Week 30 of 30 in the Elite Ice Hockey League regular season of 2018/19 – and it’s all very much still all to play for.
Results on Sunday mean that the league title still has not yet been secured. Cardiff Devils lead Belfast by four points, but have played a game more. The Giants are in midweek action in Coventry, before hosting Fife on Friday night. They then end their season on Saturday evening at home to Dundee. Cardiff meanwhile don’t play until Saturday night, at home to Milton Keynes. They travel to Coventry on Sunday – if Belfast have won all three of their games, the title race will go down to the wire. Cardiff travel to Coventry on Sunday.
Three teams are still mathematically in with a chance of finishing eighth and taking the final playoff place. It’s currently advantage Coventry, who have a one point and one game advantage over Manchester. The Blaze host Belfast midweek, while on Friday Manchester go back a game ahead when they travel to MK. This is all before a potential showdown on Saturday night at the Storm Shelter, when the Storm host the Blaze. If it’s not decided that night, Sunday has one more chance for the Blaze when they host Cardiff.
In all of this, don’t discount Dundee. The Stars must win both of their remaining games, but defeats for the Blaze and Storm in other games, and then a Storm win against the Blaze, would be enough to see Dundee through to the playoffs instead.
Nottingham, Glasgow, Guildford, Fife and Sheffield have all qualified for the playoffs, but as yet don’t know their final finishing positions. The Panthers lead the way for finishing third, and need a point in their final home game against Guildford to secure it. They may also be confirmed as #3 on Friday night if Fife fail to beat Belfast. Glasgow lead Guildford and Fife by a point as the sides sit in places four to six respectively, the Flyers’ have one game more to play than the others. At the weekend, Glasgow and Fife play a back to back series against each other, giving both the chance to ensure they finish above the other. Guildford host Dundee on Sunday evening to finish their regular season campaign.
Finally Sheffield have just the one fixture left, travelling to Milton Keynes on Sunday. The Steelers can potentially still finish eighth depending on other results. The Lightning meanwhile have long been out of the playoff picture, but could play a crucial part in the post-season races: hosting Manchester, travelling to Cardiff, and then welcoming Sheffield.
Categorised in: Week Ahead