Every damn DAY brings a new element of zaniness. You have Guy nearing his ascension, you have Doug STILL at the top of the league, you have Gary's Colonials rocking it, you have the absolute pathetic showing of the Rockies, Gladiators and Schooners and the....wait a minute. What was that last one again? (Checks notes) Oh dear. The Schooners seem to have hit a rip tide and can't sail their way out of it. But that's not the only story, there's no lack of drama from weeks 17 and 18! Read on and let's go!
I would say "Well that didn't take long, did it?", but this time it actually DID. Guy took the scenic route on getting to number, but number 1 he sits. He hasn't lost more than two in a row in 83 days, he doesn't have any significant injuries AND he's got BROCK LESNAR (...sorry, BOESER) waiting in the wings. Unlike Trump, Guy might actually get tired of legitimately winning.
Dustin's team is always strong, but he deserves a high spot this week for another reason. Dustin was the top fundraiser in the World's Longest Hockey Game with $75,313. For more information, see https://albertacancer.ca/worldslongesthockeygame2018. Way to go Dustin, this is above and beyond any fantasy hockey accomplishments. Everybody, let's give Dustin a round of applause (quickly, so we can get back to booing him for overspending on his massively overpowered roster!)
Gary went 4-2-1, which isn't terrible, but when you're near the top of the mountain, any stumble can seem massive. With the Cougars and Aces hot on his tail, he's going to be looking over his shoulder for the remaining 25 games. That being said, it's looking more and more like the Colonials will be hunting for an early banner, and not just for a playoff spot. How about MVP talks for Ryan Kesler? Heo has been an absolute wonder for the Colonials this season and has lead the league in scoring for the majority of the year.
The hottest team in weeks 17 and 18? Look no further than Tom and his Cougars. He's been hanging around the elite of the World Conference (hold your snorts) and now he wants a seat at the big table. He's only 5 points back of 1st place overall, and has a 5 game winning streak going on. A big test in the next few days, as he's got a home and home against the suddenly hot Supersonics. Get your popcorn ready!
Norm went 5-2, is 7th overall in the league, but he doesn't get as much attention as he should. He definitely gets as much attention as he deserves, however. Don't give him any more. The reigning champ knows that the Contintental Cup isn't awarded in March and he's just biding his time. I doubt he cares who his first round matchup is, but I'll bet lots of others are hoping they don't see the Fire Ants in the first round.
If I were Doug, I wouldn't panic. No team is ever first in the power rankings week in and week out for long. When you're number one, there's only place to go from there. Particularly when you have significant injures to Tyler Johnson, Casey Cizikas, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alexei Emelin and, most importantly, starting goaltender Mike Smith who is gone for at least a month. The Wheat Kings, finally, appear to be mortal. For now.
Jeff's not quite in Schooners territory, but his dominance has begun to take a similar tumble, much to my extremely glee. Hell, I was tempted to write this whole part in caps locks to properly convey my happiness, but I have to remember that the Revolution don't have any significant injuries and one hell of a lineup. Consider this a minor blip, and not an indication of who the Revolution truly are.
Is it...is it finally true? Has the SIM finally realized that Mike's team is a good one, that he has depth at every position and that he SHOULD be making the playoffs, and SHOULD be in the top ten in the rankings? Since Mike is finally getting what he deserves, I have no doubt that me putting the Supersonics this high will result in a massive backlash and jinxing. I would be nervous, except my team can't really get any worse, so I can talk smack about the sim AND potentially jinx Mike without worries of retribution.
Don had a ho-hum couple of weeks, despite being the least ho-hum fellow you're likely to meet. The Huskies are active on Twitter, but seem to be pretty happy with their current roster. I absolutely love the distribution of their points leaders, and I'm sure you will too. Their top 7 leaders have 40 points, 37, 37, 36, 36, 35 and 34. Talk about balance.
Since Matt had the absolute audacity to defeat me 6-1 this evening, I have decided to place him three spots lower than the last Power Rankings. Take that!
Matt continues to tinker with his team, acquiring Patrick Sharp from the Barons. It's definitely working, as the Mustangs seem to have shaken off any early season rust...only to have Patrick Kane injured for 12 days. Matt gets an extra bonus placement on the upward trend for using a Star Wars gif on Twitter. Looking like our trade condition of NEVER placing you first in the rankings is working, eh?
Whoa whoa whoa, Power Rankings, take a chill pill. I know that I put Mike's Supersonics higher than they've been in a while, but the KRUNCH? You know, the team that can't catch a break, despite Kirk having wunderkid Auston Matthews and building a great roster in the off season? THAT Krunch? Well I'll be damned, Kirk is a playoff spot! 8-0-1 in your last 9 games will definitely do that, and he's LITERALLY the only injury free team in the league. I think Kirk's earned it! Go Krunch go!
I feel like I could do Pat's Power Rankings from memory, and not even bother to check how his team is doing. Let's try it out - Pat knows how to run a team. He always has a good mix of rookies and veterans, led by a dynamic defense and despite him never being projected in the top ten, he's always a threat to make the playoffs and never gives up. How did I do? (Checks actual stats). Yup, that's the Slammers!
The Riders have cooled off a bit, but didn't do enough bad things to warrant a drop. It's also strange to see how inept the power play has been. They're at 14%, good enough for 23rd in the league. Even stranger is the Golden Bears are at 13.55%!
Eric's Schooners are having the toughest stretch of the season. They only had 1 point in the last 14 days, though the return of Tavares should help to stop the leak. GM Schneider is tinkering with his lines. Ever since the Gladiators loss back on day 81, they haven't been the same. I imagine it would take many other GMs at least a month to get over to losing to me too.
The Canons had an absolutely sublime two weeks, going 6-0-2, having the second highest goal differential, and being one of two teams to not have a defeat in regulation. I'd put them higher, but they're still only 4 points clear of the final playoff spot and they're just coming off a couple of slow streaks. Wouldn't be surprised to see them in the top ten next rankings.
Sam is beginning to separate himself from the pack in the playoff hunters of the World Conference. He's gone 4-2-2 in his last 8 games, Jack Eichel is back in less than a week, AND he's riding a 5 game point streak. His next three games are pretty tough, but then he finishes off the week against the Aces in a home and home series. I think the Rapids are up to the test, which sucks. Since I have his first round pick, I'm shorting Sam all year!
Sean's Spartans had a TERRIBLE few weeks, going 1-6 in their last 7 games and are in the dregs with the likes of the Rockies, Gladiators and the Schooners. A trend Sean would love to buck, and although it's been a gross couple of weeks (and Chara is out for another couple of gross weeks), he's still only 2 points back of a playoff spot. I'm sure Sean would love to just sit back and enjoy a confirmed playoff spot for the next few months...but where's the fun in that? We want a dogfight!
Ryan has done an admirable job with tinkering with his roster and making some awesome trades, but the SIM has hit him hard with the injury stick. Kronwall and Gardiner are gone for a week, the underrated Paul Carey is out for 22 days, but the real damage is Zaitsev - gone for 33 days. Ouch. Can the Wizard of Green (new nickname) wave his wand and cast another spell?
The Barons are a hard team to get a read on. Most the time I have them counted out, but then a few times they'll win games out of the blue and go 5-2 against teams like ...well, ok Banff but what about...the Spartans, sure, but what about...Montreal, ok you know what? Fine, The Barons can go up one spot but we'll leave them at 20 for now until they decide to beat better teams. Deal?
London also confuses me. Michael guts the team and makes a ton of trades to build for the future, but he goes 4-2-1 and is currently on a three game win streak. (Goes to check Team Stats). WHOA, hang on. Sorry to get off track here, but did you guys know the Aces have the second worst PK in the league, at 77%? How the hell does that happen? Do special teams mean ANYTHING in this league?
Apparently not, because a team like the Tigers have a better combined PP and PK than the Colonials, the Norsemen, the Slammers and the Supersonics. Who knew? Sheetal finds himself a mile from the playoffs, but there's still time to climb up the rankgs, particularly since the Shamrocks and Spartans have fallen on hard times. They're not the only ones, however. The Tigers have significant injuries and fatigue to some big players, including Turris and Abdelkader. Maybe some of that Chicago deep dish will help sooth their woes?
For a while there, the Express looked like they were going to tangle with the Metropolitans and a few others for the last playoff spot, but it now appears that the Express are going to have a more difficult time climbing up that 8 point hill. Here's a random thought, how much do rookie dmen get screwed? Werenski with a 69 DF? As somebody whose entire future success relies on Charlie McAvoy's rating, I'm preemptively outraged!
Well Chris, you thought things were going well, and then the SIM decided it didn't like you and now you're way lower than you deserve to be at no fault of your own. I can think of no better initiation, or better way to prepare you for your future years in the SICHL!
Kasim went 3-3-1 in his last seven games, but you know what really grinds my gears? Every time I see a young player doing well in the NHL, I think "boy oh boy, I hope Guy didn't draft that guy" and in the rare event that he didn't, Kasim did. What the hell, you two, save some awesome prospects for the rest of us! (Also Kasim you should trade me Hague because...uh...you promised me that you would when our families went on vacation to Tofino together 24 years ago).
Conn Smythe said "If you can't beat them in the alley, you won't beat them on the ice!". If Conn Smythe had seen how the Vipers, Rockies and Gladiators were doing this year, he'd probably revise his statement to say "If you can't beat anybody ever, it won't matter if it's the alley or the ice". Not our season, but tomorrow is another day! Right, boys?
Ian would probably say that's true, but HE has THREE first overall picks next year, so he's not even worried about this year, nor does he need false promises of hope from the BOTTOM team in the rankings, right boys?
Why am I trash talking myself? Is it because I'm 28th out of 28 teams? Is it because I've been working on the rankings for three hours and can't find a way to wrap things up? Is it because I'm simultaneously watching the Oscars and Jimmy Kimmel glibly insult the A-list celebrities? Nobody knows. Nobody will ever know! Good night, everybody!