SPNHL, Season 30: Week Two Review
“The unstoppable Avalanche”
If you get caught in an Avalanche, you’re usually dead meat. That’s how its been so far this season, with the reigning Stanley Cup Champions going undefeated after two weeks. Eggman, Sedin, Woy and co. are on pace to best their record from 2 seasons ago where they accumulated over 90% of available points, the same season they began their championship streak. Will they beat Sedin’s Sabres record from season 23 of 41-2-2?
Although the league leading team has remained unchanged, we saw some new arrivals into the top 5. Kozmo’s Quack Pack in Anaheim has experienced a resurgence being lead by Shadow, the Alien, and Francey while Tread’s Coyotes have had a bounce back week with himself and MJ rediscovering that chemistry and scoring touch that lead MJ to an Art Ross and Hart trophy two seasons ago. The playoff race in the West is beginning to form…
At the same time, some of those teams from the top 5 last week have experienced falls from grace, with Turd’s Penguins having a 1-7-1 week. Sometimes, teams come flying out of the gates and win two championships in a row and go for a third. Sometimes, you have a strong week and shit the bed the week after. Let’s look at our top 5 and bottom 5, as we progress towards the midway point of the thirtieth season of the SPNHL.
1. Colorado Avalanche
Leading Scorer: Bstieboy (32G, 21A, 53P)
Bstie and Woy have continued to be absolute animals, carrying the bulk of offensive responsibility for the Avs with both players still averaging more than 3.5 points per game. Rancher has been excellent in net, but Eggman’s partner Sedin has been playing like a man possessed for Colorado. 17 GP, 36 points, 75 hits, and a plus 46 after two weeks puts Seding on pace for a Norris season.
2. New York Islanders
Leading Scorer: MG (15G, 22A, 37P)
Arrivals/Departures: jamiebenn (arrival), Gui (departure).
The Islanders had a strong week, going 7-2-0 again and made an interesting move picking up jamiebenn from Vegas in exchange for Gui. Benn is a very versatile player who could play a big role in an offensive core with Burst, B-wall, and MG. MG has stepped his game up and played exceptionally well for the Islanders, leading them in points and leading all forwards in plus-minus going +22. With a talented and versatile squad, expect continuity from New York.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
Leading Scorer: redflag (21G, 31A, 52P)
Tampa slipped up with one OT loss this week, otherwise having a strong week going 6-2-1. Vince has been incredibly consistent in net delivering great performances, and the most dynamic duo in SP in TrueLegend and redflag has been lighting it up, both scoring over 20 goals early into the season. Redflag has
been the better performer thus far, being only one point behind for the league lead. The Bolts are on pace to once again be one of the best teams in the East.
4. Arizona Coyotes
Leading Scorer: Tread (15G, 22A, 37P)
Arrivals/Departures: NocTurtle (arrival), Mic (arrival), Fivestar (departure), Mccallum (departure)
The top team in the western conference last season, Arizona started things off with a mediocre week but flipped the switch over the past 9 games. MJ, Studword, Soul2cold, and Tread have formed a reliable offensive core, with Tread leading the way by putting up 37 points in 14 games. With u1 and Tommy holding down the fort at D and Gman and Turtle taking care of business in net, expect to see the Coyotes in the top 5 for a majority of the season.
5. Anaheim Ducks
Leading Scorer: Francey (16G, 32A, 48P)
Arrivals/Departures: Rambo (arrival), Bigbear (departure)
Kozmo’s Krew (we love alliterations) started off slow, but the trade for Francey was a turning point for Anaheim. Shadow and Alien found chemistry instantly with Francey, while Kozmo and Noto have formed a formidable d-pairing in front of Soicey, who is having a stellar season. Francey’s 3 points per game ratio and playmaking abilities are just a couple things that are helping Anaheim shock people in the west, and we’re eager to see how high these Ducks can fly.
1. Chicago Blackhwaks
Leading Scorer: Linde (6G, 7A, 13P)
Arrivals/Departures: Nick108 (arrival), Nutty (arrival) Bigbear (arrival), Kinglyme (departure), Atreyal (departure), Cam (departure)
Amidst a week of controversy, Chicago saw more struggles and the departures of some of their best players. They got some decent talent in return in Nick and Nutty, but the loss of Kinglyme and Atreyal will be hard to recuperate from. Scalz and co. have a lot of work to do if they want to find themselves in a playoff position, and that includes getting arguably their best player, Linde, into more games. Joe and Scoop can’t do all the offensive work themselves!
2. Winnipeg Jets
Leading Scorer: Reaper (21G, 14A, 35P)
Arrivals/Departures: NYD (arrival), Bizness (departure)
With only 10 points in 18 games, Winnipeg is cold as ice right now. Having the second lowest goal total in the league next to Vegas and Carolina (I didn’t realize how little we were scoring, jesus), Winnipeg needs some sort of offensive burst. Reaper has just under half his team’s goals, but Ciulla has been playing his heart out on a team without much defense. Hopefully the arrival of NYD will solidify that defensive core and the Jets can restart their engines. (PUNS)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
Leading Scorer: Al_bundy (14G, 10A, 24P)
Arrivals/Departures: kinglyme (arrival), Nick (departure)
Over 6 nights, Columbus has averaged 1 win and 2 losses per night. Speaking to PistolPete, this is actually what happened. Pemm’s Blue Jackets have some good offensive talent in Rickrage, Ethan, Ivan, and their MVP Al_Bundy (who should mesh well with Kinglyme), a solid defensive pairing in Cuban and Pete, but Pemm and PNC need to step it up in the crease (both goalies are under a 0.730 save percentage) if the Blue Jackets want a chance at making playoffs.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
Leading Scorer: Larkin (12G, 13A, 25P)
Arrivals/Departures: Speedyturtle (departure)
Losing their star goaltender in Speedyturtle doesn’t hurt this team on paper, as the Penguins have two solid goaltenders in Turd and Cowboy, but it may have been a momentum killer for Pittsburgh. Larkin has been playing well with Serg up front, but the lack of defensive depth past Deadant is killing this team. Plisk has been playing everywhere for them, but Pittsburgh needs to acquire another natural defender if they want to return to their first week form.
5. Vegas Golden Knights
Leading Scorer: Nylander (9G, 15A, 24P)
Arrivals/Departures: Gui (arrival) Castles (arrival), jamiebenn (departure)
Vegas had a good bounce back week going 4-4-1 and Nylander helped a lot with that. A talented and evasive playmaker, he helped put Vegas’s offense back on the right track. Trading Jamie for Gui was huge, as they now have one of the better top lines in the league in Yeap, Gui, and Nylander. If these three can get on the right page offensively, and CapCan and Yesse could hold it down in front of Sliyum, the Knights have all the tools needed for a playoff team.
A bit of a change in the land this week in the SPNHL with lots of big trades and teams moving up and down drastically in the standings. As we rapidly approach the halfway point of this season, there are still questions left to be answered: who will emerge as the top team in the East? Will anybody be able to beat Colorado? Will Anaheim continue their Cinderella story and get in a better position to get Kozmo his long sought-after cup?
Remember: SPNHL Off the Ice airs Saturdays at 10 pm EST on www.twitch.tv/thespnhl_media! See you there!
See you soon,