Welcome everyone and welcome back to another episode of The Neutral Zone. I am your host, the one and only Sandin. Before the season started I had an article of the top 5 stories heading into opening night. Now that we have finished a week into the season lets us take a look at what I believe are the top 5 stories after Week 1.
5. AVERAGE JOES ARE LAST AND NEED TO BOUNCE BACK
Night 1 the Joe’s were in a shootout all night with the Chiefs with scores of 9-6 and 8-6, I started to think maybe this team has talent offensively. The Joes followed that up with only scoring 4 goals in the remaining 4 games while being outscored 22-4. Most penalty minutes in the league with 37 I would have to imagine that their penalty kill was atrocious but I have no visual proof because for some reason our stat site does not track power play and penalty kill lol. The money was not spent the right way and we are now seeing the evidence. I don’t see what goes on at the trade tables but I would have to think the Joes are exercising and exploring anything to help this roster. If the Joes win 2 games in week 2 it is a 100% improvement from the previous week and that is not the bar you want to set for yourselves.
4. CHARLESTOWN CHIEFS CAN SCORE BUT CAN NOT DEFEND
Giroux, Manny and Boone had an okay week offensively. Giroux had 16 points in 6 games which is not great but decent. The problem is every single player on their roster is in the minus category. Their 5 on 5 play is horrible. The defense core is bad. Furry should not be on the blue line anymore with a -11, Furry is a good player and he had 7 more takeaways than giveaways in his 4 games. I think you need to put him on forward cause it looks like he can create turnovers and maybe having him do it on the fore check might turn games in your favour more. This team does not have a legit top defenseman so this team needs to play it better as a team. I believe the Chiefs can play better and should plate better.
3. LEDVINKA AND NERO OUT SCORED THE REST OF THEIR TEAM 24-6
14 goals in 6 games for Ledvinka and 10 in 4, Rest of the offense? 6 goals in 20 man games played. The Dumpstars finished as the highest scoring team this week but 2 players counted for 80% of their offense. Yes I am aware that Fullsend has not got to play in the offense yet and the numbers might balance out a bit more after week 2, but this is a story. Dumpstars need more contribution from their depth. I will not doubt the Stars can bury the puck but if this pattern keeps up teams will start to gameplan to shut down 2 players the rest of the way.
2. SHRIMP WAS LIGHTS OUT IN NET
The ongoing narrative that if Shrimp plays net he gives his team the best chance to win stands to be true. Shrimp faced an average of almost 20 shots a game in the 4 he played finishing with a .825 save % making 63 saves. Even though his record was only 2-2 I watched some of Shrimps play this week and he made a ton of saves to keep his team in the game. The Alcohooligans need to figure out their chemistry and lines because the stuff I was looking to see that Shrimp advertised to me in his sit down interview was not existent. But If Shrimp can continue to put up .800 type of numbers in net the Alcohooligans could win more games in the future.
- TRUCKS KEEP ON TRUCKING
Turk and Marty’s squad went undefeated this week and took on some tough teams in the Lions and the Aliens. Miller and Willy each had 10 goals. Miller and Willy with each 20 points in 6 games. The Trucks had a situation like the Stars though this week as 2 players outscored the rest of their roster 20-6. I can’t imagine that Miller and Willy are not dressed most nights but to rely on two guys to cash in all your offense is risky. A stat that really caught my eye was Miller and Willy had 104 giveaways to their 26 takeaways. They should work on improving taking care of the puck better as top competitive teams could make them pay more if they continue to cough up the puck on those numbers in Week 1. Trucks are still a wagon and will remain as a top team and contender. Trucks schedule is a little light with the Chiefs and Alcohooligans on Thursday and Friday but a big match up pitting 4 of the top offensive players in games as the Trucks vs Stars. Will the Trucks taste defeat for the first time this season? We will find out.
Those are my Stories for week 1 boys. Hope you enjoyed the read. Good luck to all the teams in Week 2 and I will be back with my stories of Week 2. This has been your host Sandin reminding you “ Whatever decisions you choose in life, Always KEEP IT NEUTRAL 🙂”