SPNHL, Season 32: Week Two Review
By: Dirty-Dietrich.

I’m sick and tired of Dusty finishes to the main event of a Pay Per View. Wrestlemania had to end with controversy surrounding a pinfall? For the love of fuc-

Sorry for getting sidetracked. It’s been an exhausting week/weekend. I’m done all my essays now and just have to focus on exams and maybe some SP. Wicked. With that being said, week two of season thirty two is in the books! We saw teams stray further from their composition at the beginning of the season, and saw some squads get overconfident and sliiiide down the rankings. This will happen though, as the more talented teams usually take a week or two to gel and become the dominant forces who win their conference.

There isn’t really a way of telling what the best team structure is this season. The old cliche “defense wins championships” is being disproved as Tampa and Vancouver are scoring their way to the top of the standings. The Penguins are tied for the league lead based on a gritty, workhorse style, and Los Angeles is benefitting from Chad the Bitch having the season of his life. While there are some strong teams, no “Cup Favourite” has emerged from the pack yet.

Every team has their flaws, and with one week left before the trade deadline, teams need to find identify them and make the moves necessary to correct them. Trades and drops/pickups have been in abundance already this season, with some teams building fantastic squads out of next to nothing (why hello, Vegas). Nontheless, let’s take a look at the two winners and two losers per conference from week three, and talk about some changes they need to make.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Winner: Tampa Bay.
Last 10: 7-3-0.
Important Stats: 75 Goals For (1st in league), 39% Powerplay Conversion (2nd in league).
Trajectory: Upward.
MVP: Legendary

Tampa Bay has remained the offensive powerhouse of the league, averaging 4.16 goals for per game and having an electrifying powerplay, converting on nearly 40% of their chances. Uber’s offense first mentality worked with pieces like, Ajax, Panini Boy (Full Melt), Stamkos, and Stoner all putting up stellar offensive numbers. Legendary has stood out from the rest, sharing the team lead in goals (18) and holding the outright lead in points (33). Will the Lightning be able to maintain their torrid pace?

Winner: Pittsburgh.
Last 10: 6-2-2.
Important Stats: 40% Powerplay Conversion and 86.5% Penalty Kill (both 1st in league).
Trajectory: Upward.
MVP: TragicMagic.

Pittsburgh is playing a very similar style that took them to game 7 against the eventual Stanley Cup Champs from last season, with their league-leading special teams efforts being their bread and butter and demonstrating their hardworking style. Serg, Plisk, and Turd have held their ground at their positions, but the fourth returning Penguin in TragicMagic has emerged as an elite defensive forward with 10 goals, 60 hits, 21 takeaways and a 54% faceoff win rate in 9 games. Will Pittsburgh’s hard work ethic lead them to championship glory?

Loser: New York.
Last 10: 4-4-2.
Important Stats: 82 Goals Against (Last in league), 9 Regulation losses (3rd in league).
Trajectory: Downward.
MVP: Deathclown.

Scalz and his Rangers continue to fall out of the playoff picture in a thriving Eastern conference, but the issue isn’t offense or even defense; goaltending has been the catalyst for the Rangers performance. Former GM Pemm is having a decent season, but PNC is having a dreadful season, and the duo is giving up 4.55 goals per game, more than any other team in the league. DC27 remains an offensive force for the Rangers with 16 goals in 7 games, but they need to get some better goaltending if the Rangers want a shot at the playoffs.

Loser: New Jersey.
Last 10: 5-4-1.
Important Stats: 66.67% Penalty Kill, -7 Goal Differential (both 4th last in league)
Trajectory: Downward.
MVP: Rich.

This isn’t a fun spot to be in. The Devils built a defense-first team, but that has come at the cost of limited offensive production. Turtle has struggled recently, but his lack of goal support has been notable as the Cup champs are averaging 2.7 goals a game, with Rich scoring most of them. Scoring just under half of his team’s goals (23 out of 49), Rich needs some help offensively. Either DD, Smoke, AJ and Saunter need to step it up, or package one or two of them for a stronger forward (trade me pls).

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Winner: Los Angeles.
Last 10: 7-2-1.
Important Stats: +27 Goal Differential, 42 Goals Against (Both 1st in league).
Trajectory: Upward.
MVP: Hypey.

Los Angeles was my pick from the onset of the season to be a cup contender, and their success is not shocking given the talent that they have. Chad is having a season to remember in L.A. (82.20% save percentage, 2.64 GAA) while Yesse, Hypey, and Petey have combined to form one of the most dominant top lines in the league. Hypey has been lights out for the Kings, notching 19 goals and 18 assists in 11 game played. The Kings might be the Kings of the league this season.

Winner: Vancouver.
Last 10: 7-1-2.
Important Stats: 70 Goals For (2nd in League), 54.1% Penalty Kill (Last in league)
Trajectory: Upward.
MVP: Bstie.

The Canucks are similar to Tampa in that they are on offense-first team that struggles defensively. However, they’re an offensive juggernaut that is holding the second seed in the Western Conference on the backs of play from Triix and Bstie, the league leader in goals and points with 32 goals and 18 assists in 14 games. The Canucks should not touch their offense, but goaltending should be something that bounces back as Fivestar starts to play more games.

Loser: Edmonton.
Last 10: 3-5-2.
Trajectory: Downward.
Important Stats: 36 Goals For (Last in league), 15.4% Powerplay Conversion (2nd last in league).
MVP: Beaster.

Once again, Vandoos has decided to trade half the team and keep the Edmonton player carousel spinning around, moving Jason and Shayne for Shawn and Bufford. They needed to make a move for offense, so moving two offensive defenders for a defensive defender and a utility player is questionable. Beaster has played the utility role well for Edmonton, with 8 goals and 8 assists in 9 games at a forward, but the lack of consistency around him has resulted in a miserable plus minus. Trading Cupidon was the beginning of downfall of the team, so they need to get a scorer back. Maybe Shawn will be that scorer…

Loser: Winnipeg.
Last 10: 3-7-0.
Important Stats: 44 Goals For (2nd last in league), 11.6% Powerplay Conversion (last in league).
Trajectory: Downward.
MVP: Cupidon.

The Jets have rebounded from an early setback and have built a strong team from the rubble. The issue is now chemistry, which Winnipeg seems to have a hard time developing. They have great pieces now in acquiring Shayne and Cupidon, but now Reap and Kid have to find that magic with Cupe and Egg has to find rhythm with Shayne. Cupidon has done well in Winnipeg with his new partners, with 15 goals and 18 assists in 16 games. However, the Jets may start scoring more with a more well-rounded lineup now.

These next 9 games will be either team-making or team-breaking. It sucks trading players because you develop a relationship with them on and off the ice, but sometimes it’s completely necessary. You need to make sure you’re getting a good return, otherwise you completely fuck yourself over. I’ve seen both sides of this coin, I’ve flipped teams and either missed the playoffs or won a President’s Trophy. THe buyers and sellers will come out of the woodwork at the deadline, so prove your value to your team if you want to stay. Otherwise, pack your bags kiddo.

Good luck this week, and we’ll see you on the ice!
-DD.

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