We are just a couple weeks away from the playoffs, and the league is buzzing with excitement! After a successful tournament to kick off the final month of the season, several players are competing for the tightest scoring race in years while multiple teams are jockeying to avoid a dreaded 4th place finish in the standings. There remains some exciting hockey to play but let’s check in on how the league is really doing with another edition of the Dorchester NBC Power Rankings.
Mortgage Teacher looks like an absolute wagon
right now, leading the league in wins, points, and goals for. Ryan Fletcher has finally started to drop some of his pregnancy weight and has reinserted himself into his annual position near the top of the league scoring race after a 3-year absence. However, looking at this entire lineup, the biggest surprise has to be the play of goalie Phil Nolet. Not only is he occasionally getting in the way of the puck, but he’s also contributing on offence, trailing team owner Mike Mullis by only 1 point. Mullis has been described by onlookers as “angry” and “stressed out,” probably due to high interest rates but also possibly due to the fear of being outscored
by his own goalie.
Assurance has nudged their way back up the power rankings, going 5-2-1 since the last edition. This team has seen Billy and Willy going hard, every time they have a chance. In fact, Rhyno and Giles are the top performing D combo in the league thus far, which is fortunate as some Assurance forwards have gone limp. For example, both Dave Grayson and Josh Peters have been big underachievers this year. While some might blame that on the amount of hockey they have missed due to injury and coaching obligations, recent developments suggest they may actually be preoccupied by competing with each other for the love and affection of their new nephew. Congrats again Ryan and Abbey!
If you don’t believe in miracles, then how can you explain Justin Graham still somehow sitting atop the league scoring race? It’s improbable,
impossible, and simply unbelievable. No one has had a run of luck this good since Pete Davidson! Justin hasn’t done it alone though, although both Ian’s on his team have bailed on their Treetops teammate due to injuries of questionable severity, Graham has received significant help from the weak goaltenders across the league, including Erik Cochrane who has personally given up 10 goals to Justin in just 3 games this season. Before anyone cries foul play, consider that Justin doesn’t get to face Darren Gilbert, a goalie that is statistically one
of the weakest in the league.
Living Lighting hasn’t exactly righted the ship in the second half of the year, but at least they appear to have stopped taking on water. 4-3-1 in their past 8 isn’t great, but it’s enough to put them in a playoff position. Although he’s had an embarrassingly low 3 point showing so far this season, Greg Murray’s recent performance in the NBC tournament suggests that he must have some level of skill, ability, or hockey IQ…despite what your eyes might tell you when you watch him play. We’ll have to see how Living Lighting decides to use this newly found skillset, and if he can add anything to their high flying triple G line of Geerts, Girvin, and ‘Guffin, which has stacked up an impressive 45 points this season.
The long winless streak to start the season is just a distant memory now, as this team now boasts 5 wins and has even gone 4-4 in their last 8; that’s borderline respectable in this league! They brought in a TJ, but unless Jeff Carsey plans to give everyone a BJ, I don’t think this roster is going to be able to salvage the season. So far 60% of this team’s goals have been scored by just 2 players, and that will need to change as playoff hockey looms, and teams make adjustments to shut down opposing players. Look for Carsey to activate the defense more to take some pressure of his forwards, specifically keep an eye out for the speedy duo of Mowry and Morrison, those boys are built for the big ice.
Blue Con is 3-3-2 in their past 8, which is good
enough to keep them out of the basement in the league standings (and these power rankings). Part of the reason that Blue Con has finally managed to win a few games is the play of Josh Miller, who continues to battle for the league scoring lead. Although he seems to care more about the scoring race than anyone not named Jeffries, he’s also finally getting some help from Brandon Haasen and Justyn Good, who are starting to produce. If this team were to pick up 8-10 new players, they could be a very dangerous team to see in the playoffs.
This team appears destined to finish the year with the fewest goals allowed, positioning Lance Scott in line for his first career Vezina award. However, despite his strong play, Carey Renos continues to slip down the standings going just 3-5 in their last 8 games, largely due to their anemic offence. Injuries and attendance may have contributed to their poor showing, but this is the big time, and you can’t make excuses for yourself in this league. This team may look to rally around their leader, the loveable Darryl Candy, if they hope to get things on track heading into the playoffs. Candy is renowned for his motivational techniques and inspirational
speeches; we’ll have to see if he can get this ragtag group to come together in time.
The pressure of being on top can be too much for some, and APC is just another example. After going 1-6-1 in their last 8, they’ve gone down faster than a cheap hooker. While they boast 3 scorers in the league’s top 10, you have to think they were hoping to get more out of Lame Boyse, 7 points through 85% of the season just isn’t going to get it done in this league. One bright spot this team had earlier in the season was the play of goaltender Trent Wellar. However, once among the league leaders in GAA, Wellar now appears to be in
midseason form as he aggressively plays his way out of contention in the Vezina race. It remains to be seen if this team can regain their early season magic and make a deep run in the playoffs.
That’s it for this edition. Good luck to everyone in the playoffs, and here’s hoping you lose early so you
can enjoy the day!