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Claimed:VHLM Playoff Matchup: Ottawa Lynx VS Saskatoon Wild


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Playoff Matchups: Ottawa Lynx vs Saskatoon Wild



Entering the VHLM finals in the North American conference, the Saskatoon Wild, fresh off their 5 game series win against the Minot Gladiators, face a much more daunting opponent in the Ottawa Lynx.  The Lynx were by far the best team in the VHLM, essentially steamrolling their way to a league title this year with 60 wins in 72 games. In the regular season matchup, they beat the Wild in all 8 games outscoring them by a factor of 33-16. The main question here is, will they be able to shut down Xin Xie Xiao, who has been on fire going into the playoffs, lifting his team past the Gladiators with 19 points in 5 games, including 13 goals.





The Lynx boast a balanced but juggernaught of an offense. They had four players reach 100 points and as a team scored 317 goals in the season, with a difference of 156. Leading the way is Jeevan Samuelsson with 170 points and 74 goals. Traded from the Yukon Rush in the beginning of the season, Samuelsson has been the catalyst of attack for the Rush. A solid all around performer, that will likely be tasked to help shut down the Wild's XXX on the wing.  The other key asset here is Robin Gow, the setup man with 97 assists, who will be centering this line. The third and often unsung  hero is Brennan McQueen, the league's hit leader who is no slouch in the offense department either. With 84 points including 49 goals, McQueen pound per pound, is the most physical player in the VHLM. His ability to power through opponents and create turnover opportunities will be key to shutting down the Wild's offense.


On the Wild's favour, they have the current MVP nominee Xin Xie Xiao that has been seemingly unstoppable. In the regular season, XXX scored 86 goals in 72 games, good for second in the league on a team that did not have much scoring depth. With his 128 points, Xin was factor in 57% of the Wild's scoring. XXX punched a hole through the Gladiators defense in the first series and scored 13 goals, leading the Wild to a playoff victory as the underdogs. He will be counted again here to have an MVP performance if the Wild are hoping to win this series. The two pillars on defense, Tyler Owens and Phil Villeneuve are the key to springing XXX on his offensive rampage. Each defender broke 100 points in the regular season, and were essential in getting the puck moved up to XXX where he could make plays. New arrival Chris McZehrl will be looking to provide some secondary scoring support.


Winner: Lynx

Too balanced, too much attack from the Lynx. As the dynamic defensive duo can only play so many minutes, the Lynx have so much firepower on their lines they can roll three lines of offense. The Wild rely soley on game-breaking performances by XXX, as they possess very little secondary scoring.





If not for such a balanced offense, you would hear more about Connor Low, the Lynx's ace defender. Breaking 100 points but still only 4th in team scoring goes to show how powerful the Lynx squad is. Low is arguably the best defender in the VHLM and his main task will be to shut down XXX in the series. The offense from the backend is driven through Low, whom initiates the attack from his defensive zone like a Maestro. Defensemen Matt Rielly is a great puckmover on the secondary and can chew up solid minutes, he was actually 3rd in team scoring but did not have to face the top lines of opposing teams. David Januzaj is a solid member on the first pairing with Low, he plays a good all around game and can chip in on the offense once in awhile.


The good thing about the Wild is all three of their key players can play defense. Unfortunately past the three dmen is basically nothing else on the backend. Villeneuve and Owens are the key players here. Both are solid shut down dmen and have offensive skills suitable for the VHLM currently. The top pairing of Villeneuve and Owens combined for over 200 points and will be counted against to help XXX score goals.


Winner: Lynx

Connor Low is just too good and while the Wild have not won a single game against the Lynx in the regular season. The depth is just too much for them. Villeneuve and Owens will need to have near perfect games in order to stop the Lynx offense.





The Lynx possess  Mike Szatkowski Jr. a high end prospect for the Riga Reign. Mike ended the regular season sporting a 0.908 sav% and 7 shutouts but rarely needed to put in game stealing performances given the strength of the team. He is a very technically sound goalie, that is still putting together all his skills. Look for him to be on the top of his game if XXX has the puck, it will be his biggest challenge this season to stop arguably the best forward in the VHLM.


The Wild have Brick Wahl, who sports a 0.909 sav% and 7 shutouts. Wahl has had to be spectacular in most games, as seen by his six first star and 5 second star honors. Routinely barraged with shots, Wahl has been playing at times like the best goalie in the VHLM and is certainly up for nomination for the award. In the playoff series against Minot, he outdueled Cumberbatch, the other nominee for top goalie in the VHLM with a spectacular sav% of 0.929. Wahl will need to be on the top of his game to ensure the Wild have any chance of beating the Lynx.


Winner: Wild

Slight edge here to Brick Wahl, whom has outdueled Cumberbatch, who sported the best goalie stat line in the regular season. Wahl can come up big in key situations, can he do it now against the Lynx?





The good money is on the Lynx to take this series, they just overwhelm you with their depth. The draw factor is, how good is XXX?

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Content: 3/3 - Overall, I agree with a lot of your analysis. The Lynx definitely had an advantage in top end talent and depth for skaters, but the Wild had a slight edge in the goaltending department. It was still a good series though, and I'm sure XXX will have a ton of success in the VHL.


Grammar: 1.25/2 - The list is long. Have to deduct here.


North American conference = North American Conference

performer, that = performer, Jeevan

Xiao that has = Xiao who has

Gladiators defense = Gladiators' defense

minutes, he = minutes. He

Low, he = Low. He

counted against to = counted on to

and while the = and the

Lynx offense. = Lynx's offense

game if = game. If

situations, can = situations. Can

Low, whom = Low, who

Wahl, whom = Wahl, who


Appearance: 1/1 - Solid.


Overall: 5.25/6

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Content: 3/3 - This was a very good breakdown of the playoff series between the Lynx and Wild. I like how you matched up each team's offense, defense, and goalie against each other to see which one was better. Your prediction was right, and the Lynx son the series.


Grammar: 1.25/2 - Flyers got this.


Appearance: 1/1 - Looks good.


Overall: 5.25/6


Final: 5/6

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