Bundesliga Power rankings May: Interesting ending to the season

Here is the Power Rankings Bundesliga with Ola Selby of GoHandball, where the performances, not the points, are at the base of the rankings.

Power Rankings is our ranking of the teams during the month that has passed. In other words, it’s a table reflecting how the teams have performed only during May.

Here are the Bundesliga Power Rankings for May!

1: SC Magdeburg

Current Bundesliga standing: 1

Power rankings in April: 1

Omar Ingi Magnússon. Photo: Avdo Bilkanovic / BILDBYRÅN

Bundesliga champions and rightfully so after an incredible domestic season. Sure, they have one more game to play, but Magdeburg still ended the league campaign on a high note, winning all 5 games they played in the month of May.

One player has stood out more than any other. Omar Ingi Magnusson has, in 5 games, scored 52 (!) goals. That is nothing short of amazing, and also great timing for Magdeburg as the Final Four of the Champions League is coming up in a couple of weeks.

Berlin did what they could to rob Magdeburg from the title this season, but when it all came down to the wire Magdeburg was clearly the best team in the Bundesliga this season, as they were in May.

2: VfL Gummersbach

Current Bundesliga standing: 6

Power rankings in April: 6

Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson during his active career. Photo (archive): Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN.

Gummersbach, under the reigns of Icelandic legend Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, has had an amazing season. And May was perhaps their strongest month all year with 3 wins and only 1 loss. Doesn’t sound that impressive?

Well, their only loss was at the start of the month against Berlin away, when Füchse still was competing for the title. And they only lost by 3 goals. Then Gummersbach defeated Rhein-Neckar Löwen 31–26 and THW Kiel 40–29 before finishing the month by hammering newly crowned European League champions SG Flensburg-Handewitt 34–28 in Flensburg.

Sure, it was a great time to play Flensburg, just a few days removed from the north-Germans bringing home the gold in the EL, but it was still impressive. The most remarkable win however was the one against Kiel. And the fact that Gummersbach is not that reliant on one or two players – in the wins against Löwen and Kiel, Sigurdssons team had 8 and 9 players scoring 2 or more goals respectively.

What a TEAM!

3: Füchse Berlin

Current Bundesliga standing: 2

Power rankings in April: 3

Mathias Gidsel of Denmark and Fuchse Berlin. Photo: Emma Wallskog / BILDBYRÅN

It was a heartbreaking ending to the season for Füchse Berlin. They had the chance to win not one but two gold medals but ultimately ended up with two silver medals. First in the European League and then in the Bundesliga.

Arguments can be made that Berlin did not lose the league title in May. They defeated a top team in Gummersbach and took care of business against Hannover away before shockingly losing at home against Bergischer (when the league title was basically gone).

Mathias Gidsel has continued to be Mathias Gidsel, but for Berlin to take the next step the Danish superstar needs better help in crunch time next season.

4: THW Kiel

Current Bundesliga standing: 4

Power rankings in April: 4

It was a weird month for the Zebras. 3 wins and 2 losses, but both losses were quite embarrassing. Let’s take the positive parts first: 3 great wins against Wetzlar, Göppingen, and Leipzig. And Eric Johansson is playing like one of the best left backs in the world. 41 goals and 17 assists in 5 games in May says it all.

The bad part for Kiel? Well, losing at home against Löwen is not okay. At least not nowadays. And conceding 40 goals against Gummersbach is not acceptable. Finishing fourth in the Bundesliga is not what the Kiel supporters expect (and no one else for that matter).

5: SG Flensburg-Handewitt

Current Bundesliga standing: 3

Power rankings in April: 2

Simon Pytlick, SG Flensburg-Handewitt. Photo: Ingrid Anderson-Jensen, http://nordlyset-fotografie.com/

Much like with huge rival Kiel, the story of May for Flensburg is about highs and lows. They won the European League and they started the Bundesliga month great with consecutive win against Stuttgart and Hamburg.

After that though, no more highs in the Bundesliga, only lows. Losing against Eisenach is never okay for a team of Flensburg’s standards. No matter the circumstances. And, even though they “just” won the European League, losing by 6 goals against Gummersbach at home, after conceding 19 goals in the second half, wasn’t anything anyone expected.

6: SC DHfK Leipzig

Current Bundesliga standing: 8

Power rankings in April: 8

Viggo Kristjansson of Iceland. Photo: Michael Erichsen / BILDBYRÅN

It was by no means a perfect month for Leipzig. But I believe, and I believe that Leipzig agrees with me, that they should be satisfied with their overall performance in May.

They started the month by defeating Göppingen away, winning the game 30–27 after 10 goals by prolific goalscorer Viggo Kristjansson. The Icelandic right back was still on fire the next game, scoring 9 and assisting 4, when Leipzig crushed Hamburg, winning 39–27.

They ended the month losing 2 games in a row, but there is no shame in losing against Magdeburg and Kiel away, especially since they tested Magdeburg more than any other team did in May, only losing by 2 goals.

7: HSV Hamburg

Current Bundesliga standing: 9

Power rankings in April: 7

Dani Baijens, HSV Hamburg and the Netherlands. Photo: Ludvig Thunman/BILDBYRÅN.

I am impressed by the coaches and players of Hamburg, considering all the turmoil outside of the games. They lost the license to play in the Bundesliga next year and for most of the games this month that must have been at least in the back of the player’s minds when they were entering games. Does these games even matter, maybe someone thought.

Or maybe not. Hamburg won 3 games and only lost 1 in May. And that’s the part that impresses me – the fact that the players pulled it together when the management of the club clearly didn’t. Now it looks like they might be cleared to play in the Bundesliga next season after all, getting their finances in order.

8: MT Melsungen

Current Bundesliga standing: 5

Power rankings in April: 5

Nebojsa Simic. Photo (archive): Mathilda Ahlberg / BILDBYRÅN.

A season that looked so promising for MT Melsungen at the beginning ended up being a bit of an anticlimax. Still, playing in Europe next season is a great accomplishment, but it could have been that much more this season for Melsungen.

May? 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss. They probably should have defeated Erlangen, but conceded a goal with 10 seconds left and and only got 1 point from that game. The loss against Wetzlar was a bit embarrassing though, only scoring 21 goals at home.

Melsungen at least ended the month in great fashion, dismantling Göppingen and winning that game 32–22. Nebojsa Simic was the star of that game with 12 saves and a save percentage of 37.

9: TSV Hannover-Burgdorf

Current Bundesliga standing: 7

Power rankings in April: 10

TSV Hannover-Burgdorfs Uladzislau Kulesh. Foto: Michael Erichsen / BILDBYRÅN

Hannover-Burgdorfs season is quite similar to Melsungen’s season. They started promising but it derailed a bit. In Hannover’s case, they could not even qualify for any European competition next season and that has to be considered a failure.

Only 1 win in May, and in that game they were literally saved by Simon Gade. The Danish keeper had a save percentage of 43 in that game. But besides that a weak ending to the season by this team.

10: TBV Lemgo Lippe

Current Bundesliga standing: 10

Power rankings in April: 9

Samuel Zehnder (now in TBV Lemgo Lippe), while playing for Kadetten Schaffhausen. Photo: Mathias Bergeld/Bildbyrån.

I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again. Good old stable Lemgo without the highest of highs and lowest of lows continues to be just that. 4 points in 3 games in May for this unsexy and not-that-interesting team.

But you have to give credit where credit is due and considering all the great players that have left the club over the past few years this is still a great season for this team.

11: Rhein-Neckar Löwen

Current Bundesliga standing: 11

Power rankings in April: 12

Mikael Appelgren of Rhein-Neckar Löwen. Foto: Avdo Bilkanovic / BILDBYRÅN

First things first: the 3 losses in May were expected. It’s still strange to phrase it that way considering it’s Löwen we are talking about and just a few years ago they would have been favorites against Hannover, Gummersbach, and even Magdeburg. But they are not the same team anymore.

Now to the fun part: Mikael Appelgrens performance against THW Kiel. It was a true masterclass from the experienced goalkeeper. 19 saves, 44 in save percentage and one of the most obvious man of the match-performances all season in the Bundesliga, helping his team get the surprise win, 30–26.

Considering all the injuries Appelgren has had over the past few years it’s has to feel great for him to show everyone the level he can still play at.

12: HSG Wetzlar

Current Bundesliga standing: 12

Power rankings in April: 13

Wetzlar could have come away from May with 6 out of 6 points. It ended up being 4, so it was still a great month though.

Let’s start from the beginning. Against Kiel at home they lost, 27–29, but it was a heroic performance from all the team, but mostly from Lukas Becher (7 goals on 9 attempts) and Till Klimpke in goal (15 saves). Against Melsungen away Wetzlar came out on top after a game-winner by Lenny Rubin with a couple of minutes left of the game.

Then in the final game of the month, it looked like a loss against Hannover was on its way, but Emil Mellegård scored the equalizer with 2 seconds left and secured 1 point for his team. A great month by Wetzlar!

13: ThSV Eisenach

Current Bundesliga standing: 14

Power rankings in April: 14

This lovely team is continuing to blossom in the Bundesliga. Sure, the destroyed hopeless Balingen, winning the game 34–21 after 11 goals from Manuel Zehnder. Sure, they were outplayed by Hamburg and lost that game 33–29.

But the main thing in May was of course the game against Flensburg. Eisenach won that game, 28–27, and it has to be considered the club’s greatest win in history. Dustin Kraus scored the winner but the main man was keeper Mateusz Kornecki with 40 in save percentage.

14: Bergischer HC

Current Bundesliga standing: 17

Power rankings in April: 16

Bergischer still has a chance to play in the Bundesliga next season and they can thank 2 players for that after May. Noah Beyer scored a late equalizer against Lemgo, “winning” one point to Bergischer against Lemgo. And Eloy Morante Maldonado might get a statue outside of the arena if Bergsicher can secure a new contract. He scored the winner against Berlin with 3 seconds remaining of the game.

It’s still a tough task for Bergischer to avoid relegation. But if they defeat Flensburg in the final round and Erlangen at the same time lose against Hannover, then the goal difference will decide. Ahead of the final round, Erlangen has minus 67 and Bergischer minus 72.

15: TVB Stuttgart

Current Bundesliga standing: 13

Power rankings in April: 15

Adam Lönn. Photo: Jens Körner / Bildermacher-sport.de

Stuttgart will play in the Bundesliga next season after doing like they always do – just enough to secure a new contract. They weren’t amazing during any part of the season, but they weren’t horrible either.

But next year they will have to do without Adam Lönn. The Swede has been their best player this season and needs to be replaced in both defense and attack.

16: HC Erlangen

Current Bundesliga standing: 16

Power rankings in April: 17

The trend is clear – Bergsicher has gotten better during the season and Erlangen has played worse. If there were 3 games left of the season I am sure that Erlangen would get relegated and not Bergischer, but now all Erlangen needs to do is not lose by to many goals against Hannover to stay in the Bundesliga.

But can they do it? May was not a great month for Erlangen. They were in luck against Melsungen, scoring the goal that meant 31–31 with just 10 seconds left. And they barely defeated Stuttgart. Bertram Obling has stepped up in goal as of late – can the Norwegian save the season for Erlangen in the final round?

17: FRISCH AUF! Göppingen

Current Bundesliga standing: 15

Power rankings in April: 11

Another team that should consider themselves lucky that there is only 1 round remaining of the season. 3 games in May and 3 losses for Göppingen. They were only close to getting a point in one of those 3 games, against Leipzig at home where the game was tied, 27–27, with three and a half minutes left. Göppingen then managed to go scoreless for the remainder of the game and ultimately lost.

Then they had no shot against Kiel and Melsungen like we all expected. But they will play in the Bundesliga next year with a, in all likelihood, stronger team.

18: HBW Balingen-Weilstetten

Current Bundesliga standing: 18

Power rankings in April: 18

The nightmare is over for Balingen and they are back again at their normal level: 2.Bundesliga. They ended the season like they started it – by losing games.