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Moscow: The VHL's Entertainers


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Since joining the VHL in Season 65, the Moscow Menace have done nothing but entertain the league and hockey fans worldwide. More recently, they've even been entertaining their own fans and their high-ranking patrons in the Russian government.


Want scientific proof? Well firstly, in their inaugural season, the Menace were dog shite, successfully tanking for 1st overall. They scored 155 goals, second-lowest in the league, but thanks to a dreadful defence which saw 332 goals fly past rookie Justin Cole, Moscow games saw the most goals in the league:


S65: Goals for Goals against Total
Moscow 155 332 487
Seattle 275 178 453
Toronto 255 192 447
Helsinki 235 196 431
Vancouver 208 219 427
Davos 201 216 417
Riga 240 174 414
New York 197 194 391
Calgary 154 219 373


Despite such a low-scoring team, most of the goals were distributed between one line and led to a breakthrough season for captain Mark Gebauer and a Stolzschweiger Trophy for the unheralded Kyson Blake.


In Season 66, the Menace got much better at scoring goals (2nd in the league despite falling far short of the playoffs) but still pretty bad at stopping them. The result - a league-leading 521 goals in Moscow games:


S66: Goals for Goals against Total
Moscow 238 283 521
Toronto 216 236 452
Seattle 182 261 443
Helsinki 265 176 441
Davos 227 206 433
Vancouver 222 210 432
Malmo 185 221 406
Riga 219 182 401
Calgary 207 190 397
New York 183 179 362


Such high-octane hockey now propelled Jet Jaguar to what should have been a 2nd straight rookie of the year for Moscow.


And now here we are. Halfway through S67 it's more of the same. The Menace are now league leaders in goals scored and having upgraded on the rookie goalie tandem of Owen May and Chase to veteran Roger Sterling and May, are also not as bad at conceding them. Still, quite comfortably in the lead as the VHL's entertainers:


S67: Goals for Goals against Total
Moscow 135 118 253
New York 104 128 232
Malmo 103 125 228
Toronto 125 91 216
Seattle 93 119 212
Davos 105 106 211
Vancouver 102 107 209
Calgary 103 102 205
Riga 102 96 198
Helsinki 108 88 196


Moscow's strategy now sees their new stars Podrick Cast and Randoms among the VHL scoring leaders, despite playing on different lines.


And for a perfect case study of how beneficial playing in Moscow is for individual stats, take Paolo Nano. Expansion draftee in S65, he was putting up career numbers before a midseason trade to NY saw those regress to the mean. After missing the start of S66 after NY ran into cap problems, Nano came back to Moscow and managed to put up 64 points in just 58 points. Now in what should be his first full season with Menace, the veteran Italian is once again amongst the best offensive defencemen in the league.


Moscow is the team to watch and the team to play for.



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