The ruling seemed like a death sentence for the three clubs in the 2010-11 season and, indeed, for two of the clubs it has been. Mladá Boleslav and Kladno are buried at the bottom of the standings; the only thing left to decide is which one will finish last and face a relegation series against the First League winner. But Plzeň, who dropped from seventh place to 12th with the ruling, 13 points out of a playoff spot, are now within 2 of getting back into the top 10.
|Plzeň celebrates Jaroslav Modrý's winning goal on Sunday.|
The chase for a spot in the top 10, and a playoff position, was aided by the fact that all three teams they are chasing lost on Sunday. Litvínov lost 4-2 to league-leading Vítkovice Steel, Brno lost 2-1 on home ice to Mladá Boleslav, and Karlovy Vary got walloped 7-1 by Bílí Tigři Liberec. Brno, who were in third place a month ago, are running in the opposite direction of Plzeň. They have won only once in their last 12 games and are now in danger of missing the playoffs, a prospect that seemed unthinkable not long ago. Kometa hosts Litvínov in a huge game Tuesday night.
As for Plzeň, they host Sparta on Tuesday before heading on the road to play in Liberec Friday and Litvínov next Sunday. The match-up with Sparta was slated to be the final installment of the season in the battle of Newfoundland defencemen, John Slaney and Doug O'Brien. However, Slaney suffered a concussion on Friday night in Karlovy Vary and missed Sunday's game. His status for Tuesday is unknown. Slaney missed 11 games earlier this season with a broken jaw.