The Belfast Giants need just 13 points to clinch the Elite League title or seven wins from their final 14 games. And with every victory or defeat from the teams below them in the standings, that figure gets smaller.
Paul Adey’s side have two home games this weekend at the Odyssey Arena against the Hull Stingrays on Friday night and Fife Flyers on Saturday followed by an away double-header at the Nottingham Panthers next week.
It’s a big ask, but if they were to win all four then potentially they would return home for a pair of games against the Coventry Blaze on the 21st and 22nd February with the championship in their sights.
For that to become a reality one other thing needs to happen – the Dundee Stars need to drop a point in their games between now and then and former Giants coach Dave Whistle, now looking after the Cardiff Devils, could do the Giants a big favour by beating the Stars when the two sides meet on Saturday night.
It’s fun to speculate and predict what might happen and such has been the dominance of the Giants this season that even at the start of February the only question left to answer is when and where the championship will be won.
None of that talk is coming from the locker room however, not even with a 19 point lead at the top of the table and after reaching the Challenge Cup final earlier this week. It’s business as usual according to coach Paul Adey.
“Two more big games this weekend, they’re all big right now. We’re counting the games down in the league and we need the points,” he said.
“We have a massive lead right now and it’s the trophy everyone wants to win. If you win the league you’re crowned the national champions and so every game is like a play-off game because every team wants to knock you down, but we’ve coped with that pressure really well.
“The guys we have in the room are very experienced and very professional and they work hard and most importantly they don’t like to lose.”
The Giants have now gone 19 games without losing in regulation.