In February, Poland will compete in their second Euro Ice Hockey Challenge this year. The first was a great success, they finished first with 2 wins and 1 loss to Italy. The roster for this EIHC is much weaker than the one they showed back in November. This one seems more like a tryout for the World Championships. It gives us a chance to see some players who have yet to represent Poland or haven’t in a long time. It is good to see Ted Nolan is leaving no stone unturned in my opinion.
The Ted Nolan era is now well underway as we grow closer to his first huge challenge the Division 1 Group A World Championships in Hungary. Poland hasn’t been to the top division of the World Championships since 2001-2002 with last year being an embarrassing performance that ended with an 11-0 loss to Austria. What should we expect this year out of Nolan and Poland? It feels like in Men’s hockey, Poland just keeps being on the edge on moving up a level. It has been consistency problems haunting the team for awhile. Is Ted Nolan the answer to fixing those? Are some players the problems? Nolan is definitely bringing a different team than we have seen in the past. Right now I set the expectations at least a silver medal and promotion.
It is that a bit much? Maybe. Before last year’s 4th place finish. Poland finished 3rd with a bronze medal in back to back years. Alan Łyszczarczyk will be on this team and if not Nolan loses my trust in that he is the right person to lead Poland right now. Some people choose to believe, Łyszczarczyk wasn’t good enough for the senior team, but he should have been on the past 2 years and I will die on that hill. I know Ted Nolan is retooling the national team in a way by doing things like getting more imports, but I also want results in his first year. Jacek Plachta was able to get this team within a few goals of promotion. If Nolan doesn’t push them over the edge is he really the better coach?