For this season of ECL Elite we are tweaking the recurring segment that looks to detail the ‘hottest’, ‘coldest’ and… ‘mildest’? teams in Elite over the past week. There will be more of an emphasis towards the quantitative approach, so expect more graphs and fewer walls of text. Each article in this series will be released on Mondays 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 generally end up being a week 'late' so to speak.
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. 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. Written in the Stars (6-1-1) [=]
2. Rusty Blades (5-0-1) [+5]
3. FILADELPHIA (6-2-0) [+1]
4. Team Frosty (3-3-0) [+4]
5. Dynasty (5-2-1) [=]
6. Deadly Phantoms HC (4-4-0) [-3]
7. Unlucky Boys (6-2-0) [+5]
8. Symphony (2-2-2) [+1]
9. Butterfly Effect (4-5-1) [-3]
10. Northern Stars (2-1-1) [+3]
11. Bucketeers (3-2-1) [+3]
12. Resurrection (4-4-0) [+3]
13. Almost Famous (1-3-0) [-11]
14. AIK Hockey (2-6-2) [-4]
15. HC Wildcard (0-3-1) [+1]
16. Synergy Hockey (1-4-1) [-5]
*The "playoff cut-off point", as well as the "relegation zone" lines are rough estimations of where the respective areas of Elite will fall once the regular season has been wrapped up. So, in other words, if a team is able to get over the green line, they 'should' stand a very good chance of making the playoffs, whilst if a team cannot make it past the red line, then there is a good chance that they will have to fight a relegation battle in order to assure their Elite spot for next season.
Whilst Northern Stars and Unlucky Boys were able to stave off a full-blown cardiac arrest, HC Wildcard have not been as fortunate and as such are requiring a strong finish to not end up being the team propping up the rest of the standings once all things are said and done in little over two weeks time.
Written had a momentary wobble thanks to Symphony and Northern Stars, nevertheless their challenge for the number one spot is almost as solitary as it comes. That said, it is technically possible of course that they don't end up rolling into the playoffs with the number one seed in tow, although at this late stage of the season it would require something akin to a biblical miracle.
One trend of note is that it appears as though we are beginning to see a few 'divisions' within Elite. Outside of Written, who may as well have set up their own space program at this point, we have the next best 'top 3' involving FILADELPHIA, Dynasty and Rusty Blades. These teams harbour the best chance of anyone catching Written, on top of this they are the only teams who have a points per game average substantially above the playoff 'guaranteeing' level of 1.07. Moving on to the next 'block' we have the teams who currently round out the remaining playoff positions. Namely, Symphony, Deadly Phantoms HC, Team Frosty and Almost Famous. Unlike the block that precedes it, this fringe playoff group have not been afforded the same level of security as the 'top 4' simply based on the fact that if they slip up, even momentarily, they can very easily fall into the group hot on their heels. A group that, quite frankly, can only be described as an all-out brawl, as we have all the remaining teams in Elite (minus HC Wildcard) all within spitting distance of 8th place, even Synergy (who currently sit at a measly 12pts through 16 games) if they happen to go on a run and win ~4 in a row. Finally, of course, we come to the lowly HC Wildcard who, admittedly, started out very well, but have since appeared to sputter out and become almost comatose. Unlike Synergy, who still remain in contention mathematically, if HCW were able to win every remaining game on their schedule (a tough ask at that with their opponents being SYM, TF, DPH, RB & DYN) they would only finish with 29 pts, which would result in an exceptionally low likelihood of them making the playoffs, so while it is not impossible per se, for all intents and purposes it may as well be.
The section looks to, well, project where a team will finish based off of all the games they have played thus far.
And with that, we can now conclude the third edition of ECL 8 Elite's power rankings. Hopefully next week we will see the stratification continue so that we can pick out any further trends with ease.
ECL Elite Writer