EASTERN CONFERENCE RANKINGS: 3.0
Here we go! We are back with the third bi-weekly power rankings of the season. The Eastern Conference has proven to be exceptionally competitive at the quarter mark of the season. Making the playoffs is going to be a dog fight right up into February and March. The underlying numbers show the Central Division teams are a little stronger, but that can still change. We will be releasing our quarterly season review here at Canes Domain later this week. With an emphasis on Lethbridge, we will be taking a look at numbers across the entire Eastern Conference and trying to separate contenders from pretenders. Be sure to check back if that’s something that interests you.
For now take a look at how the voters currently see things in the East. Agree? Disagree? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the East. Remember this ranking is intended to be fun and start conversations. If you don’t like how it turned out, leave your thoughts on where we got it wrong.
Canes Domain presents Eastern Conference Rankings 3.0…
1: RED DEER REBELS
105 pts. Have won 8 of last 10, hottest team in the East. Beat Previous number 1 (PA) 4-0 on the road. Still looking to upgrade goaltending? UP 2
2: Brandon Wheat Kings
97 pts. Home losses to VIC, EDM and CGY raise an eyebrow. Went 3-2 on recent US road trip. DOWN 1
3: LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES
90 pts. Hanging up with the conference heavyweights despite playing fewer games. Ended longest road trip of the year at .500. UP 1
4: Prince Albert Raiders
75 pts. Poor showing this weekend with 2 home losses, outscored 10-4. They are still 6-3-1-0 in their last 10, tops in the East Division. DOWN 3
5: MOOSE JAW WARRIORS
73 pts. A bit up and down of late, still in the better half within the conference. Riding points leader Brayden Point (16g, 23a). EVEN
6: CALGARY HITMEN
54 pts. Losers of 3 straight, and some trades made in the last few weeks has this team in a bit of disarray. Virtanen staying in NHL hurts. EVEN
7: Saskatoon Blades
48 pts. Playing .500 hockey but have cooled WAY off since a very hot pre-season. Did beat Red Deer at home. EVEN
T8: EDMONTON OILKINGS
43 pts. Winners of 4 of their last 5 games, includes 2 vs. Hitmen. Slow start to the year and penalties hurting them here. UP 3
T8: swift current broncos
43 pts. Missing DeBrusk but still able to post wins in 3 of last 4 games. Beat Brandon over the last weekend. EVEN
10: REGINA PATS
28 pts. Traded their starting goaltender, have yet to replace him. DOWN 1
11: MEDICINE HAT
23 pts. A lot of turnover and injuries means their continued struggles surprise no one. Suffered back to back Overtime losses vs Red Deer and Kootenay. DOWN 1
12: KOOTENAY ICE
10 pts. A couple of recent wins keep them to within shouting distance of the rest of the Eastern Conference. EVEN
So there you have it. Some pretty significant changes in how voters saw the East over the past two weeks. Red Deer, for the first time this season, took over top spot. The Raiders took a small step back while the Canes three-game road losing streak didn’t seem to effect the voters much. 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? Is it even considered overachieving anymore? What about some of the middling teams like Medicine Hat and Regina? What of the Hitmen and the big moves they announced today?
We will be back in two weeks with version 4.0. In the meantime, there will be lots of Eastern Conference conversation here this week. Be sure to check back if you’re interested in taking a look at Eastern Conference statistics. We have already reached the quarter mark of the season and teams are starting to settle in. 18 games is enough of a sample size to draw some general conclusions on the strengths and weaknesses of teams around the East.
Our quarterly review will still very much be Hurricanes focused, but some of the underlying numbers in the conference will likely be of interest to fans in other cities.
ALSO, look for the Western Conference rankings to drop sometime tomorrow morning.
Thanks again for reading.
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