Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Slovaks Set for March Madness

The Slovak Extraleague has completed regular season play and the playoff matchups have been set.

It's been the craziest season ever, for sure.

The NHL and NHLPA have cancelled a season. NHL players have joined Extraleague teams, left Extraleague teams after short stints, and, in some cases, returned to the same team months later.

HKm Zvolen won the league title with 107 points. They actually tied with Slovan Bratislava, but won on the tiebreaker. The rest of the standings have been pretty much been settled for a couple of weeks, and the playoff matchups (with my predictions. All series are best-of-7)...

Zvolen (Orszagh, Handzus, Zednik) vs Liptovsky Mikulas - Zvolen in 5
Slovan BA (Visnovsky, Satan) vs Poprad (Suchy) - Slovan in 4
Trencin (Demitra, Hossa, Gaborik, Mezei) vs. Zilina - Trencin in 5
Kosice (Bicek, Cibak) vs. Nitra - Kosice in 7

Really, only the Kosice/Nitra series has the potential for an upset. The other powerhouse teams shouldn't have too many problems if they don't get cocky.

A final look at the stats for the NHLers in the ST Extraliga.

Congrats are in order for Pavol Demitra. Demo led the league in Goals, Assists, Points, and +/-!!! Demitra's 54 assists and 82 points are also new ST Extraliga records.

Can you say MVP? :)

The most amazing/strange stat of Demitra's is that he had only 20 Power Play points and 4(!) Power Play goals all season. For a Power Play at potent as Dukla's, I'm quite amazed at how few of his points were produced with the man-advantage.

Really, the two big disappointments from the ST Extraliga this year were Ronald Petrovicky (who was booted from Zilina for being a lazy bugger) and Martin Cibak (who was booted from Czech team Plzen due to arguments with the coach and poor play).

And just like at how Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa played half a season and still finished in the Top 6 in scoring!! Gaborik's 5 Shorthanded goals and 8 Power Play goals led and tied for the league lead in those categories.

Crazy, crazy, krazy stuff...

Over in Czechia, they need to make up the postponed Znojmo/Pardubice game and then they will be all set to roll.
Trinec did fire interim coach Lubomir Pokovic...I think he won 2 out of 20 games while he was there. I just stopped counting the losses after January :(

The stats from the final round of games...

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