NBC POWER RANKINGS
Welcome back for our final edition of the 2021/2022 Dorchester NBC power rankings. This has been a great year, if you don’t count that dark spot that was January. As we look back on the season, all the highlights on the ice and in the dressing rooms, just remember no one cares who wins the regular season and no one will remember who won the playoff tournament. Eating first doesn’t matter as much as you think, it’s these power rankings that are the only true objective measuring stick for this league.
And with that, let’s get into it...
Matt Carey has been the hottest team in the league heading into the playoffs, going 5-2-1 in the second half. This team is finally getting production from some of their big guns. Shayne Rhyno has been playing nice with everyone except opposing goalies, leading the team with 17 points, while Ian Rand looks to have worked the bugs out of that new shoulder, adding 10 of his own. Even solid role players such as Sean “2 in the” Pink have been doing their part. However, the big story with this team has been on the back end. While some turmoil has swirled around player attendance, Jared Lightfoot has turned in a performance that would be tough to match by any other player in the league…unless there was an exact replica of him playing on another team. Goaltender Bobby Raine also finished his season strong, arguably outplaying his peers which, to be honest, is kind of like saying he’s the skinniest fat kid in the class.
The offence carried this team, with 88 goals for, 13 more than the next closest team. The roster looked like a gamble from the start of the year. No one has doubled down before, going with two gingers. Even the in-season trade, bringing in Kevin Bachert, was questioned at the time, with outsiders wondering if he also used to be a ginger and, perhaps more importantly, where the scoring would come from. But, when you’re getting contributions from guys like the “Japanese Bullet Train” Greg Shoniker and the “King of the Crocs” Billy Rhyno, you’re going to win games. Dave Grayson believed in this miracle team, and that’s exactly what happened.
Assurance may have let their foot off the gas towards the end of the regular season after they locked up the number one seed, but this team looks plenty dangerous heading into the playoffs, a tough matchup for anyone on the ice, or in the blue line room.
This team closed the season by going 5-3, after playing sub 0.500 hockey for the first half of the year. While their weak first half was rumoured to be the reason Zack Korol moved out of town, their strong finish could have him second guessing his decision. The playoffs could be more challenging though, as Korol recently lost their second leading scorer. Although, if Justin Graham is your second leading scorer, that may be indicative of a problem with your roster. As some might not know, Justin recently went out with a rib injury. Some say there was too much physicality on the play, but doctors have indicated that his frame just wasn’t meant to carry that much weight. Let’s be honest, if I told you Justin Graham had an injury from candy, you would be more likely to believe it was caused by something he ate, as opposed to Darryl.
The Firm showed signs of life in the second half, but it will take more than that to hoist the fabled keg trophy this year. 2002 NBC scoring champion Chris Willsie will need to turn back the clock in the playoffs, after finishing in a scoring deadlock with Mike Richardson, his goalie. Speaking of Whitey, he has been spotted all over town, at the rink, and on social media, campaigning for playoff position and perceived advantageous playoff seeding. You can spot a rookie a mile away when you hear that they think your position heading into the playoffs has any relationship to how you’ll finish. One key that might help this team make Whitey’s dreams come true is the balanced attack, with six players finishing the season in double digit scoring. The only thing that could hold this team back would be Trevor Stratton making it a three peat, and not showing up to the championship game.
Brandon Haasen may have been the most active GM this year, but no one can argue against the huge splash Luke Ramsey made, and I’m not talking about in the pool. Luke made a strong move to boost his team for the stretch run by simply going “Tonya Harding” on Erik Cochrane and sliding Lance Scott into the vacant roster position. In fact, this move had such a dramatic impact on the team, it even helped to pull Erik’s GAA back into single digits! That move, or perhaps supplies from “El Chapo” Devries, has helped to keep this team calm, and riding nice and high heading into the post season. We’ll look to see if they can keep up the strong production from the back end. They’ll need it, with only two forwards recording more than 11 points this year.
You can’t finish below 0.500 and consider your season a success. What started as a season full of promise and lofty expectations, finished exactly how you would expect for a team led by Tyler Jeffries. If he isn’t going to pull this team through the playoffs, and I don’t think he can, then this team will need to get more production from their supporting cast. With only 5 players notching more than 6 points this season, that might be too much to ask. It will be interesting to see how this team responds to playoff hockey, which is traditionally more intense than regular season play, but should offer more room on the larger ice. The only player you need not worry about on this roster is the youthful Barry Stratton, who leads the defensive core in points, blocked shots, ice time, and children he’s disappointed in.
This team has fallen harder than Todd Cadenhead stepping onto the ice with his skate guards on. Going 2-5-1 down the stretch, Mortgage Teacher almost dropped out of playoff contention. Despite strong production for most of the season, former runner up to Tyler Jeffries, Wes Goldie’s production was noticeably down during Gord DeJong’s recent extended vacation. These two will need to reignite their chemistry if this team has any aspirations of a deep playoff run. One other dark cloud hanging over this team has been the persistent rumours of illegal sports gambling. Things have gotten so serious that the league has opened a full-on investigation to protect the integrity of the sport. For those who have not been briefed on the matter, Trent Wellar has been rumoured to be placing bets on opposing teams. If you’ve seen him play, you might agree.
This team is the definition of a dumpster fire, just a mess from top to bottom. This team is so bad, there was actual consideration to introduce a play in game to qualify for the playoff tournament, an NBC first. NBC fans even requested local blackouts for their games. Fortunately, the blackout was implemented, and those fans didn’t have to witness this team giving up a hat trick to Darrell Porter. The only person on Blue Con reportedly proud of their season is Ryan Grayson, who set a new personal best for teammates forced off the team with 3; a 50% increase over his previous record. Desire to play for this team was so low that when an A+ roster spot was available, multiple offers were declined before Brandon Haasen was forced to settle for weak skating Matt Jansel. This team was so desperate, they even tried to clone players, dressing two Ian McDonald’s for the second half of the season. At the end of the day, the results speak for themselves. Look for this team to be relegated next season.