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VSN Presents: S84 VHL Playoff Preview


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@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 could 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.

 

LINKS

 

Wildcard Series

 

:tor: Toronto (4) vs. Calgary (5) :cal:

 

Both these teams took a slight step back this season, having been the 2nd and 3rd seed last season. In the regular season Calgary won 3 of the 5 matchups in part due to the spectacular play of Ben Dahl @Ben who would finish the season with a 0.914 SV% and a 2.66 GAA. However, for Calgary to be successful in this series they will need Saku Kotkakoivu @DollarAndADream and Erlantz Jokinen @jRuutu to be at the top of their game, they finished the regular season with 81 and 80 points respectively. For Toronto this series will come down to two players, Paul Atreides @Mr_Hatter who led Toronto in scoring this season with 45 goals and 90 points, and goaltender Oskar Lindbergh @Doomsday will need to stand on his head in this series, he had an outstanding regular season and finished with a 0.925 SV% and a 2.46 SV%. This series could go either way, but right now Calgary has a slight edge with how their matchups went in the regular season. 

 

Prediction: Calgary in 5 (best of 5)

VSN vote: TOR: 4 CGY: 5

 

:rig: Riga (4) vs. Davos (5) :dav:

 

Possibly the more interesting of the two-wildcard series as it features a new age Davos team and Riga who is possibly in their final season of contention. This series could very much be a question of Riga’s offense vs. Davos’s defense. For Riga to come out on top in this series they will need Anze Miklavz @kelvi, Alex Johnston @Alex, and trade deadline acquisition Jerome Reinhart @MexicanCow123 to carry the offense and pick up their play to the next level in the playoffs. For Davos it’s the majority of their teams first time in the playoffs and they will be leaning heavily on Rookie defensemen Siyan Yasilievich @badcolethetitan and Jake Thunder @Thunder who finished the season with 41 and 38 points respectively. Additionally, expect to see the majority of Davos’s offense come from season 83 Continental Cup Champions Vinny Detroit @dasboot and Zeedayno Chara @Jubis. Davos also has a significant edge in goal with David Davis @Josh. With that being said, Riga came out on top in the regular season and have only gotten better since the last time they played, this should be a close series that could come down to the wire.

 

Prediction: Riga in 5 (best of 5)

VSN vote: RIG: 6, DAV 2

 

Conference Semi-Finals

 

:sea: Seattle (2) vs. Chicago (3) :chi:

 

Chicago took a big step forward this season in part due to the play of Red Gaming @Lilpfigher in goal. With both teams rostering rookie goaltenders this could be a very high scoring series as Seattle and Chicago have relatively high-powered offenses with AJ Williams @ajwllmsn and Sirdsvaldis Miglaskems @FrostBeard producing over 80 points for Seattle this past season and Baby Bob @Baby Boomer carrying the load offensively for Chicago with an even 100 points. Given the experience of Seattle this series will likely go in their favour.

 

Prediction: Seattle in 5

VSN vote: SEA 7, CHI 1

 

:dcd: D.C. (1) vs. Calgary (5) :cal:

 

The D.C. Dragons have been on a mission this season in large part due to the play of Duncan Idaho @OrbitingDeath who is determined to go out with a boom and probably yet another Scott Boulet Trophy. Calgary may just be outmatched in this series as on paper D.C. looks better in just about every position. With that being said this will be no cake walk for D.C. as season 83 top defensive defenseman AirRig GoodBrandSun @Rhynex Entertainment will not make it easy on them. Calgary is clearly a team on the rise, and this is likely the first of many upcoming playoff series between the two teams. In this round D.C. has the upper hand and should come out on top.

 

Prediction: D.C. in 5

VSN vote: DCD 5, CAL 1

 

:hel: Helsinki (2) vs. Warsaw (3) :war:

 

Helsinki has made the playoffs, putting an end to the longest active playoff drought in the VHL. This should be a hard-fought series with Vasile Lamb @dlamb and Nico Pearce @Spartan at the center of it. Pearce is coming off of a career season and we should see them pick up a fair bit of hardware at the season's end. Lamb on the other hand has been a very consistent player and we could see them in the Boulet discussion yet again. For Warsaw to have a chance in this series it may all come down to if Wumbo @Fire Fletcher can out play one of the top goalies in the league with Xavier Booberry @CowboyinAmerica who has had yet another spectacular season.

 

Prediction: Helsinki in 7

VSN vote: HSK 5, WAR 4

 

:mos: Moscow (1) vs. Riga (4) :rig:

 

These two teams have come up against each other a lot of times over the past few seasons and each and every time Moscow has come out on top, and this season could be no different. Papa Emeritus @Beketov was a big reason for Moscow’s regular season success and there is no reason this won’t be the same case. On paper Riga’s offense does have a slight edge in contrast to previous seasons. But with Hard Markinson @STZ and Jan Hlozek @Bojovnik on the blue line it’s hard to doubt Moscow’s defense as their big 3 defensemen will give them a considerable advantage. Lastly, while Tobias Reinhart @Spaz has been a solid goalie over this past season posting a 0.923 SV% and a 2.43 GAA, Emeritus might just be too much to handle. This could be a surprisingly close series that Riga may finally be able to win, but it will be a tall task to dethrone the 4-time Continental Cup finalists.

 

Prediction: Moscow in 7

VSN vote: MOS 5, RIG 4

 

Conference Finals

 

:dcd: D.C. (1) vs. Seattle (2) :sea:

 

Possibly one of the most long-awaited series in the North American Conference, D.C. and Seattle have been going toe-to-toe all season with D.C. dominating Seattle in the regular season winning 4 of the 5 games. For Seattle this series may just come down to rookie goaltender Dusty Wilson @dustywilson22 who played well this season with a 0.924 SV% and a 2.44 GAA. for D.C. they can expect their offense to take over led by top-defenseman Tui Sova @v.2 who recorded an outstanding 106 points this past season and a greatly improved Ronan Lavelle @Arce who could very well be the expected winner of the Dustin Funk Trophy. This series could potentially go either way, but if the regular season is an indicator of anything D.C. may finally make back it to the Continental Cup Final.

 

Prediction: D.C. in 5

VSN vote: DCD 5, SEA 1

 

:mos: Moscow (1) vs. Helsinki (2) :hel:

 

Another long-awaited series sees the European Conferences top offensive and defensive team taking on Helsinki who if anything has proven that top players Xavier Booberry and Nico Pearce can steal a game and potentially a series. We can probably expect this series to be a battle between Booberry and Papa Emeritus as they are without a doubt the league's top 2 goaltenders with a 0.931 and a 0.939 SV% respectively. With Moscow’s top 2 skaters nearing retirement, this may be one of their final chances at that elusive cup and we can expect Hard Markinson and The Seabasstard @Seabass to not go down without a fight. This should be a fun to watch, low scoring series where either team could come out on top, but at this point it’s hard to doubt Moscow.

 

Prediction: Moscow in 7

VSN vote: MOS 4, HSK 3

 

Continental Cup Finals

 

 :mos:Moscow (1) vs. D.C. (1) :dcd:

 

In what is Moscow’s 5th consecutive attempt at a Continental Cup they come up against a team that is very much on the rise in D.C.. The Dragons have played well against Moscow and has split the season series 2 games a piece. D.C.’s depth is something that should give them the edge in any series with Taylor Mourning @scoop, Ryan Vidot @Enorama, and Poopy Peepants @JardyB10 dominating the 2nd line/pair of every team all season and they will be a big reason why D.C. will find themselves in the finals and potentially cementing D.C. as Continental Cup Champions. For Moscow to finally reach the cup they will have to best Bubbles Utonium @fishy who has had a very solid season with a 0.928 SV% and a 2.09 GAA. This series could go either way, but D.C. certainly wins the battle on paper.

 

Prediction: D.C. in 6

VSN vote: MOS 2, DCD 5

 

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.

Edited by Alex
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