The end of the season is a matter of weeks away, but it’s certainly not stopping us from learning something new in the world of British Ice Hockey.
So, allow us to share the tropes we picked up from another packed weekend that left us many of us with raised eyebrows.
1. Evan sent to help Cardiff’s title bid
It’s been a long season of recovery for Evan Mosey after injury prevented him from playing any part of Cardiff Devils’ campaign so far, but at last, he came back this weekend and just in time for the run-in.
His return must have been like a new signing for coach Andrew Lord as he took his place on the third line in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Coventry Blaze.
Then on Sunday, he was on top line details, scoring one and assisting in one and while Devils may have lost in Guildford, it adds depth to the Devils at a crucial time of the year.
2. Crooks on fire for Flames
Just when Guildford coach Paul Dixon bemoaned the loss of Braylon Shmyr, the player who picked up five points for him, up popped Jamie Crooks to get the goals.
He got five of them in fact in Sunday’s 6-3 win over Cardiff to add to the one he got against Glasgow Clan on Saturday, making it seven goals in his last three games.
Crooks has always looked a capable operator for the Flames since arriving at the club almost two years ago and as the play-off push intensifies, he could become a key player in the final weeks.
3. Blaze’s goalie change primed them for title bid
Coventry’s decision to replace netminder Jamie Phillips with CJ Motte in December was one that raised a few eyebrows, but it looks like a move that’s paying dividends for them.
They’re fifth in the standings and seven points off the top of the table so had the change sparked a upturn to put them within striking distance of the title.
Aside from picking up 19 points out of a possible 22 in their last 11, Motte’s GAA reads 2.65 compared to Phillips’ 3.62, with Motte having played 15 games less so far. Has Danny Stewart pulled off a shrewd piece of business?
4. Clawing their way out
If anyone had a bet on Sheffield Steelers defeating the bottom two teams this weekend, then they would be feeling thoroughly miserable right now as Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers got crucial points to help their causes.
Manchester Storm were edged out by Belfast Giants on Saturday, but did beat Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday while Glasgow Clan can’t seem to buy a win right now.
The results of the Stars and the Flyers has breathed new life into the play-off race and while Fife have some work to do to get near the black line, the hope is growing in Kirkcaldy.
5. Has Gabaj given Bees the edge in the National League play-off race?
Two wins for Bracknell Bees over league leaders Telford Tigers certainly has ramifications for the top end of the National League standings, perhaps making Swindon Wildcats fans that bit more excited.
But look at what Dominik Gabaj’s contribution has done in helping Bees to their two wins. Two goals – one an overtime winner – and three assists as they slayed the Tigers and they’ve edged in front of Raiders in the race for the final play-off place
Now, who do they play next? Just the small matter of the Raiders in a huge double header which the Bees are buzzing for and hoping for more of the same from Gabaj.