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Under 250: The VHLM Review (S73 #3)


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Hello, and welcome to the first edition of a new season of Under 250: The VHLM Report. In these series, we will be taking a look at the trends and topics from the past week in the VHLM. What twists and turns will our minor league hold? Stay tuned to find out!

 

Speaking of other VSN content, make sure to check out the other great work from the greater VSN family! Here are a few handy links to check out, from our weekly podcasts to in-depth history articles, scouting reports, and more! 

 

Ringless | Weekly Review | Talents Behind The Trophies | Top 25: Players 5 to 1

 

The Review

 

As has been the case for much of the season, there are a few sharp divisions in the league this season. There’s a top 7, a pack of 4 competing for the final playoff spot, and a clear bottom feeder. However, as the season begins to move toward the home stretch, there seems to be another division forming between the top 5 and the teams in 6th and 7th. Let’s take a look and see how this has played out to this point.

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The Saskatoon Wild and Las Vegas Aces have hung in there as competitors thus far, but seem to be proving a slight decline when compared to the top 5. In their second season, the Miami Marauders are currently on the top of the table, but last season’s bottom feeders the Houston Bulls are hot on their tails. The rest of the top tier belongs to the Minnesota Storm, Ottawa Lynx, and San Diego Marlins, three teams with wildly diverging rates of success last season (Minnesota was a top team, Ottawa was a middling playoff contender, and San Diego found themselves near the basement) but who are all within 2 points of each other as of the time of writing. 

 

Just below that, the Mississauga Hounds are on pace to claim the final playoff spot, although there’s a chase pack consisting of the Philadelphia Reapers, Mexico City Kings, and Yukon Rush, in that order. These four teams are 10 points apart, and we’re running out of season so that gap becomes more significant with each passing sim, but it’s not a terribly large gap and any of them could still claim the final spot. Of the four, Yukon had a fairly poor season last time out, whereas the other three have dropped here from relatively higher positions. There is, however, one final team - the Halifax 21st. They’re not yet mathematically eliminated, but they’re essentially out of the race, and have in all likelihood earned a last-place finish. Overall, these standings reflect a fairly similar situation to that of the last edition of Under 250, with the teams mostly in their same positions - the lone exception to that is the Las Vegas Aces, who have gone from firmly in the contenders’ pack to lagging slightly behind with the Saskatoon Wild. 

 

The standings so far have given us a few answers, but also raised a few questions - will the ELO chart answer any of them? Better yet, ELO is a silly thing, let’s not do that. (NOTE: I can’t get the ELO chart to update to the current games - I thought it might be better to acknowledge the elephant in the room than to just not mention it and hope no one noticed.)

 

The Highlights

 

Instead, let’s take an early look at who might be in line for some awards - that ought to be an adequate substitute for the missing ELO chart. This is far enough in the season that things will have separated enough to develop contenders, but not so much that it’s over in most cases. 

 

Let’s start with Top Defenseman because it’s both the most lopsided at the moment and introduces a name we’ll likely see pop up again elsewhere. Riley Knight Gee is having a season for the record books. 30 points clear of the next closest competitor (117 to Matty Socks’ 87) and actually 14 points clear of the highest-scoring forward as well (103, Pietro Angellini). The defence isn’t all about the points, of course, but that’s a hefty lead that’ll be hard to overcome. Additionally, Gee’s plus/minus makes the top 10 list as well at 42, and 133 hits and 82 shot blocks are solid contributions in both those departments as well. 

 

Gee is such a favourite for Top Defenseman that Regular Season MVP may end up going that way as well, depending on how people look at the contributions from teammates Venus Thightrap, Julian Nousiainen, Aloe Dear, and Markus Schauer. Gee is probably still the favourite for this, just because a defenseman with that type of a points lead is unheard of. Angellini should have a decent shot as well, as his contributions to the Marlins far exceed the rest of his own team (Lucifer Olivier Leveque is on 85, but no one else is above 70). If the Reapers steal the final playoff spot, there could be an argument for John Poremba, as they’re clearly not a great team on the offensive end, but his save percentage is so far ahead of the rest of the goalies that he might just drag them into the playoffs anyway. However, they’re probably not a good enough team to merit a contribution to the category even if they do sneak the 8th spot. Arthur Dayne and Jeremy Lin make a fantastic pairing in Ottawa, but it would be hard to pick one and exclude the other - the same could be said of Socks and Dakota Lamb in Miami, although Socks has a decent advantage there. Minnesota has strong contributions down the lineup, pretty much negating their individual chances at MVP. A team on the opposite end compared to Minnesota is Saskatoon, where Jesper Norberg is well ahead of the rest of the team and could have an argument for this award. 

 

Top Goalie, the favourite has to be Poremba - a possible MVP nominee is definitely a strong contender for an individual position award. In fact, the only other two that are really in contention at the moment are Bacon and Ajay Krishna - their cases will be helped if Poremba’s GAA and record are considered a detriment to the awards committee, and if so, Bacon has a GAA edge on Krishna and Krishna has an SV% edge on Bacon. This is no slight on the great seasons of Calvin Harvey, Doug Dimmadome, and quietly Kevin Malone on a much worse team - it’s just that in Harvey and Dimmadome’s cases, their major stats are behind Bacon and Krishna, and Malone is on the dead last team with the record and GAA to match - if SV% proves to be enough to win it on its own, Poremba beats him there. 

 

Two Way Forward is usually a bit harder to define and is often an award where any number of people can win it depending on how the award voters value different stats at the time. This season, however, it seems nearly as cut and dry as the Top Defenseman, as there is a single candidate above 90 points who is also on the top 10 hits list - the aforementioned Arthur Dayne. Jer Lefebvre will likely earn a nomination, but as he’s well behind Dayne in hits, he’d need to make up the difference elsewhere - he’s got 10 plus/minus over Dayne, but is also behind him in points. If the voters lean into plus/minus, Angellini will be in the discussion, as well as Dakota Lamb. 

 

That’s all for this edition of Under 250: The VHLM Review. Thank you all for reading, and stay tuned next week for the inside scoop on all that’s going on in the league. Until next time!

 

@VHLM GM

Players mentioned: @KnightRiley @Bacon @Esso2264 @CrlineDijohn14 @Hooperorama @Mrpenguin30 @Jer_Lefebvre @jpsd @dlamb @Infernal @BladeMaiden @Renomitsu @jman9theman9 @InstantRockstar @fishy @Plate @okochastar @okifenoki

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I do not think that GAA and record should be considered as a detriment to the awards committee except if it is over 4 GAA lol.

 

GAA and record are more based off of the team results like in real life. A good team will have a starting goalie with a good GAA and record, but a bad team will have a starting goalie with a bad GAA and record and he can't really do nothing about it(Welp most of the time)

 

Poremba really deserves it if he keeps it up.

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9 hours ago, Jtv123 said:

I do not think that GAA and record should be considered as a detriment to the awards committee except if it is over 4 GAA lol.

 

GAA and record are more based off of the team results like in real life. A good team will have a starting goalie with a good GAA and record, but a bad team will have a starting goalie with a bad GAA and record and he can't really do nothing about it(Welp most of the time)

 

Poremba really deserves it if he keeps it up.

Yeah I'm 100% on board the Poremba train, just trying to make it a race for the sake of filling out the article a bit

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