It is, as they say, not over until the fat lady sings. The frase is usually thought of as generated by the opera “Der ring des Nibelungen”, written by the marvelous Richard Wagner. The image of a slightly oversized Brünnhilde. In the third act, “Götterdämerung” her aria is leading up to not only the end the ut the end of the world as we know it. Quite dramatic. So it is really over, when the fat lady has sung.
In the norwegian elitserie, she is beginning to prepare for entering the stage. As of now there are four games left to play for the ten teams that makes up the series. For some it’s “do or die” for others it’s merely down to where they will end up at the table with little excitement about it.
As per usual we find the most interesting battle at the bottom. Out of ten teams, eight will proceed to the playoffs, one will de degraded to first division and another one will have to enter a qualification to play for the spot in next seasons elitserie.
Theres is also a fight for the first place, the winner of the “Kongepokal”, the kings trophy and which teams who will take the first four places and by that secure a homeadvantage as well as the right to choose their opponent in the quarterfinals.
So lets go to the table and the upcoming games and see who will end up where.
If we start at the bottom we can be rather confident that Bækkelaget will be degraded to first division. The team has only managed to get one point out of their fourteen played games, even though they have been very close in some occasions. Not the least their last game against Sveiva which they lost by only one goal. Their best chance to secure at least on win this season will be against Grei. But most likely they will stay on a zero in the winning column.
So it’s down to Sveiva and Nor92 to fight for the remaining spot at the playoffs. Sveiva has the advantage of goal difference that will make up a point. If we look at the remaing opponents Sveiva has a slightly better chance of making up the points they need. But it will most likely come down to 22nd of february when they will square off in Rommenhallen, Sveivas homecourt. If I were to gamble on the outcome I would put my money on Sveiva to go ahead to claim that illusive 8th-place finnish. Nor92 is by far better than any other team from the lower division so they can quite confidently secure their place in next seasons eliteserie.
The fourth place challenge is another interesting battle. As for now it is hold by my team, Gjelleråsen, and we are mainly challenged by Sarpsborg who we beat last game to surpass them in the table. There isn’t much Grei or Akerselva can do to get their hands on it so it’s down to which one out of Gjelleråsen and Sarpsborg who will manage to finish the race best.
We will both play against the series number one Slevik and last seasons finalist Tunet. in my humble opinion we have the best chance to get any point out of them than Sarpsborg. Most likely it will come down to the other two games. Sarpsborg will play against Nor92 and Bækkelaget. Six points in the bag and they will end up with 27 points. Gjelleråsen plays against Bækkelaget and Akerselva and that last game of the regular season can be very important to maintain the advantage.
Lastly we glance at the top of the table and the race for first place during the regular season. Slevik has won the last three seasons and are strong contenders to win another one. Greåker has the most managable setup but if they win the upcoming game against Gjelleråsen it should be smooth sailing to that awaiting trophy. But they are playing againt three of the top-five placed teams during these last rounds.
So most likely the table will be rather unchanged when we are through with the last round in the beginning of march. Sveiva will be through to the playoffs and Nor92 will have to qualify. Akeraelva and Grei can change places in the table but that is mere academic. We will be back to report on how things ended up and the setup for the quarterfinals. The team that ends up on top will have their choice of opponent from the teams that ends up on the 5th to 8th place and than it’s the second placed teams turn to do likewise.
But for now we just watch with amazement the heaving lungs of Brünnhilde. The end is coming. Not so much to the world as to the regular season in norwegian elitserie. But for those of us who are in it to win it, it is as important.