Season 8: Playoff Primer

“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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