EHC vs. Sharks Pre-Playoffs preview
Munich - Having lost their last two games of the season EHC München was unable to avoid the pre-playoff round and will face the Cologne Sharks in a best of 3 playoff match. During the regular season these two team played against each other four times with Munich winning three times. Both teams are evenly matched as 3 games ended with a one point difference.
Currently, Munich's leading scorers against the Sharks are Kyle Helms and David Wrigley with 3 goals apiece. Munich not only needs their leading scorers to step up but also their other star players Eric Schneider (who is the second best scorer in the league), Martin Buchwieser (Rookie of the Year), and goalie Sebastian Elwing.
If Munich is to make it to the next round, Elwing will need to hold off the pressure from the Shark's Jason Jaspers and Christoph Ullmann who lead the Sharks with the most shots on goal (194 and 157 respectively). Not only do the Sharks have a good offensive line they also have the veteran Mirko Ludemann who has played in over 900 games with Cologne. The Sharks also have a great goalie in Danny Aus den Birken who is currently the top goalie in the league with a 93.5% save percentage.
The Sharks coach Niklas Sundblad said about their playoff opponent, "Munich is the surprise team so far this season. They fight very strong and have defeated us three times this season. But we will be well prepared. I expect a good show. "
I predict that Munich will win the series but be forced to play all three games to advance. This is based on the fact that 2 of their 3 wins against the Sharks were won by 1 point, one of which was won in a shootout.
If a playoff game is tied after 60 minutes, there will be a 15 minute break followed by Overtime for 20 minutes. It will be played 5 vs. 5 in the "sudden death" mode, meaning whichever team will score the first goal in overtime wins. Overtime will be extended as long (each OT is 20 minutes) as it takes until the game is decided and there is no penalty shootout in the playoffs!
Munich will play their first playoff match against the Sharks on Wednesday evening at the Olympia Eissportzentrum. The match faces off at 19:30 and will be televised live on Sky TV. The winner of the best of 3 match will advance to the playoff quarter-finals.