SHEFFIELD, UK – It’s not often that a team at the top of the league can influence what happens at the other end but this weekend Nottingham will have the chance to do just that when they take on three teams eager for a ticket to the post-season party.
Maybe February isn’t the right time for a long weekend in Scotland but that’s just what the Panthers have in store starting on Friday night. Dundee, Fife and Edinburgh all lie in wait for the table toppers and all three teams still have hopes of making the playoffs. The Flyers and Capitals are within the coveted top eight but a single slip by either one could open the door for the Stars. As for Nottingham they too can’t afford even a single hic-up if they want to end their 57-year wait for the league title.
Hot on the Panthers’ heels are Belfast and Sheffield.
The Giants, once again, begin their weekend on Friday when they start a home double header against the Cardiff Devils, with the second game taking place the following night upon the Irish ice.
As for the Steelers, they have just one game to tackle with Edinburgh making the long trip south to the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday. With the number of games left in the regular season dwindling by the weekend two points will be a must for Ryan Finnerty’s men if they want to close the already five point gap on their bitter rivals.
Away from the three at the top, Dundee follow up their Friday night dance with the Panthers with a trip to Coventry on Saturday before returning home to complete their weekend back on home ice against Braehead on Sunday.
As for the Clan they start on Saturday by welcoming Hull to the Braehead Arena before that trip to Dundee 24-hours later.
Finally two further games close out the weekend on Sunday with Cardiff returning home for the final game of their three game stint with a visit from the Coventry Blaze while Hull and Fife continue their season long series, this time the Hull Ice Arena provides the back drop.
As the regular season enters its last month every game becomes important for every team and with all still within a chance of making the final four weekend in Nottingham it’s all to play for at both the top and bottom of the Elite League.