Woo! It's always cause to celebrate when you hit a milestone. With this week's article, I have doubled my number of blog entries. I joke, of course. I got some great feedback and future suggestions from last week's article. Some suggestions were good, some were made by people that don't realize that I do this in my free time. For free. So short of starting a Patreon, those suggestions will remain a fantasy.
In the future, this will be where the updated numbers from the previous weekend will be discussed. But since the Phantoms haven't played a game since the Truman Administration, we're a week away from that feature being added. So we'll look at the current Eastern Conference rankings.
In the category of "Time Leading", the rankings remained the same. This was partly due to both NTDP teams and Youngstown being off this past weekend. But, the combination of Muskegon being in the midst of a 5 game losing streak and only leading Green Bay just shy of 27 total minutes in a 3 game series, and Dubuque picking up a good chunk of minutes led in a 1-1-1-0 weekend set with Waterloo and Chicago has closed the gap between the two teams for 4th in that category. A 4.7% lead for Muskegon over Dubuque has narrowed to just 0.9%. While Green Bay has found ways to win despite sinking numbers overall, Dubuque has been the best team in the East since the new year. They currently trail Team USA by 5 points for the 4th and final playoff spot, with USA having 2 games in hand.
In the "Time Trailing" category, Chicago still maintains the lowest percentage in the East, but a 2.3% lead over Green Bay has shrunk to just 0.1%. While Chicago still maintains the top position in the East points-wise as well as time led and time trailing, there has been a noticeable drop since the new year. Splitting their 30 games up into two sets of 15, the Steel have seen a 9.5% drop in "Lead Time", with an 11.6% rise in "Time Trailing". The pace they started the season at was incredible, but for any team to keep that pace throughout the season would be next to impossible in a regular year. They're still winning, but it's been a lot harder for them in 2021.
This weekend, the Phantoms travel to Michigan for a 2 game set with the 'Jacks. As indicated by the series chart in 3 games with Muskegon this season, the Phantoms are 1-2 with the only win coming on December 5th, a 4-3 OT win at Covelli. The bad so far has been that in 3 games, the Phantoms have only led Muskegon for a little more than 5 minutes. So, let's hope the combination of the 'Jacks 5 game losing streak and the Phantoms having 2 weeks off, allowing injuries to heal and players to get rest, will lead to a more favorable outcome for Youngstown.
On Saturday, the Phantoms return to Covelli for a one-off with the Chicago Steel. In this chart, I should include an average Youngstown fan's Blood Alcohol Content. I imagine it would be higher than the Phantoms "Time Led" percentage. But, in keeping with the Steel's drop in numbers that past 6 weeks, the Phantoms have done a better job hanging with the Hardy Boys. An optimist would say Youngstown has a chance to walk away from this weekend with some points. In the words of Mel Brooks, "Hope for the best, expect the worst."
So that's it for this week. Next week, I'll look at the updated series numbers with Muskegon and Chicago, as well as preview the next weekend with Muskegon returning to the Covelli Centre.