UFHL Playoff Preview: Division Winners Looking Strong to Start Pursuit of Klein Cup
Updated: May 8, 2022
The Klein Cup won’t be won on paper — it never is, nor the Stanley Cup.
So while the oddsmakers might favour the Founders’ Trophy-winning Royals — or fellow division winners from the regular season, the Titans, Stingrays and Grizzlies — there are plenty of contenders and potential for upsets, with the defending Klein Cup champion Red Army also in the mix again.
Parity has been improving year over year in the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League, which was more evident than ever in the first full season following two shortened campaigns that crowned the Monarchs as inaugural champs in 2020 before Red Army took the throne last year. Now the Royals enter the Klein Cup playoffs as the top seed and clear favourite after a record-setting regular season that was closely contested until the final two months when the Royals roared past the Titans and pulled away from the pack in convincing fashion to claim the Founders’ Trophy.
As dominant as the Royals were down the stretch — full marks to their management team for that regular-season title, along with their ownership, Crown Sports & Entertainment — the Klein Cup is the championship at stake now and the prestigious trophy that everyone wants to win for a summer celebration. Not to mention seeing their names engraved into UFHL history!
The quest for that UFHL glory gets underway tonight, so let’s take a look at the first-round bracket and the rosters coming out of Sunday’s playoff draft in previewing the matchups for the conference quarterfinals:
First Round Matchups
L1) Stingrays vs. WC2) Battlehawks
L2) Ice Vikings vs. L3) Yetis
G1) Grizzlies vs. WC1) Stallions
G2) Red Army vs. G3) CanWest Generals
H1) Royals vs. WC2) Outlaws
H2) West Coast Express vs. H3) Gators
O1) Titans vs. WC1) Bentley Jacks
O2) Rock Republic vs. O3) Kamikaze
These 16 franchises filled out their rosters in Sunday’s playoff draft, replacing their non-playoff players through an innovative leasing system, with UFHL Insider Larry Fisher hosting live coverage on the UFFS Twitch channel:
Here is how the franchises stack up for the first round, with a roster comparison followed by a bit of analysis.
NOTE: These 16 playoff franchises are leasing players from the 16 non-playoff franchises that are listed in parenthesis.