Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Race for Andy

I thought I'd give a quick rundown on where the Stars are in the race for the Anderson Cup. The "Andy" is given to the USHL team with the most points at the end of the regular season. The team that wins the Anderson Cup is considered the regular season champion. The Stars have not won the "Andy" since the 2002-2003 season.

Current Standings as of 3/8:

Green Bay Gamblers - 68 points (12 games remaining)
Cedar Rapids Roughriders - 67 points (11 games remaining)
Lincoln Stars - 66 points (11 games remaining)
Indiana Ice - 66 points (11 games remaining)

The front runner to win the Anderson Cup at this point in the season would have to be the Green Bay Gamblers, in my opinion. Their remaining regular season games are much favorable than the rest of the contenders. The Gamblers have four more games against last place (East) Des Moines (yes, I know they lost to the Bucs last night), and one game against last place (West) Tri-City. They do have some tough games though: two games against Cedar Rapids and Indiana, and one game against Lincoln. Seven of their final twelve games are at home. I think GB would really have to fall apart to not win the Anderson Cup.

Cedar Rapids has a much tougher road to a regular season championship with challenging games against Indiana (3), Green Bay (2), Lincoln (2). Six of their final eleven games are at home.

Lincoln also has the decked stack against them, with the Stars only playing four games of their remaining eleven games at the Ice Box in Lincoln. The boys in blue play tough opponents like Cedar Rapids (2), Indiana (2), Fargo (2), and Omaha (2).

Indiana plays five of their remaining eleven games at home, with tough games against Green Bay (2), Indiana (3), and Lincoln (2).

Winning the "Andy" is nice, but the REAL trophy is the Clark Cup. Some folks think winning the "Andy" is a playoff curse or jinx...meaning the team that wins the Anderson Cup is destined to not win the Clark Cup the same season. Last year's Omaha Lancers team would argue against that. Of course, they had a lucky troll on their side. (I kid, I kid). :)

My pick for the "Andy" is Green Bay. Green Bay has an extra game in hand, and are playing consistent hockey. I love their style of puck. They play a lot like the Stars do. Up-tempo, smash mouth hockey. As much as I'd like to see the Stars put together a big winning streak and win it, I think GB has a much easier road than any of the other teams in contention.

Your picks? Can GB hang on? Will Cedar Rapids overtake the Gamblers? Can Lincoln do it?


Anonymous said...

I think it will come down to GB and the Stars. I hope Lincoln can pull it out, but the West is so much harder than the East.

Anonymous said...

Green Bay is probably in the best position to bring home the Anderson Cup - based solely on strength of schedule with Cedar Rapids being in the most difficult position. The East is going to be fun to watch right down to the last games of the regular season. "West is so much harder than the East..." I think there are more than a few people that would disagree with this statement this year.

Yeti said...

Thank you both for the great comments. Much appreciated.

I would have to agree with the latter anonymous poster...I think the Eastern teams have shown to be overall a little deeper than the teams in the Western Division. That doesn't mean that an East team will automatically walk away with the Clark Club.

Let all those good East teams beat up on each in the playoffs so a team from the West can win it all. Hopefully that team will be Lincoln.