For this season of ECL Elite we are releasing a recurring segment that looks to detail the ‘hottest’, ‘coldest’ and… ‘mildest’? teams in Elite over the past week. Each article in this series will be released on Mondays (in this case as early as possible) and will thusly be based on the days in between each power ranking iteration. In addition to this it should be noted that each ranking will invariably be in some way biased as it is, at the end of the day, a subjective list. Note: Each article will be based off of results starting from the Monday, all the way up to (& including) Friday. Ergo, any games played over the weekend will be 'missed', although if the results are significant enough they will be mentioned in the following next week's article.
The logic behind the ranking is admittedly a sort of internal subjective ranking that weighs up results, opposition 'strength' as well as thoughts on the general play during some games. As such a ranking is not 100% quantifiable in nature there will be some bias that creeps in, therefore I will do my best to elucidate the reasoning behind why 'X team' deserves to be ranked at 'Y'. One thing I would like to make abundantly clear however is that points are not the be all and end all within these rankings; for instance, just because 3 teams have the same record does not mean they won't be ranked wildly differently, as the context behind said results are of great importance and simply cannot be understated.
1. FILADELPHIA (6-0-0) [=]
Third week in and for the first time we have a team ranked #1 for two consecutive weeks. FILA find themselves in this position by going unbeaten against, albeit for the most part weak opponents, Unlucky Boys, Sika & Almost Famous. Putting up a pretty tidy 4 GF/GP and 1.1 GA/GP, showcasing to all how much of a powerhouse these guys currently are, with little to suggest a potential slow down in the future.
All in all then, as well as taking into account their recent ESM 6s event win, I think few could argue otherwise that FILA are truly the hottest team around right now and, quite frankly, it would require a Herculean effort by the closest challengers Written In The Stars and Symphony to even come near to dislodging them from their perch.
2. Written in the Stars (5-1-0) [=]
As the season trundles on we are beginning to bear witness to an all-out brawl for the top three positions in Elite with a clear division between FILA, Written, Symphony and the rest based off of the average points gained per game by each team, with Written currently sitting in the third spot with an average of 1.71. A total that historically would have put them 1st in ECL 4, barely 2nd in ECL 5 (being edged out by .02) and 2nd again in ECL 6. Whilst Written did drop pivotal points to Symphony this week which could cost them dearly down the line if they want to make a challenge for the top spot, they nevertheless went about business as usual almost and defeated Butterfly Effect, as well as Falun Coal Miners quite resoundingly. Looking forward however their schedule appears to weaken up quite substantially with next week being made up of the floundering Team Frosty and similarly rudderless Sika, only Dynasty really pose a challenge so we’ll have to wait and see if @FlyerKungen's team can conjure up something to topple FILA.
3. Symphony (3-0-1) [+2]
Last week I asked people to wait one more week, just to see if Symphony was ‘for real’ and not just the result of a pretty weak schedule. Well, one week later and Symphony definitely seemed to have used their games against Written as the opportunity for a statement, besting SKY once in regulation before succumbing to them in OT in the next game. On one hand however, I still cannot shake the aspect of their schedule. Sure, they are currently the only unbeaten (in regulation) team remaining, yet they have almost exclusively played teams below them in the standings (and I mean well below them). In fact, if one was to peruse their upcoming schedule I don’t think they would be at fault for being a little surprised, or even slightly uneasy on behalf of SYM, since as far as schedule’s go this is going to be a rough one. FILADELPHIA, Northern Stars, Northern Ascendancy, Sjukstugan, Unlucky Boys, Dynasty & Almost Famous. Aside from the disappointing NOR & AF you would certainly be hard pressed to find a more difficult schedule from any team this season.
4. Northern Stars (4-1-1) [+4]
“Hey look, Northern Stars are top 4”
“What year is it again? Is Obama still in his first term?”
Since ECL splintered off into three distinct, but not discrete, divisions in the advent of ECL 4 the predominantly Swedish team in the Northern Stars have had a very tough time finding their footing. In that inaugural season they finished 10th (six points out from a playoff position), in the following season they clawed their way back into the post-season with a strong 7th position, however in the subsequent season they seemingly lost a step, slipping one position back to 8th, couple this with the midseason loss of @PleeMaker and the summer exodus of @tbnantti one could fairly reasonably assume that NOS were going to slide all the way back to that horrid ECL 4 season form again. Turns out though, who needs Finns anyway? Whilst NOS are certainly struggling to score, they are nevertheless grinding out very important wins in critical matchups, trading wins against NOR and UB, as well as defeating a Sjukstugan team that’s looking ‘cooler’ compared to previous weeks. As long as this ability to grind out these wins remains, then NOS could very easily find themselves in a top 4 spot for the first time in a very long time.
5. Butterfly Effect (5-3-0) [+4]
I think we’re going to have to hand out awards at the end of these articles, with one of them being named the “Most helter-skelter team known to man” for which FLY would be the only 'real' candidate by a mile. Just look at their position deltas thus far: +11, -8 & +4. At the very least it appears that they’re beginning to stabilise which is nice.
In fact, after last week’s frankly inactive showing FLY were exceptionally active this week, playing four teams from up and down the standings. Going up against high-flyers in Written, middle table players in Rusty & Gotham, as well bottom dwellers in Sika. The question that should be asked then is could Butterfly Effect have a better record to show than 5-3-0? Certainly. Should they? Probably not. Taking away their two losses against Written brings their recent record up to 5-1-0, a record that should precipitate some real fear into those who are jostling for purchase in and around 4th ,5th ,6th & 7th place as FLY have shown to be a very deadly adversary.
6. Sjukstugan (2-1-1) [-2]
Three weeks in and it would appear that the Swedish club are no longer sipping away at rarefied air and have instead begun to slowly descend back towards a more familiar position in the standings.
This week was made up only of ‘derbies’ for 112, going up against the other Swedish majority teams in Elite (NOR & NOS). Gaining only one point from potential 'standing' neighbours in NOS certainly stings, although besting NOR twice in regulation without giving up a single goal probably makes up this. All that can really be said about this week for Sjukstugan is that it was a decent showing, not great, but not bad either, and coming out with five out of a possible eight points goes a long way towards clinching their second consecutive Elite playoff appearance.
7. Dynasty (4-0-0) [-1]
After last week’s trials and tribulations, it would appear as though Dynasty have stabilised and become much more predictable. Despite this, they find themselves dropping a position due to a couple teams going on a much more impressive series of wins as Dynasty were gifted a quite frankly sub-par schedule this week. All things considered I don’t feel as though there is much more to say about this team outside of the fact that this season is shaping up to be fairly nominal, and that entry to the playoffs is practically assured if they maintain this path.
8. Unlucky Boys (1-2-1) [-5]
Coming in with one of the toughest schedules this week we find the aptly named Unlucky Boys. Gaining three points out of eight against two very tough opponents in FILA & NOS is certainly noteworthy, especially if you look to predict the final standings for Elite. I say this because UB, for the most part, have not faced especially great opponents thus far. Whilst they may have faced the teams aforementioned, they are still yet to go up against 112, DYN, FLY and SYM, a series of franchises that could, should, and perhaps will harper UB’s playoff push quite substantially; especially with Rusty Blades and Team Frosty nipping away at their heels. This is effectively the make or break half of the season, they have set themselves up in decent position, but not great, so UB are going to have to play exceptionally well to open up a gap between them and those wanting to depose them.
9. Rusty Blades (3-1-2) [+2]
Even now, just one week later, Rusty surely are ruing their loss to UB as they sit just two points behind them on the outside looking in towards a playoff berth. In fact, it seems as though the proverbial penny has dropped inside Rusty’s camp and the urgency of their play has been raised a notch with them recording a very respectable eight points out of a possible twelve, sure it wasn’t pretty and against fairly subpar opponents, nevertheless a point is a point and drawing closer to a playoff berth is all that they should be thinking about. Similar to UB before them however, Rusty is facing a somewhat bleak upcoming schedule as they are yet to face DYN, FILA, NOS and SKY.
Just half way through the season, that 1-0 loss (or 2-0 win, depending on who you ask) may prove to be unbelievably critical in deciding whether RB or UB make the playoffs, outside of the race for 1st, this battle for 8th has the potential to be the most entertaining skirmish in all of Elite.
10. Falun Coal Miners (1-2-1) [+6]
Doubling their wins on the season (hey! It’s something!) we find a Falun team in their best form of the season thus far. Trading wins with Rusty was perhaps expected, if a little surprising, however taking Written in the Stars to overtime is something that I doubt anyone could have called, even those within the FCM team. Even though it was just a lone point that they gained, it’s a point that very few teams, if any at all, around them in the standings could have gained. Taking scalps like this from teams vastly higher in the standings cannot be underestimated in value, as it gives the team in question some room for error going forward. Such is a luxury that FCM have not been afforded this season, and on top of that their performance against SKY has allowed them to jump out of the bottom three for the first time this season, giving them some form of respite in the run-up to the conclusion of the regular season.
11. Gotham Knights (1-4-1) [-1]
Coming into this week Gotham Knights were facing a vast uphill battle to regain the spot in the playoffs that they held just two weeks prior. It would seem however that the genie has truly left the bottle and any magic left over has been spent as Gotham continued their descent into the nether regions of Elite. Getting smoked by Symphony no doubt stings but such an event should probably have been anticipated, even gaining only one point against FLY was perhaps even predictable and could be viewed as a ‘good result’, what is not acceptable however is dropping a game to playoff hopefuls Almost Famous. Even still, Gotham remains within a shot of the playoffs and at the very least assured safety, however the clock is ticking and, in truth, losing @Rimpe may have delivered the death blow already for their season.
12. Almost Famous (2-4-0) [+2]
Rising slightly from the doldrums of the standings we find an Almost Famous side who are effectively on autopilot right now. Two losses against FILA showcases the vast gap in skill between them and the top of the table, however trading wins against Rusty and Gotham exhibits a certain average quality; although such a quality may be on the way out with @SadaPoika leaving to join Unlucky Boys. Aside from that however I’m at a loss of what to say about these guys, as not everyone can make the playoffs and as it stands AF are ‘favourites’, if you can even call it that, to be one of those on the outside looking in once the dust has settled in a few weeks.
13. Northern Ascendancy (1-3-0) [-1]
Ten games, six points, eleven goals for, twenty against and not a single powerplay goal. The only thing working in favour for NOR is the fact that they’ve played the least games out of any team in Elite and that their overall defence is mediocre statistically. Despite this, there is still some hope if they can figure out their offensive troubles as this upcoming week could practically make or break their season, as they go up against the current 8th placed team in the Unlucky Boys. It should be noted that besting UB twice in regulation is all but required if NOR wants to be serious about making the playoffs, slipping up even slightly and giving away points to a team in prime position to take 8th place could be the ‘canary in the mine’ that draws the curtain on NOR’s season so soon.
14. Team Frosty (1-3-0) [-7]
Last week Dynasty were noted as being unpredictable, well that note has been passed on to Team Frosty for this week. Just one week removed from being solidly in playoff contention TF find themselves having missed a step, going 1-3-0, with two losses coming against Dynasty and one against a very weak Sika. Despite this, TF has loaded up and are almost certainly posturing towards making a run with the acquisition of @Totalii & @Nampa77, two players who will sure up their defence and offence respectively very nicely.
This upcoming week is going to be interesting as they have ample opportunity to leapfrog competitors in the standings as they are slated to play Rusty Blades and Gotham Knights.
15. Sika (1-7-0) [-2]
16th in all but name thanks to Radical’s disqualification. Bottom four offence, bottom three defence, the only statistic that paints Sika in a positive light is their league leading 58.8% faceoff rating. Even the return of the long-time member @imosi could only stem the haemorrhage for a few games before full blown systemic shock inevitably set in again. Playoffs are of course completely out of reach; however, safety is not necessarily off the cards. A solid performance against their remaining opponents (most of which are in and around them in the standings) could solidify their membership in Elite. It should also be mentioned that in all honesty, their 1-7-0 record this week is kind of admirable as they went up against a fairly tough set of opponents in FLY, FILA, DYN, then rounded it out with a playoff hopeful in Team Frosty in which they traded regulation wins. The panic button should have been pressed a long time ago but the window of safety, whilst shutting at a rapid pace, is nevertheless still open and within touching distance.
16. Radical (n/a) [-1]
⚰️ Rip ⚰️
*Rankings accurate as of 10/11/18
That's it for this weeks Power Ranking, we'll be getting back to you in a weeks time and take a look at which teams have made a climb and who possibly hasn't. Until next time, gamers!
Do you agree with our ranking? You can create your own in the comments below!