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Living la Vida Mediocre


bigAL
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D.C. has been called a lot of things since its entry into the VHL via expansion. The Dragons. Drafons? Eno’s home for misfit toys. D.C. (Dog Crap). Probably the most insulting, the most deep cutting, the most ruthless adjective thrown our way is mediocre. But is it a lie?

 

No team wants to be mediocre. The mushy middle of the standings is the worst place to be. The system is set up to reward bad teams in the hopes that they don’t stay bad forever. Last place teams get first draft picks. Even sort of bad teams get marbles entered in the draft lottery. A run of truly bad seasons speaks to managerial incompetence more than it reflects the league as a whole.

 

And of course, teams want to be good. Flags fly forever. Chips n dip. Winning isn’t everything, but it is everything. The Continental Cup is the whole reason why we play, why we grind the TPE, why we go on the ice twice a day. Competitive sports are exactly that - competitive. There’s a winner and a loser. No one wants to be the loser.

 

So if being truly bad isn’t that bad, and being good definitely isn’t bad, the only bad thing is to be in the mediocre middle of the standings. By that measure, boy howdy that makes the D.C. Dragons terrible, horrible, no good, very bad hockey team.

 

It’s October 1st, and most teams have played 30 games. The Dragons have played 31, which makes it unpossible for them to be truly, evenly, mediocre, but those goofballs certainly tried. Check out this stat line: 

 

nJ9VN_1MB_a4TYEDEeBzT1VyL2HRJAAJnl0siKQCp9Opegc1uYkCzjJvmFn0rNMXJmT-UFoW8GoyJkRJO02d8fY08rygdXjaFC0DZZ2Krb7wYHftb2tMl0Zp5muf38PAsnTG1WoC

 

The Dragons have played 31 games. They have won 12. They have lost 12. They have won 4 in a shootout. They have lost 3 in a shootout. (If they had only played 30 games, I bet the 31st game would be the SOW, giving them a perfectly mediocre split.) They have scored 94 goals. They have let in 92 goals. In every possible way, they are a .500 team. Perfectly average. Miraculously mediocre. The best at being the not-worst. The world’s tallest midget.

 

In a league where each day brings two games, the Dragons regularly and most frequently earn one win and one loss. The players have taken to cheering for a 2-0 sim, or even a 0-2 sim, because they are sick and tired of the mediocre 1-1 day. 

 

It’s not like the days make sense either. The Dragons will shut out the best team in the league, like this 4-0 thumping of the Malmo Nighthawks before sliding over to Moscow and getting absolutely dominated with a score of 7-2. The logic of the mediocre curse knows no bounds. The Dragons are good enough to hang with the contenders, or get blown out by the crummy expansion teams in the first week when the Phoenix Chicagos were at their literal worst. The games don’t have to make sense when you’ve got a team as aggressively mediocre as the Dragons.

 

To get good, these Dragons had better either get good, or get bad. Maybe they’ll land a first overall lottery pick that will actually get them out of the mushy middle.

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I agree that being right in the middle of the standings sucks. I agree with the sentiment that being stuck in the middle is essentially the worst place a team can be, and it's usually brought about by management not willing to part with valuable players for draft picks to rebuild, or draft picks for valuable players. I think your article was well written and absolutely hit the nail on the head. Good paragraph spacing and good grammar. 9/10

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Comparable to the NHL Minnesota Wild. What needs to happen here is the management deciding to either go full rebuild or full champion. My honest opinion is that it should be in management's best interests to go full rebuild and get lots of high picks. It usually works out well eventually

Well written. Good job with bold words and links. Stats are also a nice touch. well put into short paragraphs. 8/10

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17 hours ago, fyrefly said:

My honest opinion is that it should be in management's best interests to go full rebuild and get lots of high picks

The real irony is that I was the 1OA pick last season ?

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