Alex 2,059 Posted March 9, 2022 Share Posted March 9, 2022 @v.2 Welcome to VSN’s VHL playoff preview and predictions, in this article we’ll break down each series and discuss what players could be key to turning the tide of the series and potentially pulling off an upset. This was truly an incredible season, and we should be in for a few upsets in the playoffs While you’re here be sure to check out some of the other recent VSN articles and podcast. VHLM Illustrated 1st Edition 3/6/2022 | VSN Podcast Podcast W/Sam & N0HBDY Ep.3 | S82 VHL Trade Deadline Recap Wildcard Series Seattle vs. Toronto Our first playoff series could be a really interesting one with the youth of Toronto taking on all the veterans in Seattle. For Seattle this series could very well come down to their offense, led by offseason acquisition Taro Tsujimoto @Gustav who finished 3rd in league scoring with 139 points and S81 MVP Justin Lose @youloser1337. For Toronto, they will once again lean heavily on Oskar Lindbergh @Doomsday in the hopes that he can carry them out of the wildcard round for a second consecutive season. This Toronto team is very much still really young and as they approach their prime, they could be in good shape to take the league by storm. In order for Toronto to advance they will have to get the better of Kunibuni UnGuri @Berocka, who was acquired from Davos shortly before the trade deadline. Prediction: Seattle in 4 (best of 5) VSN vote: SEA 6, TOR 4 Moscow vs. Malmo After making the playoffs on the final day of the regular season both these teams will have something to prove. For Moscow it is that them making it to the finals the 2 previous seasons wasn’t a fluke and that they still have it. For Malmo it will be to prove everyone wrong and go on a deep run and try to replicate their success from S79. Malmo will need their offense led by Nathaniel Minion @Minion and potential Boulet Trophy favourite Taylor Mourning @scoop to be firing on all cylinders to out-score Moscow. For Moscow, the other Boulet favourite Duncan Idaho @OrbitingDeath , will need to be at the top of their game as well. This series could very well come down to goaltending as Artem Tretiak @Molholt and Papa Emeritus @Beketov will go toe-to-toe all series. With that being said given their previous performances Moscow is the clear cut favourite here. Prediction: Moscow in 3 (best of 5) VSN vote: MOS 11, MAL 0 Conference Semi-Finals Los Angeles vs. Calgary This series could be a really interesting one as Los Angeles won the season series 4-2, in what was for the most part some very close games. Dan Dan @MMFLEX is coming off of an incredible season that will likely see them take home a majority of the offensive awards and will likely continue their play in the playoffs starting off with a series against their former team. Calgary will likely lean on their scoring depth with all of Reylynn Reinhart @Ricer13, Tom Eagles @Greg_Di, and Gustislav Nasherov @Vat scoring over 100 points this season. Calgary has a real chance to pull off an upset here, however it’s very difficult to bet against Los Angeles after the season they have had. Prediction: Los Angeles in 5 VSN vote: LAS 8, CGY 2 Vancouver vs. Seattle After what Vancouver did in the regular season it’s hard to debate a reason on why they will not make it at least out of the conference semifinals. In the regular season Vancouver took 4 of the 7 match-ups losing in 3 very close games to Seattle. For Seattle to have a decent chance Kunibuni UnGuri will need to stand on their head in every game to shut down Vancouver’s offense. For Vancouver it will likely be Jerome Reinhart @MexicanCow123 who will lead their offense and will try to run over the Bears. Prediction: Vancouver in 4 VSN vote: VAN 10, SEA 0 Prague vs. Riga Possibly the closest first round series we will see, with Riga winning the season series 4-2. Additionally, since acquiring Alex Johnston @Alex Riga has gone 17-5-0, the best record in the VHL during that stretch. In that time both Johnston’s and Battre Sandstrom’s @Acydburn production skyrocketed, and they will likely propel Riga’s offense past Prague. With that being said Prague is not without offensive options as Darth Kaprizov @Darth Kaprizov led the league in scoring this season with 60 goals. This series could prove to be an offensive show, which will truly be a show to watch. Riga gets the nod here as they won the season series. Prediction: Riga in 7 VSN vote: PRG 5, RIG 5 London vs. Moscow Despite a dominant regular season that saw London surge to the top of the regular season standings in the European Conference, they will not have an easy road to the Conference finals as they will likely have to get past Moscow to win their first series ever. If Moscow’s defense led by Hard Markinson @STZ and Aurelien Moreau @Frank can limit London’s rookies offensively, this series could quickly turn into Moscow’s to lose. For London, they just will need to simply score more than Moscow, defense has been anything but a strength for London, and they will need Matt Avens @Mr Bohannan, Nils Godlander @Moon, and Zaza Colors @McWolf to carry their play from the regular season into the playoffs to get past the back-to-back European Conference Champion. Prediction: Moscow in 7 VSN vote: LDN 4, MOS 5 Conference Finals Vancouver vs. Los Angeles The series that most people could see as the de facto Continental Cup Finals, the top 2 teams in the league will go head-to-head in the North American Conference Finals. Both teams tied for the least goals against in the regular season with 220, however Vancouver scored 26 more goals. Of note, Los Angeles heavily out played Vancouver in the season series, winning it 4-2 and outscoring Vancouver 22-15 in those games. Vancouver will likely lean heavily on their offense as always with Jerome Reinhart and Henry Tucker @NSG leading the way, although they will likely need Thadius Sales @thadthrasher to be at the top of their game for the duration of the series. Los Angeles defense could actually be the difference maker for them in this series with Tui Sova @v.2, Jan Hlozek @Bojovnik, and recent addition Tavish DeGroot @rory forming a very solid D-core in front of top goalie Rara Rasputin @Victor. This series will probably go the distance and should be anyone’s for the taking. Prediction: Los Angeles in 7 VSN vote: VAN 3, LAS 4 Riga vs. Moscow During the regular season Moscow took the slight edge in the season series winning 4 of the 6 games. Although Riga won 2 of 3 since the trade deadline. Similarly, to the NA Conference Finals, this series could prove to be a close one. Riga’s defense gives them the edge here though with Battre Sandstrom, Linus Zetterstrom @Ledge, and rookie Biggie Cheese @a_Ferk forming a very solid core and is the likely reason for Riga allowing 23 less goals than Moscow during the regular season. Similarly, to the previous series against London, if Moscow wants to stand a chance they will need to force some low-scoring games and heavily limit Riga’s offense which has been on fire since the trade deadline. This could force a lot of pressure onto Papa Emeritus who put up a respectable 0.911 SV% in the regular season. No matter who comes out on top of this series it will be a true joy to watch and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. Prediction: Riga in 6 VSN vote: RIG 6, MOS 1 Continental Cup Finals Los Angeles vs. Riga For the first time in 3 seasons, we do not have a Moscow vs. Vancouver finals. In the season series Los Angeles swept Riga 4-0, out scoring them by 7 goals in the 4 games. At this point for both teams it will likely be a battle of their offense with Dan Dan, Pistil Stamen @DMaximus and Florida Man @zepheter going at it with Nils Tallinder @Patrik Tallinder, Isau Damoose @Eynhallow, and Alex Johnston. Offensively, Los Angeles has the clear edge. On the blue line things tilt in Riga’s favour with their very solid top 4 defensemen. Lastly, in goal Los Angeles has a slight edge with Rara Rasputin compared to Tobias Reinhart @Spaz, however this past season Reinhart outperformed Rasputin statistically with a 0.916 SV% and a 2.97 GAA, compared to Rasputin’s 0.915 SV% and 3.20 GAA. This series could go either way and will likely come down to the wire if the playoffs work out this way. Prediction: Los Angeles in 6 VSN vote: LAS 5, RIG 2 Thank you to everyone for reading and best of luck to each and every team in the playoffs! If you have any predictions of your own feel free to post them in the comments. Mr Bohannan, animal74, UnkemptCL4PTP and 5 others 6 1 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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