SHL and Hockey Allsvenskan - regular season round up

SHL and Hockey Allsvenskan - regular season round up

10 Mar 2018Adrian J»
 

The regular season has now come to a close in Sweden's top hockey divisions. In this article we'll take a quick look at who finished where and a brief look at the team's vying to win the knockout stages and be crowned Swedish national champion 2017-8.

 
 
 
 

The regular season has now come to a close in Sweden's top hockey divisions. In this article we'll take a quick look at who finished where and a brief look at the team's vying to win the knockout stages and be crowned Swedish national champion 2017-8.

SHL - Swedish Hockey League - top division of men's hockey

The 14 teams in the SHL have now played each other 4 times bringing the regular season to a close. With five games to go in the series the winner was this year's Champions Hockey League runners up Växjö Lakers. It is the second year in a row they have won the season but the big question now remains have they got what it takes to raise the Le Mat Trophy at the end of the knockout stages? Finnish JYP Jyväskylä were able to neutralise the Lakers by holding them in their own defensive zone, cutting out passes via the wall or through the neutral zone. They also used great man to man marking, especially on the penalty kill. By keeping the puck away from the creative forward geniuses of Elias Pettersson and Robert Rosén and the scoring prowess of Andrew Calof they stopped Växjö's goals-scoring potential.

It went down to the very last game of the season, but Pettersson's goal against Linköping meant he came first in Total Points in his first year in the SHL with 56 points including 24 goals, enough to put him in second in the Goal scorer's competition. He is only 19 and was drafted in the first round by Vancouver Canucks in 2017. However, he was not part of Sweden's Olympic team in Korea despite a Junior WC Silver in Buffalo in December. 

Djurgården IF, who finished second in the table, are one of the few teams that have solved the Lakers winning three of their four meetings and only losing once, in sudden death.  With the league's top goalkeeper, Adam Reideborn and a broad arsenal of attacking options including home grown talent, Patrik Lundh, and Canadian Olympic Bronze medallist, René Bourque, could this be the year they win the first championship since 2001?

Final Positions and Playoff Summary:

1-6 Direct into Playoffs: Växjö Lakers, Djurgården IF, Frölunda Indians, Skellefteå AIK, Fäjestad BK, Malmö Redhawks

6-10: Extra match to qualify for Playoff: Luleå HF, HV71, Linköping HC, Brynäs IF

11-12: Qualified for SHL 2018-9 but no further matches: Rögle BK, Örebro HK

13-14: Into the qualification for SHL 2018-9 with Hockey Allsvenskan teams: Mora IK and Karlskrona HK.

Allsvenskan - Swedish men's second division

The playoff in the Hockey Allsvenskan is so complicated that it needs a whole homepage of it's own to explain it! At this stage what you need to know is that the regular season was won by Timrå IK. It is former club of several well known names including Elias Pettersson and Detroit Red Wings superstar Henrik Zetterberg.

Timrå's current keeper, Henrik Haukeland, leads the Allsvenskan with a Save Percentage of 92.94%. He was Norway's second choice keeper at the recent Winter Games. However, he only played the final two periods of the 1-6 defeat to OA Russia in the quarterfinals. As well as the league top keeper, Timrå have the much touted 20 year old forward, Jonathan Dahlén in their line up (Not to be confused with teen-sensation Rasmus Dahlin, Frölunda Indians not yet drafted back). Dahlén was drafted in 2016 by Ottawa Senators and went to a successful Junior World Championships for Sweden that winter. This year he came second in Total Points (44) and second in Goals scored (23) and for the second year in a row has a 1.00 Points Per Game average. He is sometimes compared to Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators and it is Forsberg's former club, Leksand IF, who finished second in Hockey Allsvenskan this year below Timrå. Below them it has been so tight that places 5-8 went down to the very last game of the season before they were resolved. These top eight teams will battle it out to compete against the bottom two teams in the SHL to see who will go up to the top division.

Final Positions and Playoff summary:

1-2: Timrå IK and Leksand IF. They will play each other. Winner will play the bottom team in SHL, Karlskrona HK, to see who will go forward to the top division in 2018-9.

3-8: Playoff series: AIK, Almtuna, Björklöven, Pantern IK, Oskarshamn, Södertälje. Winner of this series will play the loser of Timrå v Leksand. Whoever wins this game will play SHL team 13, Mora, to see who will go forward to SHL in 2018-9.


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