“swing a little more, on the Devil’s dance floor”
Flogging Molly: “Devil’s Dance Floor”
We’re back again, a week nearer the end of the EIHL regular season and thus a week nearer the end of the EIHL title race. For the introduction and an explanation of how these weekly Number Crunch posts work, have a read of the first one from last week.
Done that? Good. Let’s look at the current state of play in the EIHL, shall we?
1. BRAEHEAD. Games Played 42, Pts 59. Games Remaining 10. Max Pts Total, 79
2. SHEFFIELD: GP 41, Pts 58. GR 11, Max Pts 80
3. CARDIFF: GP 42 Pts 56, GR 10, Max Pts 76
4, NOTTINGHAM: GP 41, Pts 54, GR 11, Max Pts 76
5. BELFAST: GP 43, Pts 52, GR 9, Max Pts 70
6. FIFE: GP 43, Pts 40, GR 9, Max Pts 58
7. HULL GP 38, Pts 38, GR 14, Max Pts 66
8. COVENTRY GP 43, Pts 38, GR 9, Max Pts 56
9. EDINBURGH: GP 41, Pts 35, GR 11, Max Pts 57
10. DUNDEE: GP 42, Pts 25, GR 10, Max Pts 45
As you can see, there’s been some changes in the points this time out…let’s first of all look at the big winners/losers from the last week.
CARDIFF: 5 from 6 points in Scotland, including a 3-0 win in Braehead on Saturday, means that they’re suddenly back in the title race with a vengeance.
COVENTRY: A four-point weekend against Belfast at the Skydome has helped them gain some serious ground on the rest of the teams in the race-their destiny is still very much in their own hands and it’s a great start to a run of fixtures against Erhardt opposition that could make or break their chances.
EDINBURGH: 3 points back from Coventry but still with two games in hand, they’ve only lost a point in the race thanks to a vital shootout win against Cardiff on Friday night.
BELFAST: A pointless weekend in Coventry means the Giants, barring some sort of collapse from those above them, had better pack up the Monteith Bowl and prepare it for its new home-their title challenge is all but done.
NOTTINGHAM: A loss to Sheffield not only costs them the chance to gain vital ground on Braehead thanks to the Clan’s loss to Cardiff that same night, but also lets the Steelers and Cardiff jump above them in the table.
So-with all that assessed, how does it affect the races in the EIHL?
THE TITLE RACE
1. BRAEHEAD: Pts 59. Games Remaining 10, QUALIFIED FOR POs
2. SHEFFIELD: Pts 58, GR 10, Pts Behind 1, GTE 9 (games to elimination), QUALIFIED FOR PO’s
3. CARDIFF: Pts 56, GR 10, PtsB 3, GTE 8, GTQ 1
4. NOTTINGHAM: Pts 54, GR10, PtsB 5, GTE 7, GTQ 2
5. BELFAST: Pts 52, GR9, PtsB 7, GTE 5, GTQ 2
(games until elimination or GTE for the title race teams means the number of games remaining until the team can no longer catch the one at the top of the table, assuming the results between that team and the one at the top of the table are the same. GTQ (games until Qualification) will track when they can no longer finish lower than 8th and are thus PO bound)
THE PO RACE
6. FIFE: Pts 40, GR 9 WTQ 8
7 HULL: Pts 38, GR 14, WTQ 8
8. COVENTRY: Pts 38, GR 9, WTQ 9
9. EDINBURGH: Pts 35, GR 11. GTE 9
10. DUNDEE: GP 42, Pts 25, GR 10, GTE 3
You’ll notice at this end of the table, while all have Wins TQ numbers, only the bottom two teams have “games until elimination”. That’s because we’re measuring the amount of games remaining until they can no longer catch the team currently in 8th place, the lowest PO spot, assuming results for them and the team currently sitting in 8th place are identical for the rest of the season. The GTQ is number of games remaining until they can no longer finish above ninth.
So-in summary, this week has meant that Sheffield have now locked up a PO spot, and Dundee and Belfast are already teetering on the brink of elimination from their respective races. Apart from that, though? it’s anyone’s guess, just the same as it was last week.
The focus moves to Challenge Cup for the semi finals tonight and tomorrow, but league action resumes on Friday. How will it affect the races?
Find out, same time next week.