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scoop last won the day on June 30 2017

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  1. The Malmo Nighthawks are not the team they were last season. A year ago, they led the regular season in goals with 314. This year, although most of the crew returned, they had 252. This put them in a tie for 8th. The team still finished second in the conference on the strength of their defensive efforts. They allowed the second-fewest goals in the league and boasted the best penalty kill unit. That defense of theirs has come into play early in there conference semi-final series against the Warsaw Predators. Game 1 started strong with two goals within the first ten minutes from a somewhat unlikely source in Jakob Sosa. Warsaw was able to tie the game up, but Malmo added another two in the third period to win it 4-2. The Nighthawks outshot the Predators 48 to 24 in the game. Game 2 saw another surprise leader for the Malmo offense, as Druss Deathwalker scored the first two goals for the Nighthawks before regular season leader Brendan Telker notched his first of the post-season. The Predators managed just one goal on 27 shots. Through two games, Malmo has 7 goals in the series, with Gunnar Odinsson and Telker each only scoring once and Muffbeav having zero. This is in stark contrast to the regular season, when these three combined for 122 goals, or 48.4% of the Nighthawks' total. If their secondary and tertiary scorers can remain locked in when the leading trio inevitably get going, the Nighthawks could potentially make a deep run in the playoffs. Still, just two games against Warsaw is nothing to get too excited about, but it is definitely a promising start.
  2. https://anchor.fm/scoop192/episodes/Conference-Semi-Finals-Preview-e19j9vi Focus on the Vancouver/Los Angeles matchup for reasons that definitely do not indicate laziness. Or do. I said the wrong team name at one point (on purpose, of course; or maybe on accident). See if you can find it!
  3. 1. We have four more games until the playoffs! What is our greatest strength and our greatest weakness as a team going into the postseason? We've struggled to score consistently, so I'd put that as a weakness actually, at least relative to other playoff teams. The only playoff team with fewer goals scored than us is Davos, and they just got knocked out in the play-in round. We did have the best penalty kill in the regular season, as well as the second-fewest goals against and fourth fewest shots against. We've done a good job keeping opposing offenses from getting scoring opportunities. Given that our offense is certainly capable of putting up big numbers, hopefully we can keep the same defensive intensity while our scorers get hot in the post-season. 2. We have 2nd seed in the conference locked up but 3rd-6th are all separated by three points. Out of Davos, Warsaw, Prague and Riga, who do you think makes the 3rd seed to play us and who do you this misses the cut at the 6th seed? I had been thinking it would be Davos at three and Warsaw missing out. The Predators traded away some of their better players at the deadline, but they hung in there still and actually ended up with the 3rd seed. 3. What are your expectations for the Nighthawks as defending champions once the playoffs start? Can we make it past Moscow and Vancouver to repeat? We certainly can, but just trying to be realistic about it, the way the season has gone, I'm not positive we even make it past Warsaw, even though they're probably the worst playoff team in the conference. Considering the team is mostly the same from our dominant performance last season, I don't see why we couldn't be a team to make those upsets, though. 4. How have you felt the locker room atmosphere has been this season? Any ideas to have some more fun in there as a team? Unfortunately I haven't really been able to be around in the locker room as much as I was during my rookie season. I have been very busy with work the last couple months, and that'll probably continue for a while. 5. Druss Deathwalker needs 11 PIM to surpass Jerry Garcia for third on Malmo's all-time list. Will he get there by season's end? Given that I'm answering this after the end of the regular season, I know the answer. So I'll pretend I don't know and guess that yes, he will. I wouldn't just approached it from a mathematical standpoint, and at that time, he was averating 2.93 PIMs per game. With four games left, that comes out to 11 or 12 more penalty minutes. But he only had six penalty minutes in those final games, so the record will have to wait until next season. 6. Who will score Malmo's first goal of the S80 post-season? Brendan Telker led the team in both goals scored and shots in the regular season, so I'm just going to play the odds and go with him.
  4. I didn't realize that VHL.com graphics got grades. I'll have to check if my other masterpieces were reviewed
  5. The Malmo Nighthawks have not been nearly the team they were last season, but they have secured the second seed in the European Conference. They have struggled this season against teams of all calibers, but they recently went on a six-game winning streak against teams that were at least in the playoff race. Of the four games that remain on their schedule, three of them have potential playoff implications. The European Conference is very tight from third to sixth place. Third-place Davos, against whom the Nighthawks have one more game, currently have 75 points, followed by Warsaw with 74, Prague with 73, and Riga with 72. Malmo also plays Prague two times. Although these games do not mean much to the Nighthawks, Davos and Prague will be playing hard. Malmo will likely not take it easy themselves, as injuries do not exist in this universe, so there is no reason for them not to. The Nighthawks did recently win against Moscow, the top seed in the conference, so a trip back to the finals is not impossible for them. Before they would potentially get that shot against the Menace, they'll have to go through a team such as Davos or Prague, so beating them in these crucial games would be a boost to their confidence going into the playoffs.
  6. 1. It’s trade deadline day! What moves would you be looking at if you were GM of Malmo? I definitely wouldn't look to trade any first round picks to improve the team. I hate the thought of it, but the best idea might be trying to get a younger forward for either Gunnar Odinsson or Muffbeav, unless they are looking to re-sign. I mean, I hate to say this kind of thing, but you asked the question. I don't know Odinsson's intentions, but if Los Angeles were willing to part with AJ Williams, I'd be listening. 2. Last season we breezed through the regular season. This time around we’ve struggled a bit more. Have you had trouble keeping your confidence up during times where we haven’t played as well as we hoped? Definitely. I don't feel like I've personally improved as much as I had hoped, and the team obviously took a step back. With some of the games we've played, losing to backup goalies and last place teams, I'm actually surprised we are where we are in the standings. Still, the core from last year is all still here, so I know we are capable. 3. Riga and Los Angeles are only a few points out of playoffs in their respective conferences. Which of those teams do you think has the best chance to make the post-season? That's a tough one. Based on the current standings, it would look like Los Angeles has a better chance. They're down five points, but they have three games in hand, and it's basically two teams fighting for the one spot. For Riga, they are eight points back and have another team tied with them for sixth as well. But I think Riga is clearly a better team than London and Warsaw, especially with the Predators trading away Lamb and Grachev. The Reign have a relatively easy schedule, with a lot of Seattle, Toronto, and Helsinki left. Warsaw has a tough enough schedule that they should lose enough to allow Riga to climb back. I do think LA still has a shot at the playoffs for sure, but I think they are in a real fight. I think Riga will have things wrapped up before the season is over. 4. If you had the choice to rebrand the Nighthawks, what colours would you choose as our primary and secondary? Or would you even bother to change anything? I actually don't typically like this sort of chartreuse green color, but I think it really works. Malmo has colors that are unique to them, so I honestly would not even give it a thought to re-colour the team. 5. Jeffrey Pines recently retired from the VHL. What do you have to say about the greatest player the league has ever seen? I would say what does Jeffrey Pines have to do with Thomas O'Malley? 6. Have you read any good books lately? I kinda want some recommendations. The last book I read was Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. I don't read much, but I've read enough of his books to know he's my favorite author, at least. If you want a book recommendation, I would just say my favorite book of his and my favorite book altogether, Lullaby.
  7. For a very brief moment in time, Justin Rushmore had promise. Coming from a family of athletes, he and his two brothers, Derek and Ian, all took their talents to different sports, but none of them were dedicated enough to put in the effort to make a career of it. After flopping when they all went their separate ways, they came back together for a joint venture which has found more success: Rushmore Games, a hobby gaming store located in their hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We've caught up with the failed VHL prospect to learn more about how it all got started. "My brothers and I have always been competitive growing up, and that was definitely not limited to sports. In fact, since we all favored different sports, it was gaming that really brought us together. When we could find the time, we liked to go out to various board game meetups. It was a great way to meet new people and learn about new games. Hobby board gaming has been on the rise, and we had often discussed potentially starting up a business when our sports careers ended. That happened sooner than we had anticipated, though maybe that's because this is really what we had our hearts and minds set on doing." Rushmore Games, which opened just under two years ago, has seen a good bit of success. A popular destination for local gaming enthusiasts, there is a focus on community in the store. With special events most days of the week, including a weekly game demonstration in which the brothers teach a new featured game to their patrons, the aim is to bring people together and promote the hobby as a whole. They encourage public meetups just like those that they went to during their younger days, having a wide assortment of demo games that anyone is free to sit down and play. Recently, the store has branched out beyond just table top games with a dedicated section for video gaming, hosting tournaments now several days a week. While they do not run the tournaments themselves, they allow independent tournament organizers to utilize the space. This idea was brought to them by a frequent customer after they started adding some gaming setups, and they immediately took to it. "It seemed natural to us to add in some video gaming to the store. There is a lot of overlap in the communities. We did have it in mind to possibly host a tournament every once in a while, but we weren't planning anything in the immediately future when we had someone ask if they could host a Smash Bros. tournament in the store. It worked out very well for all parties, and it became a weekly occurrence. Honestly, the whole thing has been a dream come true. I don't doubt that I could have made a career out of hockey, but I didn't have the drive. I am someone who likes to put my all into whatever I do, and I just didn't love hockey enough to dedicate as much time to it as I would have needed to. I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out." 537 words
  8. Hey, remember that time when New York traded two first round picks to get two very good players? Playoff team, am I right? Okay, yeah I thought they would be better than they have been. I still expected Calgary to be a good team, but I thought New York would comfortably make the playoffs. They are far from being in a comfortable position right now. They are a point ahead of Los Angeles for fifth place, but the Stars have two games in hand, giving them a better point percentage. The Wranglers, who acquired those two first round picks, are looking like a lock for playoffs. Calgary has a 33-15-5 record, which is fourth in the league. Making a deep run in the playoffs will be a struggle for them, with Vancouver and Chicago looking like the two best teams in the league. They'll almost definitely have to go through both of these teams in the playoffs. Could Luke Thornton and/or Cowboy Prout be the difference between the Wranglers and those teams above them? I have no idea. Regardless, I think they definitely got the better of the trade. Calgary is set for now and for the future, and New York made a trade that they shouldn't have. They shouldn't have traded for Phoenix Dawson last season either. I will stand by these opinions and I have reached the required word count for TPE.
  9. 1. Do you think we have a shot at the cup this year? If so, how big are our chances? I do, but my confidence is no where near where I thought it would be at the beginning of the season. I feel pretty good about our chances of getting to the conference semi-finals, but Moscow will definitely be favored. And if we manage to get past them, we'll likely be underdogs in the finals as well. I'd rank us as 4th in odds of winning it all. 2. With Hylands leaving at the end of the year, what gift would you bring for him to his farewell party? What better thing to bring him than the Continental Cup? 3. Can Tretiak push to the top 4-5 goalies in wins by the end of the year given he has more games to catch up with? I think he can, but we don't exactly have an easy schedule left. The top three I think are pretty much going to stay where they are, and if we can pull it together as a team against the teams in the middle of the pack, then he can. We don't play many games against teams ahead of us in the standings, but we don't play against those at the bottom either. 4. Do you like the vhle in terms of bringing opportunities to newer players? I suppose. It allows newer players to make an impact in the VHLM by getting some of the would-be stars up to the VHLE. Meanwhile, given that the TPE range is relatively small in the VHLE, even the lower end of players there can have much more of an impact than the upper end of players would have in the VHL if they didn't have the E to play in. 5. What team have you spent the most amount of time with, including all your previous players in any vhl league? Mines Moscow. It definitely feels like it would be New York, with all of Davos, Seattle, and Vasteras/Stockholm in the mix for the 2-4 spots. I've decided to do some research. Including the current season, I believe my players have a combined 55 seasons in the VHL. Counting seasons where I've played for multiple teams as 50/50 regardless of the exact game split: NYA 16.5 DAV 11 STO 10 SEA 8.5 VAN 6 MAL 2 CGY 0.5 RIG 0.5 As you can seen, despite having players in the VHL season S13, I've spent more of my 55 VHL seasons with Malmo than I have half of the original eight (Calgary, Riga, Helsinki, Toronto) combined. Also worth noting that my two Hall of Fame players spent 13 of their 16 seasons total with New York. 6. Thanksgiving has just blessed the belly’s of many Canadians, what’s your top 2 favourite foods for thanksgiving? Stuffing and pumpkin pie.
  10. 1. Last season we were able to get the early lead an keep it. This season we are in a bit of a dogfight for first in the EU. How well do you think do we stack up to Moscow, and do you see this matchup being an issue in playoffs. I knew Moscow would be a scary team coming into this season, even though they weren't quite up there with the top European teams last season. They've definitely given us trouble so far, as we are 0-3 against them. We definitely have some stuff to figure out before the playoffs if we expect to make a deep run again. It really doesn't even feel like we're in second place in the conference right now. 2. Playoffs are about the top five teams in the conference. Which team do you think would be our most favourable to play in the first round of the Playoffs? We are 3-0 against Davos with a +12 differential this season. Give me Davos. 3. How about we look on the other side of the pond. Which team in the North American conference do you think presents the biggest challenge for us this year? The easy answer is Vancouver. They are on top of the VHL right now. I do think we could be a tough matchup for them, but we'll see how things go when we meet up for the first time in the regular season here today. 4. Fall is here.. What do you look forward to more Thanksgiving or Halloween? Halloween, for sure. I have a costume contest victory to defend. 5. How excited are you for the opening night in NHL next week. Which team do you root for and how well will they do this season? Probably less excited than most here. I don't really have a ton of time to enjoy sports like I used to, and hockey has never really been my favorite. I definitely like it more than I used to, but work. I root for the Wild, and I am excited to see Kaprizov back. I always have high hopes when the season starts, but I try to temper my expectations as a Minnesota sports fan. 6. I spent a lot of time watching shows on the airplane across Canada (Click Bait, Leafs All or Nothing, Squid Game), watch anything good recently? A couple weekends ago, I spent roughly ten hours riding in a car, and a good portion of that was spent watching Squid Game. Other than that, I haven't been watching much lately.
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