Elite League Team Review 2017
With the Elite League playoffs coming up this weekend lets take a look at how the sides did during the regular season.
A much better season for the Capitals. Ok so they didn’t make the playoffs and still finished bottom of the table but they did much better. Not only did the Edinburgh side finish with 8 more points this season they also made the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup. More crucially as the Caps look to move forward there were no rifts in the dressing room and player walk outs that marred the team last season. An A for effort but still has work to do.
It was not a vintage year for the Blaze. They missed out on the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup and missed the playoffs. Bottom place in the Erhardt Conference by some distance will not have helped the fans either. It is a worrying downturn for the Blaze which they do not seem to have been able to stop in recent years. Frustratingly wins in Sheffield will be forgotten by their other performances. Whether it is a change of coach, some the old guard players or more back room changes a bigger cultural shock could be needed.
A mixed season for the leagues newest side. They have made the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup with 4 points than last season and scrapped into the playoffs. Wins also came in Belfast and Cardiff which will be long remembered. But poor form North of the boarder hasn’t helped and they did finish with fewer Wins than last season. Their post Christmas form will need to improve as well. With changes to the Conference structure expected next season and Belfast likely to make the switch to the Gardiner Conference to make room of Guildford and Milton Keynes an improved road and overtime record will be need.
Ann ominous for most of the season the Stars have certainly come good at the right time. A late rally propelled the Stars into the playoffs and into the finals. More consistency over the season might be the key for the Stars getting up into the higher reaches of the table and challenging for Conference supremacy.
On ice the Flyers have been caught in a no mans land for most the season. Out of contention in the league and conference they have coasted towards to the playoffs. Sadly for them they will be more remembered for instances in the crowd than on the ice.
A season of lacking intensity. The Clan season was rather disappointing. Ok so they walked away with the Conference title again but the Clan failed to make a semifinal in both the Challenge Cup and the Playoffs. They were some way of the pace in the league too. The Clan can continue as they are doing and challenge for Conference title after Conference title but will need to do more to keep their fans happy and really push for the league.
It will be remember for a strange season. The Continental Cup success is superb for the team but they never really got anywhere domestically. Finishing 15 points behind the Steelers and 23 behind the Cardiff Devil is poor by their standards. The perenial big game specialists though will have disappointed with a big loses Challenge Cup semi final and blowing a big lead in the playoff quarter final to miss out on the finals.
It is always difficult managing Europe and domestic but the Steelers have done a good job of doing that. They will though be disappointed by loosing games at the important times but sometimes you are beaten by the better the team.
A much improved season for the Giants. They have been a bit off the boil since romping to league victory in 2014 but coming runner up this season will be satisfying for the fans. The playoffs will be a real target but can anyone beat the Devils.
It was a season that everyone knew they had in them but when it would come is a different matter. Small steps have been taken and this season Andrew Lord has put all parts together. You don’t win the league by 7 points if you are not the best team and the Challenge Cup if you are not a good team and the Devils have been. A lot of credit to Ben Bowns as well who has had some pressure after some losses last season in big games and whilst he has had the best defence in front of him a .912 save percentage is game saving.