Andrew Lord’s Cardiff Devils are ready for six of the best at Ice Arena Wales, starting in front of a capacity attendance against Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday.
Elite League leaders are clear at the top with six home fixtures still to play.
Head coach Lord and his team are reigning champions, lifting the trophy for the first time in two decades last March, and are are on course to repeat that achievement.
They effectively need three wins from their remaining eight league games – six at home and two away – to be crowned champions.
Bottom club Capitals are in Cardiff Bay on Saturday and Devils will be wearing their green St David’s Day shirts after their scheduled home match a week ago was postponed.
Devils then travel to play Sheffield Steelers in South Yorkshire on Sunday.
That will leave Lord’s men with six of their final seven league fixtures in Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff, Manchester, Belfast and Fife have already qualified for the 2018 PredictorBet Elite League play-offs.
Three more teams, Sheffield, Guildford and Nottingham, are on the cusp of claiming their place among the eight teams going to Nottingham.
Bottom club Edinburgh Capitals cannot qualify and that leaves four clubs competing for what is effectively the loan play-off place still to be claimed.
Braehead Clan are currently in eighth place, but Dundee Stars moved to within one point of the Glasgow-based club with a 4-1 win against Fife Flyers last night.
Coventry Blaze are still chasing hard, while Milton Keynes Lightning are a little way adrift of those three.
Four teams challenge for one play-off spot:
A superior number of regulation wins compared to Coventry and Dundee puts the Clan in good stead should it come to a tie break – with the Clan winning 21 games in regulation to date, as opposed to the Blaze’s 17 and Dundee’s 15.
A tough weekend against third-placed Belfast and second-placed Manchester awaits John Tripp’s side however, as well as a home game against Nottingham – who the Clan have beaten just once this year – and a difficult trip to Guildford, so little can be taken for granted if the Glasgow club are to hold onto their place in the top eight.
Current Position: 8th
Current Points: 47
Games Remaining: 6
Maximum Points: 59
CLAN REMAINING FIXTURES
Saturday 10 v Belfast Giants A
Sunday 11 v Manchester Storm H
Saturday 17 v MK Lightning H
Sunday 18 v Edinburgh Capitals A
Friday 23 v Nottingham Panthers H
Saturday 24 v Guildford Flames A
Coach Omar Pacha’s side have won their last four match and have one game in hand on both Braehead and Coventry, but also face perhaps the most difficult run-in as a result.
Stars came from a goal down to beat Fife Flyers 4-1 away last night (Friday), while they complete a run of three fixtures in three days by playing fellow play-off hopefuls Coventry and Milton Keynes on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Current Position: 9th
Current Points: 46
Games Remaining: 7
Maximum Points: 60
STARS REMAINING FIXTURES
Saturday 10 v Coventry Blaze H
Sunday 11 v MK Lightning H
Saturday 17 v Coventry Blaze A
Sunday 18 v Fife Flyers H
Wednesday 21 v Guildford Flames A
Saturday 24 v Nottingham Panthers H
Sunday 25 v Belfast Giants A
Coventry’s run in begins with a crunch tie on Tayside against in-form Dundee, but Danny Stewart’s side will likely also need to improve their form against Patton Conference rivals Guildford if they are to make a return to the play-offs.
The Blaze have won just three of their seven clashes with the Flames so far this season, but with three of their last six games coming against the Surrey side an improvement in that match-up looks vital – as do the two games against Dundee.
Current Position: 10th
Current Points: 45
Games Remaining: 6
Maximum Points: 57
BLAZE REMAINING FIXTURES
Saturday 10 v Dundee Stars A
Sunday 11 v Guildford Flames H
Saturday 17 v Dundee Stars H
Sunday 18 v Guildford Flames A
Saturday 24 v Manchester Storm A
Sunday 25 v Guildford Flames H
MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING
Lightning made a promising start to their inaugural Elite League, but coach Pete Russell’s side are still in with a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
The Buckinghamshire sides form away from home has been an area of frustration for Russell with just four wins from 23 games on the road.
Their run-in includes five games away from their Planet Ice home and only two at home.
Current Position: 11th
Current Points: 37
Games Remaining: 7
Maximum Points: 51
LIGHTNING REMAINING FIXTURES
Saturday 10 v Guildford Flames H
Sunday 11 v Dundee Stars A
Wednesday 14 v Guildford Flames A
Saturday 17 v Braehead Clan A
Wednesday 21 v Belfast Giants A
Saturday 24 v Fife Flyers H
Sunday 25 v Cardiff Devils A
Cardiff Devils are in action this Saturday (March 10) when Edinburgh Capitals play at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay (7pm).
That is the first of six remaining hime league fixtures left this season.
CLICK HERE to book IAW match tickets or CALL 0800 0842 666 to book
CLICK HERE to be redirected to the full fixtures list.
Peacocks Cardiff Devils remaining fixtures:
Saturday 10 v Edinburgh Capitals H (7pm)
Sunday 11 v Sheffield Steelers A (5pm)
Wednesday 14 v Sheffield Steelers H (7.30pm)
Friday 16 v Belfast Giants A (7pm)
Saturday 17 No game
Sunday 18 v Sheffield Steelers H (6pm)
Wednesday 21 v Manchester Storm H (7.30pm)
Saturday 24 v Belfast Giants H (7pm)
Sunday 25 v MK Lightning H (6pm)
ELITE LEAGUE STANDINGS
Including Fife 1, Dundee 4 result last night. Regular 2017-18
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