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Claimed:They Are Who We Thought They Were Pt. 2


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Are They Really Who We Thought They Were?

 

Welcome back to “Are They Who We Thought They Were?” We are back to pay homage to Dennis Green's legendary meltdown by continuing to analyze the various teams in the VHL. Last week we took a look at the top two teams in the North American Conference, the Quebec City Meute and the Toronto Legion. The Meute were what we thought they were, that being arguably the best team in the VHL. Meanwhile, Toronto surprised us all, showing us that in S36 they aren't all just Remy Lebeau. This week we got a treat for you as we will check in on three teams. Yea, I know I'm a great guy, your quite welcome. First will be the HC Davos Dynamo, followed by the Helsinki Titans, and finish up with the Seattle Bears. Have these three teams lived up to their expectations or have they surprised us 30 games into the season?

 

The HC Davos Dynamo

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Who We Thought They Were: One player/season away

Who They Really Are: The top dog in the European Conference

 

After acquiring Sergey Brovalenko from the Seattle Bears in S35 and picking up Odin Tordahl in the offseason, you could tell Davos was on the brink of becoming a threat in the EU. A good young team with a solid goaltender and a lot of depth, even a blind man could see they were just one player away from being a contender in S36. One of those men was Victor Alfredsson, who decided it was now or never to pull the trigger. Just a few games in the S36 campaign, the Dynamo shocked the league when they gave up two first round picks to acquire Davey Jones, the promising center from the Cologne Express. So far the trade has paid off, as the Dynamo sit atop of the European Conference, 9 points above the S35 conference champion Helsinki Titans. The offense has been phenomenal thus far, leading the league in goals scored with 120 in 30 games. Davey Jones has led the offensive onslaught this season and is second in the league with 55 points. The only problem with Davos has been in net, as Lennox Moher has struggled a bit in S36, which is surprising with his skill. The Dynamo look to be the real deal this season, but will the lack of experience from boasting such a young roster catch up to them come playoffs?

 

The Helsinki Titans

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Who We Thought They Were: The cream of the crop in the European Conference

Who They Really Are: The Big Three with no help

 

The S36 Titans remind me of the Miami Heat when they first acquired the Big Three. People kinda just thought they were automatically the best team in their conference and would eventually make it to the VHL Finals without much of a fight. I mean they won the cup in S34 and made it back to the finals in S35. But, the loss of Odin Tordahl to free agency has really hurt the Titans thus far into the season. Don't get me wrong, Helsinki is still a very dangerous team this season. The second highest scoring team in the league, the Titans are tied for the third best team overall record wise. Ethan Osborne has carried the team scoring wise, along with Anatoli Zhumbayev, leading the league in scoring with 58 points in 30 games. But after those two there isn't anyone really playing above and beyond. Second year center Namoi Young and third year defenseman Willie Weber are playing okay, but the lack of depth scoring after those two is a big problem for the Titans. In net, Tuomas Tukio has been getting it done, placing fourth in the league in both goals against average and save percentage. Helsinki will need to make a move at the trade deadline if they wish to continue their dominance of the European Conference. But, even if they can't get anything done, don't sleep on the Titans come the playoffs.

 

The Seattle Bears

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Who We Thought They Were: One player/season away from contention

Who They Really Are: One player/season away from contention

 

Same shit, different day. Right when you think the Bears were finally going to burst onto the scene known as playoff contention, they throw you a curveball. With the Calgary Wranglers going into full blown rebuild mode and the New York Americans boasting a team of rookies, it looked like the Bears were gonna waltz into playoff contention in S36. But for the past couple seasons, nothing has been easy for the Bears. They are a up and coming team with a plethora of young talent, but the lack of a true superstar has really hurt the Bears this season. Though better than the past couple of seasons, the offense continues to struggle, only scoring 79 goals in 30 games, good for fourth worst in the league. Sebastian Ball Jr. and Zack Sound have been the silver lining for the offense. Ball Jr. is eighth in the league in scoring with 40 points and Sound has recorded 34 points while also placing ninth in the league in hits. The defense for the Bears is there as usual, with Karsten Olsen and James Lefevre playing pretty well through 30 games. In fact, along with Godavari Yumalatopinto, the defense has allowed the fourth least amount of shots to go past them in the VHL. Another big problem with the Bears is the early struggles of Steven Smyl, the second year goaltender. Smyl has not played up to his potential is S36 and even when he does, the offense decides to not show up. The Bears really need that offensive juggernaut to push them over the edge of contention, so next season should be a better one for Seattle.

 

Well that does it for this week folks. Next week, we will take a look at three new teams to see if they are up to par with their preseason expectations. Were at the halfway mark in our series, so stay tuned if your team hasn't been named yet. Hell, even if they have been covered, come check us out next week as this wacky S36 campaign rolls on. Until next week boys, have a good one.

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Content: 3/3 - I liked last week's article and this one went into even more depth. I think it'd be neat if you could do this for individual players once all the teams have been covered.
 
Grammar: 2/2 - Some silly errors, but for the length of the piece, not enough to dock.
 
Yea = Yeah
offseason = off-season
Namoi Young = Naomi Young
curveball = curve ball
Were at the halfway mark = We're at the halfway mark
 
Appearance: 1/1 - Oh yeah.
 
Overall: 6/6 -  (Y)
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