It's been 53 days since I did a update on the European hockey leagues that I've developed a fascination with. So let's see how things have developed. I'm going to put the leader's record- when available- with ties and ot w/l lumped into one column for ease of reading. Keep in mind that different leagues have different scoring systems; so a 16 point lead in one league is only as good as, say, a 7 point lead somewhere else.
In the UK's EIHL, Belfast's Giants (23-7-3) continue to hold that 1 point lead, although it is now over Cardiff. Sheffield and earlier runner up Nottingham are within 6. All 4 are over the 20-win mark in the feast or famine EIHL; of 10 teams, 4 have 20 wins and 3 have 20 losses.
In France's Ligue Magnus, defending champ Rouen has taken a 2 point lead on Angers and Amiens; Strasbourg, formerly in the hunt, has collected just 3 points in the month and a half since we last visited.
In the Swiss National League A, HC Kloten (26-6-6) continues to lead Davos by 7; defending champ SC Bern continues to trail at a distance.
Italy's Serie A continues to show Valpusteria in front by 8 over Balzano; defending champ Renon is 9 out.
Norway's GET- Ligaen is still led by Sparta Sarpsborg (20-4-5); they've increased their lead to 9 over Valerenga.
In the AL Bank-ligaen in Denmark (where I've learned it's less confusing to read the standings in Danish than English), SonderjyskE (17-8-2) has seen a 14 point margin over Blue Fox Herning erode to 5.
When we last looked in on Germany's DEL, Hanover's Scorpions and the Tomas Sabo Ice Tigers were battling for first; since then Hanover has went 2-9 to drop 16 off the pace, and TSIT limped to a 5-8 mark to fall 11 behind- Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg! GAW (17-6-9) went 10-5 over the stretch to pull into a 1 point lead over the DEG Metrostars, with defending regular season champ Eisbaren Berlin 2 pts back.
Austria's Erste Bank Ligan still has KAC Klagenfurt in front, 23-12-8, 4 points up on Red Bull Salzburg.
Sweden's Eliteserien has also changed drastically, with former leader HC Lulea going 7-9 to drop into fourth, a mere 3 points behind dual leaders HV71(17-11-16) and Skelleftea (18-10-14), with Farjestad 1 point up on Lulea in third.
Finland's S-M Liiga is still being dominated by JYP Jyvaskyla (25-7-3), with a 5 point lead on Assat. Defending champ TPS Turku continues to flounder at 7-21-8.
The Czech Extraliga has seen a leadership change; Vitkovice Steel (19-11-7) has overtaken Ocelari Trinic, with 5 teams within 7 points of the lead.
The Slovak Extraliga is one of those leagues with a somewhat exaggerated point system; as a result we see that Kosice (27-4-11) has a 16 point lead over almost-KHLer Poprad (23-9-10) and 26 over third place Banska Bystrica (20-12-19).
The Asia League shows the Oji Eagles (18-6-5) having spread its lead to 8 over defending champ Anyang Halla. Our favorite whipping boy, the China Dragon, continue winless at 0-25-2, although they have played relatively better of late, bringing their average score down to approximately 6-1 against.
In the KHL West, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (yay!) has powered past UHC Moscow Dynamo; their 24-9-6 record is 6 points ahead of the Moscow team, whose merger last spring has made them the dominant Moscow team with a vengeance; Spartak (14-17-8) clings to the last playoff spot by 2 points, and CSKA (10-20-9) trails that spot by 8.
In the KHL East, its a real dogfight which totally changed from when I first looked this morning to 2 hours later when the standings were updated. Avangard Omsk (21-9-4) and Metallurg Magnitogorsk (21-8-10) have 78 points; perennial powers Ak Bars Kazan (21-8-10) and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (20-9-10) have 77.