Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 8 Power Rankings

MLU play revamped up this past weekend as six of the eight teams played with playoff positioning on the line. The DC Current played at home trying to clinch a berth into the playoffs and also to remain undefeated at home; the Vancouver Nighthawks had an opportunity to gain ground on the Seattle Rainmakers while traveling to Seattle; and the San Francisco Dogfish were trying to remain in playoff contention while playing the conference leading Portland Stags.

1. DC Current: 6-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 22-16

The DC Current got back into the work-grind this week by playing a Spinners squad that saw numerous Pitt Ultimate players make their season debuts. Despite the early scare, in which DC trailed 3-6, they fought back and scored four straight points to make it 7-6 and then went on a 10-1 scoring run to take a 20-11 lead.  Early in the game DC's offense struggled to score and used their defense to carry the weight in this game. The Current's defensive play is going to be pivotal in the playoffs because with this win the DC Current were the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

2. Portland Stags: 5-1

Last Week: 3  Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 20-15

The Stags increased their lead in the Western Conference this weekend to 1.5 games over the Rainmakers by defeating the Dogfish in their largest point differential of the season. The game started off in an exciting back and forth thriller that gave the Stags a 9-7 lead at half.  Portland would then ride that lead til the end of the game that was an entire team effort with 17 of the 22 players recording a point.  Now the Stags will go on a three game road trip as they hope to secure a playoff berth before returning home for the season finale.

3. Boston Whitecaps: 4-3

Last Week: 4  Change: +1


Despite coming off a game 23-6 throbbing of the Rumble, Boston had plenty to work on this bye week.  The win was not in typical fashion of Boston with turnovers and throwaways in a lineup that was ran on an X and Y type of lines rather than O and D lines.  Coming out of the bye week, they are getting prepared for a huge match-up with DC at home that will decide the regular season series between the top two teams in the East as well as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs if DC were to win.

4. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-3

Last Week: 2 Change: -2

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 24-29 2OT

Seattle had a opportunity to all but clinch a playoff spot in the West with a win over the Nighthawks, however it was all for not. It was yet another high scoring thriller between these two teams that needed two overtime periods to decide it.  Danny Trytiak lead the team with seven points (3 scores, four assists) but had a devastating drop in the end zone that would have put Seattle up a break in the first overtime period.

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 3-4

Last Week: 6  Change: +1

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 29-24 2OT

Is this the real Vancouver? Has the real Vancouver finally showed up?The answer is yes but the real question is "are they here to stay?" An incredible battle between Seattle and Vancouver  had to be settled in not one but two overtimes. Even though this was a high scoring affair the difference was Vancouver's defense that was lead by Morgan Hibbert who had six defensive plays, and now puts him in the lead of the MLU with 17. Riding their defensive intensity will be key if they hope to make a playoff push.

6. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-5

Last Week: 5  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 16-22

Honestly I gave the Pitt Ultimate players more credit than I should have, granted they are fantastic players and lead the stat sheet for the Spinners, but they cannot get thrown in and change everything; it takes time i.e. New York. No one in this game scored more than three points for Philadelphia that included over ten minutes of play without a score from Philly.  Despite the loss Philadelphia still has a shot of the playoffs but must win their remaining games and hope for another loss from Boston.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-6

Last Week: 7  Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 15-20

At the very beginning of the season if you told me that the Week 8 matchup between the Dogfish and Stags would feature a 5-1 team and a 2-6 team, I would have thought everything would be reversed.  This week another poor second half was the deciding factor in the game. Leading the team this week was Drew Kim who had 3 goals and 3 assists but the drops from the Dogfish were too much to overcome. With this loss the Dogfish are the first team eliminated from the playoffs.

8. New York Rumble: 2-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +0


Hmmm, New York can make the playoffs with New York defeating the Spinners, Current, and Whitecaps in addition to Boston losing to DC or Philadelphia. Simple right? Well it may seem improbable but the Rumble might make it interesting. I have been waiting all season for the team to put it all together, they have the talent to be a top tier team in the MLU, it just takes time to put everything together. I'm not saying that they will come back because it is highly improbable but expect a better team after this bye week.

All the team are back in action this week with great matchups in the Eastern Conference with top two teams playing each other, DC and Boston, in which DC has the best road record in the league but Boston also being undefeated in Boston. The lower two teams, Philadelphia and New York, will play each other in which the loser will be the first team in the East eliminated from the playoffs and the winner with still a faint shot. In the West both games will be rematches of last week with a change in venues, as Portland travels to San Francisco and Seattle travels to Vancouver.  All of these games will have playoff implications with only three spots left in the postseason and only 3 weeks left.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

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