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THE ROAD TO THE 2014 WHL PLAYOFFS

Mar 12, 2014 - 11:58 GMT

Calgary, AB – The 2013-14 Western Hockey League regular season is in its final week of play before the post-season begins, with playoff spots and key playoff positioning still to be determined.

In the Western Conference, all eight playoff spots are now accounted for, with the Tri-city Americans clinching the eighth and final berth on Tuesday night.

In the Eastern Conference, the battle for the two final playoff spots is a three-team race between the Brandon Wheat Kings, Prince Albert Raiders and Red Deer Rebels, while the race for division titles is still ongoing.

The WHL's Eastern and Western Conferences will use a Conference playoff format.

The first place teams in the two Divisions in each Conference will receive the top two playoff seeds based on regular season points. The next six Clubs in each Conference, based on regular season points, will receive the 3rd - 8th playoff positions. The Clubs will be paired 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5 in a best-of-seven series.

The first place Clubs in each Division will be guaranteed the top two playoff seeds in the first round. As in previous seasons, the format for the remaining three rounds of the WHL Playoffs will remain the same. The four Clubs winning first round series in each Conference will advance to the second round, where they will be ranked in order of regular season points. The Clubs will be paired 1 vs. 4, and 2 vs. 3 in best of seven series.

The two Clubs winning the second round series in each Conference will advance to the third round (WHL Conference Championships), where they will be ranked in order of regular season points. The Clubs will be paired 1 vs. 2 in a best of seven series.

The Eastern and Western Conference Champions will advance to the best of seven WHL Championship Series, with the Club having the most regular season points receiving home ice advantage

 

WHL EASTERN CONFERENCE
X denotes clinched playoff spot, *denoted Division leader

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SOL

PTS

Games Remaining

1

X Edmonton Oil Kings

69

48

18

2

1

99

3

2

X *Regina Pats

69

38

25

3

3

82

3

3

X *Calgary Hitmen

70

46

17

3

4

99

2

4

X Medicine Hat Tigers

69

42

23

3

1

88

3

5

X Kootenay Ice

69

39

26

2

2

82

3

6

X Swift Current Broncos

69

35

25

3

6

79

3

7

Brandon Wheat Kings

70

32

29

6

3

73

2

8

Prince Albert Raiders

69

33

31

3

2

71

3

9

Red Deer Rebels

69

33

31

1

4

71

3

10

Moose Jaw Warriors

70

21

40

3

6

51

2

11

Saskatoon Blades

69

16

48

2

3

37

3

12

Lethbridge Hurricanes

70

12

53

2

3

29

2

The Edmonton Oil Kings and Calgary Hitmen both won on Tuesday night, keeping them tied on points for first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference.  The Oil Kings have a game in hand on the Hitmen, which they will use on Wednesday night versus Medicine Hat.  The Oil Kings also hold the tiebreaker with more victories than the Hitmen.

The Oil Kings close out their regular season with a home-and-home set versus Red Deer on the weekend, while the Hitmen battle the Kootenay Ice in a season-ending home-and-home set.

The Regina Pats currently hold a three-point lead over the Swift Current Broncos for first place in the East Division, with both teams having three remaining games.  Any combination of points gained or points dropped by the Broncos totaling three will lock up the division title for the Pats.

The Pats play their final three games versus two teams fighting for their playoff lives, hosting Prince Albert on Wednesday before a weekend home-and-home set versus Brandon.  The Broncos host Saskatoon on Wednesday then close out their season with a home-and-home set versus the red-hot Moose Jaw Warriors. 

The Medicine Hat Tigers currently hold a six-point lead over Kootenay for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and can lock up a top-four spot with just one more point or if Kootenay drops one point.  The Tigers host Edmonton on Wednesday then finish up the regular-season schedule with a home-and-home set versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes this weekend.

The Kootenay Ice fell in Edmonton on Tuesday, hurting their chances of catching Medicine Hat for fourth place and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.  The Ice are in Red Deer on Wednesday before a pair of games versus Calgary on the weekend.

The three-horse battle for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference continues, with the Brandon Wheat Kings currently holding a two-point lead over the Raiders and the Rebels for seventh place.  However, the Raiders and Rebels both hold a game in hand on the Wheat Kings. 
 
The Raiders are Regina on Wednesday before wrapping up their schedule with a home-and-home series versus Saskatoon.  The Rebels host Kootenay on Wednesday then finish the season with two games versus the Conference-leading Edmonton Oil Kings.  The Wheat Kings take on Regina for a weekend home-and-home set to finish their season.

The Moose Jaw Warriors, Saskatoon Blades and Lethbridge Hurricanes have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

 

WHL WESTERN CONFERENCE

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OTL

SOL

PTS

Games Remaining

1

X *Kelowna Rockets

69

54

11

0

4

112

3

2

X *Portland Winterhawks

69

51

13

2

3

107

3

3

X Victoria Royals

69

48

17

1

3

100

3

4

X Seattle Thunderbirds

69

40

23

2

4

86

3

5

X Spokane Chiefs

69

39

24

3

3

84

3

6

X Everett Silvertips

68

36

23

7

2

81

4

7

X Vancouver Giants

69

31

27

7

4

73

3

8

X Tri-City Americans

69

28

32

4

5

65

3

9

Prince George Cougars

70

26

36

3

5

60

2

10

Kamloops Blazers

69

13

51

2

3

31

3

The Tri-City Americans locked up the final playoff spot in the west with the point gained from Tuesday’s overtime loss in Portland, and will face either Kelowna or the Winterhawks in the opening round of the playoffs.  The Ams play out their final three games on the weekend, with a pair versus Spokane and one versus Seattle.

The Kelowna Rockets, Portland Winterhawks and Victoria Royals have already cemented themselves into top-three spots in the conference, with the Royals locked into third place.  The Rockets can clinch first place in the conference and first place overall in the WHL standings with just one more point or if Portland drops one more point. 

The Rockets visit Kamloops on Wednesday, and close out their schedule with a home-and-home series versus the Vancouver Giants on the weekend.  Portland plays a home-and-home series versus Seattle on Friday and Saturday, and ends their regular season on Sunday to visiting Everett.  The Royals are in Vancouver on Wednesday before closing out their schedule with a home-and-home set versus Everett on Friday and Saturday.

The Seattle Thunderbirds continue to occupy fourth place in the Western Conference, but saw their lead cut to just two points over Spokane after the Chiefs defeated the T-Birds on Tuesday night.  The T-Birds end their season with three weekend games, including a pair versus Portland and one versus Tri-Cities. 

The Chiefs have won three straight games, pulling them closer to Seattle for fourth place and home-ice advantage through the first round of the playoffs while widening the gap on sixth-placed Everett to three points.  The Chiefs take on the ‘Tips on Wednesday night before ending their season with back-to-back games versus the Tri-City Americans on the weekend.

The Silvertips, who have won six straight games, can finish no lower than sixth place in the conference, but currently sit three points back of Spokane for fifth and five points back of Seattle for fourth.  The Silvertips need to win on Wednesday in Spokane to have any realistic chance of moving up the Western Conference ladder.  Everett closes out the regular season with three tough games – two against Victoria and one against Portland – on the weekend.

The Vancouver Giants are locked into seventh place in the Western Conference, and will face either Portland or Kelowna in the first round of the playoffs.  The Giants finish off their regular season with three games versus the top two teams in the B.C. Division.

The Kamloops Blazers have already been eliminated from playoff contention while the Prince George Cougars will also miss the post-season.

 

BOB CLARKE TROPHY RACE

Rank

Name

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

1

Mitch Holmberg

SPO

69

60

54

114

2

Nicolas Petan

POR

60

34

75

109

3

Oliver Bjorkstrand

POR

66

45

57

102

4

Leon Draisaitl

PA

61

36

63

99

5

Sam Reinhart

KTN

57

34

64

98

6

Jaedon Descheneau

KTN

67

42

52

94

7

Todd Fiddler

PG

64

46

47

93

8

Graham Black

SC

66

33

58

91

9

Henrik Samuelsson

EDM

63

33

57

90

10

Brayden Point

MJ

70

35

54

89

 

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