It doesn't have anything to do with special teams, goaltending, strength of schedule or jersey colour. Nope, it's how WACKY and FUN various names on their rosters are. Let's be real here, boys; when you don't know who to draft, your instinct leans you towards picking somebody whose name tickles your funny bone, or is impossible to pronounce without sounding like you're having a stroke. I decided to do some DEEP analysis into each team and see which NAME pops the best. What's in a name? A whole hell of a lot! Let's go!
Despite his lamentations, Matthew's Norsemen deserve to be number one. I can't do otherwise! They've separated themselves from the pack, but not by much. Good thing they have ANGUS CROOKSHANK to help foil Scrooge McDucks' plans!
Sam, you wanted a top 5 spot in the rankings? You've got it. Sam was the only team to go undefeated in regulation with a sublime 6-0-2 record. Apparently this is the Rapid's first EVER top 5 spot in the rankings, and his highest ever. Congrats, Sam! Even better, he's got JACK PERBIX in the system!
Sylvain's Riders hardly had a bad couple of weeks. They went 6-2, had the best goal differential of plus 15 out of any team and are tied for 2nd in the league, so don't read too much into the whole "dropping 2 spots" thing. SONNY MILANO, CARTER VERHAEGHE and CODY GOLOUBEF are all worthy names, but if I was going to set sail on a pirate ship, I'd want JOSEPH CRAMAROSSA captaining it! HAR HAR HAR!!!
Not to be outdone, the Revolution are RIGHT in the mix with the Riders, Rapids and Spartans for 2nd overall in the entire league. They did pretty well for themselves, also going 6-2 and had a terrific plus 14 goal differential. But the real star of the show, naturally, is not SCOTT KOSMACHUK, nor PARKER WOTHERSPOON, but GAGE QUINNEY (which would have sent young Eric and Henry into hysterics). I also like SAMUEL MONTEMBEAULT, which sounds like his snooty family tried to fit in as many vowels as possible to look more important. Oh MAN and I missed CAMERON CROTTY, see this is the problem with the "Name" Power Rankings, it's even harder to do than the regular power rankings. Switching my answer to CAMERON CROTTY, which sounds like a Roald Dahl villain.
OK, the universe seems to be sparing me on how highly/lowly I've been rating the Spartans and now I can breathe. They're in the top 5, but didn't jump a ridiculous 10 spots. They dropped down to 5, but they only played 7 games and went 5-2 in that stretch, so it's hardly a "bad" 3 drop spot. At the top, every inch is a mile! I cannot get over how great MITCHELL VANDE SOMPEL's name, it's terrific. Like some rich backer of an impossible expedition into the Amazon jungle or something. Also I keep forgetting about the prospect named RYAN O'REILLY, in addition to the other RYAN O'REILLY and it reminds me of RYAN O'REILY, the nefarious master of deception from the tv show OZ.
Guy stumbled a bit, going 5-3 in his last 8, but the 8-0 drubbing by Whitehorse has raised a lot of eyebrows around the league, Guy included. They seem to have steadied the ship since then, so I'm not overly concerned. What I WAS concerned about was Guy is probably the only guy who wouldn't waste a valuable draft pick on a silly name, but then I saw he has DAVID TENDECK and I was relieved.
Phil obviously held his previous rankings in GREAT contempt, and jumps 4 spots thanks to a 5-1-1 record in his last 7 games. Nicely done, with a plus 8 goal differential to boot. I still don't think they can jig with the big boys...yet. You know what would help? If they had somebody like MIRO AALTONEN to spread the rumor that they're a top 5 team. They should also contact Zukowski as well, he's such a gossip.
Again, Pat gets screwed. He only lost 1 game in regulation, but he also dropped 3 in overtimes/shootouts, so he "only" went 4-1-3 and acquired the 3rd highest amount of points in this session. What the hell? Well, HIs goal differential was only plus 4 and, hell, SOMEBODY has to drop a few spots each week, ok? The good news is that Pat has, all on defense, BENGTSSON (Rasmus), BERGLUND (Filip) and BERNHARDT (David), which totally sound like a trio of henchmen that are going to comically take care of business.
Tavares and co. can't come back soon enough. The Schooners are hardly in danger of missing the playoffs, or even losing a spot as an elite team of the SICHL, but I know Eric would love to have the players he should have before rushing to make any judgments. Eric has a few doozies to choose from in the name department, but I have to go with BLADE JENKINS, a perfect hockey name if there ever was one. (Special mention to JOREN VAN POTTELBERGHE which is just delightful to say).
Gary's Colonials sneak into the top 10 with a 5-2-1 record and a solid plus 9 goal differential. I've seen nary a GM as active on Twitter, so you know that if anybody is going to pull something interesting in the second half of the season, it's going to be the Colonials. In the meantime, I cannot get over DANTE SALITURO and ADAM OLLAS MATTSSON, both of which sound like creations from an aspiring screenwriter.
Kirk went 3-3-2, which is not great. It certainly demands a bigger drop than this, but being Champion has benefits, like not being dropped more than 1 spot because Henry is really hungry and slightly hungover due to a Settlers of Catan session with Matt the night before. Kirk's got some great names bestowing his franchise list, but for some reason LAURENT DAUPHIN is speaking to me. Like some French aristocrat has infiltrated Kansas City and is awaiting reinforcements to secure the throne.
Don, the GM of the Huskies, is starting to heat up. They jump a HUGE 6 spots, highlighted by a Golden Bear Beatdown (TM). They went 5-1-1 and seem to be poised to live up to the pre-season expectations the Gurus had for them. What kind of names can we expect from the resident Mad Scientist of the SICHL? How about MACKENZIE MACEACHERN? GERMAN RUBTSOV? FEDOR GORDEEV? Too many to count, so I'll give the nod to ROOPE LAAVAINEN. ROOPE lol.
Mike went 4-2-2 and somehow jumps 4 spots? If that confuses you, it confuses me too. Don't ask. The algorithm for determining Power Rankings placements are complex, and mostly unknown - even to me. What's NOT complex is how awesome BARCLAY GOODROW's name is, or SPENCER FOO. But the winner, by a nose, is OSTAP SAFIN. YES, OSTAP.
Tom's Cougars can't seem to make up their mind if they're a solid playoff team, a fringe playoff team, an overperforming team, etc. At least Tom is never bored! At least, I wouldn't be with CAL CLUTTERBUCK on my team. That might be favorite NHL name ever, along with ZARLEY ZALAPSKI, which as far as I know is the undisputed champion of names. PLEASE tell me he scored a game winner sometime and the headline read "ZZ TOPS OPPONENTS". PLEASE.
Ah, this makes me sad. Kasim fell back to earth, going 2-5-1 and is now out of a playoff spot. Still, he can take a lot of positives away about how his team is performing, and how many young scorers he has. The MOST positive thing he can take away with, however, is that he has RUDOLF BALCERS, LUC SNUGGERUD and SEMYON DER-ARGUCHINTSEV along for the ride. Despite the high quality of those young fellow's names, I have to give the potential future defensive combo of HAGG and HAGUE the trophy here.
Doug went a very respectable 4-2-2 and finds himself 5 points ahead of 9th in the West, a comfortable spot to be in. I know that facing the Wheat Kings in the first round make more than a few top teams nervous, so it'll be interesting to see where they end up! Like many SICHL teams, the Wheat Kings are littered with fantastic names, but I have to go with the undrafted 26 year old center, BRENDAN SHINNIMIN.
This usually happens. A GM, disheartened by their team's performance, or a failure to meet expectations, will tweet or email about how they're not doing great, how they're going to blow up the team, make big changes and then they IMMEDIATELY GO ON A TEAR. Talk about a motivational speech! Michael's Monarchs find themselves slowly climbing the Power Rankings ladder, and went 5-1-1 in their last 7. Outstanding, Michael! Is it possible that they could make the playoffs this year? They're 8 points out, but there is a LOT of hockey still to be played. I feel a great amount of pressure here, as the wordsmith Michael surely knows his team names inside and out, but one can hardly blame me for going with JET WOO (RIC FLAIR- "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO")
Hamilton, despite dropping 3 spots, is still 5 points ahead of Kasim and can breathe...at least for a few days. Going 3-3-2 may just be enough to squeeze into 8th, but you hardly want to face Matt or Eric or Pat in the first round, so there's definitely incentive not to coast for the Steelhawks. Super tempted to go with TYLER TOFFOLI, but MARKUS EISENSCHMID gets the nod here. Still makes me smile.
Dustin's Aces dropped, but they're still only a few points back from the Cougars and Dustin is no slouch. They went 4-4, but they're on a 3 game win streak and have beat some good teams lately - Cougars, Krunch and Spartans. That's quite a lineup! Speaking of lineups, who has the crown as the Aces' best name? Well, I don't think ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS can be beat. I just don't.
Holy moly, the Metropolitans are doing great! They went 6-3 last year, tying a few other teams for the most wins in the entire league in days 61-77! Outstanding! Surely they should be higher than 20th though? Well, I'll need to see a few more weeks like this to get them out of the basement, as they're still sitting 19 points out of a playoff spot, so Chris will have to appreciate a climb of 2 for now! And don't think it can't happen - Toronto beat the Huskies AND the Riders in the span of 3 days. No joke! Since it's difficult for me to understand how that happened, I'm going to go with HARRY ZOLNIERCZYK as THE name for the Metros. It's both hard to pronounce AND spell. A double whammy!
Another Power Rankings, another session in which my trading buddy Matt falls further back from a playoff spot. Darn! C'mon Matt, be better! You think I like placing you at 21st? I've talked too much about the Super Kane Bros, so I'll instead pick OTTO SOMPPI (but it was a close call with CHAZ REDDEKOPP and BODE WILDE).
The Vipers find themselves 11 points out of the playoffs and going 4-4 isn't going to get them any closer. They definitely have some potent weapons and, at first glance, look to have a playoff roster. Wouldn't surprise me to see them have a massive turnaround in the second half, but they might have to make a few deals to acquire a number 1 goaltender. Another Marcus/Markus makes the list, because I have to give the name award to MARCUS HOGBERG, and isn't that a perfect name for a goalie?
Despite Mark's plea on Twitter, I can't move him higher than a few spots. Why? Well, for one, he beat me in the Finals a long time ago and that sucks! BOOO!! Secondly, he went 3-2-2, which is respectable, but not enough to get out of the dregs. THIRDLY he's 20 points out of the playoffs, so Mark you can take your good-mannered politeness and eagerness to do better in the SICHL and file it away under spot number 23. Mark DOES have a ton of great names, like CONNOR BUNNAMAN or AIDAN DUDAS, but DYSIN MAYO rises to the top!
What the hell? What is Ryan doing, jumping 3 spots? There must be a mistake, let me see....ah, well there you go. A home at home series with the Gladiators will do taht for you. However they...also beat the Spartans, Colonials and...the Rapids? What in the blue hell is going on here, are the Shamrocks going to make a push for the playoffs? I've seen stranger things happen, but I'm not sure if BOO NEIVES has!
Sheetal falls to 17 points out of a playoff spot, and the Tigers are looking like they're headed for a lottery pick at this point. Can they turn it around? Only time will tell, but one thing's for sure - the eye of the Tiger belongs to PHEONIX COPLEY and the fact that his first name is spelled PHEONIX and not PHOENIX is driving me absolutely insane.
Well, I can't pick QUARK or NOG or ROM so I'll have to go with a real name, I suppose. Grumble, grumble. JONI TUULOLA maybe? RUSHAN RAFIKOV? Bah, none of these sound like Ferengi names! I'll have to go with OSKAR BACK AND GRAHAM BLACK, because if they both make the big leagues one day and are on the same line, you can say they're BACK IN BLACK or something cooler than I can think up.
After some peculiar improvements, the Rockies are back to their losing ways, going 2-5-1 with a negative 11 goal differential, second only to the Gladiators in that manner of ineptitude. Ian's not concerned with this season, however, and he's made some really savvy moves in preparation for LOTTERY 2019 with 2 first round picks. More importantly, he also has C.J. SUESS!
Settle in, Bob! We're here for a good time AND a long time. Not much to be said for the Barons, although they did win 2 games this week, which is more than can be said for the Fire Ants and Gladiators. Bob's biggest asset is probably Joe Thornton, as you just know some playoff team is going to want that 99/99 Experience and Leadership rating. Also, I imagine many teams might want CHRISTOPHER CLAPPERTON, for alliteration purposes.
Oh, it's gotta be SHAMIL SHMAKOV, and I definitely drafted this goalie for my last pick in the 2018 draft based on his name. That's how you should pick your future prospects...right?