It is heading towards crunch time in the EIHL season, with play-off places on the line and silverware up for grabs.
The impact of COVID 19 is being felt across UK sport as a whole and whilst teams in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all been affected by changes in legislation, the show goes on and there is plenty to play for.
Once again, the Sheffield Steelers are the team to beat in the EIHL and whilst they are looking imperious at the top of the table, there are a whole host of sides waiting on the periphery to strike if there are any slip ups.
The Cardiff Devils, Belfast Giants and Guildford Flames can all have an influential say in the outcome of the EIHL title, with plenty of swashbuckling hockey still to be played.
With the competition hotting up and sides already jostling for position, let’s take a look at some of the sides that could go all the way and be crowned the 2021/22 EIHL Champions:
Few sides are as synonymous with success in the EIHL as the Sheffield Steelers, with the 9-time champions once again in contention once more in 2021/22. The side from South Yorkshire last won the EIHL title in 2015/16 but they look the be the real deal under head coach Aaron Fox this season and with 16 games won from 20 played, they are very much the team to catch. The Sheffield Steelers are 5/4 to go all the way and clinch their 10th EIHL title, reports Offers.Bet.
Life after Andrew Lord was always a key worry for Cardiff Devils fans but as yet, they have had no real cause for concern. They find themselves second in the table, with some winnable looking fixtures coming up and they have the knowhow when it matters at the business end of the season. Adding to their haul of 6 regular season titles will be their ultimate aim this term and they are 3/1 to lift the EIHL crown.
Not having fans in the stadium was a worry averted for Belfast Giants fans, who have benefitted from a change in legislation in Northern Ireland. The 5-time regular season title winners have as many as 4 games in hand on some teams around them and they will be feeling like the team that has a chance of sneaking under the radar this season. Cashing in on any opportunities given to them will be key but at 13/2, the Belfast Giants cannot be discarded in the hunt for the EIHL title this season.
The Guildford Flames have not been able to lift the EIHL regular season title since 2013 and it looks to be another season of waiting for Flames fans. They find themselves 4th in the table, going well under head coach Paul Dixon but the gap to the sides above them looks to be potentially insurmountable. Currently, the Flames are 10/1 to win the EIHL title and whilst it looks unlikely, stranger things have happened on the ice.
Elsewhere, the likes of the Manchester Storm and the Nottingham Panthers are also outsiders in the hunt for the EIHL title – with hefty points deficits to overturn. The Manchester Storm are currently 25/2 to go all the way this year, with the Nottingham Panthers best priced at 16/1 – suggesting that they both may have too much to do this year.