Weeks 12, 13 & 14 - What's in a Name? Vol. 3

Probably the Power Rankings edition I look forward to the most. It's the name version! That's right, I'll be picking one (or two, or threeve) names from each roster that I think is the BEST. You won't find CRAIG SMITH, or MARTIN JONES here, I'm looking for the coolest sounding, the most badass, the quizzical, the perplexing, the hard-to-spell, the unique. Names like ANGUS CROOKSHANK, or NICK PERBIX. Are they a Dickensian villain looking to pinch your shillings? Or perhaps a lonely space dictator, lamenting his final failed conquest? What does any of this have to do with hockey, real or simulated? 

To that I say, shut up [insert GM name here]. Sit back, and enjoy the ride. Let's go!

Hamburg Gladiators
Previous: 2 Trend: 1
So, here's how the last three weeks went. If your team featured a fellow with a gladiatorial or spartanish helmet, you did quite well! The Gladiators are on a very surprising tear, as their dream season continues. They've gone 9-1 in their last 10 and even have weathered a few games without team MVP Charlie McAvoy. Plus everybody in the Discord has just been so supportive of me going number 1 that I had no other choice! I was tempted to go with the potential buddy cop duo of SHLAINE and SLAGGERT, but my best name has to be SHAMIL SHMAKOV, no? I hope one day that my announcer will go "GREAT SHHHAVE BY SHHHMAKOV!"
St. Louis Spartans
Previous: 8 Trend: 6
The Spartans have been climbing the standings at a terrifying rate. They've gone 8-02- in their last 10 games, one of 2 teams without a loss in regular in that time span (the Grunge being the other). They've got some lethal contributions up from from Clayton Keller and Anze Kopitar, but Jared McCann's 60 points in 52 games is just outstanding. Fleury has also been a workhorse in net, with 40 games play and sporting a 29-8-2 record. Yikes. The Revolution have their work cut out for them if they're going to make it back to the finals, it seems! Sean really does have a murderer's row of classic names (TOREY KRUG, DAKOTA MERMIS, KYLE CRISCULOLO just to name a few) and I'm super tempted to go with ROBERT ORR (the Center, naturally) but I think the winner is ZAKHAR BARDAKOV. Just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?
Fredericton Express
Previous: 6 Trend: 3
Why looky here! Our intrepid Commish's team is absolutely dominating. They've gone 8-1-1 in their last 10. They have the 2nd highest win percentage in the league. They score a ton, and don't give up much. Seems like a winning formula to me, especially considering they get Pierre-Luc-Dubois back in 8 days, and Chandler Stephenson shortly after that. Can you believe Mark picked first overall not too long ago? He must be channeling the awesome mightiness of the name ROCCO GRIMALDI. That sounds like a name I'd make up for a novel I'm never going to write!
Montréal Millionaires
Previous: 5 Trend: 1
We're not quite getting into playoff predictions, or races to the top of the conference territory or those types of prognostications, but let's be real - when the season ends, Montreal is going to claim one of the top spots in the Canadian Conference. Looking to avenge the cruelty of the SIM's injury plague last season, Kaz had made some shrewd deals to buffer his team's chances of making it far in the playoffs. Due to the experience factor, could we see Markstrom replace Gustavsson in the playoffs? Is the Montreal Master done dealing? I can't wait to find out, especially with him and the Schooners' GM joining myself and the Sun Devils GM for my 40th birthday celebrations in a few weeks. Super tempting to give his ultimate name to TYLER WALL since he's a goalie, but he's got some stiff competition with another goaltender prospect in the system in VEINI VEHVILAINEN. Try saying that three times fast! I just did and it sounded like I was trying to say the video game "VVVVVV" (it's a good one! try it out!)
Havana Revolution
Previous: 1 Trend: 4
Oh boo hoo, poor Havana was number 1 forever AND cup champs but they've hit a "skid" where they've only gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and have given up the fewest amount of goals in the entire league. Whatever will Jeff do? Drown his sorrows with a delicious tequila drink while gazing out at some impossibly beautiful foreign sunset? We all empathize Jeff, we really do. The Revolution are just biding their time before they pounce into champion mode and I, for one, do not like it. No sir, not one bit. I do, however, LOVE the name SHELDON REMPAL. Mostly because I didn't know anybody named SHELDON played hockey. Wait a minute, goddamnit. Jeff has CAMERON CROTTY. Sorry SHELDON, that's the winner. You can't have a name like CAMERON CROTTY and it not win the Power Rankings naming competition. We should really have a bracket/tournament poll on Discord for all these terrific name.s There are just too many. Just scanning Jeff's list, he's got RADOVAN BONDRA, and MATHIAS FROM. FROM WHAT??? FROM HELL??? Sorry I am going crazy. Tea time.
Acadia Grizzly Bears
Previous: 10 Trend: 4
Put some respect on the Grizzly Bears! Much like their namesake, the Bears are terrifying and I would not like to meet them in real life. They've gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and have their feet firmly under the table, to quote a line in the play I'm currently in (Murder Weekend!!!). They're very comfortably in a playoff spot...well actually hang on, they're 9 points up on 9th and Doug and Bryce are suddenly surging. See this is why the Power Rankings make no sense, I'm already seeing some issues with the placements I've set in. To use another quote from the grumpy army dude from the classic war movie "Gallipoli" WELL YOU CAN'T ALL BE BLOODY RISING IN THE STANDINGS! We all know Guy is an excellent drafter of hockey talent, but did you know he also curates a stellar stable of names? This was a really tough pick, but I'm going to go with ALEX BUMP. Hehehe, I'm so mature. He's a LW so maybe he plays the bumper position on the power play? Does he get bumped up to the 2nd line ever? Tee hee.
Banff Rockies
Previous: 3 Trend: 4
Honestly I could put the Rockies number 1 or number 10 and both would make sense. The Rockies easily have one of the best rosters on paper (screen?) but they're banged up on the blueline with K'ANDRE MILLER and DAVID SAVARD both out for a few weeks. I capitalized their names not because they're up for the name award, but I have gotten used to using caps for all player names and I figured, why not keep going? I didn't capitalize Willy Wonky or Arthur Slugworth's name in the below entry however, so I guess those are the current rules. Kind of reminds me how in Final Fantasy 6 the names would default capitalized to really let you know whomst was speaking. Looking at the names at the top of Banff's assets page, you wonder how they lose any games at all, incredible! BOBBY BRINK is a very strong candidate, but I think I have to go with C.J. SUESS only because that seems mega appropriate for this particular Power Rankings.
Edmonton Supersonics
Previous: 7 Trend: 1
See this is why the Rankings are dumb. Mike's gone 7-3 in his last 10 games and holding his own in the very snobby Canadian Conference yet he DROPS one spot. Figure that out! Well this is mostly due to Nikolaj (it's pronounced Nikolaj!) Ehlers and Tom Wilson being out for a couple of weeks. Honestly when I'm biting my nails and sweating trying to figure out which team to put where, sometimes obvious, impactful injuries like this are are Godsend. More importantly, how is Mike doing on the naming front? Well, he's got an amazing trio of forwards in GARDNER, GRUNDSTROM and GOODROW which sort of sounds like the law firm that represents Willy Wonka's nemesis Arthur Slugworth, but I'm partial to forward prospect HAKON HANELT which looks like somebody made two typos and forgot to spell check.
Philadelphia Fire Ants
Previous: 4 Trend: 5
No injuries, but the Fire Ants have come back down to Earth as of late. They've gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, though they still find themselves 10 points up on Boston for a playoff spot. I can't see them dipping THAT far, but I can definitely see Boston or Portland turning it on, all of a sudden. Hey, those teams also have 4-5-1 records in their last 10 games. Neat! I wanted to put a Star Trek: DS9 name here, but that goes against my self-inflicted rules so I will go with defensemen RADIM SIMEK, which absolutely sounds like somebody who Quark and Dr. Bashir would be gossiping about on the promenade.
London Monarchs
Previous: 13 Trend: 3
There we go, the Monarchs have shaken off some mid-season rust and are in the midst of an 8-1-1 streak. They have a stellar plus 39 goal differential led by Sebastian Aho, with 61 points in 49 games, among the best in the league. Fantastic. They also have 9 players in double digits for goals. Goaltending is holding them back a bit, but apparently if you're Mike and the Supersonics, you don't even need much goaltending. Just fire the puck as much as you can and it can work! (Don't listen to me SWAYMAN, you rock!) I can't help but laugh at the name JOSHUA NODLER. There's no way that guy didn't get picked on as a kid for that last name. Or maybe it was a cool moniker! HEY BILL, LOOK WHO'S HERE! IT'S THE NODLER!!!
Seattle Grunge
Previous: 15 Trend: 4
NOW the Grunge are really playing like they should, which scares me. They've gone 9-0-1 in their last 10 games, sport a plus 42 goal differential and have the league's best power play at 27.50%. With Seattle pretty much guaranteed to get at least one power play goal per game, you better hope your PK is up to it and you're a disciplined hockey team. Way to go, Phil! Look, I know I should scan every name on every roster for the best name, but sometimes I just stop and laugh. How can you not love a name like BUDDY ROBINSON? That's his actual name!! Hahahah, the best part is if you look at the player profile picture, that guy does NOT look like anybody's buddy. Maybe it's a sarcastic name.
Chicago Tigers
Previous: 16 Trend: 4
A great run from Sheetal. He lost 4 games, sure, but 3 were in extra time and he's only had 1 loss in regulation in his last 10 and there aren't too many teams that can make that claim. He can't get too comfortable, as Boston and Portland are peeking around the corner and want in on the playoffs. Sheetal has done a great job coaching these young men, as the Tigers have the 2nd fewest penalty minutes in the league, averaging just under 7 PIMs a game. Wait, if THAT's among the lowest in the league...are we just a collection of goons on ice? I'm getting a little woozy from the no-tea (why haven't I gotten tea yet? I also want a cinnamon bun from Fern Cafe, Ryan B have you had one yet? Can you go get me one please?), but even in my slightly delirious state, I know Sheetal has one hell of a player name in ALFONS MALMSTROM. Badass!
Vancouver Island Norsemen
Previous: 9 Trend: 4
And here's where we get to the messy middle. Or was it mushy middle? I am feeling mushy in the middle right now, but that could be the giant cinnamon bun I am dreaming about. The Norsemen are in the playoffs for now, but they're only 4 points up on the Huskies...but they do have 3 games in hand. Ug, this is tough. I have no idea what I'm doing and this is like the 130th time I've done the Power Rankings. Younger, more foolish Henry was much smarter at not giving a crap and just going into the breach. So I will try to emulate him and just say Matt's Norsemen are at spot number 13 because I say so! I also say that DOMINIK BOKK is Matt's best name. Because I say so! Although goaltending prospect NIKITIA QUAPP is dangerously close to usurping that title.
Hamilton Steelhawks
Previous: 11 Trend: 3
Chris is having some mid-season mushy middle issues, much like Matt is. He's certainly not doing badly, far from it - my goodness, just remember where the Steelhawks were last season! They've gone 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and are a bit banged up with no room for wiggling. They're at 59 points, but the Huskies are at 58 and it's not impossible that the suddenly surging Vipers or stubborn Sun Devils could go on a run. Keep your eyes in the rearview mirror, Chris! Tempted to go with ADAM KLAPKA, mostly because it sounds like a character from David Abercrombie's fantasy series the First Law that Old Matt and I love - INQUISITOR GLOKTA. But I'm going to go with JARID LUKOSEVICIUS, which also sounds like a name that would belong in that world. Go read it, it's fantastic!
Ottawa Slammers
Previous: 17 Trend: 2
Just when I thought Pat was down and out, they go on a 7-3 spree and are BACK in the playoffs baby! YES! THIS Ottawa team doesn't have any quit in it. They're currently tied with Don in points with 58, but have 4 games in hand. And they'll need every single one. What a dogfight we're seeing emerge in the Canadian Conference, I love to see it! Having Calle Jarnkrok out for 21 days won't help matters, but Pat is a mad scientist in this regard - he'll switch things around and make it work. Will he make a trade to bolster his lineup or just be content with his current hand? I never know what he's going to do, but I do know that JOONA LUOTO sounds like a name you'd find in Star Wars, so that's the name I'm picking. Special mention to J.C. BEAUDIN, which is a hockey name unlike I've ever heard before.
Whitehorse Huskies
Previous: 18 Trend: 2
Some teams can get away with passable to poor goaltending and still compete, but Don apparently is not one of those teams. Just LOOK at his top forwards and defense. Their power play next year will be clicking around at about 60% I'd wager. The Huskies refuse to go quietly into the night, going 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and are technically tied with Pat's Slammers for the final playoff spot...but the Slammers have 4 games in hand. The legend from Whitehorse/interior BC has some work to do. Maybe that vacation he's on will result in some new strategies? He can't possibly draft anymore goalies, he has FIFTEEN in the system currently, none have a better name than TALYN BOYKO, however!
Vancouver Vipers
Previous: 21 Trend: 4
Where did this Vipers team come from? Only 1 team in the entire Canadian Conference has as good a record as them in the last 10 games, and that would be the conference leading Fredericton Express. When you're emulating Mark's team this year, you're doing something right. The Vipers have an absolutely deadly powerplay, ranking 2nd in the league at 25.15% and have a pretty solid PK to boot. Awesome! I can't say they'll make the playoffs, but they're sure making other teams look over their shoulder with worry. What they shouldn't worry about is Bryce's player COLBY AMBROSIO..wait, no sorry. I have to go with CALLE CLANG since he's a goalie and his last name sounds like a puck has CLANGED off the post or something.
Brno Barons
Previous: 20 Trend: 2
Out of all the teams that get screwed in this Power Rankings, it's probably Brno. Hey, if they had a warrior or Viking type helmet then maybe they would be number 3 alongside myself and Sean, but a top hat is not very intimidating on its own. The rest (the monocle, sneer, blood red scarf, etc.) are fantastic. But this isn't a rankings of logos (and why hasn't THAT been a thing yet?) Brno has climbed out of a mid-season hole and find themselves IN A PLAYOFF SPOT. Holy crud! I never thought I would see the day. Well, that's not true, the SIM is fickle and things happen in hockey. Brno has gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and I don't even need to look at who is getting points for the Barons, because all that matters is Juuse Saros. Sporting a stellar 2.75 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage, he is everything to this team. He's already played 44 games, but his backups (Korpisalo, Skinner and Delia) have substituted admirably in the rare game that he needs off. And I have to give his best name to GAGE GONCALVES.
Boston Colonials
Previous: 12 Trend: 7
Gary has been on quite a journey this season. Boston stormed out of the gate, kicked their enemies out of the fort and then sort of forgot what to do after that. They've gone 4-5-1 in their last 10, but the biggest move lately is the trade with Toronto, snagging ADIN HILL in the process! Gary is also evidently running up that hill, losing some weight lately and improving his diet and exercise in the process. For that, he should be number 1 in the rankings. Way to go, Gary! My favorite name for the Colonials has to be JET GREAVES, a 21 year old goalie who is rated 53 but it doesn't matter. When your name would fit like a glove in the Mega Man universe, you win the name competition.
Portland Buckaroos
Previous: 14 Trend: 6
Next year, the Buckaroos are going to win 70 games. For now, they're sort of stuck where they are, since the SIM doesn't seem to like Thatcher Demko very much. Still, Portland has a future AND may make the playoffs. They're 7 points behind Brno for the final spot, but we've all seen Portland go on a run and I wouldn't doubt JD or JT (Miller) for a second. Losing GHOST BEAR for 17 days can't help matters, but it could be worse! JD could lose TYSON JUGNAUTH and I wouldn't know who else to put as his name.
Okanagan Sun Devils
Previous: 19 Trend: 2
Ok we're starting to exit the mushy middle and get into the "good job, guys! you're doing great! keep it up!" realm. The Sun Devils aren't packing it in just yet, they've gone 5-4-1 and JOHN CARLSON is playing out of his mind, with 45 points to lead the team and hopefully will mentor young PAVEL MINTYUKOV next season. I like how Ryan's building from the net out! But what about the names, Henry! NAME NAMES! Well you could always go with the North-West Mounted Police legend, SAM STEEL but really, is there a better name than JOEL L'ESPERANCE? Not many players can boast a name that would belong on a bottle of cologne or perfume.
Las Vegas Aces
Previous: 24 Trend: 2
Hold the phone! The Aces don't have just one draft pick in the upcoming draft, but TWO draft picks. And they're both in the first round! Hoo boy, Dusty must be dancing a happy jig! The Aces went 4-6 in their last 10 and when you get 4 wins in 10 games, you're pretty much top of the basement heap. The Aces still have a ton of tradeable assets, thought I imagine some cash may have to go the other team's way if Toews or Malkin were to be traded (hint hint, Dusty I need a C!). Hahah ok I'm sorry this name rules. BILLY SWEEZEY. YES. Love it, BRING THE WIND OF VICTORY, SWEEZEY!
Calgary Mustangs
Previous: 29 Trend: 6
Young Matt (this isn't going to stick for me, especially since Old Matt is only one year older than me. Or two years? In my old age, I've forgotten) is at the helm of a rebuilding Mustangs squad, and it seems to be working! They are not a good hockey club, going 1-9 in their last 10 games. Buuut, (not Ryan B's But) they hae an acquired a LOT of draft picks, including 3 1st rounders in the upcoming draft, 2 2nd rounders and 4 4th rounders. Hey, that's neat! Leo Carlsson will be a studly stud for them for quite a while and he'll be ready to go next year, it seems. I know what you're all thinking, yes yes that's all well and good Matt is rebuilding the right way, but what about LEO LOOF? Well, he's only 20 so hopefully there is still time for him to develop into a bonafide SICHL blue-liner.
Stockholm Cougars
Previous: 22 Trend: 2
There's no rhyme or reason for me saying this, but the Power Rankings would get done on time AND in quicker fashion if YouTube didn't exist. I am getting so distracted by all these various awesome names that I keep looking up various Star Wars and Star Trek clips. Or how SAM STEEL reminded me that all the Canadian Heritage Moments are on YouTube. Do our American GMs know of the Canadian Heritage Moments? God they're so awesome, I will never get tired of watching them. Some are silly, some are timeless. BUT I NEED THESE BASKETS BACK! Anyway, onto the Cougars. They went 2-7-1 in their last 10 and it appears that Stockholm is headed for another Gold Points race this season. Darn! It's always more fun when Tom is in the playoff race, but at least he'll be in A race so I can cheer him on. He's also got AKIRA SCHMID, which is a terrific name for many reasons.
Toronto Rex
Previous: 23 Trend: 2
The Rex are hungry to make deals, it seems! Taran has been heavily involved in the transactions page, this year in particular. GMs, make sure to take note! Taran is on his way to building a stellar team in the future and I have a feeling he's not done on the trading front. He also still has enough weapons to pack a punch in the Gold Points race, making them one of the more intriguing teams to watch. Another intriguing reason to watch the Toronto Rex is their defenseman MONTANA ONYEBUCHI. No, that's not a spelling error. What a cool name, I've never even heard of him!
Regina Bisons
Previous: 26 Trend: --
Regina also is prepping for a Gold Points run. They went 2-7-1 in their last 10 games, but unlike the Rex they've been mega quiet on the trade front. They're not afraid to make a deal, I can attest to that, so will we see Geoff make some soon? Does he part ways with GUSTAV NYQUIST or OLIVER BJORKSTRAND, or MARCUS FOLIGNO? All would make good complimentary pieces on a competitive team, or does he hang onto them and make a rush for the Gold? Let's find out, together! Some stellar names on here, like CHRISTIAN KASASTUL, or JIMMY SNUGGERUD, but the nod goes to JAYDEN HALBGEWACHS which sort of sounds like a failed attempt at stifling a sneeze.
Jacksonville Gators
Previous: 25 Trend: 2
The Gators made one trade this year, for COLE SMITH and CHASE WOUTERS, saying adieu to CARTER SAVOIE and ALEX GOLIGOSKI. A few of those are possibly worthy of the ultimate name, would it not be for JAXSON STAUBER. A lot of goalies on these ultimate names list, I suppose it goes with the territory of being an absolute madman for wanting to get in the way of pucks shot at 90 miles an hour.
Nova Scotia Schooners
Previous: 30 Trend: 2
As Jerry yelled at Newman when he tried to cheat at risk, I SEE YOU ERIC, I SEE YOU! The plan is obvious, but it's also working. Eric has a legion waiting in the wings to pounce on those precious gold points, but in the meantime he will wisely bide his time and relish the fact that he has NAVRIN MUTTER on his team.
Dublin Shamrocks
Previous: 28 Trend: 1
Dublin's got 99 players and a playoff spot 'aint one! That sounded better in my head than it looks typed out, but bear with me. I still don't have tea or a cinnamon bun. I'm going on the "python" diet since I'm in a show currently, which basically means I never eat until I do and when I do, it's an unhealthy amount. Naps are crucial. So is finishing the Power Rankings, get on with it, HENRY SKEY. Dublin may not be winning much lately, but it's always ANOTHER WIN FOR MILOS KELEMEN!!!...I seem to be on a Seinfeld kick.
Reykjavik Riders
Previous: 27 Trend: 3
One time we watched Wrestlemania as a group. I brought my giant whiteboard and we all placed bets on the matches. I think there were 10 or 11, and our good friend Mark Smith literally went 0-10. We tried to tell him that's JUST as impressive as going 10-0, like that's hard to do. He didn't see it that way, but Syl should! Going 0-10 is hard to do, especially when you're competing with fellow swamp dwellers like the Schooners and Shamrocks. But I know Syl is smiling, because he has OZZY WIESBLATT on his squad. Thanks for reading everybody! NAMES ARE AWESOME!!!


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