2022/2023 SICHL Playoff Preview/Predictions

My picks for each series. Take it with a grain of salt..
by Chris Fekete | May 14, 2023, 10:03 PM ET

WORLD CONFERENCE IS HALFWAY DONE.

 

1. Montreal Millionaires vs 8. Fredericton Express

Notable Injuries: Caufield 94%, Reinhart 84%, Vilardi 76% for Montreal. Halak 90%, Hamilton 26%

 

Last year, the Express were the number one seed in the Canadian Conference when they were facing the Vipers. This year, it is flipped as they are the 8 seed and they face-off against Kasim and the Millionaires. Caufield will miss game 1, possibly game 2 of this series. Reinhart and Vilardi are out until the Conference finals (if they reach that far). Mark and the Express will be relying heavily on Vasilevskiy. If he gets injured at any point, series over. Hamilton on the backend is a big miss as well but Mark has some guys that can fill the void. Unfortunately, I just feel Montreal is too deep of a club for Fredericton to handle.

Prediction: Millionaires in 5

 

2. Edmonton Supersonics vs. 7. Whitehorse Huskies

Notable Injuries: Donskoi 87%, De Haan 42% for Edmonton. Doughty 90%, Nylander 85% for the Huskies

 

These 2 teams play each other again in the first round. This time, the seedings have swapped. Don has a lot of injuries and is limping into the postseason. Doughty and Nylander are big pieces to replace. His goaltending is also banged up. Gibson HAS TO stay healthy. Woll, Brossoit and Kinkaid are all out and won't be returning anytime soon. If the Huskies were fully healthy, they could make things interesting but I think Mike hs his team playing at a very high level and unfortunately for Don, it'll be too much to overcome. At least he will get to enjoy his golf a lot more after the first round. Nothing wrong with that, right Don?

Prediction: Supersonics in 5

 

3. Nova Scotia Schooners vs 6. Banff Rockies

Notable Injuries: Campbell 72% for the Schooners. Farabee 94% and Lundell 85% for the Rockies.

 

If odds repeat itself from their history last season in the playoffs and the year before that, the Schooners will come out victorious. Something about the SICHL postseason gets Eric's blood flowing and his franchise just turns it into another gear. It's like his team goes in McDavid mode, but has the championship banners to back it up. I think this has the makings of being the best series in the Canadian Conference. Ian and Eric are becoming the Tampa/Toronto from that other league. Will Ian finally slay the dragon? If he doesn't, will Eric win the Continental Cup again? At least Ian has that going for him so he shouldn't feel too bad. It's hard to pick against Eric in all honesty. The other GM's want to see him fall flat on his face but he is a 3x champ for a reason. I haven't thought about this until now but is the mastermind of the Schooners actually Ava? Is she the one that's running the operations and Eric is just the sidekick? Something to consider..

Prediction: Schooners in 7

 

4. Acadia Grizzly Bears vs. 5. Vancouver Island Norsemen

Notable Injuries: Ferraro 93%, O'Reilly 92%, McDonagh 90% for Grizzly Bears. Edler 88%, Pelech 82% for Norsemen.

 

The Norsemen will be tested with their D and as we all know, Guy continues to build an unbelievable roster in Acadia. It is downright scary and it's only going to get better from here. This is a bit of a toss up to be honest. If Matt can figure out his D and they can hold Guy and his Grizzly Bears at bay for this series, they could pull off the upset. Both teams have the goaltending, both teams have offensive firepower, but the Grizzly Bears have the depth on D and that wins out in the end. I'm going to say this now, I think Guy and the Grizzly Bears represent the Canadian Conference this year. Watch, with me just saying that, I have jinxed them. Let's hope not..

Prediction: Grizzly Bears in 6

 

 

 

1. Havana Revolution vs 8. Philadelphia Fire Ants

Notable Injuries: Kadri 86% for the Revolution. No significant injuries for Fire Ants.

 

I just want to give out a massive congratulations to Norm and his Fire Ants team for making the playoffs. I don't think anyone thought this was going to happen at the start of the season. This is the biggest mismatch in the entire SICHL. David vs Goliath, the LA Dodgers against the Oakland A's. I think of Norm even wins 1 game against Jeff and the Revolution, that is considered a victory. Pavelski, Stamkos, Meier and Laine will be relied heavily upon. The D, especially after the top 3 are going to have to hold their own against a very deep and talented Havana squad that want to send a message to the rest of the World Conference that they are the team to beat and will want to make quick work of the Fire Ants. I'd love to see Norm win even just 1 game but I just think this will be a very quick series.

Prediction: Revolution in 4

 

2. Portland Buckaroos vs 7. London Monarchs

Notable Injuries: None for the Buckaroos. Marchment 90%, Patrick 76%, Weegar 66% for the Monarchs.

 

This could be a very interesting 1st round series. The Monarchs were one of the hottest teams to end the year and almost nearly finished as the 6 seed to face Chicago but the Spartans held on to that position. On paper, both teams match up very well against each other. Both organizations are built very well and they both have GM's that know how to succeed. The Monarchs will miss Weegar in their top 4 but this is where Johnson, Jensen and Hutton will have to step up and do their part. Ekblad, Hanifin and Larsson will be playing 24-25 minutes a night easily so they'll be carrying the load. The Buckaroos have Montour as their 7th d-man, formerly of the Steelhawks who is on a steal of a contract (2.5M x 4) and will get to play F/T next season with the departure of Del Zotto. But that's neither here nor there. Demko is one of the best rated goalies in the league. He also has guys like Mantha, JvR, who are on his bottom 6 but on a team like mine, Boston, Hamburg, Jacksonville, they're top 6 guys. I wouldn't be surprised if the Monarchs pulled off the upset but I think Demko outshines Holtby in the end and gives the Buckaroos the series win

Prediction: Buckaroos in 7

 

3. Chicago Tigers vs 6. St. Louis Spartans

Notable Injuries: Devon Toews 75% for the Tigers. Trent Frederic 89%, Ben Bishop 89% for the Spartans.

 

2 centrally located teams, rival cities. Devon Toews will be out for the entire 1st round, the Tigers best d-man but they still have the depth to get the job done. Varlamov and Koskinen are a good tandem so if Varlamov struggles, Sheetal can turn to Koskinen. For the Spartans, if Fleury struggles, then your alternative is Martin Jones. Not sure that screams much confidence but what do I know about goaltending? Both these teams have good offences so it could come down to which GM's goalie will be the difference maker.

Prediction: Tigers in 6

 

4. Seattle Grunge vs 5. Brno Barons

Notable Injuries: Bernier 93% for the Grunge. Samsonov 94% for the Barons.

 

These 2 teams squared off three times this season, with Bob's Barons winning all three matchups. 2 of them being on the road. This is also the first time they're facing each other in the playoffs. How exciting!! This series is super tough to call. Oettinger vs Saros. The Grunge have more depth however in the forward ranks so the Barons defensive pairings are going to be in for some tough matchups. My head says the Grunge in 6 but...

Prediction: Barons in 7

 

 

Hope you guys enjoy these predictions and best of luck to all 16 GM's!!!

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