Season 9 Champions

The Finals are over and Natural Talent are still the team to beat in the OHA…congrats to Natural Talent on the back-to-back championships!

Series: NT 4 – 2 Sticks

Biggest acquisition: ThistleandWeeds

Community MVP(s): Big Wet May / Karlsson o 65

Money quote: “Die Hard is as much of a Xmas movie as Creed is a Christian band”

Only two people share the distinction of being called the “2-time”…Dr. Disrespect and Homiezoned (and the rest of No Talent but for the sake of the joke play along). After a series of regular season forfeitures that left them third in the standings, they played to their standards in playoffs and came out on top of a strong Sticks team. The nucleus of their team is their strong offense lead by MdHorton88 and Manny but goaltending also took a leap forward this season as did their defense (which we have hammered all season long here in the media team).

The leaders in the playoffs were not management nor present for the last cup but Homie gave props to Big Wet May and Karlsson for their big games. Homie quoted as saying “Big Wet May was a super solid goalie for us in the playoffs when we were lacking of one, he made a ton of crucial saves and all around is a good, talkative, and helpful person to have on the ice and Karlsson is an alien, one of the most calm and composed defenseman I’ve ever played with and he made being his partner super easy. Very talkative and has a great zone entry. Can also clamp!”

Manny and Homie run their team like a last minute research paper, right up to the last minute and half-baked but somehow gets the job done every time. Although Fire and Chew are still the best owner duo in the league by far, Homie and Manny have a special synergy together and have quietly turned into a hell of a duo. Never ones to shy away from chirping, they back it up on the ice and are two of the better players in the league and two of the nicer guys in the league (I know shocking right?) as well.

Congrats to No Talent or should I say The Curse on the great season! Thanks to Tiarmach for another great season as well as Nunes, Basewater, Thistle, and of course Fire for running a good show. Season 10 begins January 12th, 2020! From all of us behind the scenes we’ll see you in the new decade for OHA!

Season 9 Finals

The snow in the air and the sound of GPAs dropping means only one thing…it’s finals szn!

 

*Edit: The editor has been informed that the finals being referred to are of the hockey variety. Enjoy the final power rankings of the season!

 

 

Stiffest Sticks:

OTW: TSkipper

Money quote:

“Oh yeah, Die Hard is 100% a Christmas movie.”

-FireHaloManiac

 

When the season began most would have guessed that Sticks were going to be the top team or at least in the mix (minus Flintstone of course) and to date have lived up to those expectations. They’ve produced two leaders in the scoring race with Grizz and Skip, all the while having an excellent supporting cast. A final with more meaning than just the hockey, the two owners (Fire and Homie) were once a tandem  but are now adversaries once again, if oddsmakers are correct the former will come out on top.

 

Verdict: Plan the parade

 

 

 

No Talent:

OTW: BMasker

Money quote:

“A hot dog is a sandwich. Next question.”

-Homiezoned

 

The reigning champions. The team to beat. So far, NT have mostly lived up to those expectations, however their greatest challenge is ahead in the form of Sticks. What they lack defensively they make up for in the offensive zone and are often tough to stop, prediction for the series is over/under 40 goals combined…take the over. Ultimately, this is a series that can go either way but the general sense is that as mentioned Sticks will come out on top…NTs fate is their own to decide.

 

Verdict: If you ain’t first you’re last

Round 2 Power Rankings

OHA Playoff Power Rankings Round 2:

The second round of matchups kick off Sunday and this week we have a few shake-ups in the rankings (as well as a culture lesson)!

 

Stiffest Sticks (RD1 BYE)

How they got here: N/A

As a novel: The Great Gatsby- Fitzgerald

Current: 1 | Previous: 1

One to watch: TSkipper73

NHL comparable: San Jose Sharks

 

Nothing has changed since last week when Sticks secures their bye week. They are still the odds-on favorite to win the championship and will draw a favorable matchup regardless of who they face. While they tend not to blow the doors in on offense, Skippy has the ability to get hot in a hurry and hurt opposing goaltending from the side boards. Ultimately, their fate is in their own hands and as stated previously, anything less than a ring is a failure. Much like they’re comparables in Gatsby and San Jose, they have all the talent and skill to succeed and always seem to fall short. You’d be a “beautiful little fool” to believe they’ll fail again though…

 

Dynamo (RD1 BYE)

How they got here: N/A

As a novel: All Quiet on the Western Front- Remarque

Current: 2 | Previous: 3

One to watch: Bill Crosby l87

NHL Comparable: Boston Bruins

 

Dynamo are the beneficiary of a round one bye much like Sticks, but the skill gap between one and two is vast. This is not a knock on Dynamo, rather a commendation for Sticks and it is up to Dynamo (who have shown lack of motivation at times) to shake that narrative. Bill Crosby is the Brockhampton of Centers by the manner of hard work and he should be their best player game in and game out. They are a lot like their comparable Bruins, they often play under pressure either from availability or personnel but seem to always right the ship, whether or not they have the fortitude like AQOTWF is yet to be seen, but they’ll need to show it if they’re to win the prize, they have “much to say” but will they say it?

 

No Talent

How they got here: 4-game sweep of Toxic

As a novel: Wuthering Heights- Brontë

Current: 3 | Previous: 2

One to watch: Homiezoned

NHL Comparable: Toronto Maple Leafs

 

NT deftly handled Toxic (and in good fashion did not call a forfeit for a scheduling issue) to reach the semi-finals. This team is reliant on goal scoring and until they get consistent defense or goaltending, all the talk of “turning it on” is for naught. As the defending champion, the league knows their flaws and talents (Omaha? Couver? whatever…) but have been unable to stop them for 2 seasons. Led by Homie, he is the epitome of Heathcliff if there ever was one, fueled by a desire to succeed and an abhorrence to failure, they will live or die by the sword. Their talent certainly burns bright but is it “too bright”?

 

Grace Under Pressure

How they got here: 5-game series over Vicious

As a novel: The Three Musketeers- Dumas

Current: 4 | Previous: 4

One to watch: Heiskanen x 04

NHL Comparable: Pittsburgh Penguins

 

Grace were the favorite against a lowly Vicious team and likely would’ve swept it not for a lame forfeit that resulted in 3-straight 8 goal games and 28 goals in the series for GUP overall. While not lacking in any particular department or well-versed in another, they get premium defense and high-percentage shots from the point thanks to Heiskanen, if Grace is to pull off an upset, it will be up to MVP nominee Heisk to continue his run of form. While the talent is there, often times focus is problem as is effort, both of which will need to be stymied much like the comparable Penguins (Almost went with the Islanders here but…favoritism). GUP is ranked fourth and much like the lesser-known fourth musketeer D’Artagnan are an afterthought, it’ll have to be “all for one and one for all” for a successful season.

Round 1 Power Rankings





Once again it is everyone’s favorite time of year, playoffs! After an up and down season that saw many teams filter in and out only the top 6 remain, how does your team stack up against the competition?

Stiffest Sticks

(L10: 9-1-0) 39-7-4 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Jim Halpert

Vegas Odds: Chalk

They’ve been at the top all season long led by one of the best management teams in OHA history. Seriously, if there was a Hall or Fame (wink wink Tiarmach) then Chew and Fire would be first-ballot, that tradition of success continued this season. They are the strongest team this season and anything besides a championship is a complete failure.

 


No Talent

(L10: 9-1-0) 33-15-1 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Robert California

Vegas Odds: 1:4

Much like last season, what you see is what you get with No Talent. Once again guided by Arka with Manny riding shotgun, NT is a favorite to repeat. After a mid-season roster split the defending champs continued to roll along, albeit with one too many forfeits along the way. This season NT seems to have a focus unlike last season, perhaps a sign of what they lost or what they gained. This is not a team that will win defensive battles all game or have elite goaltending (unless Masker actually tries) but they can score at will, much like Sticks it would be a disappointment to not see NT enter next season looking for a threepeat.

 


HC Dynamo

(L10: 6-2-2) 34-11-4 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Dwight Schrute

Vegas Odds: 1:1

Dynamo boasts not only one of the best players in the league with 0VI but also the best defensive forward in the league with Bill Crosby, simply put they should have a good chance at the cup. This team falls to three only due to some unfortunate midseason shenanigans but fully expect them to take a run at #1 or #2.

 


Grace Under Pressure

(L10: 5-5-0) 21-29-0 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Toby Flenderson

Vegas Odds: 4:1

As the second half of the NT split Grace has underwhelmed to this point. Objectively without media bias, Grace is where we expected to be which is safely in the top 4 (albeit the rankings on the site list Grace fifth due to OTL by fourth place). The goaltending of Adots and defense of Heiskanen has kept the team afloat and will likely be the difference in the post season.

 

 


Toxic Hockey

(L10: 0-8-2) 8-37-5 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Michael Scott

Vegas Odds: 8:1

No this is not a joke or a misprint, Toxic is not the underdog anymore. Tiarmach (Michael Scott) has actually assembled a roster that has beaten some top teams, a win is a win. Nunes has proven himself to be a competent owner and although success is unlikely, make no mistake…Toxic Hockey finally has a chance to win, at least a round that is.

 

 


Vicious Cycle

(L10: 2-8-0) 21-28-1 OVR

As a character from “The Office”: Kevin Malone

Vegas Odds: 9:1

After starting a public feud with a commissioner and benching a goalie that they desperately needed to play, VC have fallen hard and their only saving grace is their overtime loss, otherwise they’d be fifth overall. In playoffs you cannot write any team off and they certainly have a few players like Blaine and even their owner who can show up in the big time, but the depth is sorely lacking and the only bigger upset than Toxic winning a round would be VC winning a game. Sorry not sorry

OHA Season 9 | September 29th

The Online Hockey Association’s 9th Season Opening Night is Sunday, September 29th!

We are accepting team registrations until Friday, September 27th 2019.

What’s required to own a team in the OHA? We run a competitive Bring Your Own Team format – meaning YOU build your own team of talent and compete against other custom built teams, to determine which team is the best of the best in the NHL 20 community. A minimum roster of 10 players is required.

You can also play out of your own club, as we do not use any NHL, AHL, CHL teams.

Join the OHA community:

Discord

Website

A Winning Recipe

To be the last one standing at the podium, it takes the right mix. Every team needs some goaltending, a strong defense, a powerful offense, and a little bit of heart. Natural Talent had all that, and for that reason, they are the OHA Champions, and the recipe is as follows…




 

The Goalies-

 

Spetsnaz pitched an incredible game 7 in round 2 and followed that up with a strong series that culminated in a 6-2 win in the final game to ultimately clinch the cup. Meanwhile, Bo Horvat was the backbone in net for much of the regular season and continued a great run of form with a shutout in the finals. Natural Talent would not have been here without the goaltending and they’re the reason more than anyone that the cup is coming home.

 

The Defense- 

 

One of the stingiest defenses OHA had this season, that physical tight-checking continued into playoffs and played a big part in securing the cup in 5 games. While not the highest scoring defense corps, they provided utility from the point and were rarely out of position and that’s all you can ask for, except maybe the Tiarmach award.

 

The Offense-

 

There’s no offense as good as what we witnessed this season in Natural Talent. The O on NT boasted both scoring prowess and defensive responsibility, neither of which went missing in playoffs and often became the bane of opponents existence. On a team called Natural Talent, you’d expect some scoring, but even their opponents were stunned when the NT forwards got going. 

 

Tale of the Tape: 

 

Motor City put up a fight but in the end the winner was clear, Natural Talent couldn’t be beat. There were close games but nothing was more telling than the 6-2 cup clinching game, that is the tale of the tape for this series…

 

“We are the Champions”

 

Thank you to Tiarmach and the OHA for a great season, it’s been cool getting to do these media posts every week and get an in-depth look at every team, especially when I get to write about my team hoisting the cup. To Flint, Red Deer, and Motor City, a great series to all of you and especially Motor City, it may not have been quite the battle of attrition we had hoped for but it was still a great series, Thistle, Chel, and Asstr0nical are all class, cheers boys! To my team, we’re champions, it was a great season and I’m glad I decided to tolerate all of you. Congrats especially to Jim who wins yet another cup, you earned it you Danny Devito loving clown. To the rest of the team who weren’t named personally, there’s a lot of you and I really don’t feel like typing all that, but it was a magical run and you all were a big part of it. Lastly, to Homie, it’s all good baby, just trust the process. 

 

A word from the editor…

 

Cheers on a great season, the pre-season tournament begins soon, make sure to sign up on the OHA website or by clicking this link http://esporthub.net/oha/! I look forward to another season on NHL20 and maybe another championship, the Media team will be on hiatus until the end of the Tournament when we return for a recap and a pre-season Primer. Congrats to Natural Talent! 

Season 8 Playoffs: The Final Buzzer

“Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.”

-Herb Brooks, HOF Lake Placid Team USA Coach

 

A 4th seed demolishing a team in a pivotal game 6 and a nail-biter game 7 OT winner…the Conference Finals had it all. Each team elevated their game but only two came out on top, congrats to Natural Talent and Motor City Machines on winning their respective conferences and a well-played series to Red Deer and Sticks! Lastly, before the preview for the finals, a look back on the series that was…




 

Sticks vs Motor City:

Conf. Finals MVP: (Goalie) ChelSnipes 

Outcome: Motor 4-2 Sticks

 

Motor City handed the 1st seeded Sticks a humiliating loss in game 6 as they walloped the opposing goalie for SEVEN goals while managing to only concede two in their own end. Sticks came into this series as the favorite to win it all (especially by their own regard) but now they leave with a pair of goat horns and a lot of question marks. Not that the goaltending had to be superb for Motor with the way Sticks played, but it was and that proved the difference as ChelSnipes further solidified his case as one of if not the best goalies in the league. If Sticks can take one positive from this series, it’s that had they spent more time on the ice and less in the penalty box, they’d have made a real series out of it. Don’t call it comeback…

 

Natural Talent vs Red Deer:

Conf. Finals MVP: (Goalie) STEENROLLLER

Outcome: Natural 4-3 Red Deer

 

How often is the losing goaltender the MVP? Go all the way back to 2003 when J.S. Giguere won the Conn Smythe despite the Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks) losing to the Devils. That’s the type of Herculean performance Steen produced to get Red Deer to a game 7, what a run and what a player. The book on Red Deer was goaltending and it certainly played the part, well done. Natural Talent had the advantage everywhere else, frequently outplaying or simply playing down to their competitors, even when they were losing there was never any give-up, just more fuel for the fire. Both teams played relatively disciplined and it was a goalie duel between Steen/Bo/Spetsnaz as all three goalies stole a game for their teams (G5/G1/G7 respectively) with Natural Talent just edging out Red Deer. This is what you play for…

 

“An Unstoppable Force vs An Immovable Object”

 

Motor City Machines:

Potential Playoff MVP(s): ChelSnipes

Anthem: Don’t Stop Believin

Odds: 1:1

Team Rankings: (O/D/G) 8/7/10

 

Why they’ll win-

 

A good goalie tandem backed by offensive prowess and a strong defense core…this is the series everyone hoped for and it’s the closest in terms of skill

 

Why they’ll lose-

 

N/A

 

Natural Talent:

Potential Playoff MVP(s): Bill Crosby l87

Anthem: All I Do Is Win

Odds: 1:1

Team Rankings: (O/D/G) 9/7/9

 

Why they’ll win-

 

A good goalie tandem backed by offensive prowess and a strong defense core…this is the series everyone hoped for and it’s the closest in terms of skill

 

Why they’ll lose- 

 

N/A

 

“The Power Play”

 

Ultimately, this series will come down to what team wants it more, there is nothing separating these two teams, and without skewing a writers bias, I couldn’t even name you a reason either team might lose, this is the best of the best. The MVP picks were simple…ChelSnipes is one of the best goalies and has backstopped City to the finals in cool fashion and Bill C has been the cog at the top of the Talent machine, this will be the series to watch…

Season 8 Playoffs: Round 1

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]Match: Stiffest Sticks v Toxic Hockey

Series: 4 Games

 

Tale of the tape:

 

Sticks advanced on in clinical fashion by eliminating the clear-cut favorite Toxic Hockey in the first round. Although Toxic gave everything they had it was not enough to beat the best regular season team and ultimately fell short of their goal. Sticks will advance to round 2 and Toxic will advance to the golf course. Better luck next season Toxic!

 

Match: Natural Talent v Flint Tropics

Series: 4 Games

 

Tale of the tape:

 

Natural Talent swept Flint with ease to advance on to the next round. Flint never had the goaltending in the playoffs to prop up their offense and ultimately that led to their early demise at the hands of Natural. NHL 20 is just around the corner Flint, chin up!

 

Match: Motor City Machines v The Bomb Squad

Series: 4 Games

 

Tale of the tape:

 

Motor City swept Bomb Squad…*wait they only PLAYED 2 games?*…ehem as I was saying, Bomb Squads bus broke down and Motor City took care of business when there was business to actually take care of. In the end, Motor City’s offense showed up and well, Bomb Squad didn’t show up at all, save for their goaltending. Yikes!

 

Match Red Deer Bandits v Spryfield Spartans

Series: 7 Games

 

Tale of the tape:

 

The first and only real series, both teams put up a fight but it was Red Deer that came out on top. Although Spry came into the series with a 3-game ban on their ownership playing games, they battled back and fell just a game short of the next series. Congrats to both teams, a well played series indeed!

 

 

The Final Score:

 

The next series begins Monday after a long weekend to recover, by this time next week we’ll know who the cup finalists will be, does your team have what it takes to stand at that podium? Congrats to all the winners and better luck next season to all the losing teams…

[forminator_poll id=”81949″]

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Season 8: Playoff Primer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]“The final week of regular season play is upon us, and instead of two weeks of non-essential power rankings, the Media team has prepared a fun playoff primer which will address every teams strengths and weaknesses heading into the postseason”.

 

#8. The Bomb Squad

L10: 0-10-0

Vegas Odds: N/A

As A Movie: The Departed

 

The Bomb Squad couldn’t compete, peace out scrubs.

 

#7. Toxic Hockey

L10: 2-7-1

Vegas Odds: 1:7

As A Movie: Bad News Bears

 

The word ‘underdog’ gets thrown around flippantly but that’s how most would describe Toxic Hockey. They have the star power of a black hole but all the enthusiasm of the Spartans from ‘300’ and I truly believe that they will win at the very least ONE round…of golf…but in all seriousness they do have the depth and goaltending to make an interesting matchup depending on their first round draw. It took every ounce of willpower to not rank Toxic at #1 in their rightful position atop the leaderboards because everyone knows that the playoffs are when this team comes alive, do they have a Justin Williams to see them through?

 

#6. Flint Tropics

L10: 6-4-0

Vegas Odds: 1:4

As A Movie: Tropic Thunder

 

They could make some noise, but in all likelihood that noise will be drowned out by each hit FE4R THE BEARD lays. Flint is a very middle of the pack team who has the skill to win a series or two but may lack the true difference maker to beat some of the tougher teams on the list. The main reason I see some success here is that they’ve already got a head start on the playoff beards, they’re going to have to make their own luck to do well, but in a seven game series, anything can happen.

 

#5. Spryfield Spartans

L10: 6-4-0

Vegas Odds: 1:3

As A Movie: 300

 

This team is a literal coin toss, they’ve had stretches of excellent play and stretches where they just simply don’t play at all. Spryfield has what it takes to make it to the end of the postseason but they fall to #5 simply because they don’t play like that all the time. Spryfield is more streaky than a freshly cleaned window, but they have some magic that could (and should) land them in at very least the second round…sorry Patty, you’ve got to prove the league wrong again.

 

#4. Red Deer Bandits

L10: 7-2-1

Vegas Odds: 1:2

As A Movie: Bambi

 

Aside from the awful Disney pun at the top of this teams write-up, Red Deer are no joke. This team has found something, they’ve had a great run recently and look poised to finish in third place, congrats on a hell of a comeback. The story doesn’t end there though, this team will be one of the tougher teams when it all shakes out in the playoffs and it all starts between the pipes, the question for them, is that where it ends as well?

 

#3. Motor City Machines

L10: 5-5-0

Vegas Odds: 1:1

As A Movie: 8 Mile

 

The most even-keel team here, Motor City is the wildcard. It’s hard to even rank this team as they are much better than their recent play, and I could see them making it to #2 by game 50, but as it stands this team is average at best. In saying all that, a team like this benefits from a short series and can clean up quickly if they can get a lead early. Motor City has what it takes to win it all, but they have to find the ‘X’ factor before they can find the W.

 

#2. Natural Talent

L10: 8-2-0

Vegas Odds: 3:1

As A Movie: The Natural

 

For the first time this season, this team is not in first place…in the power rankings at least. NT is built around skill-over-will hockey and are the Tampa Bay of the OHA, the question is will they have the same fate? “Natural Talent” is a funny thing and it’s been alluded to in a previous article, talent without work is average, but talent with work becomes natural. Natural has been in cruise control for some time now and ultimately will stay that way heading into the homestretch, but it’s the staying power that will see this team make a deep run when games matter most. NT is in the drivers seat right now, one road leads to glory, the other ‘what ifs’…

 

#1. Stiffest Sticks

L10: 9-0-1

Vegas Odds: 5:1

As A Movie: Weekend At Bernie’s

 

Ladies and Gentlefish, your OHA Champs…is what they MIGHT be saying in regards to Sticks when it’s all said and done, but the competition is ‘stiff’. Fire runs a tight ship and this team clawed back to the top two with over ten games not yet played, Sticks has work to do, and a deep run is likely, but for them it comes down to one thing: discipline. If the sticks stay on the ice and out of the box they will realize their full potential. Don’t call it a comeback…yet.

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Season 8: David V. Goliath: Tale of the Tape

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The media team polled league executives on who they viewed as the biggest underdog/toughest opponent headed into playoffs, the results and predictions are presented below as well as why each team will live up to expectations and why they’ll fail those expectations as well.

Spryfield came into the season as a middle-of-the-pack team looking to make some noise. Boy did they make it. It seemed not long ago that the Spartans were destined for a first round exit but now they are the ‘Ultimate’ underdog, in a poll by their peers Spryfield received the most votes for the likeliest underdog headed into playoffs and a vote for the toughest team, not bad for a team who had to forfeit the majority of the third week…

Why they’ll succeed:

Spryfield is a team built around being a nuisance in the best way, if Brad Marchand played in the OHA (who knows right?) he would definitely have the word Ultimate attached to his name. Entering the final ten game stretch, they are on a four game win streak and look poised to jump in the standings. They play annoying in-your-face hockey and are the epitome of sandpaper in the chat box. Spryfield will win it all by coupling their fire and brimstone attitude with pure spitefulness and take home the OHA trophy.

Why they’ll fail: (See above).

The same attitude and play style will be their undoing when that attitude turns to anger and that play style turns reckless. Brad Marchand has won a cup, but he’s also helped cost one as well, Spryfield will fall in the latter.

Natural Talent has been number one since day one. There aren’t many teams with a winning record against Natural Talent (by my account there is exactly one team with a winning record, Motor City) and even fewer who have had competitive games. This team has survived a goalie carousel that saw three goalies play exceptionally given the circumstances, an Owner that was unavailable for two weeks, and a seven-player roster dump, NT is built for adversity and by-proxy built for playoffs…

Why they’ll succeed:

NT has three players in the top scorers, including both the Owner and GM and cut a player that would have raised that number to four, two goalies in their respective leaderboard, and a Dank. This team has no perceivable weakness, they play up-tempo hockey with a relaxed vibe and seem to run circles when they actually do make an effort. Natural Talent will win it all with the same humble arrogance they’ve had all season, scoring goals and danking fools one game at a time, all leading up to a cup celebration on Ditka Island.

Why they’ll fail:

Natural Talent is a double edged sword, because natural talent is exactly what they have and the thing about being naturally talented is that time and effort take a back seat. Natural’s undoing will come in the form of reckless penalties and lackadaisical play which will culminate in a four game sweep at the hands of a lower seed team. Natural Talent is built for success but was also built for failure

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