Well it’s that time of the year again! The EIHL Playoff Final Weekend is upon us. As a Canadian, I love playoff hockey, and the atmosphere around it more than any other sporting event. I respect that the League Title is huge in the EIHL, but for me the Playoff Weekend is the ultimate excitement in UK hockey. Last year was my first go-around at the NIC in Nottingham – and I really enjoyed my experience.
The tension, and fans, made it a special event in my time covering the game. The Panthers beat Hull handily in the semi-finals, while Gerad Adams and the Devils upset the heavily favoured Giants to reach the final.
The Panthers in front of a huge home crowd, then went on to win a close game 2-0 over Cardiff in the Grand Final. It was a great weekend of hockey, and the best team raised the hardware.
This weekend the Panthers will try and defend their playoff crown, while looking to complete the EIHL treble. Nottingham are the League Champions, and the Challenge Cup winners, so they know how to win.
Will the pressure prove too great on Corey Neilson’s side? Can the Belfast Giants grab the last trophy of the season? Or will Paul Thompson leave the Blaze on a winning note? It’s all to play for, and never count the Cardiff Devils out!
To get you excited for the weekend, here’s one of my favourite interviews from last year – Craig Kowalski took some time to chat with me right after leading the Cats to victory:
Enjoy the Playoff Weekend whoever you’re cheering for! And, I hope to see plenty of you around the NIC over the next few days. As always, feel free to post any comments and predictions in the mailbag!
You can follow Murph on Twitter @MurphOnIce