I’ve had a lot of people ask me numerous questions about division 1 hockey in sweden and its hard to explain with limited characters on twitter. First off were in the Northern Conference (A) and from what I’ve been told, the Southern Division is more competitive. This is why Division 1 gets better after Christmas. This league is configured to give the top Division 1 teams a chance to play against the bottom 2 teams in the Allsvanskan at the end of the year to get promoted to the Allsvanskan.
Before Christmas you play within your conference and out of the 8 teams you need to finish top 4 to advance to the next stage of the process. If you finish top 4 you play against the top 4 teams from the conference that is located closest geographically. Again you need to finish top 4 to move to the playoffs.
Bjorkloven is in Conference A. There are 6 conferences total (A-F) After Xmas A and B top 4 teams will play against each other twice and the top 4 teams go to playoffs. Then there are 3 playoff series, best of 3 games. Adding to the confusion, if you finish 1st you get 2 rounds of byes. You would only play in the 3rd round of playoffs. If you finish 2nd you get a bye from the 1st round. Teams that finish 3 and 4 would have to play and win in 3 rounds to advance to the chance to get promoted. Whom ever wins the playoffs moves to the final stage where you have a chance to get promoted.
3 teams that won the playoffs move on
Two bottom teams from Allsvanskan
Plus 1 wild card- One team out of the 6 conferences with the best record that didn’t win the playoff.
6 teams play each other one home and one away game and the best two teams with the most pts play in the Allsvanskan the following year.
Its kind of confusing and very challenging to get promoted but I know that’s our number one goal this year as a team, organization, and community.
I have been asked what the quality is like and how would it compare to the EIHL. Its almost an impossible question to answer if I’m being completely honest. I know a lot of Division 1 teams wouldn’t do well against the EIHL top 5 teams. Our team would compete well with the top EIHL teams. I don’t want to be arrogant and say we are better than the top EIHL teams. All I know is that we would likely have some good games that could go either way. The EIHL is an under-rated league and I’ve heard guys say that the difference is minimal compared to other leagues around Europe that have more creditability.
I will say that Swedish players typically are great skaters and have tremendous skill with the puck. I’m fortunate to be on a team that has tremendous depth in all positions. I’ve never been on a team with this much depth. It’s a great situation to be in.
I hope this clarifies some of the questions I have been asked on twitter.