EASTERN CONFERENCE RANKINGS: 2.0
As some of you will remember, a variety of play by play announcers, media personalities, and hockey writers have combined to rank the WHL conferences bi-weekly. I am happy to be a part of the rankings and thrilled to provide these posts. Each voter anonymously submits his rankings to Paul Figler of Figler Files on the same night (every other Sunday). Paul then tabulates the votes, adds a quick sentence or two on each team (sometimes written by a variety of the voters), and emails us the results.
Voters can only vote once and only vote in the conference in which they live/provide coverage for.
Without further ado. Here are the second Eastern Conference rankings of the season.
T1: Prince Albert Raiders
100pts. – A successful road trip through the US Division is ridiculously hard to accomplish and the Raiders did. Time to consider them as the real deal? We’re almost there. (UP 5)
T1: Brandon Wheat Kings
100pts. (5-1-0-0) – Need to find a way to stay hungry all year when they could just turn it on in February. (EVEN)
3: RED DEER REBELS
92pts. – They could upgrade their goaltending duo, their defence is touch ‘n go, another injury could derail them. (EVEN)
4: LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES
83pts. – Could be higher, have only beaten 1 team ahead of them in the standings. Still better than expected, this team is for real. (UP 1)
5: MOOSE JAW WARRIORS
74pts. – Is the recent slide a sign of them coming back to Earth? (DOWN 2)
6: CALGARY HITMEN
62 pts. – Injuries taking their toll, standings are not reflective of how good they are when healthy. (DOWN 5)
7: Saskatoon Blades
54pts. – Better than they have been in years but still a work in progress. (EVEN)
8: REGINA PATS
43 pts. – After a rough start the Pats are still finding their footing. (UP 2)
9: swift current broncos
36pts. – Acquiring Jon Martin from Kootenay proving to be a brilliant move. Bow keeping them in games. (UP 2)
10: MEDICINE HAT TIGERS
30pts. – Addition of Lotz will pay off, injuries hurting them even more than the Hitmen. (DOWN 1)
11: EDMONTON OILKINGS
20pts. – Work hard and are in every game but can’t put the puck in the net. 5-game losing streak, last 4 were at home. (DOWN 3)
12: Kootenay Ice
9pts. – Worst team in the East, no signs of improvement on the horizon. (EVEN)
So there you have it. Some pretty significant changes in how voters saw the East over the past two weeks. There are still so many questions and the season is still very much in its infancy. I imagine it will take another month or two before we really start to see teams lock things down and establish themselves as Eastern powerhouses. Can teams like Lethbridge, PA, and Moose Jaw continue to overachieve? What about some of the middling teams like Medicine Hat and Regina? What of the Hitmen and the big moves they announced today?
Check back in two weeks for answers!