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Claimed:They Are Who We Thought They Were Pt. 3


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Are They Really Who We Thought They Were?


Welcome back to They Are Who We Thought They Were. Well it is official, we are nearing the end of our list of teams. We're in the final stretch, near the end of the road, close to the bottom of the bottle. In lame man's terms, we are almost done, but no quite there yet. Last week we looked into the HC Davos Dynamo, who were surprising everyone by not only taking the top spot in the European Conference, but were dominating all that stood before them. We checked in on the veteran Helsinki Titans, who are a dangerous foe for the Dynamo, but need a little something to take back their spot atop the EU Conference. Finally we talked about the Seattle Bears, who in the beginning of the season looked as thought they were destined to make the playoffs in S36, but have baffled everyone by struggling thus far into the season. Today we will look at two more teams in the VHL to see if they are who we thought they were in the beginning of the season. It's all European Conference in this one, as we will check in on the Vasteras Iron Eagles and the Cologne Express. So sit back, relax, and get that popcorn ready. Because, ladies and gentleman, without further ado, lets get to going.


The Vasteras Iron Eagles



Who We Thought They Were: A young team waiting for their chance to shine

Who They Really Are: The underdog knocking on the door of the EU


If you told me before the start of the S36 campaign that the Iron Eagles would be in the hunt for a playoff spot, I probably would have laughed at you. The Titans were pretty much a lock in for the EU, the Dynamo just picked up budding superstar Odin Tordahl, and the Cologne Express were superior to Vasteras at every position. But, 38 games into the season, the Iron Eagles have a 14 point lead on the Cologne Express for the final playoff spot. And they have found success with two things. Depth scoring and a little bit of Bagelface. Go look at the Iron Eagles' roster and tell me one person, beside Willem Janssen, who really scares you offensively. Zack Cuff? Guido Schwarz Esq.? Leon Leitner? The fact of the matter is Vasteras is full of depth players who have all gotten it done offensively for the Iron Eagles. Janssen leads the team with 45 points, but after him, 6 of their 9 skaters have scored 20+ points. Everyone touches the puck and gets things done with clean passes and smart shots. But the biggest surprise for the Iron Eagles has to be third year goaltender, Eggly Bagelface. Bagleface has exploded in his third season in the VHL and has really put the Iron Eagles on his back. He is second in save percentage (.931), fourth in goals aganist average (2.09), and tied for first in shutouts (5). What really adds to his surprising success is the defense in front of him. There isn't any household names on the defense, let alone an all star among the group. But they have gotten the job done. But, at the end of the day, this is Vasteras we are talking about. Can the “cursed ones” hold onto the final spot in the European Conference and if they do, can they make any noise in the playoffs? Either way, congratulations Vasteras, you sure as hell caught me by surprise.


The Cologne Express



Who We Thought They Were: A team ready to rise to the top

Who They Really Are: One step forward and two steps back


The Express were almost there. After an exciting playoff series with the Helsinki Titans, which ended with Cologne coming up 2 wins short of a VHL Finals appearance, S36 looked like Cologne's opportunity to shine. Kameron Taylor was the early favorite to win the MVP of the league. Davey Jones was coming off a Rookie of the Year performance in S35. Evgeni Chekhov was entering the prime of his career, getting ready to join the ranks of elite goaltenders in S36. But all of this changed in the first week of the VHL. After future face of the franchise Davey Jones announced he would be testing free agency after S36, general manager Joey Kendrick face a difficult decision. Feeling he had little chance of re-signing Jones after the season, Kendrick traded him to HC Davos, receiving two first round picks (one in S37 and one in S38) and young forward Tony Stark. After trading Jones, the offense struggled, trying to find scoring beyond Taylor and Reggie Dunlop, who were off to a slow start themselves. Chekhov did what he could, but chinks were found in the Expresses' defense. But, like a true superstar, Kameron Taylor kicked it into overdrive and has shined as of late. He is 7th in the VHL in scoring, recording 27 goals and 27 assists for 54 points in 38 games. Chekhov is still struggling to find his footing this season. He is eighth in save percentage with a .907 and sixth in goals against average with a 2.51. While it doesn't look like the Express will beat out the Iron Eagles in the S36 playoff hunt, Express fans have nothing to worry about for the future. With 2 first round picks in a very underrated S37 draft class and two more first rounders in S38, the Expresses' future looks bright. The season is still far from over, but can SuperKam pull them out of this hole Cologne has dug themselves and make the playoffs?


Well that will do it for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Next week we will finish of the series by looking at the New York Americans, the Riga Reign, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. O wait, I mean the Calgary Wranglers. Enjoy another week of games as the S36 campaign rolls on and tune in next week for our exciting finale.

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Content: 3/3 - This series absolutely rules, keep up the good work!
Grammar: 2/2 - A couple of missing letters here and there. Not too bad.
but no quite there yet = but not quite there yet
Joey Kendrick face a difficult decision = Joey Kendrick faced a difficult decision
Expresses' = Express'
O wait = Oh wait
Appearance: 1/1 - YEP.
Overall: 6/6 - 
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