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Malmo first to clinch playoffs


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After winning eight of their first nine games, the Malmo Nighthawks took a step back, going on a 5-7 run. During that stretch, they dropped out of first place in Europe for the first time all season; after 21 games, they were in third place with 26 points, behind Riga (29) and Davos (28). The Nighthawks turned things around in a big way, going 30-7 since then. Worth noting, it was after 22 games that Malmo acquired Scotty Kaberle from the league, so it would seem that this addition has made a significant impact. This has them not only back on top of the conference, but first in the league overall with an 11 point lead over the closest teams. They are the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs, and the top seed is theirs to lose. Their remaining schedule is not all too punishing, with six of their final 14 games being against teams currently under 0.500. The story of the team this season revolves around their offense, particularly the output they are getting from Gunnar Odinsson and Brendan Telker, who are first and second in goals scored in the VHL. In the midst of that, Artem Tretiak is quietly have another solid year, currently posting a 0.921 save percentage. The Nighthawks have been a very complete team after since the acquisition of Kaberle to shore up their defense, and they are currently looking like the team to beat.

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