SPNHL, Season 31: Week Two Review
By: Dirty-Dietrich

Because I’m writing this article while watching a UFC FIght Night, there’s gonna be a few references to mixed martial arts in this article. With the normal SPNHL season being 5 weeks, it’s kind of like the 5 round format of a championship fight. Week two can be the recovery stage for some who don’t have the strongest start, or it can be the week where teams who started strong continue their dominance. However, those aren’t the only paths that a team can take, as there are many leading to the promised lands.

There are some key things teams need to evaluate after the second week: who your best players are, what the strongest aspect of your team is, what your biggest weakness is, and much more. Now this is easier said than done, but something you need to consider even if you are a top team. Look at Tampa Bay: they’re fourth in the East but only 2 points out of a tie for first in a stacked conference. However, they’re the lowest scoring team in the conference. The Lightning need something to spark their offense, and they need it more than ever.

Let’s check in on the standings and see if any teams and/or players have made an impact. Is Colorado on top of the West? You bet. Why would you expect any differently? Now, the Eastern conference is a little bit different: the race for the top seed is tighter than that crevice that James Franco had to cut himself of in 127 Hours (had to go PC for this one, sorry lads). Lesgo!

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Colorado Avalanche
Points: 29.
Trend: Upward.
MVP: Go_Marc (yeah!)

The Avalanche were in unfamiliar territory this week: a losing streak! After losing to Philly (OT), Anaheim, and Winnipeg, Colorado turned things around and won out the week with 5 straight wins. Their defense and goaltending has been solid (37 goals against), but the hero of Denver right now is my boy Go_Marc. Leading the team in points while possessing a 2.5 PPG and already at +15, Marc is having a great bounce back season hoping to get Egg and Sedin a 4th straight cup.

2. Vegas Golden Knights
Points: 22.
Trend: Upward.
MVP: Execution.

Vegas started out their week similarly to Colorado with a bit of a losing streak dropping their first two games, but winning 5 of their remaining 7 games put the Knights back on track. Their offense has been very prominent with 66 goals (good for second in their conference), but Execution has been the strongest Knight on the ice. Still possessing a 1.2 PPG at defense after 17 games while being +14, Ex is the best defender in the league right now, and making Vegas one of the strongest teams.

3. Anaheim Ducks
Points: 20.
Trend: Downward.
MVP: Snipeshotty.

Now, the Ducks are a very interesting case as these guys could be the scrappy underdogs of the season who prove me wrong. They have a very dangerous offensive core and their goaltender, Snipeshotty, has been unreal for them. He is saving .856% of shots, but still has a 3.0 GAA and has won 5 of his 13 starts. Anaheim lack defense, as they have a -4 goal differential and have lost 5 of their last 6. Let’s hope Koz and Shadow turn their squad around and consider investing in defense to try and give snipeshotty (who faces 20 shots a game) some help.

4. Edmonton Oilers
Points: 19.
Trend: Sideways.
MVP: LeCupidon.

Man the Oilers had a rollercoaster of a week. They started with 5 straight wins over some top level teams, then dropped 3 games in a row to some shitter teams (and Colorado in one game), then said “fuck it” and posted double digits against the Ducks. If they can find consistency, this is a very dangerous team (tied for first in the league with 73 goals). Arrowhunter is still killing it, but LeCupidon is leading Edmonton’s offense with 52 points and averaging 3.5 points per game and proving that he is one of the best players in this league.

5. Winnipeg Jets
Points: 16.
Trend: Downward.
MVP: toslick (too sweet).

The Jets didn’t have the strongest week, as they averaged 1 win and 2 losses every night. 2 of those losses were overtime losses, but the extra points could have put them into a playoff position. The thing that surprises me is that they have such a strong top 6: Giroux, Beaster, Triix, Reap, Kidmoney, and THE BIG BAD BOOTY DADDY toslick, who leads the team with 16 goals and a 2.5 PPG in 11 games. Reap, sort your shit out and get one of the best starting lines into a playoff position. NOW.

6. San Jose Sharks
Points: 9.
Trend: Upward.
MVP: Puckzone.

The Sharks got some wins! Holy shit! Scalz made a great trade (sorry Pete) in sending Soiceyboyz (1 goal in 8 GP) to Philly in return for Puckzone (18 goals in 12 GP) and Pucky has helped the Sharks put up some numbers in the win column. San Jose defeated some playoff teams this week and has proven themselves to be a scrappy team, kind of like Anaheim, capable of surprising teams and moving up in the standings if they and Puckzone (12 goals in the last 5 games, 3 of those games beinf wins) keep up their pace.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. New Jersey Devils (NICE)
Points: 23.
Trend: Upward.
MVP: Rich2K8.

The Devils finally won 3 in a row in a night and won 5 of their last 6 games this week, after losing 2 games for a respectable 6-3 week. New Jersey still has their offense firing on all cylinders (tied for first with Edmonton with 73 goals for), but is starting to work on their defense, only allowing 9 goals in their past 6 games with two shutouts. Rich is still spearheading the offense for New Jersey, scoring an insane 34 goals in 13 games while adding 18 assists, good for a 4 PPG and a share of the league lead with 52 points. (Grammy, look at us go! DBS taught us well!)

2. Philadelphia Flyers
Points: 22.
Trend: Sideways.
MVP: Yesse (because fuck Chad and Pete and Muse isn’t doing well enough 🙁 )

PistolPete and the rest of the boys in Philly had a respectable week, getting 10 points and moving up to the second seed in the conference. They’re our rivals, but they’ve got my respect. They’ve got one of the best goalies in the league in net, they got solid defense options and it shows (46 GA), and they have a solid forward core being paced by Yesse. The Redbeard has 16 goals in 10 games with a 2.5 PPG, and is one of the key parts to this strong Philadelphia team. See you soon, boys!

2. Toronto Maple Leafs
Points: 22.
Trend: Downward.
MVP: Fishhure.

The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped from the top of the conference last week, only getting 8 points in a very competitive conference. They’re only one point out of first seed and share the second seed with the Flyers, but the Leafs need to recapture the magic of that Stanley Cup finals run from last season. They still have the best penalty kill but have struggled on the power play. Fishhure is still contributing well offensively for this squad, with 23 assists and 31 points through 11 games. However, he needs help from the rest of his squad to regain their lead of the East.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Points: 21.
Trend: Downward.
MVP: Vince.

Tampa Bay did not have the best finish to last week, losing 5 of their last 6 (one overtime loss) and really struggling offensively. True has an abundance of defenders, so he may need to consider moving one of his 4 defenders and a forward for a high-scoring forward to shake things up. They are tied for the least goals allowed in the league (37) because of the hard work of Vince. He’s saved .870% of shots against and is the reason that a low scoring Tampa team isn’t losing every game. Tampa needs to turn it around and back their boy up!

5. Pittsburgh Penguins
Points: 19.
Trend: Upward.
MVP: Larkin.

After losing their first three games this past week, the Penguins upset a lot of folks and won 4 of their last 6 games this week. As Bstieboy said, the Penguins are starting to figure it out and they are dangerous. Turd is having a great rebound season in net, and the addition of Bstie to the core of the Penguins has worked out well, especially for Larkin. Larkin has exploded with 24 points in 8 games while retaining a +10, and if he can play a little bit more for Pittsburgh, the Pens are going to be a tough team to stop.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets
Points: 12.
Trend: Sideways.
MVP: Duckweed!

Duckweed is making a name for himself! Well done! The Jackets doubled their point total from last week with 8 points, but didn’t have the best finish to the week as they dropped their final 3 games. However, things are looking up in the Columbus camp with some recent arrivals in Ezz and Lavoie making an impact, but Duckweed is still carrying the offensive weight with 11 tallies in both the goal and assist column over 9 games (22 points), good for a 2.4 PPG average. Let’s see if the Jackets can double their point total again and put up 8 wins next week! (Do it Pemm, I (kinda) believe)
Okay, the Cejudo vs. Dillashaw fight is starting so I’ll wrap this up. We’re approaching the halfway point of the season and teams are finally starting to find their identity. The Oilers and Devils are offensive teams, the Bolts and Avs are defensive teams, and the Jets are an underachieving team (FIGURE IT OUT). If your team is still struggling to find your style of play, get on that before other teams who are confident in their abilities eat you alive.

Anyways, I hope everybody is enjoying the beta tuner! You gotta love it when they go back to a different version of a game after 4 MONTHS OF PLAYING IT. I look forward to seeing everybody on the ice, and if you’re upset about what I wrote about your team, do something about it!

Holy fuck, Cejudo just knocked out Dillashaw. What the fuck just happened.

Goodnight everybody!

-DD.

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