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CowboyinAmerica last won the day on July 29 2018

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About CowboyinAmerica

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    Lance Flowers

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  1. This week, is highlighting a number of players who could one day make the Hall of Fame. And while anything can happen in the back half of a career, there's one player that won't have many (if any) other articles written about him this week: defenseman Lance Flowers. Following a Season 68 rookie year that saw him take home both Stolzschwieger (ROY) and Wylde (Defensive Defenseman) trophies, Flowers' second and third seasons have been extraordinarily quiet. While his points and plus/minus are up ever so slightly from last season, and his penalty minutes are down, it's clear that what was once viewed as a star trajectory has come crashing back down to earth. So what does Flowers need to do in the next couple of seasons to even have a sniff of the Hall of Fame? It's a lot, but here's a start. Be a consistent first line performer. It makes sense that McWolf took the primary defenseman minutes this year, but when Flowers has a chance to shine, he needs to take advantage. Lean into his offensive game. Checking has always been his style, but sub-50 point totals are non-starters. He needs to get the assist numbers going, stat. A deep playoff run. If you don't have top numbers, you better win some championships. If the season ended today, the Americans would finish sixth in the VHL and out of the playoffs. That's not good. Pray. So much of what makes a player good comes down to luck. The CIA agency had it with Wingate and McAllister. They haven't with Flowers. But there's always time to turn that ship around.
  2. I think so, especially with the last two Cups. I do wish there were more HOF defensemen in general though.
  3. 1) After going on quite the tear, we now sit 5th in the league and 3rd in the conference, only five points out from Calgary. Do you think we can catch them? Who knows. I think there would be some interesting conversations in the league office if we were to finish sixth in the VHL and miss the playoffs though. 2) After playing our last match against Davos, our series against them comes out to 2-4-0, which may call for a resounding "what happened"? I propose that there are some shady Davos back room dealings that kept us from winning. It's all about the deep state, man. 3) This is the second consecutive season where we've struggled through the first half of the season and pulled it together for the second. Why do we wait to put on the gas? It's a good question, and one I wish we had the answer for. I think it just takes us more time to figure out lines, apparently. 4) Many veteran players (our @McWolf included) have recreated for the next draft class. Who are you most excited to see in the next few season? The honest answer is none of the veterans at all. I always like to see who the new blood coming in will be, and I hope there's a lot of them to be excited for. 5) If you had to recreate right now, who would your next player be? Probably back to offense, a goal scorer. I like to hop around with my player types, but I did like that one with McAllister. 6) Who's the scariest team to play against? A team where you have everything to lose and nothing to gain. So yeah, Davos.
  4. There’s an interesting trend with Hall of Famers that I’m not sure many people have noticed - defensemen are getting shut out. In the past ten Hall of Fame classes, just two defensemen, Mats Johnsson and Ay Ay Ron, have made it in. That’s compared to three goalies, four wingers, and four centers over that same time span. Not a single defenseman created after the S57 draft class has made it in yet, and the topper, just three defensemen created after S50 (Ron, Johnsson and Fabio Jokinen) have made the HOF. It’s a dry spell, but yet, there are some potential entrants still playing in the VHL. Here’s a quick peek at who I think might have a reasonable chance if being evaluated today. S62 Maxim Kovalchuk - Retired He would have had a strong case anyway, given his five trophies that present an all-around game (one Labatte, one Valiq, two Wylde, and a Beketov for most assists). What will likely put him over the top, though, is the Bears back-to-back titles in his final two seasons, even after a switch to the forward spot. The S68 playoffs was definitely his stronger output, with 17 points in 14 games to help lead the Bears to a title, but both taken in tandem paint the portrait of a player who was able to be on top his entire career and across positions. I wouldn’t be surprised to him pick up HOF votes this very next offseason and be remembered primarily as a defenseman. S65 Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen - Moscow Menace The winner of the past two Labattes is an easy mention for this honor, especially given his offensive prowess and the possibility of passing 80 points for the third straight season. He may not have the hit totals of other defensemen, but he’s done just about everything else perfectly, including extremely high plus/minus totals in the past two seasons. Having both the offensive Valiq (he should win again this season) and defensive Wylde trophies helps his case as well, showing that he’s a well-rounded player. Werbenjagermanjensen also has the issue of not having a Cup quite yet, but he has a good chance this year with Moscow, plus two more seasons to play with. S63 Joseph McWolf - New York Americans McWolf should have an interesting case. The counting stats are certainly there - more than 60 points, 200 hits and 100 SBs every season of his career, five straight (potentially six) playoff appearances, often the top defender on Cup-contending teams. But most HOF defensemen have one of two things to fall back on: Cups, or lots of individual trophies. McWolf has a few of the latter, as his two Labattes and a Valiq have him at least on par with Johnsson. But having no title hurts, and he’ll need a miracle Americans run to break that in his final season. S62 Shawn Glade - Retired Glade presents an intriguing opposite case - he never really had the stats, falling just short of top defenseman trophies despite three straight seasons above 70 points (S65-S67) due to the Kovulchuks and McWolfs of the world. But he had the championship pedigree - three titles with three teams, in fact, something that has rarely been done in VHL history. He was a key contributor on all of those teams as well. Ultimately, I don’t think he’ll have the counting stats by only playing six seasons, but think he’s worth a mention given the playoff prowess.
  5. 1. We've started in the middle of the pack but are leading the Low Division. Where can we improve to make sure we maintain that lead? I forgot we were called the Low Division. That's funny. My suggestion is that we not be a third year expansion team or a rebuilding squad, and we should be fine. 2. Whose start has been more surprising so far: Seattle or Toronto? Seattle, has to be. Everyone expected an actual challenge at the title, not whatever this is. 3. Is Joseph McWolf gonna finish with more hits or more PIMs this season? It's going to be hits, but man, those penalty minutes aren't good, are they? 4. Who has been the biggest key to the team so far this season? The refs. Seems like they've singlehandedly decided a lot of our games, so I've decided to pump up their feelings a bit. 5. We have the second most PIMs in the league and the third worst PK%. What can we do to improve those numbers? Well, I think we should play more defenseman Lance Flowers. Because if you notice, he is not in the top ten most penalty minutes, and thus is obviously not penalty prone whatsoever. 6. Who has been the unsung hero of the team so far this season? For probably my only serious answer, it's really nice to see Wilcox start out as hot as he has. A lot of preseason pub went to Forest and Jansen and Ylonen, understandably, but he's been a real star that has kept us in early games.
  6. 85 Prague Phantoms @ Helsinki Titans 86 Calgary Wranglers @ HC Davos Dynamo 87 Riga Reign @ New York Americans 88 Malmo Nighthawks @ D.C. Dragons
  7. I agree, it'd be more fun that way. D - Lance Flowers @Enorama