SPNHL, Season 33: Week Two Power Rankings
So it seems like Entry and I are going to take turns doing articles. We’ll bring you the players of the week and the power rankings on alternating weeks. WE HAVE LIVES, YOU KNOW.
(I’m just a lazy fuck and he’s a big UFC fan)
As we look at the standings two weeks into the season, our preseason projections are not showing too much validity. Teams that we projected to finish at the top of the standings are sitting at the bottom with less than 10 points in 18 games, while a team we projected to be basement dwellers are pacing their conference. This game is unpredictable and the personalities are explosive, so you never know what will happen.
Two weeks can say a lot about a team: teams can dominate and only lose in regulation once over 18 games (what up Van City), teams can have a very poor first week and end the second week on a 6 game win streak (the Preds are on the prowl), or teams can conversely average 4.5 points a week and score less than 2.25 goals per game (sorry Beantown). Generating momentum in the first half is crucial, and can derail your entire season if you can’t do so.
So, let’s take a look at the standings after two weeks of play. We’ll look at the trajectory of teams, their MVP after two weeks, and if needed, suggest any moves that need to be made. Meh, who am I to make recommendations, I’m only a Stanley cup winning and President’s Trophy winning GM, right? In all seriousness, this should be a very competitive season, so let’s start by taking a look at the Eastern Conference, and a team that is defying everyone’s expectations.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins.
Last 10: 8-1-1. (Won 1)
At the beginning of this season, we said this team would be decent but wouldn’t be special, and boy were we wrong. Pittsburgh bested their first week point total of 12 by getting 15 points in a 7-1-1 week. Their numbers are decent, as they are 2nd and 3rd in most categories and winning those close games. MrByng/Bean is fourth in the league for points with 25 goals (2nd) and 20 assists (5th), and is leading the offensive charge for this team. Pliskin has been holding down the fort in net, and while Pistol was their best defender, moving him to Chicago for Exe and Francey may pay off, or may be their demise.
2. Detroit Red Wings
Last 10: 6-4-0. (Won 3)
The Red Wings are like, one of the only teams that are in the position we projected them to be in. They have an incredibly strong team who have a chance to climb to the top of the standings with their explosive offense (their 72 goals lead the league) and have a core of strong defenders. Reap’s resigning of Cupidon has paid off in spades as he leads the league with 32 assists and is third in points playing on a line with Reap and GP. I see no weaknesses in this team, and see them being a favourite to win the cup after picking up a solid goalie in Chadkillz.
3. West Carolina Hurricanes (Get it? Like North and South but…)
Last 10: 6-4-0. (Lost 2)
Well, maybe we weren’t so wrong after all! The Hurricanes are in third in a stacked conference and have already made big moves to strengthen their team with the acquisition of former cup winning GM SliyumShady. Their defense has had a rotation of different defenders with the exception of Uber, but their second in the league ranked offense has been one solid duo of Kred and their MVP Bidou, who leads the league in goals with 26 and is shooting at an insane 61.9%. By acquiring BK, their West top line is complete and if they can solidify RD, have a legit chance of winning the cup this season.
4. New York Rangers.
Last 10: 6-3-1. (Won 2)
Actually, we’re not doing too bad! The Rangers are doing a little better than last season, and found themselves in the middle of a tight eastern conference, but sit comfortably ahead of the other two teams in this conference. Their first overall pick is not living up to expectations (sorry Deon), but the Rangers are seeing contributions from all members of their team, including their captain DeathClown who has scored 24 of their 59 goals. Clown needs somebody else to help him dominate the offense, and the Rangers have numerous solid players that they could package for another dynamic forward.
5. Boston Bruins.
Last 10: 3-4-3. (Lost 1).
PoolMagician’s first season as a GM has been a very tough one, as we foretold it to be, but he has made some great moves to give Boston a chance to move up within the standings. They need to start scoring goals, as their 40 goals for sit at the bottom of the league. Having top talents like Barzy, Fluri, and their MVP Stoner (who is leading their team with 18 points, but his 1.8 PPG is a far cry from last season’s numbers) should be enough to kickstart their offense, and picking up Shadow to play net (who is also having a lackluster season) solidifies a top 6 who can help this team rise from the ashes.
6. Washington Capitals.
Last 10: 1-8-1. (Lost 4).
MVP: Fuck, IDK, Koz? Nah, let’s go with Frank.
The Capitals took a hit very early on as they lost Jmarz to some family issues within the first two days. Then, the availability bug bit, as one of their top forwards has only played 8 out of 18 games. Then, they have been a victim of poor goaltending (well done, Shadow <3) as they pace the league with 85 goals against. Stiivii and Ransom have played well at both ends of the ice (and in net), while Frank has lead the team with 15 assists as the one constant at forward. If they can get all their top players available on a more consistent basis, the Capitals can turn things around and it won’t be hard.
1. Vancouver Canucks?
Last 10: 7-1-2.
MVP: Triix for pulling off the Chad trade, fuck me.
Now, we thought we were gonna suck at the beginning of the season, as we played like shit in warmies. HOWEVER, we’re first in the league! A good team defense structure has allowed us to allow just over 2 goals against per game (fewest against in the league), while we’re averaging just under 3.5 goals a game. Entry, Red, Beaster, Marc (who has been lights out since we acquired him from Minnesota), and Triix, who leads the team 19 goals and 18 assists, have all been excellent for us. Now, it’s about maintaining the momentum we’ve built up and keeping our spot at the top.
2. Nashville Predators.
Last 10: 9-1-0. (Won 6)
Nashville is treading the water that Entry predicted them to be in, as they turned things around from a disastrous first week to win 9 of their last 10 and are riding a 6 game win streak. Their numbers aren’t too impressive, as they have allowed the most goals in the conference with 60, but the games that they are winning have been incredibly competitive and not blowouts by any means. Stamkos has played every game for the Preds and while Legendary leads the team in goals, Stammer’s 19 assists have him a part of more than a third of his team’s goals. If the Preds can improve their defense and goaltending (which they did by picking up Rich), they can be a legit contender.
3. Los Angeles Kings.
Last 10: 3-5-2. (Lost 2)
Los Angeles is a very defensive team, as they will block damn near every shot that you throw on net. It works for them though, as a lot of people thought this team would be near the bottom of the league but they find themselves with the 4th fewest goals against in the league (40), while also having the 2nd fewest goals for (43). MG leads the team in points, while Ages (AgedEmbryo/AgesQuod) leads the team with 16 assists and has contributed a bit more on the offensive side. If he played a bit more, L.A. would score a little bit more and will likely stay a playoff team.
4. Chicago Blackhawks.
Last 10: 4-4-2 (Lost 1 in OT).
MVP: Grammy (miss you <3).
Chicago is underperforming significantly but still finds themselves in a playoff spot, but recently made a big trade by sending Exe and Francey to Pittsburgh for JMM, Rowan, and PistolPete. This move acquired a solid left wing to play on that top line in JMM, and acquired the leading scorer on defense to play with Eskimo. Yesse leads the team in assists, while Grammy leads the team in goals with 18 and in points with 34. With the new additions to the team, I expect the Hawks to ascend the ranks of this conference and get themselves in good position for a playoff run.
5. Vegas Golden Knights.
Last 10: 3-7-0 (Lost 3).
MVP: Lil’ PP (Premier).
Speaking of underperforming, the Golden Knights are not following up last year’s cup victory with the strongest of seasons, but have faced many obstacles within their first two weeks. The Knights aren’t giving up many goals, as they are tied for second in the league in goals against, but aren’t scoring many either, as their 46 goals are the fourth lowest. Premier has over a third of the Knights’ goals with 17 to go with 17 assists, but will need more significant contributions from Prodigy, Fox, Shayne, and more if he wants to win not only the Calder trophy, but the Stanley Cup trophy.
6. Minnesota Wild.
Last 10: 3-6-1. (Won 1)
MVP: Trout (maybe I picked all my faves, fuck it).
Well, this has been a fun season, eh Vinny? After starting out with one of the stronger teams in the conference, Minnesota fell apart through some trades that didn’t work out, some players tending to family stuff, and just overall bad luck. While all is not lost for the WIld, they’ve been struggling in the Western Conference but have made moves to give themselves a competitive roster with Aali, Extendo, and their MVP Trout, who has 8 goals and 14 assists on an offensively challenged team. Will Minnesota turn it around? Time will tell, and they better or I think Marvin might go postal.
Well, we were closer with our Eastern conference predictions, but we weren’t horribly wrong with our West predictions. However, we’re only two weeks into the season and anything can happen. Who knows? Maybe Detroit will crumble and fall out of the playoffs, and maybe Vancouver will sink to the basement where we belong while Vegas will reclaim the throne of the Western conference. This is all just hypothetical, but you never know when a hypothesis will turn into reality.
Not too sure if Off the Ice is happening this weekend (I’ll be cottage bound!), but Entry will likely be following up next week with a Players of the Week article! If you tip him a but of money, he might put your name in the article. However, if you play lights out and just fucking go off next week, Entry will have no choice but to put you into the article. Okay? Okay.
Have a great week, everyone, and we’ll see you on the ice!