BLOG: Elite League race going down to the wire

With just two weekends left of the Elite League regular season there are five teams still in with a mathematical chance of topping the table.

Sheffield Steelers currently lead the way by two points from Cardiff Devils and will fancy their chances of claiming their second successive title.

Third-placed Braehead Clan have four winnable looking games to play, although the chances of the title being won with 67 points seems remote.

Belfast Giants were on a run of six successive league wins heading into last week’s home game against Clan, but their 2-1 defeat was a big blow to their hopes.

Nottingham Panthers’ 6-1 defeat at Coventry Blaze on Wednesday means they will probably need to win their last five games to secure the crown.

Panthers looked a tired team after last week’s Challenge Cup exertions, but with two games against the Steelers and one against the Devils still to play, Corey Neilson’s team could still have a big say in the destination of the title.

In addition to facing the Panthers on the final day of the season, Devils still have three games remaining against the Giants which could well decide which of them emerges as the Steelers’ main challengers.

Devils play their first games at Ice Arena Wales against the Giants this weekend and will be hoping to feed off the excitement of playing in their new building for the first time.

They are currently rated as second favourites behind the Steelers to claim the title, but that could change on Saturday with the Steelers travelling to face the Panthers at the National Ice Arena.

Steelers’ two remaining games against the Panthers could hold the key to who wins the title.

While their other two fixtures against Coventry Blaze and Fife Flyers are certainly not walkovers, Paul Thompson’s team will fancy their chances of picking up four points from them.

Apart from Panthers’ Challenge Cup semi-final demolition of their biggest rivals there’s been nothing to choose between the two teams this season and if Steelers can take something from one or both games that might be enough.

Two weeks ago BIH predicted the Devils would finish top of the pile, just ahead of the Steelers.

If they can ride the wave of euphoria their new home is bound to generate this weekend, Andrew Lord’s team may find themselves level with the Steelers on Sunday night with a game in hand.

Anything less than four points for the Devils and you can probably get the orange and black ribbons ready.

Whichever way it goes, this season will go down as one of the most exciting in Elite League history.

To check out the odds for this weekend’s games please click here.

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