Weeks 1 & 2 - Commencement Addressment

As Gary stated on Discord, "Did anyone predict these kind of early standings?" Certainly some surprises - Pat's Slammers vaulting ahead of virtually everybody, the Colonials crawling out of the basement (finally) and Ian's Rockies looking surprisingly mortal. But, as we all know, a few weeks doesn't make a season and there is plenty of action, injuries, goals and confusion to come. I'll also do my best not to mention you know what - there's plenty of time to commiserate about broken tibias or sore left ankles. Unless it's referring to my own team, then I'm going to do whatever the hell I want. You want to do that too? Well, get your own Power Rankings! It's the first edition of Skey's Power Rankings for the 2023-2024 season and you're all wanted and welcome to read! LET'S GO!

1
Vancouver Island Norsemen
Previous: 9 Trend: 8
A perfect record to start the year, can't do much better than that! The Norsemen have come storming out of the gate, crushing poor Rasmus Dahlin in their opening match and then deciding that was fun and doing it to the rest of their opponents. They have a league high goal differential, and a league low 12 goals against. Crosby is already having an MVP type season - 13 points in seven games, FOUR game winning goals (Christ!), Plus eleven (that's not even a team high) and ZERO penalty minutes. Good lord, I want what Sid's eating!
2
Ottawa Slammers
Previous: 24 Trend: 22
Easily the biggest surprise of the early season, Pat has scoffed at any hint of a "rebuild" and decided to ALSO go undefeated to start his season. Seems like a smart move! The Slammers are 6-0-0, and only conceded 13 goals in those six games. Wow! Newcomer Erik Haula has joined the "Eriks who are good at hockey" crowd with 10 points so far, but how about that goaltending? Nothing is getting by Antti Raanta, with a 2.16 GAA and a 0.934 Save percentage. The Power Play is looking lethal too, currently they're tied for 1st in the league with the Grunge in that category. Who knows how long Pat can keep this up, but I doubt Gold Points are in his near future.
3
Havana Revolution
Previous: 2 Trend: 1
Yawn, says the Champ. Oh, was there supposed to be some kind of Continental Cup hangover from his months long celebration? If so, it doesn't seem to be working on Jeff, as the Revolution have yet to lose in regulation. And with a bit of a powder puff schedule coming up, I don't see a losing streak on the horizon. I suppose it's a bit premature to start talking about strength of schedule, so please ignore my powder puff comment. My apologies to the Supersonics, Vipers, Grunge, Riders, Bisons, Cougars and Barons. I'm still not betting on any of you.
4
Fredericton Express
Previous: 13 Trend: 9
Mark ALSO has not lost in regulation, one of only four teams so far to accomplish that feat. Mark might be like hey! I'm cooking some home made pizza over here and sharing a cool song I wrote on Instagram, I should absolutely be FIRST overall in the Power Rankings! Well one, your cheque didn't clear. Two, your goal differential is only plus 7 AND you had a few loser points. That's uh...about all the criticism I have to offer, the Express are looking like a freight train that is going to place tracks anywhere they please. CHOO CHOO HERE COMES THE THREE O CLOCK WIN TRAIN, CHOO CHOO!
5
Montréal Millionaires
Previous: 1 Trend: 4
Kaz has the second highest goal differential in the league, the best shot differential, only lost 1 game in regulation and he's FIFTH? Well look Kaz, just because you gave a dope ass writeup for Civilization 2 on Dollerz.com I still am obligated to be as objective as possible with the rankings. But I mean, it's a clear top 5 so far, and you're in it! Speaking of in it, how about the NUGE? 14 points in 7 games, including 3 power play markers, leads the league and he's 5 points clear of Mika Zibanejad for the team lead. Is it so outlandish to predict this kind of streak to continue throughout the year? Will the Bontreal Billionaires continue their lavish ways? My financial advisor has found a dozen ways to tell me "yes" without actually saying "yes!"
6
St. Louis Spartans
Previous: 15 Trend: 9
The Spartans said balls to the pre seasons prognosticators and decided to go 5-2 and lead the American Division. You know, I don't talk about divisions all that much in the Power Rankings. Actually, I'm not sure if I ever have. I always go on and on about Conferences, but I vow to focus on divisions more this year. Why? Well, I'm always looking for fresh content. It's like how I tell the lads on the cricket team (https://rossbaycricketclub.wordpress.com/), there are only so many ways to describe a cricket match. Anyway, Sean is also one of the teams that refuses to lay down and die. They've been a threat in the World Conf...I mean, AMERICAN DIVISION for quite some time led by none other than Anze Kopitar. 8 points and zero penalty minutes in 7 games is exactly the kind of franchise center I want. Give him to me!
7
Boston Colonials
Previous: 25 Trend: 18
HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE, WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL IS GARY DOING UP IN 7th? I know it's early on in the season, but the new look Colonials appear to be here to stay! Or at least, refuse to go down to the basement anytime soon. They went 5-2 and, most impressively, defeated Havana IN Havana in a 6-5 shootout thriller. Way to go, Gary! Now, if you'll calm the hell down, there are other former basement teams who are trying to make a name for themselves. Ahem.
8
Banff Rockies
Previous: 6 Trend: 2
Going 4-2-1 in your first seven games is hardly a reason to panic, but after Ian made some Shohei Ohtani level swings in the off season to load his roster up, it's certainly eyebrow-raise-worthy. Would it surprise anybody to see Ian rattle off four or five or fourteen straight wins? Absolutely not, as soon as they figure out the Penalty Kill and get their lineup combinations right, they're going to be impossible to score on. Enjoy it while you can!
9
Chicago Tigers
Previous: 7 Trend: 2
Sheetal's Tigers are off to an OK start at 4-2-1, but the real news story here is that he has a rookie named ARSHDEEP BAINS. Oh my balls, that is one of the most amazing names I've ever heard. No, we're not already on the NAMING Power Rankings (it's only Weeks 1 & 2 after all), but you can bet your tiger by the tail that Mr. Bains will be leading the pack. I wager that when Alexandar Georgiev remembers he's an 80 OV goalie, the Tigers are going to start getting hungry for frosted flakes and win. A lot.
10
Portland Buckaroos
Previous: 4 Trend: 6
Oh no, I'm not falling for this one again. Considering how strong the Buckaroos' lineup is, I don't buy a small blip like them going 4-3. Uh uh. Not gonna happen. JD, can you make sure your team knows they're 5th overall in special teams percentage and that JT Miller has a 90+ rating in Checking, Durability, Face Offs, Defense and ENVY? Envy is a new stat I have come up with, it's how envious other GMs are of that player. In which case, JT Miller has a 99.
11
Philadelphia Fire Ants
Previous: 18 Trend: 7
Add Norm to the teams that are eclipsing their pre season power rankings placement. A 4-2 record is nothing to sneeze at, even if Norm is a dusty old fella. Hehe, I kid! I kid! Norm is youthful and spry, reflected on his top young players who are absolutely killing it. Michael McLeod, Drake Batherson and Patrik Laine have a combined 17 points and 8 penalty minutes in Philly's first six games, with a devastating shot percentage. If Darcy Kuemper can keep this up, it's absolutely possible for the Fire Ants to make the playoffs. The league is better when the Fire Ants are better, in my opinion. Norm, I want another YouTube video...about anything, really! Thanks for sharing that GTA 4 video too, that made me laugh my ass off and may have positively influenced your spot in the rankings this week.
12
Edmonton Supersonics
Previous: 12 Trend: --
I can probably just insert a Supersonics ranking from any year, at any point in the season, and they'll be somewhere from 5th to 12th and my writeup will still probably be relevant. Horvat is a stud, the Supersonics are hanging in tough against brutal competition AND that's without Cale Makar who is you know what. Sadly you know who is still out for a long period of time, so you know which GM will have to circle the wagons against some teams you know until you know who is back from you know what. You know?
13
Brno Barons
Previous: 14 Trend: 1
Curse those crusty Barons! They defeated me, so even though we have identical records I have to put them ahead of me EVEN THOUGH they have a worse goal differential. It's the law! I don't make the rules. Ok, I do, I make up all the rules, but I still have to abide by them. Where are these rules, you ask? I...uh...I'll get back to you! Just like Bob will get the Brnos back to their winning ways, particularly with their big trade with the Schooners behind them. Let's see What Korpisalo, Benning, Jenkins and Kampfer can do for them!
14
Hamburg Gladiators
Previous: 29 Trend: 15
Hooray, it's fun being in the middle again! WHY DON'T YOU JUST MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE!?! Can do, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey! I'm excited for Dahlin to come back, my Power Play has not been the same without him. It certainly was fun having him for a whole period before mean old Matt did you know what to him. I can't say exactly what, because I know Matt's wife is in HR and apparently we can get in trouble for digital comments.
15
Okanagan Sun Devils
Previous: 21 Trend: 6
Whoa, look at the Sun Devils all being 15th place and such! Well, I'd like to, but I can't seem to find their team stats or schedule, etc. on their Team Page. Harumph! What I CAN tell you is that they've defeated the Rex, Steelhawks and Grizzly Bears, which leads me to believe that Ryan HATES teams based on animal names. Which is weird, because I know he loves animals! And acting like one when the stupid animal team we both cheer for in the other league can't scored on the GD powerplay. Not a problem for the Sun Devils, they're 8th in that category and 8th overall for special team percentage. Could...could Okanagan make the playoffs?
16
Acadia Grizzly Bears
Previous: 5 Trend: 11
It's WAY too early to be talking about playoffs, you ding dong! AND it's way too early to chant about the G'Bears demise. They had a rough start to the season, but have turned it around recently with two straight wins, including a marathon shootout win over the terrifying express for a LOBSTER BOWL win! Man, I love Lobster. Well hang on, it's ok, but what I really love is crab bisque. Old Matt knows how much I love crab bisque. It's an auto-order if I see it at a restaurant, along with mac and cheese. We are going to CRAFT on Monday with some out of town friends and I am absolutely getting their bacon mac and cheese, it is so goddamn good. Hey Henry, maybe you shouldn't do Power Rankings before dinner? And keep the language clean, this is a family Power Rankings.
17
Las Vegas Aces
Previous: 28 Trend: 11
Oh man, Las Vegas? That reminds me, I am going to Las Vegas in mid-January for a bachelor party. It will be my 12th trip there and I am looking forward to some tasty steak and mac and cheese. Old Matt also knows if I don't get a strict diet of tacos and waffles for breakfast, I am a grumpy Vegas-ite. Just kidding, it's my favorite place and I'm always happy. Hey Henry, maybe you shouldn't do Power Rankings before a Vegas trip? Las Vegas is holding tough with a 3-3-1 record, but has a mildly positive goal differential but has a tough few games coming up against the Tigers, Schooners and Colonials. Will Dusty stand pat? Will he finally trade Malkin? Will he acquire a THIRD draft pick for 2024? Stay tuned and LET IT RIDE! Also if anybody has been to Vegas and would like to talk about Vegas, hop on Discord and let's talk about Vegas. The Aces, I mean. Or the location, I'm not picky.
18
Dublin Shamrocks
Previous: 27 Trend: 9
DUBLIN! RYAN! YESSSS!!! Despite their putrid rating in the Pre Season Power Rankings, Dublin has managed to rattle off three wins against the Riders, Aces and the Barons so far! I mean 3 wins so far may have eclipsed what some of us would have guessed their entire year's total wins would have been, so that's pretty impressive. Ryan is TOO GOOD to lose that often, but he's got the Grunge, Buckaroos and the Monarchs coming up. Yikes, a murderer's row. I know I'm supposed to be done talking about Vegas, but if I was a betting man in Vegas, I would not go anywhere near the Shamrocks. They may have the luck of the Irish, but I don't know what to make of them. Do you?
19
Seattle Grunge
Previous: 8 Trend: 11
Despite an incredible special teams run, the Grunge shockingly find themselves at 19th overall in the league, and 19th in the power rankings. 2-2-2 is hardly a stint worth panicking over, but they're relatively healthy and have been getting outshot too. With that lineup? It's not gonna last for now. Phil will tinker, Phil will thrive and soon. The real key has to be the Otter in net. He's sporting a 4.16 GAA and a paltry 0.863 save percentage. Backup goalie Vitek Vanecek has stepped in admirably, with a 2.59GAA and a 0.922 save percentage. Goalie controversy? This early in the season? Located entirely within Seattle's kitchen? Yes! May we see it? .....No!
20
Nova Scotia Schooners
Previous: 3 Trend: 17
Well this is going to get some getting used to. With the Reign of Terror officially ended, Eric is licking his wounds in exile, preparing to rebound and come back stronger than ever. Still, we've seen top heavy lineups get into the playoffs and Eric's roster is still deadly. Although I suppose it depends on what trades he's willing to do. Surely Mr. Kucherov would fetch a tidy sum?
21
London Monarchs
Previous: 11 Trend: 10
Man, it is so strange seeing the Aces, Shamrocks and Sun Devils ahead of the Monarchs, Huskies, Schooners and Grunge. But the proof is in the pudding! Despite launching an absurd amount of shots towards the opponent, I mean he's 2nd in the league and he's only played 6 games compared to most other team's 7, I will chalk this up to early season jitters and nothing more. With that amount of firepower, there is zero chance Michael doesn't rebound, and soon. I mean I wish I could tell you I'll be 7 spots ahead of London each and every Rankings, but we all know that's just not true. Unless we trade each other our entire rosters! Is that allowed?
22
Whitehorse Huskies
Previous: 10 Trend: 12
Let's see if we can figure this team out. They have Tage Thompson, Nathan MacKinnon, William Nylander and Quinn Hughes kicking ass. Nylander already has six goals. They don't take a ton of penalties. They have a great supporting cast. GUESS WHY WHITEHORSE ISN'T DOING BETTER. JUST GUESS. I don't even need to tell you, you already know.
23
Stockholm Cougars
Previous: 16 Trend: 7
Tom could definitely use some of what Don could use, because the rest of the team looks pretty good. They have the 9th most goals in the entire league, scoring the same amount as Banff and more than Portland or Nova Scotia and that's with the LEAGUE'S WORST POWER PLAY. That is absolutely shocking, in fact they have the worst special teams percentage as well. With a few tinkers, I think the Cougars could be a playoff candidate because Strome, Matheson, Reichel and Newhook are far surpassing their expectations and they only have a few minus players on the entire roster. Curious...and interesting!
24
Hamilton Steelhawks
Previous: 30 Trend: 6
I mean the league isn't a zero sum game...or wait, is it? What's a zero sum game? I'm too tired to look it up. Basically what I'm getting at is that not everybody can do well. For every pleasant surprise (Ottawa, Boston) we have to have an equal amount of disappointments and Hamilton is having a rough go to start the season. Still, they have a massively improved roster compared to last year (some would say, the MOST improved!) and when Marchand returns from...uh....his vacation, they should be much stronger. Still, Chris isn't one to rest on his laurels - the trade machine has already been activated, already shipping out Domi, Hoffman and Barrie. Jeez, Chris! We're barely a few weeks in! What else does Chris have in store?
25
Vancouver Vipers
Previous: 20 Trend: 5
OK so for those of you who are new to the league, and there are none of you, now is a good time to tell you that sometimes teams just get lost in the shuffle, or get an undeserved spot in the rankings and that's the Vipers. Are they only better than 5 teams in the league? I mean probably not, but they're 2-3-2 with a -3 goal differential they don't exactly have a leg to stand on. And Vipers don't really have legs, so they don't have anything to stand on! Unsurprisingly, Bryce has the Vipers' special teams cooking with a 110.12 percentage, good for 6th in the league. They're right in the middle for virtually every other stat, so if they're going to make a splash, it's probably going to be on the power play.
26
Toronto Rex
Previous: 22 Trend: 4
I would say I feel sorry for the Rex, but they have Connor Bedard waiting for next year! So I can't empathize with them too much, though going 2-4-1 is hardly a disaster. You know, looking at their roster, they've got a lot of useful forward s and some very good defensive players. As soon as Adin Hill returns from...uh, a farm. Up the way. Where people who are...you know, tired, go I think the Rex could really challenge some teams. Best of luck, Taran! But not in the lottery, you already won that.
27
Regina Bisons
Previous: 17 Trend: 10
The Bisons are in a curious spot, and I think we all know where they're heading. Geoff has already made some savvy moves and you gotta think he's not done yet. I don't see a playoff spot in their near future, but they're already stocking up draft picks and prospects, like a good rebuilding team should. Get used to seeing them down here - Geoff as a veteran basement dweller, maybe I recommend unbridled optimism as a personality trait? It sure helped me! ....eventually....
28
Reykjavik Riders
Previous: 19 Trend: 9
I just spelled "good" as "doog" so you know I'm fading when that happens. Much like how the Riders are fading into the Three Wise GMs, a new boy band I have concocted in my head. It's Reykjavik, Calgary and Jacksonville, three towns I know we all immediately associated with each other. We're far from Syl's title win, but we're not that far from his next one as he piles up the draft picks and ships out players like Anders Lee, Christopher Tanev, Brian Dumoulin and Brayden Point. I would say I'm worried, but it's Syl so I'm not. I mean, I'm worried for the rest of us, just not him.
29
Calgary Mustangs
Previous: 26 Trend: 3
Young Matt has been a dynamo on Discord, throwing trade offers left and right, sharp opinions on the latest video games and witty retorts! Calgary isn't going to pile up the wins, but considering I have to get back into Valheim soon, I'm not going to bash him too much. After all, Matt knows how to do things like build ships, portals, fight monsters and I know how to run around and ask Matt, Ryan and Eric how to do things like build ships, portals, fight monsters and build useless pathways that we will never use.
30
Jacksonville Gators
Previous: 23 Trend: 7
Ok so I know I wasn't supposed to talk about injuries, but it's post-work nap time and I'm getting tired. But seriously, the SIM already hates Dustin so much that four of their goalies are hurt and they've only played 6 games. If that's not a recipe for 30th place, I don't know what is.

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