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Claimed: Competitive VHL


DollarAndADream
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VHL Ramping Up

 

Since the contraction in the VHL to 8 teams, rather than 10, the VHL standings have been more of a battle. In the past, there were always 1-4 teams at the bottom of the standings, barely winning any games, and just feeding their respective conferences more wins. Now that there are only 8 teams, the VHL has gotten more competitive with more big names on each roster. With the top five teams in the whole VHL making the playoffs, rather than top teams in conferences, it has become much more interesting. Rebuilding teams are still fighting for wins of course, but are not as far out of it as they once were. It seems to be much easier to retool your team to try and land a spot to squeak in the playoffs, although you are still likely better off just rebuilding if you have to.

 

Currently at the 29 game mark of the season, the top teams are close together, with the Seattle Bears leading the way in 1st place. Seattle is 24-3-2, in front with 50 points, and the next best team, the Riga Reign, are only 6 points behind them. Considering we are not even half way through the season yet, a 6 point gap to 1st place is not much of a lead, and it will be interesting to see if Seattle can continue to hold it. The first four places in the standings have been swapping since the start, and no team has truly gone on a role to solidify themselves as number one.

 

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The Toronto Legion right now, the team in which I GM, we are sitting in 3rd place. The Legion are 18-7-4 with 40 points, 10 back of the 1st place Seattle Bears. The Bears have the biggest goal differential in the league, and obviously that has helped make their claim to the VHL more concrete. The Helsinki Titans and New York Americans are the other two teams in a playoff spot right now, having 39 and 36 points respectively. There are 8 points between 2nd and 5th, and only 14 between 1st and 5th. Talk about competition. The three teams out of the post-season picture at this point, the Calgary Wranglers, Quebec City Meute, and HC Davos Dynamo, you can basically consider them out of it. I don't think anyone will be surprised when they miss the playoffs. The big fact to take home though is that of all the teams in the playoff picture, they can all beat each other. No team is utterly dominating, and the post-season will be a lot more exciting because of it. The idea last season in the playoffs just felt like a battle to see who would lose to Riga in the finals.

 

Leading the way for the top team Seattle Bears are none other than Shawn Gretzky and Gabriel McAllister. Since coming to Seattle, Gretzky has performed with flying colours with McAllister, and the two have become one of the most dynamic threats in the VHL. For Riga, a familiar name in both Fredinamijs Krigars and John Locke are tops of the VHL in scoring, but their new teammate Lukas Muller is in 2nd in the VHL in points, and taking some of the load off of Krigars' and Locke's shoulders.  For the 3rd place Toronto Legion, the top players might not be who you think. Pablo and Marc-Alexandre Leblanc are the best performers on the team, with Lee King Snatch and Bo Boeser close behind. All of them besides Boeser were not members of the Legion last season, so it's nice to see their new acquisitions paying off. For the Helsinki Titans, Franchise Cornerstone leads the way as usual, and he is the top player in the whole VHL to boot.

 

The rest of the season will definitely be very entertaining, and I look forward to watching it unfold.

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