CHL, KHL etc.

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
CHL changes rules about participation for next season. From the 6 leagues that have 3-5 teams, until now those teams have been regular season winner and playoff finalists and semifinalists. From now on it's only playoff champion and other 2-4 teams are taken from regular season top.

I'm not sure I like the change. It does mean the best teams get to CHL, but I kind of preferred lesser teams having chance for appearance through playoff success.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
Last group stage CHL games this and next week and this is not a good season for Finns. TPS is out, HIFK almost certainly too and JYP is up to last game against Lugano.
Kärpät and Tappara have qualified to playoffs, but judging by start of national Liiga, Tappara is not in good shape right now.
The JYP-Lugano game next week may be very decisive on whether Finnish or Swiss league will have 5 teams (the other having 4) next season in CHL.

KHL has mostly steadied to last season levels except that Avtomobilist have won their 15 first games, 13 in regular time.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
CHL group stage ends today, but we already know teams moving to playoffs.
For Finland this looks like a very bad year and unless Tappara or Kärpät becomes champion or all Swiss lose in first playoff round, Finnish league is very likely to lose one CHL team place to them for next season.

Teams per country/league that are in playoffs:

(qualified/total)

Sweden 3/5
Finland 2/5
Switzerland 4/4
Czech 2/4
Germany 1/3
Austria 2*/3
Belarus 0/2
Norway 1/1
France 1/1
Slovakia 0/1
Denmark 0/1
UK 0/1
Poland 0/1

*=Austrian EBEL league includes teams from neighboring countries and one of them playing now and advancing to playoffs is Italian


Dragons de Rouen is the first French team yet to qualify to CHL playoffs (including 2nd and 3rd season when CHL had more teams and 32 team playoffs).

HC Bolzano is the only Italian team that has played in CHL (now for second time) and is now first Italian to qualify to playoffs.

Storhamar is the only Norwegian team that has made it to top 16 (another once appearing in 32 team playoff first round), now for second time.

This is first CHL season (5th played) that more than one team outside the 6 big leagues makes it to top 16.


Playoff tree will be drawn, with group winners ceded against seconds.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
CHL playoff tree:



Germany Red Bull München
Switzerland EV Zug

Switzerland SC Bern
Sweden Malmö Redhawks


Switzerland ZSC Lions
Finland Kärpät

France Dragons de Rouen
Austria Red Bull Salzburg



Czech Republic Kometa Brno
Finland Tappara

Switzerland HC Lugano
Sweden Frölunda HC


Norway Storhamar
Sweden Skellefteå AIK

Italy HC Bolzano
Czech Republic HC Plzen



In previous 4 seasons only teams from Sweden, Finland, Czech and Switzerland have appeared in quarter-finals; now there will be at least one (Rouen/Salzburg) from outside the 4 biggest leagues.


My predictions: Swiss teams will do well, Swedish teams surprisingly bad, Finnish... I'm carefully optimistic. Other than those, HC Plzen will make it at least to semi.
Swedes won first 3 CHL seasons, last year Finnish JYP. I suspect this year champion will be of another nationality.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
So much for my predictions...

Shocker: all 4 Swiss teams are out. Meanwhile, the remaining 3 Swedish teams won their games and go to QFs with 2 Czech, Finnish, German and Austrian teams.
Not only did Salzburg make it to QF as first Austrian team as expected, but also Red Bull München makes CHL history to make it that far as first German.

QF:

Germany Red Bull München
Sweden Malmö Redhawks

Finland Oulun Kärpät
Austria Red Bull Salzburg


Czech Republic Kometa Brno
Sweden Frölunda HC

Sweden Skellefteå AIK
Czech Republic HC Plzen


Finnish, Czech and Swiss leagues compete on who can have 5 teams next season in CHL. It's bloody complicated ranking system, but as far as I can tell, if Kärpät and both Czech teams lose their QF, it'll be Swiss. Beyond that it's too complicated to speculate exactly.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
:cry:

Both Red Bulls continue making CHL history, next facing each other in semifinal. In previous four seasons no German or Austrian team had made it to quarterfinals and now one of them will play in CHL final!

And that ends the disaster season for Finns. Worst CHL season yet results to Finnish League having next season only 4 CHL teams and it'll be a tough crawl back to 5, with this misery weighing down our ranking for next three years.

Looks like Frölunda, the by far most successful team in CHL, is close to third championship - but should they lose to Plzen, this could be also worst season yet for Swedish League.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
By now you should be aware that I know a thing or two about European hockey.
But pretty much every year - especially when a Finnish team is involved - I find myself asking "WTF is Spengler Cup?"

Quote wikipedia:
The Spengler Cup is an annual invitational ice hockey tournament held in Davos, Switzerland. First held in 1923, the Spengler Cup is often cited as the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world.
The main reason of my confusion is that Spengler Cup has featured national teams and club teams from all over Europe, Russia and North America and once even Team Japan.
There are 6 teams in each annual tournament including host (mostly HC Davos or Team Switzerland).

Finnish teams have had limited participation and humiliatingly little success at Spengler Cup. The Cup has been won by teams of 12 nationalities (counting Russia and Soviet Union separately) and Finland is not among those. Only time we've even appeared in final was 1975 Team Finland losing to Czechoslovak Olympic Team.

Which brings me to my current interest. KalPa is one game away from final, facing tomorrow winner from HC Davos vs HC Oceláři Třinec (CZE).
So should they win tomorrow, that'd tie best result by Finnish team ever (from 1975!), be the best result ever by a Finnish club team and obviously give them chance to championship.
But I'm not that optimistic, considering KalPa has never won even Finnish championship.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
KalPa wins HC Davos 2-1 to become best Finnish club team ever in Spengler Cup!
In tomorrow final they face Team Canada, who are currently tied with HC Davos at 15 championships each.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
:Hills::Champion::Banana:

The miracle is real! KalPa, team that has never won Finnish championship and is currently 11th in the national league, becomes the first Finnish team ever to win Spengler Cup!

KalPa won Team Canada in shootout after 1-1 regular/overtime.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
CHL final Red Bull München - Frölunda HC coming february 5th. Looks like another title going to Sweden...

Helsinki Jokerit has confirmed KHL playoff spot again. As in previous seasons, they and Barys Astana of Kazakhstan are likely only non-Russians in top 16, though Dinamo Riga is very close to making it this year.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
The most successful team of CHL history, Swedish Frölunda HC (aka Indians) wins their third championship 3-1 against Red Bull München.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
I'm not happy with a move by CHL.

The place in next season league does not go to Continental Cup winner, Arlan Kokshetau of Kazakhstan - which would've become first team of the country to appear in CHL - because Kazakhstan is too far.

"The CHL Board decided and communicated in December already that Arlan Kokshetau cannot be accepted as a CHL qualifier if they win the IIHF Continental Cup for the reason that travel logistics to Kazakhstan are too extensive for CHL teams."

Instead the CHL board just gives away a wild card entrance and it goes to... Belfast Giants.
OK, “Belfast only missed the qualification at the Continental Cup by one shot in a penalty shoot-out in the decisive game against the aforementioned winners, and showed that they are as competitive as Arlan”, CHL CEO Martin Baumann explained.

But still, it's a stupid reasoning and a missed opportunity for ice hockey in Kazakhstan.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
KHL regular season ended today and we have playoff pairs.

Western conference:

1 CSKA
8 Vityaz

2 SKA
7 Spartak

3 Lokomotiv
6 HC Sochi

4 Jokerit
5 HC Dynamo M

Eastern conference:

1 Avtomobilist
8 Traktor

2 Barys
7 Torpedo

3 Metallurg Mg
6 Salavat Yulaev

4 Avangard
5 Ak Bars

(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)

Helsinki Jokerit and Barys Astana of Kazakhstan are sadly the only non-Russian teams remaining.
Dinamo Riga (Latvia) was left out of playoffs by just one point, but others did worse: Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) and Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) were two worst teams of the season and Chinese Kunlun Red Star was only couple points away from being next worst.
(In previous season Kunlun, Minsk and Bratislava were were the three worst except for the two Russian teams that were dropped out of the league for this season.)

So far there are three major favorites: CSKA Moscow, SKA Saint Petersburg and Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg - and I'm only including the last as likely to win their conference and therefore be in final.
But there are half dozen somewhat competitive challengers, down to Jokerit and Ak Bars Kazan.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
One thing about CHL getting more interesting by year is to see which will be the last team(s) that has participated every season.
Half of next season's 32 teams have been decided and there are 4 (2 Swiss, 1 Swedish, 1 Austrian) teams that have ensured their place for sixth time, with 6 more (3 Finnish, 1 Swiss, 1 Swedish, 1 Austrian) that have chance.

On the other end, there are 4 first-timers so far.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
...and once again Jokerit underperforms on KHL playoffs. Their season is over, with 2-4 against Dynamo Moscow.
Other, bigger first round surprise is loss of Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
Women's ice hockey world championship started today (in Finland), so it's time for my annual rant how the tournament system sucks. Slightly less than last year, but nevertheless.

There's 10 countries in the tournament. But some are more equal than others. The 5 teams in Group A all go to quarterfinals(/top 8) even if they lose their every game - because they are better than Group B countries. It's decided before first puck hits the ice. And from Group B 3 best fill in the QF, while last two have to compete for staying in next year tournament.

It's sort of a mix of championship tournament and qualifying for next one. And that's not good.
The argument is that people want to see more even games, instead of 20-0. Sort of good point. But it should be more important to have system where all teams are treated equally and start from same line. If some teams are so obviously weaker than others, maybe they shouldn't be playing in same tournament.
(Last year was the most shameful example of all because it was Olympics and there were only 8 countries.)

Anyways...

In women's world championships there's 10 countries playing for actual championship and then 6 in Divisions I A, I B, II A, II B plus II B qualification with 5 countries, which was played earlier, Ukraine won and was promoted to II B. So that's total of 39 countries playing (except one is Hong Kong, having association separate from China; HK was second last btw, winning only Bulgaria).
All of these are played during this and next week.
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
KHL is up to final and it's CSKA Moscow vs Avangard Omsk.
Despite dominating regular seasons for years, CSKA hasn't won Soviet/Russian/KHL championship for 30 years - now they are huge favorite.


In women's world championship a big shocker: Sweden is 9th and therefore is relegated to lower division (in other words next year is at best 11th).
(I'll post full results once the tournament ends at sunday.)
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
Women's ice hockey world championship results:

*=team relegated to lower or promoted to higher division


Championship (Top Division)

1. USA
2. Finland (best ever)
3. Canada (worst ever)
4. Russia
5. Switzerland
6. Czech Republic (tied best ever)
7. Germany
8. Japan
9. Sweden* (worst ever and will be worse in 2020 due relegation)
10. France* (tied best ever/first appearance in Top Division)

Division I A

1. (11.) Hungary* (best ever/2020 to be first appearance in Top Division)
2. (12.) Denmark*
3. (13.) Norway
4. (14.) Austria
5. (15.) Slovakia
6. (16.) Italy* (tied best ever)

Division I B

1. (17.) Netherlands*
2. (18.) South Korea
3. (19.) Poland (best ever)
4. (20.) China (tied worst ever)
5. (21.) Kazakhstan (tied worst ever)
6. (22.) Latvia* (worst ever and will be worse in 2020 due relegation)

Division II A

1. (23.) Slovenia*
2. (24.) Great Britain (worst ever)
3. (25.) Spain (best ever)
4. (26.) Mexico (best ever)
5. (27.) North Korea (worst ever)
6. (28.) Australia*

Division II B

1. (29.) Chinese Taipei (aka Taiwan)* (tied best ever and will be better in 2020 due promotion)
2. (30.) New Zealand
3. (31.) Iceland
4. (32.) Turkey (tied best ever)
5. (33.) Croatia
6. (34.) Romania* (worst ever and will be worse in 2020 due relegation)

Division II B Qualification

1. (35.) Ukraine* (first appearance in world championship)
2. (36.) Belgium (worst ever)
3. (37.) South Africa (worst ever)
4. (38.) Hong Kong (worst ever)
5. (39.) Bulgaria (worst ever - for anyone as there hasn't been 39 competitors before)
 

Kaunisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
5,506
Location
Finland
CSKA Moscow defeated Avangard Omsk in KHL finals straight in four games.

Despite winning regular season (Continental Cup) 4 out of 5 last seasons, this is first KHL championship for CSKA and their first Russian championship for 30 years.
The team won 32 out of 46 Soviet League championships (played 1947-1992) and was the core of the once unbeatable Soviet national team.
 
Top Bottom