Swedish Hockey League (SHL), formerly known as Swedish Elit League (“Elitserien” in Swedish) is underway. In this post you can read about the schedule for the group phase and the play offs.
Swedish Hockey League: group phase
In the group phase the teams will play 52 games each. From this year, the league consists of 14 teams. The schedule is optimized for some back-to-back meetings during the season. In the back-to-back games, two teams will face each other two days in a row in one home and one away game. The participating teams (city in parenthesis) are:
Brynäs IF (Gävle)
Djurgården Hockey (Stockholm)
Frölunda HC (Gothenburg)
Färjestad BK (Karlstad)
MODO Hockey (Örnsköldsvik)
Rögle BK (Ängelholm)
The last round of the league robin is played March 8.
Swedish Hockey League: Play offs
The teams placed 1-6 in the league are directly qualified for the quarterfinals. Team 7-10 will face each other in the round of 16 in a series of best of three games. The two winners qualifies to the quarter finals. During the play offs, the best placed teams in the league will always be matched against the worst placed teams. Team 11-12 are done for the season and 13-14 will try to qualify for next year’s SHL against two teams from the lower league, Allsvenskan. The qualifiers are played in series of seven games. That also applies to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
Round of 16
The round of 16 games are played March 10, 12 and 14 2016.
The quarterfinals are played March 16-29.
The semifinals are played April 1-14.
The final series is played April 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28.
As we write this, Frölunda, Skellefteå and Linköping have established themselves at the top of Swedish Hockey League. In the bottom, Malmö, Modo Hockey and Karlskrona HK are struggling. Above the bottom three, there are three teams within a point (Rögle, Luleå, HV71). Spot 4-8 is an open race at the moment. Luleå, who won the Champions Hockey League last year, is the biggest disappointment so far. They had an ambitious goal of winning both CHL and SHL this year and have recruited a number of good players. Sadly, they have failed to build a team out of all the talent. However, there are many rounds left and they have (barely) made it to the round of 16 in CHL. It remains to see what teams can endure the long season and who will lift the trophy in the end of April.