VGAHL Season 19 Snap Shots, Volume 5: Sunday Afternoon Solace
As I begin to write this piece, I'm sitting in my living room going through the entire Strung Out discography, starting with "Another Day in Paradise". I just finished season 4 of Better Call Saul and can't watch the new season (no AMC Premiere and can't find a stream), and haven't decided what I'm gonna start next. All the while, I've got a pretty extensive assignment due next week that I have barely started. My world is crumbling around me :)
For most teams, 5 games remain in season 19 of the VGAHL after the world started fucking with internet speeds and postponed three games from two weeks ago. For most teams, their playoff status is set, with the Eastern conference being pretty much locked down barring a collapse in Laval (not unlikely, sorry Crocodile Dudnasty). However, some teams are still fighting valiantly for a playoff spot, as the Western conference has an intense battle of the basement dwellers for that third Central division playoff spot (wow that division sucks).
For 15 teams, this week will be the conclusion of 6 weeks of hard work and tragic outcomes, as GMs and players have spent their time in a failed effort to create a team that has a chance to make the next step towards the Calder Cup. For the remaining 16 teams, they will find themselves 16 wins away from immortality (well, at least digitally) if they can survive through this week. This requires an extra effort from everybody on the ice, as these games are must-win for squads who are trying to keep their position or move up within the standings.
It's been a while, and I apologize for that as school and the insanity surrounding this global pandemic (stay inside FFS) has consumed the majority of my free time (except for late at night, where you can find me on twitch.tv/dirtydietrich). However, let's commence with the last regular season analysis of teams!
Let's take some snap shots!
Bakersfield Condors: barring any fines that Budz may make them incur, the Condors are sitting pretty right now as they have 63 points and are third in the Pacific division. It seems unlikely that Rahzki Tzatziki and the rest of the Bakersfield squad will lose speed as they fly into a potential first round meeting with the Gulls. Fowl fight!
Belleville Senators: after both of their management figures got bought out (haha get fucked), the Senators saw a fast decline down the standings in the East, and are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with 57 points. Will Stoner and Saucy return as management and rebound after a season derailed by Clark and Exile? Stay tuned!
Binghamton Devils: the boys in Binghamton could not get it together offensively this season, as they've scored the second fewest goals in the league with 141 and sit third from the bottom of the East with 35 points. Beard and Ledge will need to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to make their offence as intimidating as their name. THE DEVILS!
I loved David Puddy on Seinfeld so I'll take whatever chance I get to reference him. Enjoy it.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers: I fucking jinxed it, as the Sound Tigers are right on our ass for the last wildcard spot in the East. We had a game against them we should have won, but that cruel bitch named karma fucked us. Oh well. Icedfire and Hockeybrady have done a great job at rebounding from a slow start with an offense lead by TJD and NYPD. How about GFYS.
Charlotte Checkers: hey stop doing the sauce pass speed boost, okay babes? Sitting in third in a stacked Metropolitan division, the Checkers have the best defense in the league that has only allowed 131 goals against. Tommy and Grammy have put themselves in contention for individual awards, but also remain one of my favourites for the Calder. Go Charlotte!
Chicago Wolves: 45 points sounds a bit dismal, but a strong week from the Wolves could lead them into the playoffs (they trail by 6 points, but face a difficulty that we'll address later). To do this, Chicago will need to tighten up defensively and bring down that high goals against total, and get a big week out of Darkspark.
Cleveland Monsters: talking about goals against, the Monsters have the second most in the league with 309 against. This correlates with their poor performance this season, as they've mustered 39 points in 5 games, and they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Drew Carey said Cleveland rocks, right? Not this season, apparently. Sorry Jimmy!
Colorado Eagles: another statistically poor team (42 points and only 160 goals for, 5th lowest in the league), the Eagles were in a playoff spot but lost seven games in a row to fall right the fuck out. However, they're only a point out of a playoff spot, and getting rid of Blacksabs may be what this team needs to make their communication lines better and improve the team (ever try talking to the guy? Don't do it)
Grand Rapids Griffins: the Griffins were unfortunately eliminated from playoff contention this past week, even being on a 6 game win streak (59 points, sorry guys). Grand Rapids started picking up steam a little too late in the season, but Spyking and Jeef have an idea of what they need to do to continue this success into next season. Just do it sooner!
Hartford Wolf Pack: *fart noise* the third least goals for (143) and the most goals against (356) is an equation for disaster, and it has spelled so for the Wolf Pack as they're sitting at the bottom of the league with 24 points. Give Chico and Ego credit, they've stuck around the entire season and haven't quit yet even though their Hartford squad has been down here all season. Proud!
Hershey Bears: somehow we beat these guys again last week! This is like the one top team that we can beat, as Hershey is at the top of the Metro division with the league's best offense (340 goals for). Cap and Boog have cultivated a championship caliber team that's got ol' Blade Man Dan leading the league in points and goals scored. DA BEARS!
Iowa Wild: the Wild find themselves benefitting from the Eagles' slide as they are third in the Central division with a lowly 43 points. They are a point ahead of some other struggling teams (the other one we'll get to momentarily), and Nightstalker's recent acquisition of the SPNHl seniors in Pliskin and Lomax may be just enough to keep them in a playoff spot.
They got Rhythm and Randymarsh too? I guess each conference has an alumni team. Nice!
Laval Rocket: Oakboyz got bought out, so now the Rocket are being managed by the incredibly reputable duo of Cam and Crocodile Dudnastyy. They're sitting in third in the Atlantic with 75 points, with a very important game tonight against the Sound Tigers, so they'll need to keep up their consistent play this season and finish strong (and still intact).
Lehigh Valley Phantoms: the Phantoms are the second last team in the Eastern conference, sitting at 33 points amidst a disappointing season 19. Their offense struggled to support their two solid goalies (amassing 154 goals for, fourth lowest in the league), so they shipped out Cricket in an attempt to get him on a playoff team. More on that later. :kiss_emoji:
Manitoba Moose: we're gonna go from second last in the East to second last in the West! The Moose are also sitting at 33 points, mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Gedds should have gone out and gotten a better goalie, as this team has let up the second most goals in the West this season (275). Oh well. Better luck next time!
Milwaukee Admirals: the Admirals are one of the most disappointing teams from season 19, with management bailing, players refusing to play, and management leaving at the haflway point. They're on a 6 game losing streak and find themselves behind the Wild and tied with the Eagles. We've got an intense race for the third spot in the Central, will Unwanted and Zorick be able to win it?
Ontario Reign: holding the first wildcard spot in the Western conference, the Reign have had a respectable season and amassed 61 points. They have guaranteed themselves a playoff spot, but Steel and Five have signed their defensive death warrant by signing Notorious250. They're gonna need big games from Bucky if they want to do anything in the playoffs.
Providence Bruins: the Bruins acquired high-scoring forward MrBean from the Reign, but he hasn't been of much help as the Bruins sit at 39 points and are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Rookie and Cookie may have learned their lesson, and will look to bounce back and build a contending team next season that isn't filled with a bunch of old guys.
Rochester Americans: with 82 points, the Americans have all but clinched the second spot in the Atlantic division. Their stout defense and solid goaltending (144 goals against, good for fourth lowest in the league) as been a staple of this team all season long, as FUCKNUTZ and Graham have developed and maintained a great back-end system.
Rockford Ice Hogs: the Ice Hogs picked up UGOTRAD3DAGAIN911 and have climbed the standings since we last popped in, sitting in the second playoff spot in the Central division with 51 points. Their goals against total is still alarming (258, fourth most in the conference), but given their prospective playoff opponents, they should be fine, even with the Geek in the crease.
San Antonio Rampage: sticking in the Central, the Rampage have been in the first seed almost all season and are maintaining it with 68 points. Oh shit, this team has sucked lately too, and find themselves on a 5 game losing streak. Owen and C-Flowz better get this shit turned around quickly, as the playoffs are a whole different kind of animal.
San Diego Gulls: another perennial Calder cup favourite, the Gulls have the best offense in the Western conference (304 goals for) and are second in the Pacific division with 84 points. Trailing only the conference leaders, the Gulls have 9 wins in their past 10 games and are going to likely be in the Western Conference finals.
Alright Riv, I'll take my money now. You know where to reach me. <3
San Jose (ooooooohhhhhh…) Barracuda: MIDAMDIKBURNSHOT still has the best name in the damn league, and looked like he was gonna have the Cinderella story of the VGAHL this season. Unfortunately, San Jose sits at the bottom of the Pacific division, and are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. See you next season, stay hot!
Springfield Thunderbirds: the Thunderbirds have had a great regular season, putting themselves in the first wildcard seed in the Eastern conference (73 points). However, they're 4-4-2 in their last 10 and have lost three in a row, and are in danger of letting a tough week push them out of a playoff spot. Will Chaos and CSM be able to keep Springfield in the playoffs?
Stockton Heat: I didn't believe it until Blohmer told me, but the Stockton Heat have been one of the best teams in the VGAHL over the past few weeks and find themselves in the second wildcard playoff spot. They've got 51 points and have gotten 18 of those in a row, as Flash and Skillsy have led this squad to a 9 game win streak. Impressive!
Syracuse Crunch: when Murph and Killswitch aren't shittalking Laval in the GM chat, they're out here holding the Eastern conference lead and their divisional lead with 89 points. Being in that position seemingly all season long but showing some signs of slowing down (6-3-1 in their last 10), will the Crunch remain dominant come the playoffs? Or will they pull a Tampa Bay?
Texas Stars: tied for last in the league with Hartford at 24 points, the Stars need to forget about season 19 and move on. They're riding an 11 game losing streak, so Strick has seen that his team has ultimately given up on him. It's a shame, players like Wetherballon and Ellsproject deserved better, but there's always next season.
Toronto Marlies: we're holding on for dear life here, as we have the second wildcard spot in the East and face some playoff squads and hot teams this week. We've rebounded ever since we won the Cricket sweepstakes, but we still need to win those close games (like that Bridgeport loss on Thursday, fuck). Let's see if our week affects my writing next week.
Serv is never gonna let me hear the end of it if we miss playoffs. I'm not looking forward to it.
Tuscon Roadrunners: speaking of wildcard teams, the roadrunners are three points away from becoming one (48) with their last obstacle coming in the form of the surging Stockton Heat. Going 8-2-0 in their past 10 and riding a 4 game win streak, Chris and the Hamburglar have gotten their French guns blazing as they make a last ditch effort at the postseason.
Utica Comets: Cpenn has sat atop the standings like he sits in the middle of his crease all season long, and that has brought his magnificent Utica team to the top of the league with 90 points. His Wall-like defense has kept goals out like they're illegal, and their offense has been dominant as they have dictated the scoring pace with 4 players above 100 points. Glory to Utica!
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: finally, we get to the second seed in the Metro division, as WBS have put together an impressive 80 point season in a tough conference. Duchesne has been a steal for the Penguins, guiding their high scoring offense and giving Kap and Jayscott even more things to talk shit about. Great, that's just what we needed.
This is a big two night week, originally supposed to be just tonight, as we still have a few spots that aren't locked up yet. Teams will need to keep their winning streaks going or stop their losing streaks pronto as they put their best foot forward to end the regular season. It's been a lengthy six weeks of hard work, triumph, and tragedy for all 31 teams, and it will culminate on Wednesday as we wrap up the regular season. Who will make the playoffs? Who will collapse? Who will quit? Who will get banned? Who will call me out for a spelling mistake in this article?
Good luck to all the teams this week (except for the ones who folded, get fucked!)