*Holy shit, what the hell has happened to the world over the past few weeks? White people are going crazy with the closure of Apple and Starbucks, old guys are losing their minds with the suspension of every sports league (also, every cool millennial is "cheesed" with the NBA being suspended), and parents are pissed with the closure of schools and not knowing how to deal with their kids staying home. This is the next chapter in the Doomsday timeline that was enacted when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.*
2 down, 1 to go! That's for you mathematicians out there, as we are 4 out of 6 weeks through the VGAHL season. If you couldn't figure out the math there, my condolences. This is a very important week in the VGAHL as we are approaching the trade deadline, and the landscape of the league can change greatly. Some teams will be looking to add that last essential piece for a playoff run, some teams will be looking to repair a problem that has afflicted them all season, and some teams will be looking to find their star that helps them make a last two week push and try to salvage their shitty season.
As well, some teams might do the exact opposite! Some teams who started strong may begin to flounder (looks around nervously), and take themselves out of playoff contention. Gaining momentum in these last two weeks is so crucial to playoff success as it A.) gives you a chance to make the playoffs, first and foremost, and B.) sets the course for your momentum throughout the journey to the Calder Cup. So, these next 18-20 games are gonna be the true test for a lot of these top teams, and potentially kill off the bottom teams.
With that being said, let's get to the snap shots!
Bakersfield Condors: the Condors are sitting in third in the Pacific division with a 23-15-1 record, and are performing relatively above average with the exception of the second lowest amount of hits in the league with 374. Rahzki is carrying the offensive load for this team, but Bakersfield will need another offensive weapon if they've got their eyes on the Calder.
Belleville Senators: the Senators are 7 points out of a playoff spot, but are performing well with a 22-17 record. Potentially saving their season and buying out Clark, TJD has cracked the century mark but doesn't have another player on his team over 30 points. He's got the same problem as Bakersfield: ONE PLAYER CAN'T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP GUYS.
Binghamton Devils: 14-22-2 on the season, the Lil' Devils (sounds like a rap group) are still near the bottom of the Metro and are fourth last in the league in goals scored (106). Beard is gonna need to get Trixx and Tychi on the ice a bit more if Binghamton plans on increasing their lowly goal totals and their chance at making the playoffs in a tough east (fat chance).
Bridgeport Sound Tigers: the Sound Tigers are fourth in the Metro, going 18-14-6 and finding themselves 9 points shy of our second wildcard spot. This team doesn't have any notable metrics, they're just an average team being lead in points by Hockeybrady and NYPD after trading Mr. Saladfingers. I wouldn't be surprised if they make a playoff push.
Charlotte Checkers: Tommy and the Boys are finding their groove as the season progresses, going 26-10-2 and taking the third seed in a stacked Metro division. Their goals against total is the second lowest in the league (93), but their offense is no laughing matter either, as Grammy and Jaali still putting up ridiculous numbers per game (194 points between the two).
Chicago Wolves: with a 16-23 record, the Wolves have struggled but still hold on to that second wildcard seed in the West. Their last 10 games (7-3-0) indicate a positive progression for this team, as Jaytoven and the Chicago squad are starting to put it together as they engage in a very close playoff hunt (tied in points with the Ice Hogs).
Man I could go for some Chicago style deep dish pizza right about now. Too bad everything is FUCKING CLOSED.
Cleveland Monsters: the motherfuckers with the bloodshot eyes are not doing so hot, going 15-21-2 and giving up the fourth most goals in the league with 203. The Checkers sent UGOTTRADED here, where Jimmy hopes he can help turn this team's defense around and bail out the lackluster goaltending this team has received.
Colorado Eagles: dude this team fucked us on Thursday, beating us 7-0. They're second in the Central division, but have a measly 16-20-3 record. With 121 goals for (the fuck?), they have the least goals for of any team in a playoff spot, and Tom and Knot need to step it up if they want to ensure a long playoff run for Blacksabs, Loco, Fluri, and CHADKILLZ.
Grand Rapids Griffins: another 16-20-3 team, this team is NOT in a playoff spot as they are in a conference with good teams (no offense West, y'all got the Pacific). One of the most penalized teams in the league (4th), the Griffins need to stay out of the box and block a few more shots if Spyking and the rest of Grand Rapids want to host a playoff game.
Hartford Wolf Pack: with 226 goals against, Hartford has the most goals against in the entire league. They're also tied for last place in the league, which corresponds with their third lowest goals scored total in the league (103). Hartford are pretty much fucked at this point, so hopefully Chico and Ego should just learn from their mistakes and get ready for next season.
Hershey Bears: Capitalsfan and Youngboog are managing the league's strongest offense (249 goals for) and are second in the Metro with a 29-7-1. Blades is torching the league with 152 points, while the Bears have six players who are averaging four or more points per game, and are mauling their opponents on their way to a likely Calder Cup run.
Iowa Wild: one of two teams with a negative 100 goal differential, the Wild are 9-26-4 and are near the bottom of a weak Western Conference. Not too much can be said about this Iowa squad, other than they're like one of the only teams who doesn't have a player averaging over 2 points per game. Sorry Nightstalker, this one is a straight up RIP.
Laval Rocket: Cam and Oakboyz have run into a little bit of off ice trouble lately, but are still second in the Atlantic with a 29-7-2 record. Dudnastyy the man(ager) is complimenting Oakboyz as they form a formidable offensive attack that is averaging just under seven and a half minutes of time on attack per game and does a great job con(troll)ing the play.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms: Brat and Chad are still having some trouble over in the Valley, as they are the only team under 90 goals in the league and are 11-26 on the season. No player on this team has over 50 points, and if Lehigh want to do anything this season, they'll need to get somebody who can fucking SCORE.
Manitoba Moose: another team in the three way tie for last place, the Moose are 9-28-1 and are at the bottom of the West with a team we'll get to later. They have the fifth least goals for and goals against (110 and 198), and are another team that doesn't have a player who has scored over 50 points. Man, can we get some good teams to cover?
I'm watching a commentary on WWF King of the Ring 1994. Bret Hart was so good, Art Donovan was bloody awful.
Milwaukee Admirals: this team's management left last week and are now being managed by a guy who signed up halfway through the season. Nice. Still, they're 15-21-2 and are third in the central division. A low scoring team that doesn't let up a lot of goals, Kanye's contributions are gonna be relied on more than ever if he ever decides to play with them again.
Ontario Reign: Steel is playing with Serv right now and I'm pretty sure they're conspiring to unite next season. Going 22-15-2 and sitting in the first wildcard spot in the West, the Reign play an aggressive style that has resulted in the fourth most hits (608) and the second most penalty minutes (258), but still has them in a prime playoff position.
Providence Bruins: Rookie, Cookie, and the SP gang (now complete with the Bean) are 16-19-4 and find themselves a long way away from the wildcard playoff spot (15 points). On a downward trend this past week with only one win, the Bruins are hoping for a big turnaround this week if Bean wants to make the playoffs and win yet another cup.
Rochester Americans: FUCKNUTZ and co are holding it down with a 28-11 record, good for the third seed in the very competitive Atlantic. Overkill and a recent arrival in Aho are going to continue to pace the offense for the Americans, who have drawn more penalties than any other team in the league. Will they continue this trend into the playoffs?
Rockford Ice Hogs: if they had two more wins on top of their 14-21-4 record, Rockford would be in a playoff spot. However, their lack of regulation victories keeps them out of the second West wildcard spot. They gave us a run for our money the other night, so Krazy and co may not be too far out of the postseason (pending a breakdown from Swissgeek).
San Antonio Rampage: with the number one seed in the Central division, the Rampage are rolling with a 24-10-5 record and the most hits in the league with 842. Motown and Whitetees are forming an effective scoring duo that is backed up by the physicality of Owen and Happyman for a combination that rolls over opponents.
San Diego Gulls: going 29-10, the Gulls find themselves second in the Pacific and have been a dominant team all season, even when their best players have been taken to the NHL.With the second most goals in the AHL (218), Trav and Smetty lead an offense that will be a favourite come the Calder Cup playoffs.
San Jose (ooooooohhhhhh…) Barracuda: MIDAMDIKBURNSHOT has lead a magnificent turnaround in San Jose, going from last place to being four points out of a playoff spot. Not only does he have a great name, but he also has made some great decisions and picked up some great players like Melka, Synyster, and Sinksmasher.
Springfield Thunderbirds: these blue bastards have gone 26-10-3 and hold the first wildcard spot in the Eastern conference. They also shoot more than any other team in the league (783), peppering goalies with Trash, CSM, and Chaos having over 100 shots each. The Thunderbirds have a sound strategy that may carry them far into the playoffs.
Stockton Heat: the Heat continue to struggle as they are 7 points out of a plyoff spot, going 12-26-1 and going 3-7 in their last 10. Stockton are only on the offensive for an average of 4:52 per game, but if Yorsini stepped on the ice a bit more, he may be able to reignite this offense and control the game more as they push for the final playoff spot in the west.
Syracuse Crunch: holding the league lead by a point, Syracuse are still the best team in the VGAHL with an outstanding 32-6-1 record. Their offense is electrifying (second most time on attack (8:23) and shots on net (774)), and their leader in Murphwhizzle doesn't show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Texas Stars: after beating us last week, I realized that the Stars were last in the fucking league with a 9-28-1 record and nearly lost my mind. The second least goals for (94) and the second least TOA (4:24), Wetherballon still managed to capitalize on this lack of offensive opportunities and slip four past us. How? Who knows. Strick struck gold.
Toronto Marlies: man, we shit the bed this past week, going 4-5-1 this past week but still holding the second wildcard spot in the East. Our scoring has calmed down a bit, so we'll need to rectify this in the next two weeks, but we need to commit to a better team defensive structure, and our captain to commit to creating a better team environment...
If I wasn't such an asshole, maybe we wouldn't be on the brink of a Wildcard spot and have third seed in the Atlantic. Son of a BITCH.
Tuscon Roadrunners: another team that performed quite poorly this past week (2-8), the Roadrunners are 10-26-2 in 39 games (MAAATH) and find themselves slipping out of the playoff race in the West. Hamanator the Quebecers are about to be deserted in the quest for the last playoff spot in the struggling Western conference. Oh non!
Utica Comets: Glorious and Prosperous leader Cpenn continues to thrive as he has reached the century mark on the season and lead his Utica regime to the top of the Western conference (29-7-3). With the best defense in the league only allowing 91 goals against, the Comets have built walls at defense where they shut opponents out and hang banners of their commandant.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: and in second place in the league, Kap and Jay's Penguins lead the Metro division with an impressive 32-6 record. Duchesne's 67 goals lead a team that is full of disciplined offensive talent, while their defense and goaltending are not soft by any means as they have only given up 99 goals. Baby Pens are growing up!
I gotta review these last little snippets after Poppa Koz called me out for misspelling "store" last week. Crazy to see the changes in standings over the past week, they almost correspond with the changes in the Western world. Well, I mean, in the real world people are dying, and in this league, dreams are dying. Maybe they don't really correlate, but whatever. I'm tired and need more coffee, maybe an iced coffee or four. I'm gonna go take a nap.
Stay safe! Stay informed! Stay the hell inside! Good luck on the ice!