The SM-liiga, also known as the Finnish Elite League is the top professional ice hockey league in Finland. We take a look at this season’s top 3 favourites below:
The Finnish team Oulun Kärpät made the championship of the Liiga, where they fell to HPK. In the playoffs, Vehvilainen led all goaltenders with 1.47 goals over average and 4 shutouts. He also posted a .939 save percentage. Oulun Kärpät have made it to the final 10 times, and out of those times walked away with the title 7.
Tappara reached the finals last year for a record-breaking 6th year in a row. However, they weren’t able to lift the title as they lost to HPK in 6 games.
The great strike of final appearances came to an end in 2019 when HPK defeated Tappara in the semi-finals in six games. The medal strike continued, however, as Tappara won the bronze medal game against HIFK.
HIFK has the biggest audience in the Liiga and is one of the wealthiest sports clubs in Finland. Notably, they have won the Finnish national championship in 2010-111 when they defeated Espoo Blues. Moreover, the championship team from 1998 is widely recognised as one of the best ever to have skated in the top flight of Finnish ice hockey.
The Swedish Hockey League is the highest division in the Swedish ice hockey system, consisting of 14 teams. Färjestad BK is the most successful team with nine Swedish Championship titles since 1975. Brynäs IF and Djurgårdens IF are tied for the second most successful team with six championship titles. We take a look at which teams are favourites to win this year below:
During the last five seasons of the SHL, Frölunda has finished third three times (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19), and second twice (2014-15, 2015-16). Will they be able to make it past the second place this season?
Lulea HF have been playing in the Swedish Hockey League since the 1984-85 season. They have won the Swedish championships once, in 1996. Since being promoted to the top flight in 1984, the team has not once had to participate in a promotion/relegation-qualifier to defend their spot in the top league. The odds are seemingly promising for the team this season.
Växjö Lakers made their SHL debut in 2011-12, and proceeded to win the Swedish national championship in 2015 and 2018. The odds suggest that the team will be able to pull off a similar performance this season.
Who do you think will win? Place your SHL predictions here.