The Business End Starts Here

Last weekend may have been all about the big boys but this weekend’s games were all about the EPL. With the top two going head to head. Guildford and Manchester played a home and home series with the victory either taking a giant step towards the league title or staying firmly in the hunt. Both games were tight affairs. Saturdays effort went to overtime with Guildford taking the extra point for a 2 -1 victory. Whilst Sunday’s return game in Manchester also went down to the wire with the Flames hanging on for a 5 -4 victory in the Altrincham Ice Dome.

This is all means that Manchester’s lead at the top of the EPL is slashed from 5 points to 2 with plenty more hockey to be played. It is however looking like a 2 horse race down the stretch as Basingstoke lost both of their games this weekend to lose more ground on the front two. With 2 wins over Manchester it looks like Guildford have gained the momentum but it is far from over. After all Guildford wont do a Cardiff and win all their games. Will they?

But this is the business end of the season and amongst the teams stretching out in front of the league, teams dropping away and the stragglers being distanced the league too is doing business and no other league is quite like the NHL in doing business. After announcing that there will be an NHL Premier Europe to start the 2011/12 season the rumours are pointing to two cities. Stockholm and London although neither have been confirmed by the NHL. The game in Stockholm appears to be on the 7th October facing off at 8pm Local time. Other rumours are abound in the NHL as with everywhere else at the moment as clubs look to make their last deals ahead of the trade deadlines.

One team desperate to make changes will be the Edinburgh Capitals. They made the trip to the Sheffield Arena on Saturday only to be on the end of 18 – 1 defeat. As mentioned in my last blog the situation with import players in Edinburgh has been shocking and this result is yet more proof that something has to be done. Edinburgh more than likely would have lost the game with a full squad but it would have been an entertaining and enjoyable affair for the fans. The league and the game should be disgraced at letting this situation get to a point where a team is having to such a disadvantage. I only hope this serves as the catalyst for change. And whilst this the business end of the season the powers that be should take note and make sure this one piece of business that gets taken care of.

Now whilst this is not hockey related but one sport has been getting its business done. The UCI (union cycliste internationale) has now banned the use of radios. An ancient debate in the sport. But whilst trolling through Twitter I noticed a few riders discussing the matter and was impressed by their desire to be heard and the intelligence of their proposals, Robbie McEwan and Matt Rogers in particular.

Links

http://blog.sheffieldsteelers.co.uk/2011/01/15/one-way-traffic/

http://guildfordflames.com/flames_back_in_it_with_5_4_win

http://www.cbsport.org/icehockey/guildford-flames-2-phoenix-1-overtime/

http://www.smgworldwide.com/html/eventdetails.asp?eventID=733&sportID=9

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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