One week left------ Colonials peaking at right time.
Hard to believe there is only one week left to go in the regular season. This is my 4th season as leader of the xhl and I have to be honest, at this time of year for the past 3 xhl seasons, I was starting to look forward to the end of the regular season and playoffs. This season feels different. A year ago, the league met Dave Glass, who right away offered to help the league in any way he could. We decided to take him up on it with reffing. Jason Iseler was just coming off hip surgery, but was willing to help ref as well. I thought both guys did a really good job of reffing some of the league’s most competitive games last August. At the end of the season, Glass offered to go a step farther and become the league’s head of officials. As president of the league, I haven’t once had to worry about scrounging for refs this season. We all realize that the ref situation is far from perfect, but I think we have taken a big step forward this season. Its exciting seeing a lot of rookies in the league as well. Even for those teams at the bottom of the standings, I must say I have been impressed with the play of some of the younger guys on those teams.
The playoffs are 2 weeks away, and the 6 playoff teams have already been determined, but there is still a lot to play for next week, see below:
Knights - 19 points (Colonials/Yeti)
Yeti - 19 points (Knights)
Renegades – 18 points (Lazers/Xtreme)
Hooligans – 18 points (Xtreme)
Xtreme – 17 points (Hooligans/Renegades)
Colonials – 17 points (Knights)
1st place and 6th place is surrounded by 2 points. The top 2 teams will get a bye, and with the way the season is going, it will go a long way in a teams quest for the 2018 xhl championship. Here are the scenarios.
The Knights are probably in the best position of anyone. They still have 2 games left, which could give them 23 points if they find a way to win both games. If they lose just one of those games in regulation, it could open up the door for the Renegades and Xtreme. The Renegades will be highly favored to beat the Lazers considering the Lazers circumstances, so assuming they win, they would have 20 points going into the final game against the Xtreme. The Xtreme’s game against the Hooligans will be very important in determining who gets a top 2 seed. An Xtreme win would open up the door for them on Wednesday night against the Renegades to get a top 2 seed. If Kevin Smith, Dave Jewell and Joe Bussard are all present, its safe to say that no team will want to face them in the opening week of the playoffs. A first round series against them would almost seem like playing in the championship game 2 rounds sooner. Rumor is that Jake Kline will be on vacation the week of the xhl’s semifinals, which will leave a big void with the Knights. Will Jake Kline make his wife go solo so he can play in the playoffs?
It will be a wild final week of the regular season. On Monday night, the Hooligans will play the Xtreme, the Colonials will play the Knights, followed by Wednesday games of the Xtreme against the Renegades and the Yeti against the Knights. Those 4 games will determine who gets seeded where. The league rarely sees a playoff series go to 3 games, but we could see several game 3 deciders this year. With the way things are going, we could see a lot of overtime playoff games which rarely happens in the xhl. The playoff schedule will be determined following the Knights-Yeti game next Wednesday night. Stay tuned. I am starting to get a headache just thinking of all the difference scenarios.
John Matchock -------------- Colonials peaking at the right time:
1. Nice 11 to 6 win over the xtreme tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort in the win? We came out strong last night. We jumped out to big lead and we were able to hang on at the end. Good win before playoffs. 2. Just a few weeks back, you were 49 seconds away from a yeti shutout. How discouraging was it? Ugh. Very. 3. The xtreme didnt have Kevin or chad. Did you think it gave your team an edge going into it? Anytime a team is missing two of their big guns, it changes things. But, we are more worried about us. We want to go into the playoffs on a high note. 4. The team scored early and often on Clint. As a guy who plays goalie from time to time, what goes thru your mindset as a player skating out trying to keep shots coming on a goalie who hasnt found a groove? That is tough situation. You always want to make a save or two to get you in the game. I can’t speak for Clint, but having a few go in right off the bat is not good for confidence. As for Clint, he stuck with it. There was plenty of time to get back in the game. You just never know what’s going to happen the rest of the game. Things can turn quickly on the opposing goalie so you can’t give up. Have to forget the goals let in and focus on keeping the next one out. 5. Knights are next, then the playoffs. You like the teams chances? This year, a lot of competitive games. Makes it fun. We lost in overtime I believe the first time. Should be a good game once again.