A week from now the IceHogs will be in playoff-mode if they can earn just one more point this week and wrap up a playoff spot. The odds are in their favor.
They can clinch a playoff birth Tuesday night with a win at Iowa or if Milwaukee loses at home to the Chicago Wolves.
“Of course we know the situation and the standings,” says IceHogs head coach Jeremy Colliton.
The top four teams in the Central Division will get into the playoffs. Those top four seeds are completely up in the air. The Wolves lead the way with 89 points, but the IceHogs in fourth are only three points back of the Wolves with three regular season games still to play.
“If we get in whoever we play we like our chances, but we want to finish strong here,” says Colltion. “We want to have good performances and get good results and finish as high up in the standings as we can moreso because of how it reflects on the group and our team moreso than matchup or home ice.”
“Now that we’re in this position I think we’re pretty confident with whoever we draw in the first round,” says forward Tyler Sikura. “We’re a confident group. We know we can play with anybody right now. “
The Hogs have won 14 of their last 20 games and they should be much stronger now that several players from the Blackhawks have just joined them. They include forwards John Hayden, Victor Ejdsell, David Kampf and Andreas Martinsen giving the Hogs plenty of depth and competition for playing time.
“It’s fun to be back here,” says Hayden. “I know everyone who’s coming back from the Hawks is excited to be here. We’ll do everything we can to make a push here.”
“We’ve had a lot of guys that have had good years and it’s going to be fun to play now. It’s going to be good for the team to have a little competition I think,” says Martinsen.
The goaltender spot will also be competitive now that the big three of Jeff Glass, J-F Berube and Collin Delia are all available. Colliton isn’t tipping his hand on how that position will sort itself out.
“We’ll see how the week plays out. We have depth everywhere so that’s a good place to be.”