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How Are They Doing? – Cologne Express


The Victory Hockey Leagues 35th season has been underway for about two weeks now, so it's time for us to take a first look at the stat sheet and find out how the players of the Cologne Express have been doing so far. Who has put up the points in the first 25 games, who is playing more of a quiet team-first role and who hasn’t met expectations? Let’s find out…


Eliana Ben-Lev – 0 Goals + 1 Assist = 1 Point, -11, 6 PIM, 13 Hits, 1 Shot Blocked


Depth-Forward Eliana Ben-Lev has had a very disappointing season so far. While never exactly an impact player, Ben-Lev's role as well as her ice-time have diminished further this season and currently she only plays about 11 minutes per game. Even in this small window of time Ben-Lev manages to get scored on a lot, and currently sports a team-worst minus-11 and has only one measly point. Her +/- actually still is an improvement compared to last season, where she ended the year with a -40 in only 63 games, but this is more than made up for by her drop in points (21 in S34). As it stands now, it looks like Ben-Lev is slowly being pushed out of the roster, as the Express Franchise finally manages to accumulate some depth…




David Collier – 7 Goals + 10 Assists = 17 Points, +4, 0 PIM, 15 Hits, 7 Shots Blocked


Entering his sophomore year with the Express organization is German winger David Collier, who was born only about a hundred miles from Cologne. After a decent but far from spectacular rookie season that saw him score 36 points along with a +20, Collier is now looking to up his scoring totals. So far he is on a good pace with 17 points in 25 games. He would still like this number to be a little higher given that he is playing on the teams top-line alongside Reggie Dunlop and Kameron Taylor. While he has vowed to work on his defensive and physical game over the off-season, Collier's numbers in that regard could be a little better as well. So far he has only thrown 15 hits, which means actually less hits per game than he had last season, and doesn’t have a single penalty minute yet (which some see as a good and some as a bad thing). His +4 and 7 shots blocked on the other hand are above average and good for 3rd among Express forwards.


Zach Cuff – 4 Goals + 7 Assists = 11 Points, -7, 12 PIM, 10 Hits, 1 Shots Blocked


After having a pretty productive campaign last season, Zach Cuff hasn’t been able to replicate his success so far. Scoring almost a point per game in Season 34 certainly set the bar high for the veteran forward who some describe as rather inconsistent - this season seems to support their claims. Currently Cuff sits at less than half a point per game. While his defensive performance also leaves a lot to be desired, the Express need Cuff to find his way back to the form he displayed last year as soon as possible. His secondary scoring could be crucial in the playoffs where his teams hopes that he can support Kameron Taylor and Reggie Dunlop, as well as take some of the pressure off the youngsters David Collier and Davey Jones.




Reggie Dunlop – 5 Goals + 22 Assists = 27 Points, +8, 18 PIM, 41 Hits, 6 Shots Blocked


He is quiet and he is effective, Reggie Dunlop has been one of the leading offensive performers in Cologne for years now, but unlike most other players of his calibre he is a very quiet guy and doesn’t interact with the press a lot. That hasn’t hampered his on-ice performances in the slightest though and as always Dunlop is putting up the points this season, while also being a reliable player in his own end. His goal scoring numbers could be a little higher, as he has mainly served as a set-up man so far and 22 of his 27 points having been assists. But Dunlop has always been a team-first guy so as long as his team keeps scoring and winning, I’m sure he won’t mind if others finish his passes.


Markus Figgarowta-Nahimal – 3 Goals + 8 Assists = 11 Points, -4, 6 PIM, 28 Hits, 10 Shots Blocked


A rookie who has done surprisingly well in a limited role is Markus Figgarowta-Nahimal. So far “Figgs”, as his incredibly creative and just as lazy teammates like to call him, managed to score 11 points in 25 games while being serviceable defensively, showcased by the fact that he is 2nd among Express forwards in shots blocked. He will most likely never become a superstar in this league, but if he keeps developing like he did over the last few seasons, he could be an important secondary piece for the Express not just in the future, but already this season.


Davey Jones – 11 Goals + 7 Assists = 18 Points, -7, 12 PIM, 39 Hits, 12 Shots Blocked


For some he is a pleasant surprise, others expected nothing less from him: rookie Davey Jones has come into the league with a blast and so far the center with the shoot-first mentality has been one of the best offensive performers for the Cologne Express. He is 2nd in goals scored with 11, 3rd in points among forwards and all that while leading all Cologne forwards with 12 shots blocked. The confident Jones has come into the league with an impressive VHLM record under his belt. Some experts describe him as a bit cocky, but his teammates couldn’t be happier about the element Jones has added to their game this season. Even though he has slowed down a bit over the last few games, the fans in Cologne expect Jones to become a franchise player for the Express and he already is an important piece this season.




Kameron Taylor – 16 Goals + 17 Assists = 33 Points, +9, 44 PIM, 80 Hits, 6 Shots Blocked


Last, but not least there is Kameron Taylor, the veteran center who has been with the Express pretty much since they joined their league and who has been leading the team ever since. He is anchoring the team’s top-line and not surprisingly, leads the Express forwards in a whole number of categories: goals, points, +/-, penalty minutes and hits. This is also the year where Taylor could finally have some help and shouldn’t be tasked with carrying the Cologne offence all alone with only Reggie Dunlop helping him out. A couple of young players seem to be emerging in Davey Jones and David Collier with Jones centering the 2nd line and Collier playing on Taylors wing, and along with Cuff, Figgarowta-Nahimal and Ben-Lev they finally provide the Express offence with some depth. But even with the likes of Dunlop, Jones and Collier being ready to help out, don’t expect Kameron Taylor to give up his reign over the internal leaderboards in Cologne anytime soon. We expect him to keep continuing to put up great numbers like he does now for years to come – and to lead the franchise in almost every category when he finally retires.


That’s it for the Express forwards, stay tuned for our next article where we will take a look at the Cologne blue-line and their goaltending situation!


[The beginning of this article was used for XM Radio, but the rest still is well over 500 Words]

Edited by RomanesEuntDomus
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Content: 3/3 - Good look at some of the individual player stats from the guys on the Express. Allows the readers to compare how good a player is compared to someone else on the team. Hopefully some of the guys having a cold streak pick it up soon enough. Good piece of work!


Grammar: 2/2 - Barely any issues.


Victory Hockey Leagues 35th season -> VHL's 35th season
Who has put up the points in the first 25 games, -> Who has put up the points in the first 25 games?
3rd -> third
point per game -> point-per-game
2nd -> second
Appearance: 1/1 - Yessir.
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Content: 3/3 - A nice take on the forward group for the Express. Cologne has had an interesting start to their existence in the VHL. Hopefully this group of players can propel themselves farther than the original group and achieve some playoff success.


Grammar: 1.75/2 - A somewhat long list of issues, but they are all minor and don't repeat themselves.


Depth-Forward = Depth forward

Express Franchise = Express franchise

on the teams = on the team's

effective, Reggie = effective. Reggie


Appearance: 1/1 - Solid as usual.


Overall: 5.75/6


FINAL: 6/6

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