European Playoff Extravaganza

Lightning Europe Playoff Extravaganza!!!: [b]Austria[/b] [list][*]The Austrian EHL season concluded Wednesday and Marek Posmyk's Linz Black Wings finished out of the money in 6th place of the 7 team league. Posmyk finishes the year with 7-4-11 with 68 penalty minutes and a dsturbing -19 rating in 34 games. Lord knows my commemorative "Pylon Defensemen Rick Dudley Traded For" limited edition lithograph wouldn't be the same without Marek standing side by side with such giants as Kristian Kudroc, Mathieu Biron and Bryan Muir.[/list] [b]Czech Republic[/b] [list][*]Ivan Rachunek's Znojmesti Orli team also finished out of the money in 11th place in the Czech Extraliga. Rachunek contributed 2-4-6 with 26 penalty minutes and a -5 rating in 29 games.[/list] [b]Finland[/b] [list][*]After enjoying a first round bye as the 2nd seed Eero Somervuori's Karpat club began their playoff quest today beating Tapparra 2-0. Eero was held scoreless in the opener. However, he did manage to win the Lightning Europe scoring crown for the 2nd time in 3 years with 16-26-42 in 56 games with a +15 rating and 14 penalty minutes. [*]Karri Ramo's 7th seeded Pelicans A could not hold off TPS A losing their first round series to the second seed 3 games to 1. Ramo's 4.66 GAA and .868 sv% in the playoffs were a far cry from his [url=]league leading goaltending performance during the regular season.[/url] [*]Karri Akkanen's 8th seeded Tapparra A club was swept unceremeniously by Akkanen's former club Ilves A 3 games to 0. Akkanen went scoreless for the series with a -2 rating and a vintage Karri Akkanen 16 penalty minutes. This followed a rather pedestrian 6-6-12 performance in 29 games where Akkanen accrued 42 penalty minutes and a -2 rating.[/list] [b]Germany[/b] [list][*]6th seeded Adler Mannheim [url=]squeaked by Nurnberg 5-4[/url] in their opening game of the best of seven series against the Ice Tigers today. Sascha Goc was held scoreless with 4 shots on goal. Goc turned in a painfully boring 1-4-5 in 39 games with a -3 rating and 67 penalty minutes during the regular season.[/list] [b]Russia[/b] [list][*] Anton But and the 4th seeded Yaroslavl Lokomotiv won a nip and tuck battle with high powered Kazan 2-1 today to take a 1-0 lead in their best of five series. But was held scoreless by Lightning netminder Nikolai Khabibulin but he did, for the third year straight, hoist the coveted Lightning Russia scoring title with 12-21-33 in 60 games. [*]Dimitry Kazionov sat out 2nd seed Lada Togliatti's game one 3-0 win over Novokuznetsk. He finished the regular season with 3-8-11 in 46 games. [*]Al Vishnyakov also sat out 1st seeded Dynamo's 2-0 opening game win over 8th seed Nizhnekamsk. He put up 1-2-3 in 28 regular season games. [*]Alex Polushin's CSKA finished out of the money. His 3-4-7 in 17 games matched his point output from a season ago.[/list] [b]Sweden[/b] [list][*]Johan Hagglund's Hammarby will not be playing for promotion to the Elitserian by virtue of their ugly 2-10-2 Superalsvenskan record. Johan went 1-1-2 in 13 games with 20 penalty minutes and a -6 rating in the Superalsvenskan. In the previous phase he contributed 6-6-12 with 30 penalty minutes and a +11 in the Alsvenskan Sodra division in which Hammarby finished 3rd. [*]Fredrik Norrena's 2nd seeded Linkopings were upset by 7th seed Sodertalje in 6 games in the first round of the Elitserian playoffs. A victim of poor goal support, Norrena went 2-4 in the series with a .921 save percentage and a 2.03 goals against average. Norrena finished the regular season second in the league with a .935 save percentage and 1.86 GAA. [*]The sole surviving Lightning Sweden prospect is Jimmie Olvestad who, along with Dan Boyle, helped Djurgardens squeak by 3rd seeded Timra and Fredrik Modin in 7 games. Olvestad's lone point in the series was an assist in the decisive game seven win and he also racked up 33 penalty minutes and a -3 rating for the series. Somewhat like Peter Forsberg without all that offensive talent baggage, Olvestad put up 4-8-12 in 46 regular season games with a -4 rating. His 89 penalty minutes placed him 25th in the league for sin bin sitting as well.[/list] [b]Switzerland[/b] [list][*]Timo "Bling Bling" Helbling helped the Kloten Flyers avoid relegation by winning their opening round "Playout" series 4-1 over Lausanne. Helbling chipped in 1-3-4 in 5 "playout" games adding 8 penalty minutes. Helbling had 2-9-11 in 44 games during the regular season to chase his Lightning Europe penalty minute crown winning 118 penalty minutes. If only the NHL would make the Panthers "playout" with some of the other bottomfeeders of the league. [/list]