8 votes, rating 6
Hertha: ”So, once again we are ready to make some predictions. Isn’t that right, Günther? And keep in mind, last time we got 11 out of 12. Only our own Crimson Cascade wrecked a complete record with their upset win over the Vikings which sent them to the play-off instead of the Avalanche!”
Günther: “That’s right. So this time we have a chance to get it all right. We are right now at the very end of week 13, with some teams having played week 14 games, and there are exciting races in all the SHC divisions. SHC North is perhaps the most clear. Wolfskins have 3 games left to play and already have 21 points. Thunderbolts in week 14 and Classics in week 16 should be all they need to get to 25 and divisional champs for the first time. Vikings have a tiny chance to catch up if everything goes wrong for the ‘Skins, though. They have 17 points and 3 more games, and can only get to 23, so 24 is plenty enough. The two teams meet in week 15, though, so the Wolfskins can probably decide the division there and then.”
Hertha: “Yeah. And what a run the Wolfskins have had this season! They are on top of the league right now, and could go all the way to the SuperBowl. Vikings have a small chance, but will need lots of help. They are surely in the run for a wild card, though, which we will get back to in a minute. But Wolfskins will be the winner of SHC North, and probably take home the Conference as well.”
Günther: “Indeed. In the SHC East division we have a much tighter race between the Greenskins and the Rangers. Right now, the Greenskins have 18 points and the Rangers 17, and both teams have three more matches to go.”
Hertha: “Yes. But Rangers have the tougher schedule, facing the 49ers in week 14, a play-off team for sure, and then the Scimitars in week 15 which may also be a play-off team. And even the Legion can make some trouble for the Rangers if they can use their agility to stay mobile and stay away from the hard-hitting Rangers. In comparison, the Greenskins have Eagles, Razorbacks and Manticores, none of which are expected to get a play-off spot. So we believe the Greenskins will win the division, but the Rangers are surely in the fight for a play-off spot.”
Günther: “I agree. The SHC South division is close to decided. With three rounds left, Wreckers are in the lead with 21 points followed by a plucky Avalanche at 17 points. However, with Wreckers meeting Sluggers in week 14, they should be able to clinch the divison early.”
Hertha: “True. So Wreckers for sure as winners of the SHC South. In the final division, SHC West, the top three teams have played 14 matches, and the White Wolves have a 2 point edge at 19 versus the Knights 17 and Marauders follow at 15. The division will likely be decided in week 15 with White Wolves meets Knights. Knights need to win this, and have the power to do so. If so, they can clinch it because they have the head-to-head advantage and the ailing Sharks in week 16. Any other result than a win will in all likelihood mean that the White Wolves will win the division.
Günther: “Yep. And we think the most likely result will be a draw, and so we tip the Wolves as winners. It will be a hardfought match, though between two teams who together has caused 1270 TV loss this season to other teams. That’s about 12% of the total TV loss of the league, so this could get bloody as well as tight!”
Hertha: “So this means we expect Wolfskins, Greenskins, Wreckers and White Wolves as divisional winners. And among these, Wolfskins and Wreckers will likely get the byes. And how many teams are fighting for the two wildcard spaces, Günther?”
Günther: “I can see four likely candidates and three teams with a remote chance. Vikings, Rangers and Avalanche all have 17 with 3 matches left. Knights also have 17, but only two matches left. Teams with a more remote chance are the Marauders with 15 and two matches left, and the Crimson Cascade and the Grizzlies, who both have 13 points and three matches left.”
Hertha: “Starting with our wiley Vikings, they have Grizzlies, Wolfskins and Crimson Cascade left. It’s quite amazing what they have managed to get out of their partly crippled squad, but they have a great coach and Juqua Parker has given them a big boost. They should be able to overcome the Grizzlies, and manage at least two draws, giving them 4 points and 21 in total. Rangers have an even tougher schedule, with matches against the 49ers, the Scimitars and the Legion. Even though the Rangers have shown great potential this season after their restructuring, they also have shown problems in winning close matches. We believe that Scimitars and 49ers are too tough for the Rangers, but that they will beat Legion for two more points and 19 in total.“
Günther: “Turning to the Avalanche, they have Gunners, River Bandits and Sluggers. We think they should manage to overcome the Sluggers and the Gunners, and perhaps manage a draw against the River Bandits, giving them 5 more points and 22 in total. Knights have White Wolves and Sharks, for a total of 3 points and 20 in total, while Marauders should struggle with both Foxes and Universe, and be lucky if they can manage 1 point for a total of 16. Crimson Cascade and Grizzlies both have Patriots and Vikings, which will likely be too tough for more than one point in total. They should both manage their third opponent which is Thunderbolts for the Grizzlies and Classics for the Crimson Cascade. Thus, they should both end up with 16.”
Hertha: “Right. So that gives the two wildcard spots to Avalanche and Vikings, with the Knights as the most likely alternative. And just to tip off the viewers on some key matches, week 14 brings Grizzlies vs Vikings and Rangers vs 49ers. Week 15 has the exciting matches between Greenskins and Razorbacks, and between Rangers and Scimitars, as the leading SHC East teams take on the two teams with the best defence in the league. And of course, the incredibly important match between the White Wolves and the Knights, which will likely decide the SHC West. Most of the dust should have settled before week 16, but the usually quite vicious battle between the Vikings and the Crimson Cascade will probably be entertaining. So follow the league and see for yourself!”
Brought to you by Hertha Wendlinger and Günther Schiele, Carroburg Tageszeitung.