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Claimed:No Playoffs for Oslo


marshall_222
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Late Season Push for Oslo Falls Short

At the start of the VHLM season nobody saw the Storm as a potential playoff team, and halfway through the season there was no reason to expect they were wrong. Inconsistent play and a lack of depth saw the Storm floundering near the bottom of the standings with little reason to expect things to change. But for whatever reason, something did change with the Storm. Wins started to come with some form of frequency and seemingly from nowhere Oslo started to mount a challenge to make the play-offs, a run made even more confusing as the team saw no significant roster changes from the start of the season. Where did this run come from and perhaps more importantly why did it fail? We’ll look at a couple reasons for both:

 

Why did they start winning?

1. Player Development: There’s no debating that the significant players for Oslo at the start of the season were still the significant players for them at the end of the season. The roster itself saw very little overhaul with only depth additions that proved to have very little impact being made throughout the year. Thus the natural improvement of the players already on the team must be credited with the Storm’s turnaround. Most notable among this group is Johan Hallstrom. Hallstrom’s season was in many ways a reflection on the team itself. An inconsistent start plagued Hallstrom who couldn’t seem to string together a consistent run of productivity. However, at the end of the year Hallstrom was consistently burying pucks for the Storm and he ended with the team lead in goals with 36. If Hallstrom finds his way back to the VHLM a shot at 50 is a very real expectation. Another player who saw major improvements throughout the year is goaltender Kimmo Salo.

 

2. Stellar Goaltending: Looking at Salo’s statistics for the year simply don’t tell the whole story. He has middle of the pack statistics in just about every category, but a slow start concealed a very strong stretch run. When Oslo started to really get rolling the true catalyst came in net, with Salo outright stealing games and proving reliable night in and night out. All four of his shutouts came towards the end of the year when the games were of utmost importance. Salo undeniably came through in the clutch for Oslo and GM’s would be wise to notice how much potential this draft eligible player has.

 

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Why did they fall short?

1. Struggles at Home: Oslo just could not get it together at home. While their last 10 on the road saw them go 7-1-2, Oslo limped along at home going a middling 4-5-1. This was a trend all year as they won a total of 14 home games out of a potential 36. Nobody expected Oslo to go undefeated at home, but even a .500 record could have given them the boost they needed to make the playoffs. It’s hard to point out the underlying cause of why they just couldn’t get points in their own building but they did score noticeably fewer goals at home then on the road. Whatever the reason, a strong homestand might have been all it took for the Storm to get that boost into the dance.

 

2. Vasteras Baby Eagles: Realistically, the Storm were never going to beat out the Royal’s or the Watchmen for the playoffs, leaving them one real opponent, the Baby Eagles. When Oslo began winning games towards the mid-point of the season Vasteras had been faltering a bit, leaving the door open for the Storm to come in and take their spot. However, Vasteras managed to keep pace with Oslo throughout the last 15 or so games, putting the coup de grace on Oslo’s slim playoff hopes. If Vasteras had played even a .500 record down the stretch and Oslo had managed to win a few more games it could easily have been Vasteras on the outside looking in.

 

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Content 3/3 - I feel your pain as a teammate, I really thought with our activity we would make a late second half push. It simply never came to fruition.

 

Grammar 2/2 - Awesome job for the most part, just a few errors.

 

play-offs - playoffs

 proving reliable  - proving to be reliable

10 - ten (too small of a number not to type out)

 

Appearance 1/1 - Sure

 

Overall 6/6

 

 

 

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