Weeks 7, 8 & 9 - A Toast to your Good Health!

Is it the training staff that's on the take? Players taking too many risks? Certain teams having a rise their physicality each and every night? Who knows, but we all know the dreaded sting of the injury. We check the box score and realize, oh no! Star Player X is injured and left in the 2nd period! Then you go to the Injuries Page, praying for  "out for 1 week" diagnosis. Then you scamper to your own page and hover over the bandaid, or red cross to see the extent of the damage. I know many GMs like their team "when they're fully healthy" but how often does that happen? And does a sidelined player REALLY have the negative impact we think it woudl? Or are some teams just that deep that they can weather a storm of casts, sprains, bruises, breaks and illnesses? Let's see if we can closely exame the x-rays of the 30 teams of Supreme Inter-Continental Hockey League and find out! Let's go!

Havana Revolution
Previous: 2 Trend: 1
Every time I think I'm gaining ground on the champ, he goes and wins again. Jeff has a league-few 5 regulation losses all year after 35 games. He sports a terrific plus 44 goal differential and, perhaps most impressively, he's still on a roll without the service of Brent Burns. Was that article just one big jinx? Still, Burns was hurt on January 11 and that was 16 days ago so it doesn't seemed to have phased Havana at all. HOWEVER, Rasmus Ristolainen was recently injured with a sore left knee (hey, that's what I have right now! Getting old sucks) and is out for 2 weeks. Let's see if Havana can stave off the competition until reinforcements on the blueline arrive.
Philadelphia Fire Ants
Previous: 3 Trend: 1
Don't be so shocked - the Fire Ants more than deserve the number 2 spot. They refuse to go away and are only 4 points back of the Revolution. And that's with a payroll 60 million less than our friends from Havana! Just what did Norm do to turn his season around? I suppose it's no surprise - the old veteran obviously still has a few tricks up his sleeve. What's even more impressive is that the Fire Ants own the best goal differential in the entire league - plus 59, ten higher than Montreal's 49 (2nd in the league). So, not only are the lads from Philly winning, they're winning big. As if Norm needs any additional good news, he's completely healthy. Zero injuries, one of three teams in the league that can tell their medical staff to take a temporary hike. I don't like this lads, I don't like this one bit.
Montréal Millionaires
Previous: 5 Trend: 2
Kasim's Millionaires are rampaging through the standing, going 9-2 in their last 11 games and with a plus 20 goal differential in that span, second only to the red hot Fire Ants. Mon dieu! Kaz would easily have been a contender for the number 2 spot, however he's got a few significant injuries. Sebastian Aho is at 92% and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the league leader in points, is at 85%. Oh wait a minute. It's not THAT Sebastian Aho, it's the OTHER Sebastian Aho. Ok, well never mind then. Still, can Kaz remain elite with potential league MVP out for another few weeks? Only time will tell, and hopefully by then I'll be able to differentiate between the Ahos.
Banff Rockies
Previous: 1 Trend: 3
You're dreaming if you think Ian dropping 3 spots is a sign of him being in any danger. He can sleepwalk through the rest of the season and still be a top seed in the uber competitive Canadian Conference. He's a threat, now and for the rest of the season, even IF he did suffer injuries. Which, by the way, he hasn't - the Rockies, along with the Grunge and Fire Ants are the ONLY teams with zero injuries. Is this Power Rankings one big curse? I sure as hell hope so! How else am I going to gain ground on Ian's juggernaut of a team?
Hamburg Gladiators
Previous: 9 Trend: 4
I'm winning games, but only by the skin of my teeth and losing Josh Manson (my best DF rating AND Franchise Player) doesn't help things. A tough test against Portland coming up and with Swayman a bit tired, I don't like my odds of remaining in the top 5.
Fredericton Express
Previous: 8 Trend: 2
Mark was nice enough to let me beat him for the first time in 100 years, so naturally I have to bump him a few spots on the Rankings. What, you didn't know I was suspectable to bribes, flattery and compliments? You clearly don't know me very well. The Express have had a sublime first half of the year, going 26-7-4 AND that's with Jack Hughes suffering two significant injuries throughout the year. Just imagine what a fully healthy Express can do. Actually don't, the premise frightens me.
Acadia Grizzly Bears
Previous: 6 Trend: 1
Look, the Power Rankings don't make any sense. How can Guy go 6-1-3 in his last 10 games and 7-1 in his last 8 and DROP a spot? It's the curse of the top of the mountain - the closer you get to the summit, the harder it is to climb. But Acadia isn't going away, and they're going to be a playoff team. He's clearly balancing his lines and ice time well too, as he's had very few injuries throughout the year so far. Parayko is back and the only injury they're sporting is Shane Pinto at 93%, though that's his second injury this month. A little concerning, but his DU is a 62, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised?
St. Louis Spartans
Previous: 11 Trend: 3
Don't you dare sleep on the Spartans. They're the only team in the entire league that didn't lose a game in regulation in their last 10 games and they're quickly making the Revolution/Fire Ants/Gladiators party into a fearsome foursome at the top of the World Conference. And the best part is, they're a little banged up but nobody of super significance. You know, it's a good thing nobody but us nerds reads these Power Rankings, otherwise I'd be fielding calls from angry parents saying "WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY SON ADAM CRACKNELL ISN'T SUPER SIGNIFICANT? YOU'RE INSIGNIFICANT!" and so on. Also, how good has Jared McCann been? 45 points, just a few off the league lead and SIX powerplay goals so far. Sean's also getting stellar goaltending from all 3 of his netminders. Brian Elliott in particular has been a stalwart in a backup position, sporting a miniscule 1.94 GAA and a 0.931 save percentage. Sean's healthy, and has a good team. Wait, weren't the Spartans supposed to be rebuilding sometime soon?
Edmonton Supersonics
Previous: 4 Trend: 5
It's not so much that Edmonton had a record that warranted a 5 spot drop, it's that they went 5-5 in their last ten games so it seemed appropriate! Plus the teams above them are on absolute tears, with a combined record of 63-11-6. Talk about a murderer's row! But, if you listen closely, you'll hear the icy whisper of doom because Cale Makar, already injured for 2 months at the beginning of the year, was injured AGAIN a few days ago and is out for 2 weeks. Bummer! I like how in the same game Bo Horvat was injured for 1 day, it looks like he's just like "Cale's out? Naw, I'm uh...I'm hurt too. Right Knee. Need a day." Makar has only played 9 games for Edmonton this season, but has 6 points and a power play goal in those games. It's hard to get a stance on where Edmonton is at without him, but in the meantime, that injury drops him a few spots.
Hamilton Steelhawks
Previous: 7 Trend: 3
Hamilton is banged up, with 5 players healing, but none are significant. They're in a tricky spot but in a good spot, this is certainly the season of Chris' coming out party. He's clear of the suddenly surging Sun Devils by 9 points for a playoff spot and is only a few points back of the Norsemen, Supersonics and Grizzly Bears. Still, the Sun Devils and Huskies aren't going to make it easy. We all know Chris loves a good deal - does he stand pat, or pull the trigger yet again?
London Monarchs
Previous: 12 Trend: 1
Is there a team that's been more up and down than London this year? Michael's constructed a stellar lineup, but he's just missing a solid piece in between the pipes. A team with Ovechkin, Aho (THAT Aho), Nichushkin, Tavares, Eichel, Duchene, Kane, Wheeler, Stone (holy Christ in heaven, I had no idea how good Michael's forwards were) and then Ekblad, Hanifin, Larsson, Suter and Weegar on the blueline deserves an all-star goalie. But those don't exactly grow on threes - will Michael make a big splash and acquire one?
Chicago Tigers
Previous: 13 Trend: 1
Lol, Sheets has a player called Jonny Brodzinski injured at 76% which totally sounds like a made up name or a name they'd casually mention in an episode of the Sopranos. I love it. Oh man, ok next Rankings are going to the naming Rankings, I can't hold back any longer. HEY BRODZINSKI? HOW'D THAT DATE GO? DID THE BROAD LIKE THOSE FLOWERS YOU GOT? OH!
Seattle Grunge
Previous: 15 Trend: 2
The Grunge are definitely on the rise after a disappointing star. They've gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and have ZERO injuries. Tell us your secret, Phil! Is it GRUNGE music? The Pacific Northwesty wintery rainy weather? AH, I know what it is. TOP POT DONUTS, the best donuts in the world. Has to be. If I was a professional hockey player in Seattle, I would quickly get cut from the team for gaining 35 pounds in 2 months due to my mostly-donut diet.
Boston Colonials
Previous: 10 Trend: 4
Boston's taken a bit of a tumble, and you can look no further than the injury to starting goaltender Scott Wedgewood. Few times could handle that and still be competitive, let alone having both your backups be tired. Wedgewood won't be back for another 34 days - an eternity in SICHL time, but I think the Colonials can still hold on, particularly with Timmy Stu lighting up the league. Still, I don't love their odds if Joel Hofer has to withstand the opposition for long.
Portland Buckaroos
Previous: 17 Trend: 2
Portland is like the Norsemen, Grunge, Tigers and Monarchs. Teams with great rosters, but just haven't found that consistent winning formula just yet. Daccord, their third string goalie, is out for 30 days with a fractured right foot. That sounds painful, but at least Portland has Carter Ha...you know, I just won't make any further comments on that. Demko should be a killer starter next year, at least!
Vancouver Island Norsemen
Previous: 18 Trend: 2
Matt beat me 4-0 and ruined my winning streak. Le boo! So, Power is out for another 8 days but I couldn't find his injury on the injuries page. Did I misspell his name? Is he so power-ful that he injured himself? I'm not sure what the deal is there, but his return should help the Norsemen stave off the Sun Devils and Huskies. A team with Sid, Adam Fox and Sorokin anchoring the forwards, defense and goaltending is too good not to make a run, methinks.
Okanagan Sun Devils
Previous: 21 Trend: 4
Holy moly, the Sun Devils are suddenly surging. They went 8-2 in their last 10 games, with John Carlson leading the way with 35 points from the blueline. Amazing! They also beat the Express and Monarchs in that stretch, so it's not as if they're just picking on the powder puffs. Their only significant injury is Tyler Johnson with a right wrist injury (....no comment) but he'll be back in 10 days. Still, every game is a scrap for the underdoggy Sun Devils, can they cope without him? Particularly since their upcoming schedule includes games against the Revolution, Norsemen, Buckaroos, Slammers and Millionaires? Oof, I say. Big oof.
Brno Barons
Previous: 19 Trend: 1
Brno has gone 5-6 in their last 11 games and losing Kevin Hayes for about a week won't help matters. Or will it? Sometimes the SIM is really weird about things like that. Hayes has had a respectable season so far, with 19 points in 37 games with only 8 PIMs so it's not like he's lighting the world on fire, but as we all know sometimes the lineups and their success are like a Jenga Tower - one block out of place and the whole thing comes crashing down.
Ottawa Slammers
Previous: 16 Trend: 3
Pat greatly exceeded expectations in the first dozen games, but has come back down to Earth a bit. Losing defenseman Simon Benoit (I don't even KNOW this player, but what a find. Undrafted, a 95 DF and 71 OV for 1.274 million for 3 years) is out for 23 days with a Right Eye Injury. Ouch! He's also down a backup goalie, Kevin Lankinen for 27 days with a Left Foot Injury. that's going to put a lot of pressure on Antti Raanta, who is a bit tuckered out, and the rest of the blueline. Still, at the end of the day, the Slammers are in a playoff position and I think if you'd asked Pat if he would be happy with that at the halfway point at the beginning of the year, he'd be satisfied.
Vancouver Vipers
Previous: 14 Trend: 6
Blech. Bryce's Vipers were on a bit of a roll before plummeting into a pothole of defeat. They've gone 2-8 in their last 10 games with a negative goal different of 16. What's the reason? I wish I could tell you, but I don't think it's injuries. Although, Robby Fabbri is out for 18 days and he has some useful ratings so maybe that's the cause? Some room for optimism, his upcoming schedule has him facing off against the Rex, Barons and Aces (among others) so there's some opportunity to right the ship. Go Bryce!
Whitehorse Huskies
Previous: 23 Trend: 2
Don's Huskies don't belong down here, but their record doesn't warrant put them any higher and, devastatingly, Nathan MacKinnon is out for 24 days with a Left Ankle Injury. Don's already got half a dozen lads riding the pine, so he's going to have to dig deep and put together a lineup that can start to gain points on the Slammers, Sun Devils and Steelhawks. A tall order, but I've seen Don do crazier things! Like give Tom tech support on Discord!
Regina Bisons
Previous: 22 Trend: --
The Bisons have a few blueliners that are banged up. They're not superstars, but Scott Harrington and Libor Hajek are useful in a pinch and it's not like Regina has a revolving door of quality d-men waiting to take their place. Still, Geoff has some really useful pieces of up front if he wants to make any more trades. I know he's not afraid to make a deal!
Stockholm Cougars
Previous: 28 Trend: 5
I wouldn't say Tom's gearing up for a playoff push or anything like that, but the Cougars went 5-4-1 in their last 10 games which is very respectable considering most teams around now are lucky to win 5 games in the calendar year. I kid, I kid! Just remember, I was a basement dweller for 5 years, I can kid. They beat the Grunge and only lost to the Grizzly Bears by 1 goal so I don't think Tom is as far away from being competitive as it may look at initial glance. He's also relatively healthy, the only unlucky fellow is Alexander Nylander with a Strained Back Injury. My brother in law has a strained back injury and let me tell you, it's no fun. Well, according to him, I'm having a blast but that's because I'm eating a blueberry muffin from Murchies. And toast. And tea. And grapes. Man, I love indulgent breakfasts. It's the only reason I go to the gym.
Jacksonville Gators
Previous: 24 Trend: --
Jacksonville must have built their arena on some ancient burial ground, because they are up there with the most injuries in the league, and the most starting players injured. Goaltender Jake Allen isn't back for another 9 days, and starters Stefan Noesen, Brendan Gallagher and Mason Appleton are all set to miss at least 7 games each. Still, I doubt the Gators had much hope for a playoff spot this season - they're firmly entrenched in the Gold Points race so we'll see what they can do when the heat is on! Make sure to check out the General Discussion channel for a spirited debate on the Gold Points system! I think we came to the conclusion that we all vote on who gets the number 1 pick and the winner there is Ryan! Ryan always wins fan votes though, he's such a cool dude.
Toronto Rex
Previous: 20 Trend: 5
The Rex aren't going down without a fight, but they're in for one hell of a brawl if they're going to leap over the Huskies and Sun Devils and Slammer for the final playoff spot. The good news is that they're almost fully healthy, with the lone broken man being Jonathan Drouin but he'll be back in a week. He should also re-rate nicely next year, don't you think? Toronto is building for the future - it's a long journey, but Taran seems to be on the right track. Didn't they win some generational talent recently?
Las Vegas Aces
Previous: 27 Trend: 1
Dusty is in sell mode, with the Insider letting the crowd know that Malkin, Toews, Kuznetsov and other are available. The Aces don't have a ton of draft picks, but it seems like they could easily remedy that with a few savvy trades and we all know Dusty isn't against making a deal. Hey, me first! They've suffered some brutal injuries as of late, as both their number 1 and 2 goaltenders are out. Knight for a week with exhaustion and Greiss for 19 days with a Right Forearm Injury. The Aces are almost certainly ready to get a firesale going, but how much further can they hobble on Mackenzie Blackwood's shoulders?
Reykjavik Riders
Previous: 25 Trend: 2
Not a ton of crazy injuries. Haydyn Fleury is out for a few weeks with a Bruised Left Leg Injury and I always find the descriptions of these injuries sort of funny. A Bruised Left Leg? Come on, I bruise my left leg every morning when I get out of bed, groggily making my way to the kitchen to make coffee. I swear, those walls come out of nowhere!
Calgary Mustangs
Previous: 26 Trend: 2
Calgary is REALLY banged up, but YountMatt is sort of a masochist so I don't blame him. Has anybody checked the tapes? Was it the GM himself who gave Jan Rutta a Bruised Left Foot (oh no, not AGAIN with the bruising!), or perhaps he was the one that Lacerated Marco Rossi's Right Calf? Ok that's a bit too violent for these jokey power rankings. But Marco Rossi IS out for 30 days which stinks. It's cool to see him progressing, I know Matt is keen on him. Hmm, I don't know Rossi was only 5"9. Let me tell you, as a fellow 5"9 man, it is not the ideal height for being competitive in sport.
Nova Scotia Schooners
Previous: 30 Trend: 1
The minute Eric asked me if I was interested in Tyler Bertuzzi, he gets injured for 35 days with a Broken Left Index Finger Injury. Is the SIM listening? Or is it payback for putting his lines in goon mode at all times?
Dublin Shamrocks
Previous: 29 Trend: 1
Hey, Dublin has his first round pick this year! Hooray! RYAN DO NOT TRADE THAT PICK. Otherwise I will be EMOTIONALLY injured!


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