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4/19/2024 4:10 pm  #151


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

1929 MHL Playoffs: Abbott Cup Final

(W1) Chicago Wildcats (40-22) vs (E1) Montreal Greys (40-21-1)

An Abbott Cup debutant vs the defending champs? That’s a tale of two very different sides. Montreal was in Chicago’s position just one year before, but they got the job done. Could the Wildcats do the same in 1930?

Game 1 at Victoria Square Stadium started off very slow and boring. The crowd was hyped to start, but with no major chances the buzz died down quickly in the first. The biggest chance came from Chicago’s Dan Vanderbeken, who drove in on Alan Clercius, and got a shot away. Immediately after, Montreal’s Joseph Gill hit him hard into the end boards, drawing a scrum. Vanderbeken was slow to get up, but stayed in the game. The period ended with the teams still scoreless.

The hit on Vanderbeken energized Chicago in the second, as they controlled play after an even first period. They got good looks on multiple power plays, but Clercius remained tall in the Montreal net. The Greys got a great look of their own, with Chris Clark making a strong dash toward the Chicago net, but his work was stopped by Ted Harvey. Both teams had more looks, but still, neither goalie was letting anything go. The second period came to a close, and it was still scoreless.

In the third, the game opened up and there was chance after chance. Montreal hit the post early on, and got some more chances on Ted Harvey, who didn’t want to budge. Finally, with 5 minutes to go, Luc Knevel found a loose puck behind the Chicago net, went in front, and beat Harvey, getting the home team the icebreaker and igniting the building. It was loud again, and the fans were loving it. Chicago pressed hard for an equalizer, but 5 minutes wasn’t a lot of time. They got good shots on Clercius, but he stood tall. James Urban added a dagger in the dying seconds, and Montreal took game 1, shutting out Chicago’s #1 offense.

Game 1: Montreal 2, Chicago 0 (Montreal leads series 1-0)

Game 2 was a rowdy atmosphere. Some Barons supporters tried to enter to cheer for the Wildcats, but police stopped them, causing small riots. The crowd was loud as the game started, a pivotal one for Chicago.

Unlike the previous game, scoring started early. Chicago’s Roy Parent got things going with a top-corner snipe less than 5 minutes in. A minute later, Montreal tied it back up, as Luc Knevel put home a loose puck in front of Harvey. Both teams had more grade-A chances as the period progressed, but nothing resulted in a goal until the dying minutes when a Chicago d-zone pass deflected off the referee and right to James Urban, who gave Montreal their first lead. They led 2-1 through 20 minutes.

The second saws fewer shots but more true grade-A chances. Chicago had 4 or 5 very good looks on Clercius, but the best goalie in the league was looking like his regular self and not budging. The defense did a good job to clear pucks out as well, preventing any rebound opportunities. The lone goal of the period came in the dying minutes, with James Pasztor cleaning out a rebound in front, giving Montreal a 3-1 lead. With the way Clercius was playing, it seemed like they were on their way to another win.

Early in the third, Chicago broke through again. A beautiful passing play left Trevor Alrick all alone in front, and he did not waste that opportunity, cleanly beating Clercius and getting Chicago within 1. Montreal would get some chances to try and extend, but Ted Harvey stood tall now, not letting it get any worse. Time ticked and Montreal looked to play out the clock, but a terrible turnover by Ken Lalonde in the final minute led to an Alrick breakaway, and he made no mistake, beating Clercius clean and tying it up with 42 seconds to play. The home crowd was stunned, and the few Barons fans that managed to sneak in were loving it. The two teams headed to overtime for the first time in the championship series.

Overtime did not start well for the Greys. Less than a minute in, Luc Knevel was called for a hook on Parent, putting the Wildcats on the power play. After a couple minutes of passing around and having their shots saved by Clercius, Robert Nicholson found Trevor Alrick at the side of the net, and all he had to do was have his stick deflect the pass into the net, giving Clercius no chance. The Wildcats came back from a 3-1 deficit to win their first ever Abbott Cup game, and tie the series at 1 apiece.

Game 2: Chicago 4, Montreal 3 (OT) (Series tied 1-1)

The series shifted to Chicago’s Lovely Arena for Games 3 and 4. The old arena with lots of personality finally got to play host to some Abbott Cup action. The home Chicago crowd was hoping for a win and 2-1 series lead, and they were loud.

The first period started off very slow. After Chicago’s fast-paced comeback in game 2, Montreal’s goal was to slow them down and get back to their dominating defensive play. It worked for the most part, though Chicago did open the scoring via the power play goal from Dan Vanderbeken. Despite the low-event game so far, the crowd was loving the fact that their team had the lead. Chicago kept that 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.

The second period saw the home Wildcats get some more action. A couple of power plays saw good looks, but Alan Clercius looked locked in again. On the other end, Montreal was generally lackluster offensively. They got shots, but none dangerous enough for the crowd to hold its breath. Ted Harvey was doing well when he needed to be too. After the high-scoring game 2, it was looking like another defensive stalemate. The 1-0 scoreline held through 40.

In the third, Montreal finally got on the board. Ken Lalonde deflected a shot past Harvey on the power play, and under 3 minutes in, it was all tied up. In an instant, it was as if all defensive play ceased to exist. The teams went back and forth trading chance after chance. The goalies made good saves, but the tie got broken at the halfway mark. Luc Knevel’s 3rd goal of the series came off of a rebound from Harvey, and the Greys were up 2-1 with 10 minutes to play. The chaotic pace of play continued, but despite the chaos the only other goal was a dagger by James Urban in the dying seconds. Montreal scored 3 in the final frame to win 3-1, and take a 2-1 series lead.

Game 3: Montreal 3, Chicago 1 (Montreal leads series 2-1)

Game 4 saw lots of nervous energy. The Wildcats needed to win at home to keep themselves alive, while the Greys were a win away from back-to-back Abbott Cups. You could cut the tension with a knife.

Chicago was the better team possession-wise in the first, but they weren’t the ones who struck first. An early turnover led to a Montreal odd-man rush, and they made no mistake, taking the lead less than 3 minutes in. At the halfway point, that lead increased. William Smith took a slap shot from the blue line and Harvey didn’t see it. Despite Chicago outshooting Montreal 9-5 in the opening frame, it was 2-0 for the Greys after 20 minutes. Alan Clercius was standing tall in net.

In the second, it was high-octane action on both sides, like the final period of game 3. However, both goalies were absolutely dialed in. Ted Harvey had a great bounceback period, while Alan Clercius continued his flawless night. Multiple posts were hit as well, Chicago easily could have tied it up but the iron said no. It was unfortunate, because they only had 20 minutes left to score 2 goals and save their season. Montreal on the other hand needed to do anything but collapse and the Abbott Cup was theirs once more.

The third period did not start how Chicago wanted it to. They took a tripping penalty, and Ken Lalonde made them pay with his second of the game. A shot from Smith was partially saved by Harvey, and Lalonde tapped the loose puck home. Now up 3-0, the Greys shifted to full defense, and it worked. Chicago was suffocated in the offensive zone, and virtually nothing got through to Clercius. The 3 shots on net he dealed with quite easily. Time ran out for the Wildcats, and the Greys celebrated. They became the 2nd team to win back-to-back Abbott Cups, after the New York Blue Birds in 1926-27.

Unlike last year’s debacle in Toronto, the Chicago crowd was generally civil afterwards. Obviously they were unhappy about the loss, but many stayed and applauded as the Greys were awarded the trophy by commissioner James Burris. 

Game 4: Montreal 3, Chicago 0 (Montreal wins series 3-1)



And just like that, the first decade of the MHL is complete! This offseason's posts will be a little more special, as I'll recap the decade, with player stats, team stats and more! Hopefully the next 10 years don't take quite this long lmao


 

4/19/2024 6:05 pm  #152


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

Congrats to the Greys for repeating, maybe they can be the first to win three in a row. Wonder how the Greys success will impact the Barons moving forward, especially with the Great Depression. 


 

5/05/2024 4:06 pm  #153


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

With the first 10 seasons of the MHL complete, it's time for some graphics! These go through each year's Abbott Cup Winner, and single-season and career records for major stats. If there's anything obvious I've missed or anything you want to see, let me know! I'd like to do posts like this after every decade, so there's plenty of time to improve these.






     Thread Starter
 

5/07/2024 1:45 pm  #154


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

1930 MHL Offseason: Off the Ice

Off the ice, it was an unusually quiet offseason for the MHL, though there was some murmuring on potential things that could happen over the course of the season and the following offseason.

The league is actually stable for once?

Despite rumours of a teams having financial issues, the MHL announced that the for the first time in its history, the league would operate with the same number of teams for the second consecutive season. James Burris mentioned that he’d prefer an even number of teams, but the fact that none left is a huge win for the league, which hopes to keep expanding during the decade. 

New York Blue Birds unveil MHL uniform first

The New York Blue Birds unveiled brand new pants for the 1930-31 season, the first MHL team to wear a color other than the generic canvas. These new pants are the same blue as their jerseys, and feature orange and white striping, similar to the jersey. When asked how the club was able to color the pants this way, team owner Lloyd Oliver simply said “money.”

Detroit Guardians unveil away jersey

Extremely unhappy with his club’s progress after only two seasons, Guardians owner Hank Strattford went on a public tirade claiming that his players “don’t deserve to wear the great crest of the Detroit Guardian Hockey Club”, and unveiled an away jersey similar to their home, but white. Instead of the team logo on the front like the home, the away jersey simply had diagonal text reading “Detroit”. He later went on to say that “They need to show some [redacted] progress if they want to have the mighty deer across their chests.”

Virtually everyone agrees that Stratford is not a good owner.



Rumours of teams in financial trouble

Despite no teams leaving the MHL for the 1930-31 season, the falling economy is resulting in many rumours of teams struggling financially. There is a chance that over the coming few seasons, some teams may fold or relocate in attempts to gain more revenue. No teams have specifically been mentioned, but there’s a lot of background noise about some of the more struggling teams.


     Thread Starter
 

5/08/2024 12:06 am  #155


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

I like the recap, interesting to see that every final except 1930 had either Toronto or New York involved. Also, I’m not sure Mr. Stratford is gonna be around for much longer, but I like the new jerseys for Detroit.


 

5/08/2024 1:41 pm  #156


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

Loving the new blue pants for the 'Birds! That feels like a set that can stick around for quite a while.


 

5/09/2024 7:47 am  #157


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

Glad you like the branding updates! I'm looking forward to having more and more teams move away from the canvas pants.

1930 MHL Offseason: On the Ice

the MHL increased its roster size from 14 to 16 for the start of 1930-31, so teams made sure to utilize these two new spots very effectively. Lots of re-signings, lots of new entries into the league, and some released players found new homes as well. 

In Boston, The Harpers were generally quiet. Their two re-signings were Bob Murray and Robert Turner, who combined for 13 points in 84 games in 1930. They also signed rookie Clifford Allison, but traded him to Detroit for cash on the insistence of their owner, Hank Stratford.

In Brooklyn, the Kings re-signed trade addition Hugh Mathieu to a relatively cheap deal. Mathieu scored 25 goals and 43 points for Boston and Brooklyn in 1929-30, and though he is getting older, he should still be a key piece for them. They also signed young winger Matthew Tabor from Detroit, and re-signed John Martin, a depth offensive piece. 

In Chicago, the Wildcats had two of the ten biggest signings by AAV. Henry Baumgartner is one of the league’s best pure snipers, and he’s now retained for 7 more years. On the backend, Lawrence Tabor is their defensive anchor. While not super offensive, his huge frame is very intimidating for oncoming players. Other signings include Kent Trudel, rookie Michel Trudeau, and defenseman Douglas Stewart

In Detroit, the Guardians made a big move re-signing young center Mark Alexander. Though his second MHL season was a sophomore slump, he’s still seen as a key piece for the future. Defenseman Donald Lisle was re-signed as well, and they made a splash, acquiring rookie Clifford Allison from Boston for cash. Owner Hank Stratford was convinced Allison will be a star and aggresivelly pressured Boston to trade him to Detroit. Rookie C Arthur Haley will join Allison in the rookie club. In net, they re-signed starter James Davis, but also signed former Indy goalie Leon Campbell, to create a competition for the #1 job. 

In Indy, the Chauffeurs are strapped for cash, and weren’t able to have any huge deals. They were able to sign rookie Matthew Daubney to a decent deal, but that was their biggest. They re-upped winger Jack Lilly, who has improved every year he’s been in the league. Aside from that, they signed two rookie goalies to small deals, hoping to find a diamond in the rough. The departure of Leon Campbell to Detroit means they have a hole to fill, and James Valley and Paul Archibald are hoping they can be the one to replace him.

In Montreal, the Barons made big moves. With their crosstown rival Greys being back-to-back champs, ownership was looking to make a statement to keep interest in the French population’s team high. Their big move was re-signing G Frank Pangos to an 8-year deal. Pangos is only 23, and he’s projected to be even better than Alan Clercius, the de facto #1 goalie in the MHL. They also re-signed Thaddeus Morgan, who has been with the club since the league’s inaugural season. Aside from those, they signed two true free agents, Getting Timothy Maclean from New York and John Windsorton from the Greys. Lastly, they acquired defenseman Ernest Haslem from Ottawa for cash. The Barons are loading up.

Staying in Montreal, the Greys res-signed both of their goalies. Alan Clercius has been the best goalie in the league over the past few years, but he is aging. The younger Lawrence Turner was re-upped, who won every game he played in 1930. He is still the backup, but is a great option to turn to if Clercius falls off or gets injured. Championship pieces David Williams and Joseph Gill were also re-signed, keeping some stability and talent within the organization. Lastly, they signed rookies Rick Nichols and Norman Reid, to fill out their final two spots.

In Nassau County, the Scouts made solid moves. Reigning goal/point scoring leader Kenneth Paquette was re-signed to a big deal, as well as his centreman, Harold Henderson. Rookie Vincent Shaw was given a nice deal as well. Depth defenseman Christophe Boudreau re-signed, and one more rookie joined the fold in Michel Pelletier

In Manhattan, the Blue Birds re-signed Chris Paquet. The 32-year-old isn’t quite the same as his prime, but is still a solid blueliner for the club. Backup goalie Richard Plourde and young forwards Rodney Tebow and Jean-Pierre Gauthier also re-signed for the club. Their other two moves were the signing of journeyman winger James Kennedy and rookie Vincent Ryan

In Ottawa, the Lumberjacks are also struggling with money, so they didn’t have any major moves. They re-signed veteran defenseman John Lavigne, signed former Baron Jean Leclerc, and managed to snag promising rookie James Young. Their other move was trading defenseman Ernest Haslem to the Barons for cash. Haslem is a promising young blueliner who they would have rather kept, but financial uncertainty means he’s now on one of the most promising teams in the MHL.

In Quebec, “Les Bleus”, as they are beginning to be known, went all-in on rookie signings. Each of the three biggest rookie contracts were signed by them, adding more youth to their mix of players. Centre Lloyd Gardiner of Halifax, NS is a solid all-around offensive player who can use some defensive work. Bernard Simard is the opposite, a solid, physical defender without a real transition game. They also signed wingers Lionel Hansen and Phillip Lawley to their first MHL deals. As for their re-signings, D James Judge and W Nathan Mercer, both secondary players, were re-upped.

In St. Louis, the Centurions’ “big” move was re-signing G David Gagnon. While he only has 16 goals in 58 career games, he’s still their best option in net, and it’s going to stay that was for at least one more year. They also re-signed Gary Martin, a solid defenseman for a team that struggles in that end. They signed Tim MacKay from Brooklyn. MacKay was very solid for the Kings, and should have a larger offensive role in St. Louis. Lastly, they signed rookie Ronald Johnson, a potential offensive dynamo.

Lastly, the Toronto Lakers made only 3 offseason moves, but all were notable. First, they signed centre Gregory Bekkering to the largest AAV in league history. The young centre has improved immensely each year in the league, and now he’s staying in Toronto for 7 more years. A quick and strong playmaker, the sky is the limit for him. They also re-signed another core piece, Mathieu Lafleur. A big, tough defenseman, he will be a big part of a deep Toronto blueline. Lastly, they signed rookie defenseman Earl King to a deal. With their blueline being so deep, King will have plenty of leeway to help develop into a top defenseman. 

TOP 10 SIGNINGS/ACQUISITIONS OF 1927:



*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

1930-31 MHL Preseason


The MHL moved the number of games per season up once again, now having a 64-game regular season. The round-robin format remains from 1929-30, and The playoffs will remain in the same format, the top 2 teams in each division facing off in a best-of-3, then a best-of-5 Abbott Cup final.


     Thread Starter
 

5/10/2024 3:12 pm  #158


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

1930-31 MHL Season: First Half

The 1930-31 season was the dawn of the MHL’s second decade, and it saw a lot of new, but also some of the same old. Some teams surprised, and others didn’t. Overall, goalscoring was down to just over 2 goals per game per team. Commissioner James Burris mentioned that while defense has its place, he will take the next couple of seasons to survey whether rule changes will need to be made to increase scoring.

Leading the Western Conference and the league are the Toronto Lakers, who just refuse to fall off. Their #1-ranked offense is scoring a whopping 2.45 goals per game, and they have 3 of the top 10 point scorers in the league so far, including the #1 in assists and points, newly re-signed Gregory Bekkering. Though their league-mandated move to the Toronto Garden 2 years ago was meant to be a hindrance, they have the #1 home record in the league, at 12-4. Overall, the lakers are at 22-11. 

Shockingly in 2nd for both the Western conference and the entire league are the Ottawa Lumberjacks, currently sitting on a 9-game winning streak. The 1929-30 season was disappointing for them, and it looked like another mediocre start before G John Gilchrist started balling out in goal. He leads the league in GAA by a fair margin, and is also #1 in SV%. He’s the main reason Ottawa has the best defensive stats in the league, as the team has only allowed 52 goals against in 34 games. If he keeps it up, the Lumberjacks may be a dark horse Abbott Cup candidate. They sit at 20-12-2.

In 3rd and outside the playoff are the Chicago Wildcats. the reigning Western champs has had a good start, and it’s unfortunate they’re with the 2 hottest teams in the league right now. They have run into early injury trouble, with star centre Roy Parent missing a chunk of the season already. The injury has affected his play as well, as he’s gone from a 0.77 points/game to just 0.39 at the halfway point. Chicago still has time to turn it around, as they sit at 18-12.

In 4th are the Detroit Guardians, who are blossoming into a decent young team. There have still been some hiccups, but it’s a vast improvement over their first two seasons in the MHL. Kenneth Moore, who was publicly called out by owner Hank Stratford last season, is having a good bounceback year, and winger Stephen Phillips is enjoying a breakout goalscoring year. James Davis is rapidly improving in net as well. All in all, while Detroit isn’t looking like a playoff team yet, their future is looking good, as they sit at 15-17.

The bottom 2 teams in the West are ones that are ones that are struggling with the failing economy. The St. Louis Centurions are doing better than their disaster of a 1929-30 season, but it’s still not great. The move from Peoria to a bigger city was a last chance for the franchise to be successful, but the lack of any success is hurting them. On the other hand, the Indianapolis Chauffeurs are falling apart. They have a devoted fanbase, but it’s not enough for the team to become even a middling one. Both teams may be playing their last seasons in the MHL, and will hope to end on a good note. St. Louis sits at 13-19-2, while Indy sits at 10-20.

In the East, the Montreal Barons finally broke through to sit on top at the halfway point. They were a contender in both 1929 and 1930, but the East was too competitive for them to get a spot. With the Eastern juggernauts starting to get past their prime, they’ve jumped right in, and look to make the playoffs for the first time since 1924. Their star has been 33-year-old Thaddeus Morgan, who leads the league with 18 goals. The Barons sit at 20-13, 1st in the West on points, but not points%.

In second are a big surprise, the Brooklyn Kings. One of the oldest teams in the league, their former stars have been declining for a while and their 1929-30 season was uninspiring. However, this season has seen lots of great team play, and as a result, the Kings have the best points percentage in the West. No single player is carrying the team, but instead almost every player on the roster is consistently chipping in. Brooklyn sits at 18-11-3.

In third are the Nassau Scouts. The team that made their first postseason appearance last year is doing fine, but still aren’t at the same level as they were before. Kenneth Paquette is still far and away the best player on the team, and while the supporting cast isn’t awful, it’s not amazing either. Their defense and goaltending isn’t as good as it was the year before either. Nassau is ok, but definitely having a disappointing start to the year. Plenty of time to make a playoff push. They sit at 16-13-3.

In 4th are the Boston Harpers, bouncing back after a disastrous 1929-30 season. It’s still not great, but the team will take it after almost finishing dead last. Their offense has struggled, with their leading scorer Jeff Apps having only 16 points. As well, despite having a very solid defensive core, Caleb Ross has had an off year in net, resulting in some unfortunate losses after good games. It’s unlikely that the Harpers land in the playoffs, but they aren’t fully out of it yet, at 13-16-2. 

In 5th and 6th are the Montreal Greys and New York Blue Birds. The Greys have had an awful first half, especially considering they’re the two-time defending champs. Their defense and goaltending, which has been their source of success, fell off in a major way, and their offense isn’t good enough to make up for that. The Blue Birds are entering a mini re-tool of sorts, releasing longtime defenseman Andrew Moehring to make room for younger players. Their defense and goaltending have been decent, but like Montreal, their offense isn’t at the playoff level yet. Both teams sit at 14-18, with slim hopes of the playoffs.

Lastly, the Quebecois have taken a step back. They had hopes of their veterans and young signings getting together to take a leap forward, but instead they released veterans like Kevin Bishop and Mathieu Mercier, and their rookie signings have been largely disappointing. Very close to a worst case scenario for Les Bleus, but thankfully a rich owner has the team itself looking stable for now. Quebec sits at 9-22.



1930-31 Season Leaders (So Far)


     Thread Starter
 

5/10/2024 5:00 pm  #159


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

The Lakers just won’t die will they? Nice to see the Barons lead the East. Shame Indy and St. Louis are the brink of collapse, they’re both two of my favorite brands in the league. Of course, if both teams want to stay alive, there’s a little city that is the capital of the US that I’m sure would be more than happy to have a team…


 

5/19/2024 8:08 pm  #160


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932-33 Regular Season

1930-31 MHL Season: Second Half

The second half of the season saw plenty of action, with lots of movement in the standings, and playoff races that went to the very end. This ending left lots of fans happy, and others very disappointed.

Finishing 1st in the Western conference and the league are the Chicago Wildcats, who enjoyed an amazing second half. Their road record was the key to success, as they were the only team in the league with a better record away from home, albeit by a single point. Star centre Trevor Alrick led the team in scoring, after a disappointing first season in Chicago. He finished 3rd in league scoring with 40 points in 63 games, and is also considered one of the best defensive forwards. In net, Ted Harvey enjoyed a renaissance, going from unwanted free agent in 1929 to leading the league in save percentage just 2 years later. Chicago finished at 41-22-1.

Finishing in second were the Ottawa Lumberjacks, who slowed down a little, but still squeaked in to that last Western playoff spot. Their defense remained league-best, and two of their defenseman in Dim Meredith and Derrick Dorvilus were lauded as having the two best defensive seasons in the league. and their offense continued to play above average. They suffered a lot of injuries in the second half, some of which will carry over into the playoffs. It’s definitely an uphill battle against Chicago. Ottawa finished at 36-23-5.

In 3rd and missing the playoffs for the first time in their history are the Toronto Lakers. It was a second half to forget for them, as they went 0.500 to fall out of first and end up 2 points behind Ottawa for that final spot. Despite having the best offense in the league, and two top 5 point scorers in Gregory Bekkering and Joseph Ocking, their defense disappointed, and couldn’t reward their forwards for their great work. G Trevor Walker wasn’t much help either, with a shocking 0.860 SV%. Toronto will look to regroup for 1931-32, but making the playoffs for 10 consecutive years is an amazing achievement the franchise should be proud of. Toronto finished at 37-26-1.

Finishing 4th were the Indianapolis Chauffeurs. It was a much better second half, but despite that, it was still a sour mood among the team. With ownership not having enough funds to continue running, it was apparent that change was coming, whether that meant new Indy-based ownership, new ownership moving the team somewhere else, or the team folding completely. With the plethora of young talent on the team, other GMs will have their eyes on this situation. As for the team, their offense was amazing, but the defense was abysmal. They finished at 26-37-1.

The bottom 2 finishers in the west were the Detroit Guardians and St. Louis Centurions. Detroit absolutely plummeted in the second half, going 10-21-1 in the second half. As you can expect, owner Hank Stratford was NOT happy, and continued publicly calling out whoever he could and threatening changes. You have to wonder how much longer commissioner James Burris can handle this. Detroit finished at 25-38-1. As for St. Louis, the team in a financial crisis did about as well as you’d expect, only picking up 22 points in the second half, not paying their players, and playing in front of virtually nobody. Their entire time in the MHL from Peoria has been a mess. They did have the league’s top point scorer in Claude Brown though, which is impressive for how bad they were. They finished at 24-38-2.

In the East, it was the Brooklyn Kings who took the top seed. They had both the #1 ranked offense and defense in the conference, so it wasn’t a huge shocker to see them leapfrog up to 1st. Richard McGrath and Hugh Mathieu were top 3 in goals and points, respectively, and Paul Anderson continued being one of the league’s best defensive presences. the emergence of Andrew Williams in net was another key piece to their success. Overall, the Kings are a surprisingly well-rounded team, and won’t be easy to eliminate. They finished at 35-21-8.

In second are the Nassau Scouts, who exploded in the second half to make their second straight playoff appearance. Despite Kenneth Paquette missing 33 games with a fractured foot, the rest of the team stepped up, and stepped up hard. Harold Henderson, Larry Nelson and Paul Brooks all played a key part offensively, and despite their defense being shaky at times, they won when they needed to, and comfortably took second, 8 points clear. Nassau finished at 36-24-4.

In third are the Montreal Barons, who you can yell “YA BLEW IT!” to. After leading the East at the halfway point, they played so poorly in the second half that they finished EIGHT points out of the playoffs. That takes a lot of skill. So what went wrong? The offense was good, the defense was good, but it was the close games that got them. So many of their losses were by a single goal, and when they needed their clutch the most, it wouldn’t come. It’s a shame, because the Barons were looking like they finally had their breakthrough, but instead, they finished at 34-30. At least they managed to be ahead of the Greys.

In 4th are the Greys, who almost finished above their crosstown rivals, but finished their disappointing back-to-back title defense season well out of the playoffs. They had a much better second half, but that first-half hole was too much for them to get out of. As usual, their defense was their defining position, and they finished with the best defense to not make the playoffs. Alan Clercius, while still good, didn’t have the dominance that carried them to victory the past two seasons. All in all, the Greys will look to bounce back in 1931-32. They finished 2 points behind the Barons, at 33-31.

In 5th and 6th are the New York Blue Birds and Boston Harpers. New York was marginally better in the second half, but still a far cry from previous years. In a retool situation, the Birds hope to improve next year and get right back into their dominance. As for Boston, They collapsed in the second half, going 12-20-1 to finish off the year. The playoffs were already a slim hope at the half, and they played like their season was already over. It’s disappointing, as they’ve grown a super passionate fanbase hungry for wins. New York finished at 30-33-1, while Boston faltered to a 25-36-3 record.

Lastly, the Quebecois continued just as they were before the half, absolutely atrocious. A disappointing step back for a team that has showed promise over the past two years, Quebec hopes this step back results in an even bigger step forward next year. There was really nothing to write home about for them, with the league-worst offense AND league-worst defense. It’s not an impossible situation to get out of, but it won’t be easy. Quebec finished at 20-43-1.



1930-31 Season Leaders:



Playoff Predictions:

W1 - Chicago Wildcats vs W2 - Ottawa Lumberjacks
Previous Meeting: None
Result: N/A
Series Record: N/A

Chicago meets Ottawa for the first time in the postseason. The Wildcats are looking to advance to their second straight Abbott Cup finals, while Ottawa is making their second ever postseason appearance, and looking for their first series victory.

The two teams met 6 times in the regular season, and it was actually Ottawa who took the series, winning 4 times. It was a super defensive season series, with a total of 18 goals in those 6 games. The two teams actually had similar numbers in the regular season, though Ottawa takes the edge in defense. This series will likely be decided on that side of the game over pure offense, though both teams do have firepower. Ottawa does have key injuries, which Chicago must capitalize on to make this job easier.

My pick: Chicago takes a hard-fought series, 2 to 1.

E1 - Brooklyn Kings vs E2 - Nassau Scouts
Previous Meeting: N/A
Result: N/A
Series Record: N/A

Just like the west, the East has a first-time matchup, with 2 of the NY teams duking it out. Brooklyn was a surprise team this year, but they do have more of a history with the playoffs than Nassau does.  

Two hot teams from the same general area will always be fun to watch. These are also two teams that play close games, with a combined 12 ties between them. It seems like a given that the games will be close too, no matter how many games this series takes. Brooklyn will look to capitalize on Nassau’s weaker defense, while the Scouts will and try and show the world that this Kings season was just a fluke.

My pick: Nassau takes an extremely close series with an equally close game 3 victory.


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