CWHL Weekend Preview: Race for Playoffs heating up! Boston vs Montreal, Brampton v Toronto
With only two weekends of games left before the end of the regular season, and a close race for playoff spots, this weekend is SURE to be exciting!
This weekend, the defending Clarkson Cup champions in Boston take on three-time champions, the Montreal Stars, twice. Very excitingly, at least some of the Olympians these teams lost appear to be planning to be back for this weekend! According to Julie Chu’s twitter, both she and Hilary Knight will be back for Saturday’s game at 4:30 PM CST, which is a fundraiser for Breast Cancer research. Chu, a member of the Montreal Stars, brings a veteran, two-way presence– she’s played both forward and defense for Montreal, although her points production has fallen off in recent years with the Stars. Knight was Boston’s leading scorer by a wide margin last season, and isn’t afraid to use her size on the ice either. Boston fans can hope that Gigi Marvin, who historically quarterbacked their defense, also returns soon– that team has been hurting for that kind of veteran presence on their defensive end. Saturday’s game is also this week’s CWHL Streaming Game, so make sure to watch it! The Blades and the Stars face off again on Sunday at 12:30 PM CST.
The other series this weekend is Brampton vs Toronto, kicking off on Saturday at 6:30 PM CST. Brampton, with only 10 points to Toronto’s 20, is currently not in the playoff bracket and would take quite a flukey set of circumstances to make it in, but could very much impact the tight race for seeding in the top four teams. Boston and Toronto are tied for second with 20 points, and Calgary trails closely at 19 points. Special teams could make quite an impact in this game, too, as Toronto has the second highest power play, while Brampton has the worst penalty kill. They’ll meet again on Sunday at 2:30 PM CST.
Enjoy the hockey this weekend, and keep an eye out for those returning Olympians– going to be real interesting to see how they get fitted back into CWHL lineups, and see how it impacts playoff hopes.