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KHL Medveščak playoff bound!

January 17, 2013





Zagreb’s KHL Medveščak have proven their worthiness and have clinched a spot in the EBEL playoffs.


Despite a small setback last week when they lost to the bottom-dwelling HC Innsbruck, the Bears have been surging in the league and have been awarded a definite spot in the post season. They are now in the hunt for their first non-domestic league title.


The Erste Bank Hockey League playoff system consists of eight teams. The top six teams form one group and play a single round-robin to determine the standings in the playoffs, while the next six teams do the same to determine which two teams will join the other six in the playoffs.


Once the round-robin portion of the tournament is completed and the eight teams are set, they then take part in a best-of-seven, three round tournament.  The eight teams open the tournament in the quarterfinals, then four advance to the semifinals, leaving the two winners to play in the finals.


Per the official league rules:


“The top 6 teams form a separate group and play a single round-robin to determine final standings for play-offs. Other teams form another group and play a single round-robin to determine two clubs who join top 6 for playoffs. Points from regular season do not count towards the intermediate stage. Bonus points (4, 3, 2, 1 etc.) are awarded based on standings after regular season.”


This format was introduced last season. Prior to that, the top eight teams were entered into the playoffs, and seeded accordingly to their regular season position.


The regular season ends January 20. The preliminary round-robin games go through January 22 and February 21, and the playoffs begin on February 24.


As expected, The Bear’s Dustin Jeffery will not be joining the club in their playoff run. He has since returned to Pittsburgh to rejoin his NHL club, the Penguins to participate in the abbreviated NHL season that will start on January 19 where he will take on the Philadelphia Flyers.


There is still plenty of goal-scoring ability on the bench for the Bears. Brandon Buck is the team leader in goals with 19 on the season thus far, and is closely followed by Kyle Greentree with 16, and Curtis Fraser and and Adam Miller with 12.


“We have a good team, a good group of players, we want to win and get titles, and we will fight for that, and I’m sure that we will ready when the playoffs come,” said head coach, Marty Raymond.


Win or lose, this will be the final season for Medveščak in the EBEL. They are slated to join Russia’s Continental Hockey League next season, which is widely regarded as the worlds second strongest ice hockey league.



Picture 5







Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 56 comments

  1. yy says:

    Win or lose, this will be the final season for Medveščak in the EBEL. They are slated to join Russia’s Continental Hockey League next season, which is widely regarded as the worlds second strongest ice hockey league.

    Thats not yet 100% sure.

  2. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    It’s pretty close to being sure. It’s just a matter of finding sponsors that are willing to pay enough to cover the extensive travel schedule that comes with playing in that league. But you’re right. It isn’t 100% yet.

  3. Zach Gilfix Zach Gilfix says:

    Can you explain that playoff system a little more? Sounds cool. Is it knockout after the round robin part? Also, is Euro hockey 3 points for a win or 2?

  4. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    A win is worth 2, and an OT loss is worth 1, just like in NHL. As for the playoff system, it’s confusing. After the round robin it goes into a three round best of 7 tournament. Eight teams start in the quarter finals, four teams are in the semis, leaving two for the finals. Hope that clarified it, Zach.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Službeni poziv Alenu Haliloviću

  6. Zach Gilfix Zach Gilfix says:

    I like that format. Wish American leagues didnt all have the same system for every sport

  7. Ziva Istina says:

    Nothing will ever change with the American playoff systems. Too much money and tv rights involved.

    The worst thing to happen in recent years is when the NBA changed the first round from best of five to best of seven. Going to a best of seven made it much harder for upsets to take place. The best postseason/playoff is college basketball. One and done.

  8. Poglavnik says:

    Apparently the owners during the NHL lockout were looking at 10 teams a conference in the playoffs. I think eventually that could be likely because it’s more revenue for them.

  9. Allen B says:

    Leave it to the NHL to find a way to make the regular season even more of a joke, well actually make the NHL look like a joke in general. 16 teams in the playoffs is already watered down and stupid, but let’s make it 20, let’s have 2/3 of the teams make the playoffs. Why even play a fn 82 game schedule. NFL and MLB have it right, the teams that get in should deserve it.

    NCAA has it right, I like it so much that they should make an extra round lol, ill gladly watch an extra week of march madness

  10. Poglavnik says:

    @Allen B
    Im so jaded with the NHL. It’s so poorly run and reeks of corruption. The game was best in the early 90’s before Bettman put franchises in cities that don’t give 2 shits about the game. He caters to these teams and could care less about the teams in solid markets, particularily Canadian ones. The league became watered down by about 10 teams, and 250 players, all within a decade. He really did ruin a great game by trying to grow it on people that just aren’t interested. Whew, Im done. Had to get that out…

    I’m diggin the Medvescak reports though!

  11. T.O. Cro says:

    @ Poglavnik
    I could not agree more. The NHL expanded way too quickly and players who should have been career minor leaguers became career NHL-ers. The refs didn t help either when they stopped calling penalties and protecting star players. Forsberg lost his f-in spleen during a playoff game, getting punched in the head consistently in front of refs and NO calls???
    Medveščak have been shitting the bed lately. Went to the Innsbruck game and it was a waste of time. They only turned it up in the last 5 mins of the game…

  12. T.O. Cro says:

    … and the season with playoffs lasts WAY too long. Nothing worse than hearing nothing but the NHL playoffs on sports radio in mid-June while the Euros is in full tilt.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ruski tajkun zove Pletikosu u Grčku

  14. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    America’s first Croatian Catholic Church is being torn down today in Pittsburgh. It is one of the few landmarks left designating the once vibrant neighborhood of Mala Jaska on the city’s north side.

    Sv. Nicholas Church was founded in 1894 by Croatian immigrants. The church has been empty for decades after the parish moved their mass and offices to their other location, about two miles away. The other St. Nicks was built about a decade after the first one, and is the current church of choice for Pittsburgh’s diaspora community.

    Many attempts to save the church were put forth by the city’s historical society, but the city would not allow the church to remain. The Penn Dept. of Transportation is planning on widening the road the church once stood on, and needed the building to be demolished in order to do so.

    The church acted as a hub for many immigrants who were new to America, where they received funds to start their new lives, received help finding jobs, learning English, and even a place for their families to stay until they were settled in their new country.

    Just thought I would share that bit of information

  15. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    Re NHL playoffs: The league mentioned adding two teams to the playoffs, but it will never happen. They can’t even reconfigure the divisions without teams creating an uproar. There will not be 10 teams in the conference paying in the playoffs.

    I’m not really sure what is “watered down” about the league though. What cities had teams forced on them that they didn’t want? I can’t remember more than one winning season for Columbus, but they still have a somewhat loyal fan base. And teams in the south, with the sometimes exception of Miami, have had fairly consistent attendances over the years.

    @ Poglavnik – Could you please explain this? ” The league became watered down by about 10 teams, and 250 players, all within a decade” I’m not sure I follow 100%. Are you saying that within the decade, 10 teams were formed in cities that didn’t want them? I think Winnipeg was the only new team since 2003, and that city was hockey-starved.

  16. Ziva Istina says:

    For me watered down means having players in the league that are not NHL-quality players. Same thing in basketball, I think there are too many teams in the league that makes regular season games worthless and not interesting. NHL and NBA would be ideal at about 24-26 teams.

  17. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    @Poglavnik and T.O – Did either of you guys watch the Innsbruck game? “Shitting the bed” was a pretty accurate description of the game.

  18. ARMADA87 ARMADA87 says:

    @ NHL expansion talk

    Granted, the NHL has really taken root in some traditional non-hockey towns (Dallas, Anaheim, Columbus, etc.) but I feel like the NHL should of expanded more into Canada. Winnipeg was long overdue. Toronto or the Hamilton area could host a team. Quebec is dying to bring a team back.

    Canadians go ape shit for hockey, so rather than have teams in Florida, Arizona, etc. who don’t give a shit about hockey for the most part, give it to a Canadian city who would sell out their arena every night.

  19. majstore says:

    Sorry. Napoli or Parma!?

  20. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    Hey, the Lightning sell out games all the time. I can’t even get tickets to a game anytime soon. Don’t lump Florida in with people who don’t care about hockey. Hell, there are probably more Canadians here right now than there are in Canada.

  21. Ziva Istina says:

    @Armada………expaning in Canada is tricky. Those are all smaller markets and I wonder about the long-term viability of additional cities in Canada. Even going back to Winnipeg is no sure thing. They are playing in a much smaller arena (I think it seats less than 16,000) and they won’t make much from their local TV contract.

    That being said, I would still prefer to have the teams up in Canada. But, Winnipeg and Quebec have lost tams before.

  22. Ustani says:

    Two reaons for the Lightning having good ticket sales.

    1 – Snow-birds
    2 – Ticket prices are dirt-cheap.

    Here’s the issue with hockey in the southern markets.

    San Jose sells out almost every game but they still lost 15 million last year. This is because they can’t charge high prices for tickets as people will not go.

    Winnipeg is in the top 8 for gate revenue and that will be the same for 5 more years at least since that’s what the season ticket holders have committed to on paper. That’s top 8 with only 15,000 seats.

    In regional TV ratings, TB gets only 25,000 viewers, Florida gets 13,000, Phoenix gets 7,000, Nashville 25k, and the same with Carolina. Winnipeg is around 200k and never mind what they get when it’s a national game on CBC. The national games are like 800k. The NHL is a gate-driven league so they need to make a lot of revenue at the arena. Most of the southern teams are losing money in the arena and TV money isn’t doing anything to keep them afloat because the TV money is a joke.

    Why are all 7 Canadian teams in the top 11 or 12 of the league’s most profitable teams for hockey operations.

    This is how important the NHL is to NBC.

  23. Poglavnik says:

    I was referring to the 90’s when the league went from 21 teams to 30. Did you hear the Florida Panthers have season tickets for $7 a game and that includes a jersey!? That’s cheaper than a AAA baseball game in Vancouver! Cities that have won Stanley Cups in the last decade like Carolina, Tampa, New Jersey, L.A., Anaheim, still have problems filling their buildings and they are pretty much the cheapest tickets in town for professional sports. I mean you can’t even get hockey scores on the tickers when I’m in the States. You’ve got to wait for things like LPGA and womens NCAA scores to scroll by and even then it shows up like every 2nd or 3rd time that it scrolls through all the major american sports. In other words, Bettman over sold the product.

  24. TheGoldenChild says:

    What’s up with all these Pletikosa rumors these days? That’s 2 for the big guy in 2 days.

  25. Sude Mi says:

    I’ll be my house Medvescak does not play in the KHL next season……KHL teams subsidized huge by Russian oligarch’s, otherwise based on ticket sales that league is no better than the ECHL.

    Not only much larger travel costs, where does Medvescak get the money to bring in better players to compete in the so-called 2nd best league in the world?

    Not a hope in hell. Enjoy EBEL, good hockey, local and a die-hard following….

  26. Sude Mi says:

    Sorry, meant “bet my house” above….type-o on Friday!

  27. Ziva Istina says:

    TheGoldenChild…….I think Pletikosa is out of contract at the end of June, so teams know they can get him cheap now. Also, this could be his agent floating rumors so he can get a bigger contract extension from his current club.

  28. Chupe says:

    I am a big hockey fan and NHL isnt what it use to be i have no problem with nhl playoffs they are the best but the way the NHL is run is a joke for O to D to Goalies, i miss old time hockey to me 2004 the NHL died, the push of some teams makes me sick, Offensive players are Little girls compred to te old days of obstruction and slashes loved it, Defense is ok no problem with it but they get called for every little penalty, Goalies OMG this butterly style sucks and over sized pads and chest protectors o man Lundqvist the mans looks like a balck bear in net please not just him but hes number 1, Luongo, Gigurre,Emry, and more! NHL RIP this is just business now its ok in 1994-2003 blame the Nj devils trap hahha loser Garry Fatmen

  29. 19Tornado65 says:

    Pletikosa for one thing i cannot believe he hasnt found a club in Bundesliga or France all these years its been 13 years since hes been on the national team and hes had good tournaments, 2002 was not at fault for 3 goals 2004 DNP 2006 Not at fault for 3 goals 2008 not at fault was great 2012 not at fault for goals, lets go stipe mid 30 mozda ti sretna bude!

  30. Poglavnik says:

    You know what else sucks? The instigator rule. Players aren’t as accountable for their actions like they used to be. You get these wimps running around high-sticking and elbowing players without the threat of them getting beat up like they used to. Perfect example was the fiasco that was Steve Moore’s shot to Marcus Naslund’s head that in turn lead to Todd Bertuzzi jumping Moore and breaking his neck. If it was the 80’s not only would Moore not be in the NHL because he was a fourth line player in a watered down league, but he wouldn’t dare try that shit on the NHL’s scoring leader because of the threat of getting beat down properly. The league was much better when stars were protected by enforcers and the players could basically police themselves on the ice.

  31. Chupe says:

    @ Poglavnik, thats right i miss it so much just like i miss the wwf atittude era, Old NBA basketball from the 90s is it just me or were the 80’s and 90’s and early 2000’s the best

  32. Poglavnik says:

    At least we have memories of sports before mass marketing took over.

  33. Chupe says:

    Even nogomet the quality has gone down messi messi messi id like to se Messi playing a defense that had Thuram Maldini Nesta Blanc Dessaliy Baresi even Simic kovac and Tudor i had to mention our guys too

  34. Sude Mi says:


    What’s Bertuzzi today? A fourth line winger in a watered down league! LOL

    What goes around comes around… will be nice when Todd has to cut that cheque to Moore once the courts finally get through the proceedings.

  35. Ziva Istina says:

    @Chupe………Messi and Barca would destroy them as well

  36. Chupe says:

    @ Ziva i dont think so beg to differ your wrong on this one

  37. Chupe says:

    messi should have got Spanish citezen ship at international level he wont win anything WC wise but look for 2014 to push brazil and argentina as a final or portugal argentina match mark my word you heard it here first!

  38. Poglavnik says:

    @Sude Mi
    Well at the time Bertuzzi was arguably the best power forward in the game.

    I blame Bob Hartley for being a dumb coach. Why would he even have Steve Moore on the ice in the 3rd period of an 8-1 game when everyone in the building wanted that guy dead?! I also put blame on the league and the media. If the league would have suspended him a few games for what was clearly a head-shot then the media wouldn’t be goading our players into retaliation. I still remember the “wanted” ads they had for Moore in the papers here leading up to the game, and all the reports asking our guys what they were going to do to him. Fuck Moore! I hope he doesn’t get a cent!

  39. Chupe says:

    We Blame the Devils for NHL decline according to that hack melrose smece, first the trap all i remember is the devils having a great team from 1993-2003 tens years of 100 points if the Rangers were like the Devils or Fylers man then the trap would have been great and supper but it was small jersey with master Lou when gretzys Oliers played trap it was ok when Roys canadiens did it it was ok.

  40. Poglavnik says:

    When did Gretzky’s Oilers ever trap!?
    They had arguably the most exciting offence in history.

  41. Chupe says:

    @ poglavnik yes they did they trapped but it wasnt noticed

  42. Chupe says:

    In the playoffs they did in close gaem in the third not a real one but they did to less degree but Canediens used it, my point was that guys like Melrose and Butman think the devils invented that style and it pisses me off so what if they trapped but in 1994 Devils were the second highest scoring team in 1997-2001 had one of the best offenses and neidermayer stevens daneyko driver later rafalski white, i mean dead puck era my ass the ranger pitsburgh and other the top market teams sucked from 1997- till the lock out of 2005, lets look at over sized goalies and this boring style butterfly

  43. Poglavnik says:

    Yeah the Devils trap never bothered me as much as say the Wild. Maybe it was because the Canucks played them like 7 times a year.

  44. IvicA says:

    The worst thing about this site is when you come on it and all everyone is talking about is gun control and NHL hockey.

  45. Poglavnik says:

    How often does that happen?
    And this is a hockey thread if u haven’t noticed.

  46. T.O. Cro says:

    I was at the game. It is hockey fever right now and all the games are being played at the Arena. I will be going this Sunday, as well.
    Poglavnik and I were reminiscing to how the NHL expanding too much and way too quickly, hence the watered down league.
    I went to a Panthers playoff game last season and it was actually pretty exciting. Good quality (as NHL playoff hockey is def way better than reg season) and the arena in coral gables was packed. People still throw the rats after the games. Pretty hilarious watching the players get hit, actually.
    NHL All Star game has become the most boring professional ALL Star game, as well. We will never see an eighties type all star game again, where a goon like Probert (RIP) breaks someones leg.

  47. IvicA says:

    @ Poglavnik

    There are probably more posts about the NHL than the HNL, and I’m not making that up.

    But whatever, I shouldn’t complain. It’s a message board, and a lot of people here are probably Canadian and can’t resist talking about the NHL anyway.

  48. Ziva Istina says:

    I have no issues with hockey talk. Afterall, if it was not for hockey what else would Canadians have to live for?????? Curling?????

  49. IvicA says:

    Although Ziva is just trying to arouse a reaction from Canadians with that comment…he’s kind of more right than he thinks.

    I remember back during the previous NHL strike, I remember I couldn’t even catch a Raptors game because both of the major sports channels had DAILY segments on NHL Labour talks. There would literally be no meetings or progress for weeks at a time, but they still somehow managed to fill out a daily segment to talk about this crap. What worse is that I would turn to the third sports channel we have on cable, and on many occasions it would be curling! LoL.

    It’s pretty bad up here if you’re anything but a hockey fan.

  50. Ante B. says:

    Isn’t curling the sport Canadian women play while their husbands are cooking dinner?

  51. Colin O'Haravić says:

    @TO – Cool to hear you’re going the game tomorrow. Mind taking some pictures? We can post them on the site.

  52. Poglavnik says:

    Completely agree! It’s super annoying…

  53. T.O.Cro says:

    Curling is like bocce on ice, isn’t it?
    Colin I’ll try, provided I don’t get too drunk, which is usually the case…

  54. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    @Armada – Woooo!! Pens putting up an early one on “King” Lundqvist! 🙂

  55. Sude Mi says:

    Ziva Istina says:
    I have no issues with hockey talk. Afterall, if it was not for hockey what else would Canadians have to live for?????? Curling?????

    Better than the American pastime baseball…..stupidest, most boring sport in the history of mankind!

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