SPNHL, Season 33 Wrap-Up: Conference Finals, Cup Finals. and Awards!
Well, this first paragraph might be a little difficult. My GF is describing her dream about us being rulers of the “moooon” and is kinda grabbing my attention. One moment.
Well, it’s been a while, but here we are. One team stands tall, leaving 11 teams in the dust in their pursuit and eventual capture of Championship glory. A grueling two months of hockey riddled with passionate blood-feuds, controversy, tragedy, triumph, and much more have all culminated in 10 players getting Stanley Cup rings. Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings, President’s Trophy winners and after three hard fought series, the holders of the greatest trophy in the SPNHL.
Season 33 Stanley Cup Winners: Detroit Red Wings.
Season 33 President’s Trophy Winners: Detroit Red Wings.
It was a great season for the Red Wings, as Reap drafted well and maintained one of the most solid cores in the league in a highly competitive Eastern conference. Himself, GP, and LeCupidon formed one of the most impressive forward lines we have seen in recent seasons, with production per player exceeding 40 goals and 100 points. They were supported on defense by Jason A.K.A U1 A.K.A FQ (who got his 3rd cup in 5 seasons or something, guy is building a nice trophy case), and an incredible RD in Smiirk. The Red Wings had solid depth options too, with IzzetChronarch and Cookieman helping out defensively, Betobone playing all over the ice, and Shock_R minding the pipes when needed. But the difference maker came through a trade.
Acquiring Chad was pivotal for the Red Wings, as they solidified their goaltending with a Vezina and even Hart-caliber netminder. Chad played outstanding during the regular season, and his stellar play continued into the post-season. I would tell you more about the numbers, but damn Pliskin changed which stats are displayed on the website so all I can see are his regular season numbers! Oh well. The Red Wings chose Chad as their most valuable player during the playoffs. Congratulations!
Season 33 Conn Smythe winner: chadkillz134.
We’ve covered the winners of Lord Stanley’s cup, but lets take a look at the fates of the three other conference finalists.
After dispatching of the offensively dynamic New York Rangers in 5 games in the first round, Uber and the West Carolina Hurricanes seemed poised for a very competitive series against the Red Wings. After the Wings took two of the first three games, the Hurricanes were looking to bounce back and deploy their top line. However, a disputed forfeit in game 4 lead to a premature exit (everybody calm down, behave yourselves). Carolina had a solid top line of Kred, BK, Jayscott, Jamie, Sliyum, and Uber, but unfortunately, schedules conflicted, circumstances arose, and what looked like a trip to the finals turned out to be a trip to the golf course.
Nashville held on two a 2-1 lead in the dying seconds of game 7 to advance to the conference finals, as At_Ezz and his gang of veterans showed their resilience. Rich, Slapshotjoe, Stamkos, Vandoos, Legendary, and more showed their grit as they won 4 out of seven two face the Vegas Golden Knights, who were hell bent on returning to the Stanley Cup finals. As they did in the first round, the Nashville squad took the series to seven games. However, they didn’t fare as well as they did in the first round, as the Knights disposed of the Predators in 7 games. Ezz almost wrote his own Cinderella story, as he believed (and had me convinced, too), that his group of vets had what it took to make it to the finals, but ultimately fell a bit short.
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas had a rocky start to the season, with Sliyum stepping down and Fivepointohh taking over (seemingly out of nowhere), but managed to secure the fourth seed in the conference and disposed of the first-seeded Vancouver Canucks. Vegas had a core of solid players at both ends of the ice including Fox, Prodigy, PP, and Shayne, with many utility players making up the rest of the team. The confidence of the Knights was never in question, and could be one of the main reasons that they were able to survive the attack of the Predators and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals for a second consecutive season. After being victorious last season with an almost entirely different team, the Knights were ready to defend their crown. However, the luck in Vegas wasn’t as good as it was last season, as the Wings eliminated the Knights in 5 games. Vegas was going for their third cup in 7 seasons, but will have to settle for four finals appearances in that time span, with this being their third consecutive. Not too bad.
Alright, now with the post-season wrap up completed, let’s go back to the regular season and talk about the awards! This season, I’m keeping the awards committee anonymous (some people already know) and before you accuse me of selecting them myself: I didn’t. Plisk doesn’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it myself, so we need a system. I may introduce a GM ballot next season for awards selection, so then everybody is at fault!
Let’s talk about the ones that didn’t require voting first.
Season 33 Art Ross Trophy Winner: Kred_14.
Not only did Kred lead all rookies in points, but he also lead the entire league in points with an astounding 164. This is no easy feat given some of the competition that he faced this season, and some of the offensive powerhouses the league had. Not only did he win the Art Ross, he also won…
Season 33 Rocket Richard Winner: Kred_14.
90 goals. Kred lead all players and scored an astounding 90 goals this season, the most since last summer season where Grammyhands score 95. Once again, this is being completed by a rookie in a field with elite scorers such as Grammy, Bean, Deathclown, and more. Kred’s offensive dominance resulted in one of the best regular season performances in quite some time.
Season 33 William M. Jennings Winner: chadkillz134.
Every elite team needs an elite goaltender, and Chad played that part perfectly for the best team in the regular and postseason, letting in the fewest goals out of any goaltender. Over 54 games, the Red Wings only let in 118 goals, with an average of just over 2 goals. In a league where scoring comes at a premium, seeing a team keep that number to such a low one is impressive, and that is virtually impossible without a goalie like Chad.
Season 33 Jack Adams Winner: Reapz2313.
Winning the cup for the first time since season 19, Reaper also wins the Jack Adams trophy, as the owner who completed his GM duties at the highest level, for the first time since season 19. Reap was near the top of the standings all season and pulled off some fantastic trades to make his team even better. He managed to keep this level of talent for the entire season and eventually turned it into a championship ring. Congratulations!
Season 33 NHL Plus-Minus Winner: Reapz2313.
Reap played almost every game for the President’s Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings, playing the wing on an incredibly dangerous top line. Under these circumstances, he thrived and was a league-best +76, the best total in three seasons.
Season 33 King Clancy Winner: Sedinpower.
Even though he didn’t play this season, Sedin remained an active part of the SPNHL community and ran his season-annual predictions contest, winning the award for the outstanding contribution to the SPNHL community! Ushkilledya won it this year, and was the recipient of a $100 PSN card (I believe). Sedin’s legacy in SP is extensive, and this is just another contribution to his ever-growing resume in the league. There’s a reason they call it the Sedinpower National Hockey League.
Now, onto the fun/not so fun ones!
Season 33 Calder Memorial Winner: Kred_14.
He won the Art Ross trophy and the Rocket Richard trophy in his first season in the league. Need we say more?
Season 33 Bill Masterton Winner: ThePoolMagician.
This was a tough one that came down to Peacekeeper and Pool, but Pool narrowly edged out the competition. He faced a tumultuous first season as a GM but always kept his cool and made moves that would better the team. Many GMs who faced the obstacles that he faced would give up, but like Peacekeeper has done so in the past, Pool stuck it out and wins the award for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
Season 33 Lady Byng Memorial Winner: Yesse__.
Yesse’s first season as a GM was a productive one, as he and the Blackhawks were the second seed in the Western Conference. Part of their strong record was Yesse himself, who had another stellar season with 75 points and an astounding 6 penalty minutes. His behaviour off the ice reflects his disciplined style of play on the ice, and has earned him the award for sportsmanship and a high level of play.
Season 33 Frank J. Selke Winner: Servnspike.
Sorry PP! Serv edged you out for the award for forward who best excels at the defensive aspects of the game. Serv is a great shutdown C who wins the majority of his faceoffs (52% of them this season), has a great giveaway to takeaway ratio (sitting just under 2.5:1), and has great positioning at both ends of the ice. He’s always been touted as one of the best defensive forwards, and now has some hardware to prove it.
Season 33 Vezina Trophy Winner: chadkillz134.
We’ve talked about him enough during this article, but Chad retains his crown as the best goalie that the SPNHL has to offer. His play helped the Red Wings win the President’s Trophy, as he only lost 5 games this season and retained a stellar 83.74 save percentage and possessed a GAA of just under 2 to go along with 4 shutouts. After a superb season that helped him deck out his trophy case, expect Chad to maintain his strong play and prove to be one of the all time greats in the SPNHL.
Season 33 Norris Memorial Trophy Winner: The_Real_Pistol
Speaking of all-time greats in the SPNHL, PistolPete changed his name and his game this season, emerging as a very talented offensive defender and taking home the Norris trophy as the best defender in the league for the very first time. Pete’s offensive prowess helped him accumulate 46 assists in 34 games, and added 73 hits with only 20 penalty minutes and 93 takeaways on the defensive front. If Pete keeps pursuing this career path, then we may see his name on the Norris winner list more often than not.
Season 33 Hart Memorial Winner: Iam_mrbean.
Bean has emerged to be one of the premier forwards in this league and was the driving force behind Pittsburgh’s offense this past season, scoring 66 of Pittsburgh’s 185 goals and assisting on another 51. The Penguins had a solid defensive team with fellow award winner Serv, and it was tough to not give this one to Kred, but the contrast in team structures made Bean’s performance that much more impressive and earns him the nod as the most valuable player to his team.
It’s 2:45 on a Wednesday morning. I’m tired as all hell. Congratulations to all the award winners and once again, congratulations to the Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings!
Let’s get ready for season 34! Registration is open and the season is likely to start at the beginning of October. In the meantime, I hope everybody enjoys the rest of the summer, and see you on NHL 20!