
Bring on the Adler! (March 8, 2004)








2 Ingolstadt 30-3-2-17 98 -
3 Düsseldorf 26-4-7-15 93 -
4 Nürnberg 26-2-9-15 91 -
5 Köln 24-6-5-17 89 -
6 Hamburg 21-8-6-17 85 -
7 Hannover 21-7-7-17 84 -
8 Krefeld 19-9-4-20 79 -
9 Frankfurt 18-5-6-23 70 -
10 Mannheim 19-4-3-26 68 -
11 Iserlohn 18-3-5-26 65 -
12 Augsburg 15-5-6-26 61 -
13 Kassel 15-5-3-29 58 -
14 Wolfsburg 12-5-5-30 51 -
Playoff spots: 1-8
Relegation series: 13-14

W = Win (3 points)
OTW = Overtime Win (2 points)
RT = Regulation Tie (1 point)
L = Loss (0 points)

Spider's Web   |   September 20, 2004  home
Here we go!
Goaltender Boris Rousson of the Hamburg Freezers opens his web journal
By Boris Rousson

Hamburg Freezers netminder Leonhard Wild
New backup goalie Leonhard Wild
Hamburg, Germany - Hello again, and welcome to this new season of the Spider’s Web, an insider look at the DEL and the Hamburg Freezers, as seen from behind the mask. Once again, I will offer you a different look at everything happening on and off the ice, and I will try to make it as interesting as possible.

A lot of things have happened this summer, and especially since August 11th, since we had our first on-ice practice. Here is what I have to say...


It was hard! I don’t know if my age is catching up with me, but I found this training camp to be very hard, especially the first 20 days. The practices were hard, we had a few more off-ice trainings as in the previous seasons, and the results of our games may be the consequence of the hard training. But I learned since I am playing hockey that preseason games are seldom a good indication of the real value of a team. We have had quite a few injuries, which forced us to play our games with only 3 units more often than not. We experienced with different systems and strategies, which will make us only better in the long run in adapting to all the different situations of a game. We played all our games (except one) on the road, never easy to do, including 3 games in 4 night in Sweden, and 3 games in 2 and a half days here in Germany, all with a small roster. Don’t think that I am making excuses: we did not play well. We gave up too many goals, we didn’t score enough, our special teams struggled and our discipline wasn’t so good. All these issues we will have to address before the season starts.


This season again, a lot of new faces will be wearing the Black and Baby Blue of the Freezers. We added experience and leadership with Jürgen Rumrich (who will be co-captain with Smash). We got some speed and a lot of potential in Brandon Reid, a spectacular offensive player who should become a big fan favorite. Speed and physical presence are the best qualities of Craig Johnston, who is coming over straight from the NHL. Also on offense, we added Nils Antons from the Eisbären and Christopher Oravec from Augsburg. On defense, Alan Letang will give us good speed and a complete game, while Jochen Molling is returning for a second stint with the Freezers. Sasa Martinovic looks like he will play a little of offense and a little of defense, something that is always useful on a team. And finally, I have a new partner in goal in Hardy Wild, who has played well in training camp and will definitely push me in the same way that Küni did so well over the last five years.

Boris Rousson is entering his third season as a columnist for
Boris Rousson: "We gave up too many goals in preseason"

We were all a little surprised to lose Greiger to Kassel, but I guess something had to be done after the not so good preseason.


When you play a team from the minors, games almost always follow of these two patterns:

The DEL team scores early, gains some momentum and the Second Bundesliga team fights hard but comes up short.

Or the Second Bundesliga team scores early, the DEL team gets frustrated, their goalie plays really good, then it is a fight to the finish.

The second screenplay is pretty much what happened in Kaufbeuren, as we faced a highly motivated team, a young promising goalie that was in training camp with us, and we got beat, fair and square, 3-0 by the Kaufbeuren Buron Jokers. At least, we were not the only DEL team to lose as both Frankfurt and Mannheim, two other top DEL teams lost their games also.


I don’t know which side I am on in the labour dispute between the NHLPA and the owners of the NHL teams. The one thing I know is that the locked-out players coming over to play in the DEL will make an impact for sure on the teams that are willing to take the chance to sign them. Especially with the German players that don’t require to use a foreigner’s spot. So Marco Sturm in Ingolstadt and Jochen Hecht in Mannheim will be attractions for these teams. I am curious to see what some teams will do if they struggle early and the lockout drags on. It seems that we should not expect a quick settlement.


I think the league has reached a new level of parity this season, and the season should be really exciting. I think all the teams have improved, and for playing in Wolfsburg in the preseason, it will be a difficult place to win there, so every game is important, even early in the season.

Let it begin!! 

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