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?
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.