Raabe defies the pain

Raabe defies the pain

Still heavily drawn was Steven Raabe, as he swung on the ergometer Wednesday morning, later attending the training session of his Grizzlies Wolfsburg watched. The 20-year-old Grizzlies defender has had a tough time of it lately. On Sunday against Ingolstadt, a puck had hit him so unfortunately in the lip area that he had to be stitched with "22 to 25 stitches". How many exactly, the homegrown no longer knows. And yet, on Thursday, Raabe would prefer to be on the bus when his team travels to the away trip at the RB Munich (Friday, 19.30 o'clock) – even if he would then probably have another handicap more.

Because protecting this part of the face would only be possible with a barred visor, as junior players up to the age of 18. Year of life carry. "It's annoying and it's going to be an adjustment," says the defender, even though the days of full visor were not even a year and a half ago for him. His coach knows: "Above all, mentally he must be ready again after this cut."

Thursday morning final test for Raabe

It wasn't even a hard shot puck that hit him. But it hit him so badly that in the past few days he found it difficult to eat ("I could only take small bites") and had to resort to painkillers. "I have to admit that I underestimated the pain a little bit," he says.

On Thursday, the defender wants to return to the ice, after which it will be decided whether it is wise to get on the bus. "I will talk to the coach, it must already make sense," said Raabe. The 2021/22 season is not under a good star for him so far. The homegrown was missing for a long time due to illness, now the cut, which was not the first for him. "The season has been a bit of a mess so far. I just want to look that I give my best on the ice every day." Should he be there, then the threads, the 22 to 25, would also still be in it. They probably won't be pulled until next week.

Stewart: Many players decide it themselves

Raabe wants to grit his teeth. This is already a good thing for the Grizzlies, who are shorthanded this season. The last one to do that was defenseman Armin Wurm on Sunday. Him had previously stopped a hand injury for weeks. After the suspensions of Spencer Machacek and Darren Archibald before the Ingolstadt game the defender nevertheless reported fit. On their own initiative. 'We had a vacancy and he came forward'. A lot of these decisions are coming from the players themselves," Coach registers it Mike Stewart with goodwill.

The Austro-Canadian still has hope that it will also be Jordan Murray and Julian Melchiori suffices. Both were back on the ice on Wednesday, but with both it will be decided at short notice whether they can be there. Stewart does not worry before Thursday morning yet. "I'm here in the ice arena at 7 o'clock in the morning, the players arrive a little later, and I let myself be surprised. I could go crazy, what would it be like if we were full. But: It brings nothing."

Before Munich: "Concentrate on us"

That's exactly how the coach perceives it from the team. "The guys don't care who's in the lineup either. Of course they wish everyone could play, but you get used to it. It's already crass," says Stewart.

And then also Munich. They don't really know what to expect in Wolfsburg on Friday. The EHC recently had an enforced break due to numerous Corona infections. On Tuesday in Bietigheim, there was still a 2-0 win. "The decisive factor was that Munich had most of its professional defenders with them. She and goalie Danny aus den Birken have given the team this chance."

Also the team of Don Jackson Had a short bench against the Steelers, but put the shutouts away just like the Grizzlies did recently. "We focus on us," stresses Stewart, who, however, prepared his team for the actual style of Munich: "They play with five-man pressing. We have to find solutions to get out of our third, we have been practicing that." What personnel Stewart has at his disposal for this, he looks on Thursday.

EHC Munich – Grizzlies Wolfsburg, Friday, 19.30 o'clock.