Monday, January 14, 2008

Who makes the playoffs?

41 rounds played, 11 to go. Who wins the regular season? Who makes the playoffs? Who advances in the "elemination round"? (7th, 8th, 9th and 10th playing for the 2 remaining playoff spots) Who can enjoy extra-long holidays? And who will have to play the 1st division champion to stay in the league?
  1. HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice, 84 points
    After struggling in late December, Ceske Budejovice has returned to its form, winning 4 out of their 5 last games. No stars here, and no real weakness. Arguably the fastest team in the league, C.B. gets scoring from all 4 lines. Best players so far: R. Turek, S. Hrebejk, T. Kurka. They will finish 1st.

  2. HC Slavia Praha, 80 points
    Just like C.B., they also fell into a hole after Christmas, but things start looking brighter after they took a point in C.B. and beat Usti at home. Highest scoring team in the league, but I would be a little bit worried about their goaltenders (A. Svoboda isn´t much of a playoff specialist and backup D. Furch has just turned 18) Best players: J. Beranek, T. Zizka, R. Cervenka. Slavia will finish third.

  3. HC Bili Tygri Liberec, 76 points
    The white tigers gave up the fewest goals with 83, but they don´t have the same offensive firepower like the last two seasons, where they won the regular season. Best players: L. Zib, L. Cermak, A. Krstev. Liberec will come in 2nd.

  4. HC Energie Karlovy Vary, 65 points
    See how much a good start into the season can help? The team from Becherovka-City has been playing quite inconstantly over the last 2 month, but somehow they still manage to hang on to a 4th place. Best Players in 07/08: L. Mensator, V. Skuhravy, P. Kumstat, J. Reznicek. Vary will finish 5th

  5. HC Sparta Praha, 64 points
    After their inspiring performance at the Super-Six tournament in Russia (2nd) Sparta recieved a not-so-warmly welcome home yesterday, as they got beaten 4-0 in Litvinov. Only nine points seperate Sparta from a non-playoff spot. Best Players: P. Ton, T. Netik, J. Langhammer. Sparta takes the 4th spot.

  6. HC Lasselsberger Plzen, 62 points
    Great offense, bad defense. That´s how it looks like in Plzen right now. Tomas Vlasak has only 12 goals and is -16 with his 6.000.000 KC salary. Mario Cartelli (what a name), once the teams best defender has disappeared in a cloud of bad turnovers and Radek Matejovsky also has a season to forget about: 06/07: 13g, 9a, -1, 158pin. 07/08: 3g, 2a, -13, 101pin. Thanks god they have guys like T. Divisek (although his -18 makes your ears bleed), P. Vampola and M. Duras. Plzen will finish 8th.

  7. HC Litvinov, 60 points
    They have won their last 3 games, and obviously the people in Litvinov start to care about their hockey team. Yesterday´s 4-0 win against Sparta saw an attendance of 6120. So far, the team is carried by: R. Reichel, F. Lukes, M. Jenacek and J. Slegr. Litvinov will finish 6th.

  8. HC Ocelari Trinec, 59 points
    Trinec´season has been a wild ride so far, dominated by injuries and winning/losing streaks. This team is very hard to predict, they can finish everywhere between 4th and 12th. Best players so far: R. Tomik, R. Martynek, J. Peterek, M. Vojtek. Trinec will finish 10th.

  9. HC Vitkovice Steel, 58 points
    So far, they have done quite well under new coach Ernest Bokros, but they absolutely need 6/7 wins to be safe. If they miss the playoffs again, I won´t be surprised if the team´s owner moves the whole show to India... Best players: M. Prusek, P. Jurecka, V. Ujcik. They will remain were they are. 9th.

  10. HC Geus Okna Kladno, 57 points
    HC Elephant Cemetery has won all but 2 of their last 12 games, and they show no signs of slowing down. In addition to that, Kladno will play 7 of the 11 remaining rounds at home. Kladno´s best players 07/08: J. Kalla, R. Belohlav, P. Patera, M. Sevc. Kladno will finish 7th.

  11. HC Znojemsti Orli, 55 points
    Watching the Znojmo Eagles play an away game is about as entertaining as pulling your nasal hair. 4 players on their own blue line and a sole forechecker. Who plays that way doesn´t deserve a playoff sport. Lights in the dark: J. Dopita, R. Jares, J. Trvaj. Znojmo will come in 12th.

  12. HC Moeller Pardubice, 52 points
    Pardubice has shown some signs of life recently, putting together their first winning streak of the season with 4 wins in a row. (wow!). Best players: P. Sykora, T. Rolinek, J. Cetkovsky. It´s gonna be tight, but I would say they won´t make it. 11th.

  13. HC RI Okna Zlin, 47 points
    I said it before the season, and I say it again, Balastik and Leska are not enough to get this team into the post season. Balastik is responsible for about 20% of Zlin´s goals, and the teams second position in goals holds Dusan Andrasovsky (who came from Pardubice) with 10. Go figure. Best players: D. Andrasovsky, J. Balastik, P. Leska. Zlin will finish 13th.

  14. HC Slovan Ustecti Lvi, 36 points
    Everybody knew that Usti won´t be competing for a playoff spot, but the team had a very troubled season so far as they fired their coach and released their captain. Best players: P. Janku, A. Novotny, D. Pazourek. Usti will finish last.

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