SPNHL, Season 29: Week 5 Power Rankings/Trade Deadline Preview

By: Jake Dietrich.

“The one where the dead rise”

Being surpassed by Dallas, Colorado fell to last place in their division. A far fall for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Eggman and co. knew they had to shake things up. Woy and Kamakaz played in the last 2 games last week, and helped snap Colorado’s 7 game losing streak and finish the week with two wins. It may only be the two, but now they’re carrying momentum into the next week.

A crucial move for Colorado was picking up Stonerboy prior to the deadline. A former first overall pick, this is a player who can jumpstart a lackluster Avalanche offense and form an incredibly dangerous offensive duo with Woy. Moves like this before the trade deadline can help bolster the roster for a team’s playoff push/run as we enter the final two weeks of the season.

Having a tandem like Stonerboy and Woy can motivate the rest of the team to perform at a higher level than they were prior. It seemed to work at the end of last week, and having that momentum going into the last two weeks of the season is huge. Let’s analyze the standings and see who is on a roll, who needs to make deals, and who is ready for the playoffs of Season 29 of the SPNHL.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning. Week 5: 8-0-1.

Having reclaimed their position at the top of the standings with a very strong week, Tampa Bay seems as playoff ready as they come. After an overtime loss to Vegas to start the week, Tampa won their next 8 to conclude the week. Having dynamic offense in Truelegend and Redflag, a solid defense core in K1ng and Louie, and stellar goaltending from both Rancher and Soicey, the Bolts are poised for a deep playoff push unless it all falls apart.

2. Vegas Golden Knights. Week 5: 7-1-1.

Few teams are hotter than Vegas right now, and they’re catching fire at the most crucial time. After sitting mid-pack for the early portion of the season, Vegas has come alive over the past few weeks and now sit one point behind of Calgary for the Norris division lead. With Siliyum holding it down in net, Ajax and CaptainCanada leading the defensive core, getting another forward to compliment Prodigy and Nutty could lead Vegas deep into the playoffs.

3. Ottawa Senators. Week 5: 7-1-1.

The lead for the Adams division has been contested between New Jersey and Ottawa all season, and Ottawa had a strong week to make up for their point deductions. They beat New Jersey twice in the week in potential playoff

previews. Ottawa has made one trade all season long, and with a starting lineup containing Marc, Toslick, Ransom, u_1_2_b_me, and Vezina shoe-in Giroux, they don’t need to make any moves as they prepare for the playoffs.

4. New Jersey Devils. Week 5: 6-2-1.

After a point deduction from Ottawa, New Jersey found themselves back at the top of the Adams division, a spot which the two teams have been battling for all season. A strong week 5 helped the team maintain that position. After Dietrich flipped basically his whole team throughout this season, he found a solid Devils squad. Grammy and DBS are scoring leaders at their respective positions, while Turd has emerged (heh) as a great starting goalie for a playoff ready team.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs. Week 5: 6-3-0.

Being in the Patrick Division this season has been tough, with all 4 teams being in close contention for a playoff spot. However, Toronto has been on fire for the past two weeks and has climbed to second in the division. Posting a good record of 6-3-0 this past week, the Leafs have an insanely talented offensive core with Stamkos and Cupidon leading the way, but may want to trade some of their depth forwards for a top defender for an upcoming playoff run.

6. Detroit Red Wings. Week 5: 6-3-0.

Sitting at the bottom of the Patrick division, the Red Wings have a little bit of ground to make up if they want to get back into a playoff spot. However, as New York has underperformed, the Red Wings have excelled and posted a 6-3-0 week. A talented core of forwards in Mclub, Francey, and Trout lead the team, but one of the depth forwards they have could easily be moved to help split the goaltending duties with Tsibs and take some of the pressure off him.

7. Arizona Coyotes. Week 5: 5-3-1.

The Coyotes continue to post respectable weeks, which one may credit to the return of MJ and Harty. However, Arizona has an incredibly deep team and are holding their own at the top of the Smythe division. Tread has built a great team with a lot of versatile players such as Smash and Goalieman and has no need to make any moves ahead of this deep playoff run, just develop consistency in results and performance, and take that energy deep into the playoffs.

8. Winnipeg Jets. Week 5: 5-4-0.

Sitting second in the Smythe division, Reaper’s Winnipeg Jets have had a little bit of trouble getting off the ground this season, but have done well recently, posting another respectable week. After a couple trades, Reaper and Kidmoney filled out their formidable top line with Deathclown. With goaltending

not an issue, the Jets may want to look at bolstering their defense if they want a chance to win the division and go deep into the playoffs.

9. Anaheim Ducks. Week 5: 5-4-0.

In the midst of an inconsistent season, the Ducks posted a winning record this past week and find themselves in third place in the Norris division. Being in a playoff spot is always good, but they need to find a way to consistently win to prepare for the playoffs. Scalz and Chicks are a capable defensive pair, and with 3 decent goalies on the team, one of them needs to be moved for a forward who can mesh with Boutch and Etthan on their top line.

10. Calgary Flames. Week 5: 5-4-0.

Calgary was one of the hottest teams at the start of the season, with Uber putting together a very strong team at the start of the season. However, the Flames have cooled off while still maintaining a lead in the Norris division. With very capable forwards in Ages and Halak, attention needs to be brought to the rest of the team. Move depth forwards for another defender to support Uber and another goalie to prepare for a possibly deep playoff run.

11. Dallas Stars. Week 5: 3-6-0.

Dallas has had a tough season, but there seems to be hope after climbing into third place in the Smythe division. A team who has made more moves than New Jersey, Castles has built himself a team that has a chance at surprising some people this deep in the season. Having Pliskin in net, Ush and RickRage at D, they have a solid back-end of the ice. With a surplus on D, moving acquiring a defender to support Tyler and Castles needs to be the next move taken.

12. Colorado Avalanche. Week 5: 2-7-0.

As mentioned before, Colorado finished the week with 2 wins and the return of some of their top stars from last season’s Cup winning squad. If these players are more available going forward, this is definitely a team to watch out for. Woytikw and Stonerboy can be dangerous up front, and with Eggman, Sedin, and Kamakaz responsible for the other end of the ice, efforts need to be put into finding another playmaker to compliment the two goal scorers.

13. Philadelphia Flyers. Week 5: 2-7-0.

Two wins for the Flyers is huge for the team as they have struggled all season long. Sitting at the bottom of the Adams division and the league, Philadelphia needs to make a big splash here at the deadline. Picking up Triix and Snapshot were already big moves and could make a lethal forward line with Frankjones.

Get Deadant a solid defensive partner, and Peacekeeper’s team has (albeit a slim one) a chance at being a Cinderella story this season.

14. New York Rangers. Week 5: 1-8-0.

Yikes. Not the kind of week Dafoumanchew and the Rangers were looking for. They seemed to start strong after the week 3 debacle, but have reached a rough patch as evidenced by the lone win in this past week. New York has a talented group even after the roster shakeup, with Doug and Execution on defense and Hypey and Serv at forward. Perhaps moving Kronwall for a decent support forward can help wake up a New York offense which seems dormant.

15. Pittsburgh Penguins. Week 5: 0-9-0.

When your management team quits halfway through the week, the outlook is not positive. Having lost all their games this week (and many of them being forfeit losses), there was some good news for Pittsburgh as goaltender extraordinaire Chad has stepped up to the plate and become their new GM. With Beaster and Smokeshow as two established forwards, trading some of their depth forwards for a strong partner for Redbeard could help turn things around.

16. Edmonton Oilers. Week 5: 0-9-0.

Another very rough week for Edmonton doesn’t help their position at the bottom of the Norris division. They need to find a way to rebound from this week and the trade deadline is the best time to rebuild. Vandoos guards the cage while Murphy and Dustywall handle most of the defensive duties, and with an abundance of depth forwards, it may be time to package a few of them up and get somebody who can help Caper and Arrow return to form.

With the deadline approaching this Saturday, teams are going to need to do three things. 1.) Identify who and what works, 2.) Get rid of who and what doesn’t work, and 3.) Develop chemistry and strategy with what remains. Any team looking to go dep into these playoffs needs to follow that formula. Otherwise, that team can kiss their dreams of hoisting the Cup goodbye.

Check out SPNHL: Off The Ice this coming Saturday, where we will recap any moves that were made and the implications they may have!

See you soon,

DD

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