Can anyone stop the Cardiff Devils in 2017?

As the business end of the Elite League approaches, the Cardiff Devils are looking mean and it would take a brave man to back against Andrew Lord’s side on current form.

Cardiff are a class above their rivals right now and it’s starting to look like they’re destined for EIHL glory this year.

Since Lord arrived at Ice Arena Wales as Head Coach, the Devils have been right up there in the battle for the title.

In 2015, Cardiff won their first piece of silverware in nine years and they have only looked up since. After finishing second to the Sheffield Steelers in the league last year, the Devils returned more determined than ever to get their hands on the crown.

Defensively, the Devils are solid and Ben Bowns is up there with the best goaltenders in the division. In 38 appearances, he has made 918 saves with a save percentage of .913 – second only to Sheffield star Ervins Mustukovs.

As of February 19th, Cardiff have won seven games in a row and Bowns’ form between the posts will give fans faith ahead of what could be a memorable play-off campaign – especially after their latest triumph over the Belfast Giants.

And from the video below, it would be fair to suggest that the travelling Devils faithful were certainly happy with the outcome of the trip.

Cardiff’s four-point weekend in Belfast could prove to be the key moment at the end of the campaign. The Devils, who were priced at 11/8 with 888Sport to beat the Giants in the first of two games in Northern Ireland, notched two vital wins in the title race.

Lord’s side are now seven points clear of Belfast with only ten matches of the regular campaign to go. But Cardiff have their eyes on a much greater prize – the treble is still very much on.

Ice Arena Wales will host the Challenge Cup final between Cardiff and Sheffield this year and there will be plenty of Devils fans cheering their side on.

In the following month or so, the regular season title will be decided and the race for the four play-off spots will come to an end. Cardiff already have one foot in the post-season, but Lord will be taking nothing for granted just yet.

With centre Joey Martin in fantastic form and the likes of Patrick Asselin, Andrew Hotham and Layne Ulmer chipping in with a few goals, Cardiff have the offensive talent to dominate and overpower their rivals. In fact, only two sides have scored more goals than the Devils (156) this season.

Main man Martin is currently sixth in the EIHL top goalscoring charts with 16 and his influence in attack could be the deciding factor in Cardiff’s bid for success.

The Devils are one of the strongest and most consistent sides in Britain right now and it’s hard to envision a Cardiff collapse.

Lord has been a revelation since arriving at the franchise and a first play-off crown since 1999 could follow a maiden regular season title success in the last two decades.

Write the Devils off at your peril – this side is going places.

(Image permission: Press Eye)

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