SPNHL, Season 34: Week One Review
The sooner you fucks learn how to use the availability link, the less of a chance that I get all your location information and go postal. IT TAKES TWO MINUTES.
Also, a message to GMs: not responding is not a way of saying no to a trade offer. Show some professionalism, you dicks.
Alright, rant over. Sorry about that.
I hope everybody had a lovely Thanksgiving, and enjoyed the shorter opening week of the SPNHL. 6 games is a small sample size, but we already have one undefeated team (congrats. Detroit. We’ll get ya next time), and three teams in the West who are looking to be dominant forces and legitimate cup contenders. On the other side of the spectrum, we have two teams sitting at the bottom of their respective conferences: Calgary having an unsurprising 1-5 start, but Pittsburgh shocking everybody with their disappointing 1-5 start. There’s no need to panic for our latter two teams, as there is plenty of time left in the season. 39 more games to play 3 weeks until the trade deadline, there is plenty of time to develop chemistry, acquire the right pieces, and do whatever it takes to get your team to where you need it to be: a team that has what it takes to win night in and night out. Strong offensively, strong defensively, and a solid backstopper. You got all these pieces, and you’re good to go.
Let’s take a look and see how our ten teams did week one.
1. Detroit Red Wings.
Detroit’s first week back after winning the Stanley Cup was similar to the end of their last season: win after win after win. The Red Wings are second in goals scored and first and fewest goals allowed, while maintaining some of the best specialty teams numbers in the league. This offensive spark shows the talent their top line has, being lead by LeCupidon. The dynamic playmaker leads the league with 23 points, with 14 of them being assists.
2. Dallas Stars.
After a disappointing first round exit in Chicago, Yesse and Grammy’s Dallas squad have won 4 of their first 6 games and are leading the league with 33 goals (scoring 18 of them in their past three games). They’re converting on a third of their powerplay opportunities, and with an offensive core of players, lead by Bean, they will continue to do so. Bean’s 10 goals and 11 assists through 6 games are good for second in the league in points, and don’t be surprised to see him take the league lead in goals this next week.
3. Ottawa Senators.
We had a pretty good first week! We only lost to an undefeated team and showed some signs of brilliance (including Francey scoring an own goal from centre ice). Our defence was solid, only giving up 12 goals (good for second in the league), but our offense could use a bit of a kick in the ass. Truelegend is up to his old tricks, leading the team with 9 goals through 5 games, but Ottawa will need more offensive contributions to keep their respectable pace.
4. Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas were considered a Cinderella story last season as they made their run to the finals, but are showing no signs of slowing down with their quick start this season. The Golden Knights have a very talented offensive core with forwards like Ska, Fish, NJ at D and their leading scorer GP (with 9 goals and 7 assists through 4 games) (weird seeing all those names together eh?), but their goaltending is showing some cracks. Their defense will need to tighten up to allow Nathan to get his save percentage above 60%.
5. Vancouver Canucks.
Vancouver was considered an early favourite to win at the beginning of the season, with a solid starting 6 with an extensive resume in SP. Their start has been a little slower than expected, winning only 3 of their 6 games and giving up the third most goals in the league. Their goaltending is playing below expectations, but the duo of Tommyboii and Bstie, their leading scorer after 3 games with 4 goals and 12 points, are showing promise.
6. Philadelphia Flyers.
Philadelphia had a strong start, winning 2 of their first three games, but the Flyers had a complete turnaround and dropped 2 of their last three games. Their numbers aren’t extraordinary (26 goals for, 20 goals against), and they have an interesting yet talented array of talent that is capable of winning most games. Their offense is being lead by Rolla, who has scored a league leading 12 goals in 6 games, and will need to keep this pace to keep this Philly squad in playoff contention.
7. Nashville Predators.
Nashville is riding a two-game win streak to end a tumultuous week, after starting out 0-2-2 to start the week. I’m hesitant to say they’re trending in the right direction, but Nashville is taking the right steps toward becoming a winning team. 12 goals in the last two games is a good kick start to a struggling offense, being lead by BK who has 8 goals and 7 assists in 5 games. Going forward, he’ll need more help from Yeap and Pucky.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs.
MVP: Vandoos (Vandoos?)
Toronto is having a tough start to the season, as the strong defensive core is NOT scoring, amassing only 10 goals through 6 games. Scoring at less than 2 goals a game is unheard of for a winning team in a league, so the Leafs will need more offensive contributions from MG, Fluri, and Lo if they want to break .500. Every cloud has a silver lining, and Vandoos had a good week with only 8 goals against in 3 games and a save percentage above 80%. EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN.
9. Calgary Flames.
Well, Ush’s rookie season as a GM has started how we thought it may, with the Flames only winning one of their first six games. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when giving up 32 goals over your first six games, but Ush is making some moves to make his team better and get them back on track after a rough start. He needs to start with some scoring support for Stoner, as his team leading 7 goals and 3 assists through three games will need to increase in order to ignite this Flames’ offense.
10. Pittsburgh Penguins.
Well, the biggest surprise of the season so far is the piss-poor start by Pool and the Bruins. With talent like Sudzy, jyuhnn, and Barzy, it’s amazing that this team is scoring just over 2 goals a game. However, it’s hard to get momentum when you’re letting in 6 goals a game on average. PNC is having a rough start to the season, while Hockeygirl is surprisingly leading an underperforming offense, as she has scored 7 goals and 3 assists through 6 games. They NEED their big three to start scoring, or this team isn’t going anywhere.
Week two is the first full week of season 34, and will be a good judge of a team’s actual talent. 6 games is far too small of a sample size, and as we’ll be a third of the way through the season after this week, we will get an accurate perception of the playstyle of the ten teams in the SPNHL. Some strong defensive teams, some offensive powerhouses, their team identities are soon to be constructed and soon to be evaluated by opposing teams.
The plan is to bring Off the Ice back this coming Saturday! Join Plisk, myself, and more (TBD/TBA and yes, Reap you’re invited <3) as we discuss the first two weeks of the season, the best way to prepare mashed potatoes, and more! It’s been a while since we hosted a show, and we’re planning on delivering a new format and reviving the Ask the Commish segment.
Best of luck to all the teams this week, and we’ll see you on the ice!