BATTLEFORDS – They’ve pretty much got the top seed sewn up, but they have two road games in Flin Flon in February that will be interesting to see what the outcome is as the Bombers, currently, appear to be the biggest threat to dethroning the defending Canalta Cup Champs.
ESTEVAN – In the 8th and final playoff spot at the moment, but playing their best hockey of the season and have games in hand on everybody. Having said that, they’ll play four straight on the road to end the month and begin February (Nipawin, Flin Flon, La Ronge, Melfort) and none of the contests will be easy. Then, they’ve got Nipawin, Flin Flon, and La Ronge all coming to town immediately after that. So seven straight games with a high difficulty factor. They have one game left with Humboldt (tonight).
FLIN FLON – Currently second overall and they still play nine games against southern teams (Yorkton is the only one firmly entrenched in a playoff spot) who are all ranked 8th or lower overall.
HUMBOLDT – In danger of slipping to 8th place but a playoff spot looks to be, relatively, secure. They control their own destiny with seven games against non-playoff teams. Three of those games are against Kindersley.
KINDERSLEY – Each of their next six games come against teams that are either out of the playoffs currently or Humboldt. They have a five game homestand to kick off February.
LA RONGE – They’ve got nine games left against Weyburn, Estevan, Notre Dame, and Melville. They also play Flin Flon three more times, a team they’ve given fits to leading up to Christmas. The Ice Wolves have a shot at second overall if they dominate those three games against the Bombers, but they could also slip to 7th or 8th if they don’t take advantage of the games against lower teams in the standings.
MELFORT – The Mustangs will play seven of their first nine February games on home ice. They also finish January against two non-playoff teams. They play one more against La Ronge and Yorkton and two more against Nipawin in what may go a long way to determine positions for each of those four teams.
MELVILLE – They need to win most of their remaining games and some help from other clubs to get into the playoffs. They have four games left with the Klippers, but both teams are currently on the outside looking in so even sweeping them won’t necessarily get them closer to a playoff berth. They are on their first of two trips to Kindersley/Battlefords this weekend.
NIPAWIN – They’ve got a five game southern road swing in early February followed by five games at home, culminating with a home and home against Melfort to end the regular season. They have no games remaining with La Ronge and one with Yorkton. They do play Estevan three times and that’s significant because the Bruins have two games in hand on them and are only five points back.
NOTRE DAME – In a very similar situation as the Millionaires. They play Humboldt on Sunday afternoon and will finish the year against the Broncos and Bruins, but will it be too late by then? They do play seven of their next nine at home and it’s not out of the question to expect them to win seven of the next nine in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
WEYBURN – Playing better with back to back wins but will close out January on a four game road trip and if they don’t come away from that above .500 they’ll be in big trouble as far as playoff aspirations are concerned. They have a home and home with Estevan at the end of the season, but will it matter?
YORKTON – They’ve played more games than any other team in the league so they need losses from Melfort, Nipawin, and La Ronge in order to maintain their standing. They’ve got seven of their final eleven on home ice. They play the Mustangs once and the Hawks once otherwise seven of their games left come against non-playoff teams.