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S50 Championship Week

task 1
i would go to tampa bay in a heartbeat right now if i could. nothing against calgary at all but we’re about a week or two into my area’s cold season and i’m already not having any of it. like… i just broke out my hoodie and next thing i know it’s 17 friggin’ degrees(F)? the kinda cold where you wake up in the morning and never wanna get out from under your blankets? but shit, you gotta go to work. cool. that shit’s for the birds. oh no, wait, even they’re smart enough to get the fuck out and fly south. plus, i get to cause a ruckus in a rivals building without even having to be on the ice. getting belligerent as possible will most definitely be the goal here and i’m sure i can find a few teammates who wouldn’t mind joining me. we could find a way to rack up a decent bar tab and i know for a fact if there’s good food involved they’ll be there, no doubt.
174 words

task 2
obviously i have to go with calgary on this one. not only because they won but manhattan’s early playoff exit would feel that much worse seeing the cup end up in the hands of a big divisional rival. it’s only been a few seasons since the barracuda joined the league but they quickly became a matchup i was nervous to see on the upcoming schedule, mostly because you could never be quite sure of the outcome. it seemed that even when we were at our best they could find a way to win and snap our winning streak. really one of those teams that tested our confidence as a team and that can be daunting. to see the cup in their hands would almost seem… insulting for lack of a better word. kinda like... “look what we have!”
138 words

task 7
this season was a bit of an eye opener to be honest. the better half of the season was rough for our team in general and i have nothing better to say about my personal play. i was still filling my role decently but my production was just not where i wanted it to be. i actually ended up going to my teammates and asking for advice on what i should do to try to get my game back where i needed it to be. they all said one thing: “SHOOT THE PUCK!” which was actually funny to me because in s49 i had upped my production immensely by holding on to the puck and looking at my options more. but hey, they seemed to know what they were talking about cause in the home stretch of the season i started to see some points and came relatively close to my previous season’s point total. though i obviously would have liked to surpass it, i can’t complain. i’m not exactly out there to score all the points. the plan from here is to just hone in my skills and maybe cultivate some mass to become a beast out on the ice.
201 words

task 13
a. well since we know the outcome of the playoffs i went ahead and looked at who of the two dominated in the series and the answer would be… mike izzy. i would say this would be a little on the expected side but that’s not to discredit soderberg who is an absolute rising star. things were close early on when tampa lead the series but izzy out muscled gunnar by putting up just three more assists than the youngster this series.
81 words
b. as soon as you knew which teams would be playing in the finals you had to have your eyes on this goalie matchup. both vilde and blue were drafted in s41 and have had pretty decent careers so far. blue had a bit of a slower start but in the here and now has just been spectacular. he would be the one i gave my slight edge to just looking at how his regular season went. even though the barracuda scored a couple more goals over the series they weren’t able to when it counted allowing vilde hoist the hardware.
100 words
c. looking at the series this one was definitely a mix. things started out guns blazing with tampa scoring 16 total goals over the first three games, giving them a 3-0 lead on the series. the dragons figured out that they just had to wait it out and let tampa wear themselves out. holding them to just a goal a game in the next three, calgary was able to contain the barracuda and pick them off game by game, inevitably winning them the cup.
83 words
d. it’s a bit of a toss up for me here. on one hand, flacko lagerfield is the first one that came to mind just because it’s one of those names that looks absolutely ridiculous but actually sort of works and has a nice ring to it. then i went and looked at the rosters which reminded me that i’ve always enjoyed bernik vrzala’s name.
64 words
e. i mean… i think i would have to try esa’s chicken parm sandwich. is it okay to call it a grinder or…? either way. chicken parm is the shit in any form and, although it’s not a favorite, it is a go-to in a decent amount of situations. i can only imagine the guy known around here for backing the chicken parm as hard as he does knows what the fuck is up when it comes to a chicken parm sandwich.
81 words

task 15
sent it

Code:
1. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
VIP Status babyyyyyyyy - your player has been invited to attend one of the first homestands of the CC finals as a VIP guest - all expenses paid, front row seats, any hotel you want - and it's all on the Commissioner's dime! Are you going to Games 1 and 2 in Tampa or Games 3 and 4 in Calgary? Why are you picking there? And what are you going to do in that city to run up Eggy's tab?? (This is the same prompt as last year but we've got different cities! be creative! Don't re-use what was written last season)

Seeing as I’m spending most of my time in Alberta, thanks to playing in Lethbridge, I will attend games 3 and 4 in Calgary. Since both my SMJHL team and my SHL team were eliminated early, this is a perfect opportunity to unwind, watch some great hockey between two explosive teams, and run up a beer tab on the Commish’s card. Unfortunately, the beer in North American arenas is not as good as some of the local products we have back in Switzerland… but no matter. After the games, I invited some of my Lions teammates to a bar run downtown Calgary, swerving towards 4th Avenue and enjoying our time as young single guys in the heart of Albertan partying. The nightlife there is electric, much more than what we’re used to in Lethbridge – which is to be expected, in a city that has 10 times as many people! Hopefully, we won’t see ourselves on Instagram or Twitter the next morning, and have to endure another one of our coach’s patented speeches on behaviour on and off the ice… (179 words)

Code:
3. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Are there any changes to the playoff format you'd like to see implemented? More wild cards? Move to a single-elimination to bring about even more chaos? 999-game series to minimize chaos? Be creative!

In all honesty… why do we even have eliminated teams? There are 16 teams in the SHL – this is the perfect number of teams for four rounds of playoffs! Not only that, but by letting the drudges of the SHL make the playoffs, you’re giving them an opportunity to play the trouble-makers – an opportunity that I’m certain some teams would relish. Everyone loves an underdog story, and seeing a 7th or an 8th seed make a run for the Challenge Cup would bring a lot of positive attention to the league – as it did for the NHL in 2012 when the lowly Los Angeles Kings slayed the three best teams of the Western Conference en-route to their first ever Stanley Cup. Can you imagine the boards and social media if Texas eliminated San Francisco in the first round this season? They would be buzzing with snark and hype! (I know, I know, Calgary “basically” did that, but let’s be honest, Texas doing it would be 10 times better!) And to the people saying “well we need to have a draft lottery” – just because the SMJHL has all teams qualify, doesn’t mean they don’t have the draft lottery. The same can hold true in the SHL. (205 words)

Code:
4. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Alternate Reality: Physicists and other smarties believe that this reality is just one of infinite realities existing alongside this one in parallel. Take us over to one of those realities in which everything is the same but these S50 playoffs have unfolded differently. What happened in this reality's playoffs and who's in the Challenge Cup over there?

Imagine, if you will, a world where the results of the second round are completely reversed – meaning, the Western Conference’s top seeds don’t shit themselves (looking at you, San Francisco), and the Eastern Conference is the theater of upsets, with Toronto and Buffalo going through.

Well, first, that would mean that despite picking thrice in the first round of the draft last season, the Pride would be in prime position to hoist their first ever Challenge Cup after having their second best regular season in franchise history. The only team standing in their way would be last season’s winner, the Edmonton Blizzard – oh, I can already see the headlines! Lions versus Wolves, the vassal against the king, it just writes itself! It would be a journalist’s paradise.

And then, on the other side of the continent, you have two of the closest teams in terms of distance in the SHL – Toronto and Buffalo. These teams do not like each other one bit. Not only that, the North Stars saw their American rival win the Challenge Cup twice, in half the franchise history – a 50 season drought that is still ongoing! Once again, the headlines write themselves. We were robbed of so much drama and salt because in one Conference, logic was respected, and not at all in the other. (219 words)

Code:
3. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Due to some controversial calls during the playoffs, the league is looking at updating the current rules(icing, offside, etc) What new rule or change to a room would you implement to better the game?

First one – no touch icing. It boggles the mind that we would still have the barbaric notion that two guys racing full speed for the puck and tossing their care and balance to the wind with the objective of touching the puck first wouldn’t lead to horrible consequences.

Second – Automatic 5-minutes major for boarding penalties. In all instances of boarding, the recipient is hurled into the boards unknowingly – and in total imbalance. What that usually means is that while the head may not always be the principal point of contact, it usually is the body part suffering the biggest impact, may it be due to the impact on the boards, the whiplash effect depending on the severity of the check, or even the awkward falling when the player eventually hits the ice. Boarding is an extremely dangerous, callous and cowardly penalty to take, and awarding a 5-minutes, continuous powerplay to the opponent may rewire some brains that are conditioned to hit defenseless guys right into the numbers when they’re more than a foot away from the boards. (177 words)

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8. Written, 2 TPE (100 words min)
Which player from Calgary or Tampa Bay would you bet on to win a regular season individual award in a future season? What player and what award? What makes you think they'll live up to their potential and take home the hardware?

I mean… it has to be Benjamin Blue, and this season, right? The German goaltender has razzled and dazzled the league this season with his excellent play between the pipes, and seems to be a shoe-in for the John McBride Trophy – unless Cedric Robinson somehow muddies the waters. But all in all, I feel like Blue had a bigger impact on his team than Robinson did, facing a similar amount of shots in five less games, all the while posting very similar Sv% and GAA – and earning two more shutouts. Blue was the best goaltender this season, and not only that - he also showed up big time in the playoffs, where Robinson faltered (now, I know the playoffs are not considered for award voting, but it always tints the view, doesn’t it?) (130 words)

Code:
14. Written, 2 TPE - The Procrastinator Special! (100 words min)
Welp, you waited until the last day to grind out your CW and the CC finals are longggggggg over by now. congrats to [TEAM], woo! Reflecting back on the series, who gets your vote for series MVP? Make the case why this player deserves it over any other.

Once again, I will seem to be focusing on goalies, but to me, Kata Vilde is the Challenge Cup Final MVP for this season. Now, I won't mince my words – Vilde was downright dreadful in the first three games of the series, which Tampa Bay won handily. But if you look at the next three games, the Swedish netminder played lights out, limiting the Barracuda's potent offence to just 1 goal per game, stopping 91 out of 94 shots faced, and forced the presentation of a seventh game. Even if he didn't pull another stellar performance in the final game of the series, he still played well enough for the Dragons to hoist the Cup. For that feat alone, I feel like Vilde deserves the series' MVP title. (128 words)

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6. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Who's the best player that you have witnessed in the SHL never to make it to the Challenge Cup finals? Or what player that hasn't made it to the finals is most deserving and why? Were they close? Was theirs a story of hearbreak? Is there still hope in the future? (150+ words)

There are some very talented players who have never made it to the Challenge Cup Finals, but arguably the most talented of those is Robert Phelps. Phelps has dedicated the entirety of his 14-season career to date playing for the Hamilton Steelhawks, with 670 points over 700 games and not a single season to his name with fewer than 42 points after storming into the SHL with a 44-point rookie season. That S37 campaign was the high-water mark for a rookie until this year, when Mike Kandinsky shattered the record with a 62-point rookie campaign.

Since then, Phelps has consistently been one of the top offensive forwards in the league, but has not had a chance to compete for a Cup. Hamilton has reached the postseason 10 times during his career, but never the Challenge Cup Finals, losing this season in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Tampa Bay Barracuda.

7. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
As competition ramps up for the playoffs, players (both those still in and those eliminated) work extra hard to improve areas of their game that are lacking. What one area of your game do you really needs to focus on improving and how will this benefit the team?

Nikolai is working tirelessly, as he has throughout his career, to be a more productive contributor offensively to his team. He has always prided himself on being an athletic, skilled player who can provide an offensive boost without sacrificing defensive responsibility and positioning. However, he hasn’t truly been able to find that edge to score on a regular, consistent basis.

For some, that wouldn’t be a huge deal. After all, he is a defenseman. If it was all about scoring goals, he should be a forward like his Hall of Fame father. But it burns inside Nikolai to be the best of both worlds, and until he scores with more regularity, he won’t be able to say that. Whatever is missing in his finishing touch, Nikolai has been working tirelessly to find it and improve upon it. It’s been a frustrating journey, but one he hopes will bear fruit soon.

13. Written, up to 5 TPE Pick up to 5 Challenge Cup related topics to write about! Each topic is worth 1 TPE. Each answer must be 50+ words to qualify.

A. Each team enters these finals with a red hot superstar - longtime league legend Mike Izzy for Calgary and surprise breakout star Gunnar Soderberg for Tampa Bay. Which of these players will have a more dominant finals?

For Tampa’s sake, I hope the answer is Gunnar Soderberg. While Tampa Bay arguably has the deeper, and younger, defensive core, Calgary has more depth at the forward position. Thus, Soderberg’s success is much more important to Tampa’s chances of winning the Challenge Cup, and it will likely take a strong series from the young Swede for the Barracude to hoist the Cup.

B. Kata Vilde and Benjamin Blue are two of the best goaltenders in the league - which team has the advantage in net?

It’s hard to pick a favorite between Kata Vilde and Benjamin Blue. Blue is the more decorated netminder, with two John McBride trophies to his credit (and possibly a third on the way) but Vilde has been in this position before, as part of the S47 Dragons which lost to the West Kendall Platoon. That experience likely gives vilde a slight edge.

C. Do you expect this to be a high-scoring series or a low-scoring series? A mix? Do you think it'll be competitive or will one team run away with it?

With the strength of the two netminders, I expect a close but low-scoring series. Offense will be at a premium, with both goalies capable of stealing a win on any given night. And again, it’s hard to pick a difference between the two, which means they’ll be on level footing throughout the series.

D. What's your favorite player NAME on either team? why? (note: not who's your favorite player. which player name)

Of course, the best player name in the series is Nikolai Evans. The Russian Prince, the son of a Hall of Famer, the son of a two-time Challenge Cup winner, the son of a former John McBride Trophy winner, the son of a former league MVP. What other name in this series could possibly match up with Evans’?

E. If you could choose any one of the following four options, which would you pick? 1. A chicken parm sandwich from Esa 2. A tray of cookies from c00kies 3. A custom feet pic from JSS 4. An hour long stick and puck session with Jepox

There is no doubt that the chicken parm sandwich or the tray of cookies would be contaminated, and the last thing I ever want to see again (and yes, I have to unfortunately say “again”) is JSS’ feet. So without a doubt the answer to this question is option 4, an hour-long stick-and-puck session with Jepox. And that’s with me going to Saskatoon, so that’s big. It’s cold up there.

14. Written, 2 TPE - The Procrastinator Special! (100 words min)
Welp, you waited until the last day to grind out your CW and the CC finals are longggggggg over by now. congrats to [TEAM], woo! Reflecting back on the series, who gets your vote for series MVP? Make the case why this player deserves it over any other.

Throughout the postseason, Kata Vilde was on a tear, an important part of the Calgary Dragons’ charge from the Wild Card round to the Challenge Cup Finals with only one loss in the first three rounds.

The road proved a bit tougher for Calgary in the Finals, but Kata Vilde stepped up in a pivotal way. After falling behind 3-0 in the series, Vilde stepped up and played four incredible games to lead his team to the championship. Over the final four games of the Challenge Cup Finals, Vilde posted a 0.951 save percentage, making him the series MVP in my eyes.

15. Casual Member Special, 3 TPE max - 1 TPE for participation, 0.5 TPE for each correct answer - SEND ANSWER IN PM TO "PT DIRECTOR" (tagged below)
A. As defined by draft class, who is the oldest player in this series?
B. What is the name of the Calgary Dragons' Arena?
C. Name 3 previous names of the Tampa Bay Barracuda franchise
D. From these two teams, which player had the most PIMs in the S50 regular season? (Look, I'll even give you a link to the index right below this code box. When I posted the link directly, it auto-corrected the colon + slash into a partial frown face; it looks funny and the link still works so i'm leaving it)

Sent

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(This post was last modified: 11-14-2019, 10:39 PM by The__Y-man__100.)

Task 1:

of course I am going to game 1 in Tampa bay, who would want to vacation in calgary? Being from Europe I'm use to wicked winters, why not enjoy some heat and sun for once. plus chicks in bikini's is wayyyy nice then chicks in parkas. I'm drinking all day with my main man Hotdog as we are both still depressed that the wolfpack choked after having a historic season . drinks on the beach, drinks during the game, drink during the bathroom breaks. I mean eggy is paying for it all so let the booze flow like water. As for hockey, it would be nice to see Flaco win a cup this season. Tampa bay has been a very wild team, having great years, then awful years, then cup run years. Maybe Hotdog and I can come back from this trip with some new insight on how we can elevate the wolfpack to that level next year. good luck tampa bay, I will be cheering for you

Task 2:

As mentioned above, I am putting my money on tampa bay to win this. The East was sooo stacked this year and to be able to come out as the conference champs is impressive .Do not get me wrong, Calgary was not on anyone's radar to be in the finals this year. While I feel they are the underdog, Streaky teams can't beat a young core so i really hope tampa bay proves me right. Plus, hasn't calgary won enough cups for a lifetime? I mean they'e won so many I cannot even count that high. it would be nice to mix it up a bit

Task 3:

For the playoffs I would be interested to bring back the wildcard team playing the top team in the conference. I feel this brought so many upsets to the league, along with so many "second chance" for teams to prove they are an actual threat instead of some joke of a team (cough cough Pride cough cough). Along with this, it would be interesting to test out a more competitive playoff format by reducing the teams. Less spots means more intense seasons, GM's taking more moves to ensure their team clinches a spot. Where as when there are more spots people cn be conservative as you just have to get in and then anything can happen

13. Written, up to 5 TPE Pick up to 5 Challenge Cup related topics to write about! Each topic is worth 1 TPE. Each answer must be 50+ words to qualify.

A. Mike izzy is a legend. Is this even a question worth debating? Mike Izzy will one hundred percent show up in the finals for calgary. Will that be enough to win, I do not know, but i can guarantee he i going to be a big problem for tampa bay this series





B. Benjamin Blue has my vote for being the better goaltender. He has been consistently decent over his career and I have confidence that he can maintain his acrobatics to help pull off a W in the SHL challenge cup finals. You know what they say, goal tending can win you a cup, so let's go see if that is the case for Blue

C. I feel we will see a high scoring series that will go down to the wire. Both teams had to fight hard to get here and they will not back down without a fight. Not to mention when was the last time a team got embarrassed in the finals? normally the games are at least close

D. Rainbow Dash has to be my favorite player name. Like how high were your parents when they named you? I guess they are big my little pony fans and wanted their fandom to live on in you. Mind you rainbow is a sick first name, can't say I've ever met one before

E. I hear cookies makes the best cookies. Like we are talking put your grandmother to shame level of good. Plus it helps fill the void of my emotional pain caused by the wolfpack's awful season. So cookies better be on speed dial because I will be ordering a lot from him this week

15. PM sent

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Code:
1. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
VIP Status babyyyyyyyy - your player has been invited to attend one of the first homestands of the CC finals as a VIP guest - all expenses paid, front row seats, any hotel you want - and it's all on the Commissioner's dime! Are you going to Games 1 and 2 in Tampa or Games 3 and 4 in Calgary? Why are you picking there? And what are you going to do in that city to run up Eggy's tab?? (This is the same prompt as last year but we've got different cities! be creative! Don't re-use what was written last season)

You already know that I'm going to Games 1 and 2 in Tamba Bay. Regardless of the Cup, who wouldn't rather be in Tampa over Calgary in June? It's a no-brainer really. I'm gonna be right up there against the glass cheering on my Cuda brothers and sisters and supporting them. But of course, since Eggy is paying, I'm also gonna be living like a king while I do it. Room service, plenty of booze at the arena, all the food I can eat, the works. Hell, I'd even treat all the Cudas to a nice fancy team dinner since I don't have to pay for it. Big ups to the commissioner for being so generous with his wallet here. Of course, I'd wish all of my teammates good luck before they head off to the ice and then be ready to cheer my heart out as I watch them play both nights, and for the rest of the series for that matter.

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2. Written, 2 TPE (100 words min)
After a slow start to the regular season, the Dragons have surged of late and have rallied around the #CalgaWe notion of togetherness. On the other side, the Barracuda battled through a difficult East and are led by a very strong young core. Which team are you personally rooting for to take home the Challenge Cup and why?

As a Tampa Bay Barracudas prospect, I'm sure it comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody that I'm going to be cheering for them in this series. There is nothing more I would want than to see all my future teammates raise that cup over their heads. With any luck this season will just be a taste of what is to come for Tampa Bay, because once my skates hit SHL ice I'm looking to take this league by storm. Hopefully I'll be a career Cuda and get to relish in the victory of many cups with this team. As they say, CHOMP CHOMP WATER DOG.

Code:
4. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Alternate Reality: Physicists and other smarties believe that this reality is just one of infinite realities existing alongside this one in parallel. Take us over to one of those realities in which everything is the same but these S50 playoffs have unfolded differently. What happened in this reality's playoffs and who's in the Challenge Cup over there?

Well first and foremost, in my alternate reality headcanon the Cudas swept Calgary 4-0 in the finals ;-;

But semi-seriously, in the alternate reality I exist in, the series between Toronto and Tampa Bay was nothing more than a battle between Mika Kandinsky and Austin Roenick. The two rookies had a slightly lopsided battle for leading scorer amongst rookies, which Mika won decidedly with a whopping 62 points in his rookie season. The series at hand here would have been game after game of Mika going wild with the scoring, followed by Austin, followed by Mika again, and so on. It would all culminate in a game seven showdown where the two would get so fed up with one another that they had no other choice but to drop the gloves and settle this the old fashioned way. The fight would get so nasty the two would actually be ejected from the game and the two teams would have to finish the series without the rookies.

Code:
13. Written, up to 5 TPE Pick up to 5 Challenge Cup related topics to write about! Each topic is worth 1 TPE. Each answer must be 50+ words to qualify.
A. Each team enters these finals with a red hot superstar - longtime league legend Mike Izzy for Calgary and surprise breakout star Gunnar Soderberg for Tampa Bay. Which of these players will have a more dominant finals?

B. Kata Vilde and Benjamin Blue are two of the best goaltenders in the league - which team has the advantage in net?

C. Do you expect this to be a high-scoring series or a low-scoring series? A mix? Do you think it'll be competitive or will one team run away with it?

D. What's your favorite player NAME on either team? why? (note: not who's your favorite player. which player name)

E. If you could choose any one of the following four options, which would you pick? 1. A chicken parm sandwich from Esa 2. A tray of cookies from c00kies 3. A custom feet pic from JSS 4. An hour long stick and puck session with Jepox

A. While Mike Izzy has been a superstar in the league and certainly is talented, I think the Gunnar Soderberg is truly going to steal the show in these finals. People always discount the young ones, but they're the ones that will shock you the most when really put to the test.

B. I gotta give the edge to Blue. Dude's a stud between the posts and gives 110% every single game. He's a big reason that Tampa has made it as far as they have and I think in the end he'll be the one to get that cup over our heads with one final push.

C. Given the skill of both goaltenders, I would expect low goal totals for this series. However, I know that both teams also have all-star goal scoring talent, so maybe there will be a few more goals than I would normally expect. It's a tough call to make, but I'm gonna stick with my gut and go low goals.

D. Favorite name is probably Kristaps Ball. It's mostly just because I'm immature and when I see "Ball" it made me giggle. I guess an honorable mention goes to Anastasia O'Koivu just because that name is pretty unique and cool. Otherwise not a lot of the other names filling out the rosters here really catch my eye.

E. As tempting as the feet pics from jss are, he is my GM so maybe I could entice him to give up some pics in exchange for taking a cheaper contract. In all seriousness, I'd take the stick and puck session from Jepox because I don't know how to skate and I need someone to teach me.

Code:
15. Casual Member Special, 3 TPE max - 1 TPE for participation, 0.5 TPE for each correct answer - SEND ANSWER IN PM TO "PT DIRECTOR" (tagged below)
A. As defined by draft class, who is the oldest player in this series?
B. What is the name of the Calgary Dragons' Arena?
C. Name 3 previous names of the Tampa Bay Barracuda franchise
D. From these two teams, which player had the most PIMs in the S50 regular season? (Look, I'll even give you a link to the index right below this code box. When I posted the link directly, it auto-corrected the colon + slash into a partial frown face; it looks funny and the link still works so i'm leaving it)
PM'd

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Task 2: I think the team I'm cheering for in this finals series has to be the Solar System Asteroids. There are over 860 near-earth asteroids over 1 kilometre long known, and statistically the earth is probably due for a big ol' collision. The reason I am rooting for this third party in this case is because the idea of anyone other than the Steelhawks winning the Challenge Cup disgusts me, and it keeps happening, which is why I am always disgusted. Anyways, I can't cheer for Tampa because if they win, their players will bump a trade thread claiming they won a trade involving picks that haven't been made yet, which makes me angry because last time my good pal @Waters. I can't cheer for Calgary because holy fuck, again? However, a conveniently times asteroid strike right in the middle of game 7, preventing either team from winning? Now that's divine intervention.

Task 1: After finally having a season making him worthy of being invited to a league event, Tig Murphy rolled into the Tampa Bay area with a ton of confidence, decked out in a new suit that used up the last of his measly hometown discount contract. (Editor's note: his 50 point season marked the start of Murphy's diva phase). He chose to go to Tampa Bay partly because it's warm and partly because even Florida is better than Calgary as a location. He made great use of the blank cheque the league provided him, the touring local restaurants three times a day and nightclubs 3 times a night. He even managed to track down a $2000 bottle of tequila, which he proceeded to share with absolutely none of the other SHLers in attendance. His antics led to him to be the story of the championship series, which wasn't really hard since almost nobody cared about TBB/CGY anyway.

Task 15: PM sent

Task 8: I think Nikolai Evans will one day become the type of defender that wins awards. I got to see him up close as my D partner in Hamilton and I knew from the start he was a top pick for a reason. As a user he's a reliable veteran, and he's building a strong player that will excel in future seasons. I think it's pretty safe to say he'll win a Stevens at some point, and given that his last player is.a HOFer, I think it's possible he manages some even loftier achievements in time. He's got the talent, the experience, and the young up and coming teammates needed to continuously elevate his game

Task 4: In the correct timeline, my calculations show that the Hamilton Steelhawks ended up winning the Challenge Cup. We can tell that this timeline was not the prime timeline because Tig Murphy did not score a single goal in the playoffs after scoring 18 in the regular season. In the real one, Murphy scored 4 goals to complete a comeback against the Barracuda before scoring 5 more goals and 10 points in a 4 game sweep of the Dragons. Steelhawks star Robert Phelps led the way with consecutive hat tricks in games 3 and 4 of the final, and the stalwart Geezus Kryyst allowed just 3 goals in the series. Jax Duggan scored the Challenge Cup winning goal, delivering on the promise that led Hamilton to offer sheet him away from Winnipeg. Calgary was very sad in this new timeline, and everybody was mostly fine with that. People called the Steelhawks run a fluke in our timeline, but they have no idea what the real truth was for those lucky enough to occupy the real one.

Task 6: The best player yet to make the final is undoubtedly Robert Phelps of the Hamilton Steelhawks @DrunkenTeddy. The "team dad" in Hammy, Phelps had been around the block and back, always turning in quality seasons for the Hawks. He's come close, including just this season where we lost to the Barracuda with a finals berth on the line. He's getting into regression, but is such a great TPE earner that he'll be able to fight through it and be a top player on the team for some time, and then transition into a great supporting piece. Hamilton is building through youth, and is getting closer and closer to making a big splash, even bigger than the one this season where they surprised everyone. It would shock me if Phelps didn't make it to the final before his time was up, and should Hamilton finally lift the Challenge Cup, you can bet our captain for life will be among the most deserving players to ever win it.

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                                                        DETROIT FALCONS, #94

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(This post was last modified: 11-14-2019, 10:58 PM by bilbo.)

Code:
1. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
VIP Status babyyyyyyyy - your player has been invited to attend one of the first homestands of the CC finals as a VIP guest - all expenses paid, front row seats, any hotel you want - and it's all on the Commissioner's dime! Are you going to Games 1 and 2 in Tampa or Games 3 and 4 in Calgary? Why are you picking there? And what are you going to do in that city to run up Eggy's tab?? (This is the same prompt as last year but we've got different cities! be creative! Don't re-use what was written last season)
Dom Montgomery will be going to games 1 and 2 in Tampa, because the Calgary Dragons were the ones to take the San Francisco Pride out of the playoffs, so I don't think he'd be very welcomed in the Dragons' den or want to be reminded of his downfall, though in a way, you want the people who get you out of the playoffs to win sometimes. However, one of Dom's best friends is Olivier Cloutier on the Tampa Bay Barracuda, so he'd be going to Tampa to cheer him on. Being there on Eggy's dime, Dom wouldn't want to do anything outlandish to make him think Dom was taking too much advantage of his generosity. He would pick a nice seafood restaurant, probably, catch the game, and then cover the drinks at whatever club Olivier insisted was good to go to. Olivier might not go out because he's in the finals, but it doesn't mean Dom and Leo Lockhart would miss out.
WC: 163

Code:
2. Written, 2 TPE (100 words min)
After a slow start to the regular season, the Dragons have surged of late and have rallied around the #CalgaWe notion of togetherness. On the other side, the Barracuda battled through a difficult East and are led by a very strong young core. Which team are you personally rooting for to take home the Challenge Cup and why?
I'm personally rooting for the Tampa Bay Barracuda. I've got nothing against the Dragons, other than the fact that they kicked us out and I'm sad, but Tampa's been good for so long that I think they deserve a trophyyy. Also, I talk to Jepox a lot, and it'd be nice to see him be happy. I also talk a lot to Jenny, Kalakar, and ztevans, and I'm a fan of strong young cores in hockey who defy the odds. Also, Dom is friends with Olivier Cloutier, so that's important to me that his friends have happiness. #CalgaWe is a fun hashtag though, I'll give them that.
WC: 107

Code:
4. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
Alternate Reality: Physicists and other smarties believe that this reality is just one of infinite realities existing alongside this one in parallel. Take us over to one of those realities in which everything is the same but these S50 playoffs have unfolded differently. What happened in this reality's playoffs and who's in the Challenge Cup over there?
It's the season 50 Challenge Cup finals and the San Francisco Pride, coming off a President's Trophy season, have made it to game 7 against the Tampa Bay Barracuda. Though the Pride had an amazing season, no one expected them to get this far. When they went up against the New Orleans Specters in round 3, everyone was like, "The Pride will choke," but they didn't and everyone was like, "oh, wew." The Barracuda have been great for a while, so this isn't as surprising to hockey fans that they made it out of round 2 against the North Stars and round 3 against the Steelhawks easy peasy. Now, in game 7 of the finals, everything is on the line for the Pride who haven't seen this kind of success, especially against Tampa. Leo Lockhart is about to face off against bff Olivier Cloutier in the game of their lives and my emotions are immense. Pride end up winning, because Dom told Leo that his fave scenario would be that they win a cup together in under four seasons, so emotions are there, too.
WC: 184

Code:
7. Written, 3 TPE (150 words min)
As competition ramps up for the playoffs, players (both those still in and those eliminated) work extra hard to improve areas of their game that are lacking. What one area of your game do you really needs to focus on improving and how will this benefit the team?
When it comes to the SHL playoffs, Dom Montgomery needs to get better in a lot of areas, but one area in particular that can really break a team in the playoffs are those dang defensemen who get penalties. Dom needs to be smarter about who he goes after, pay more attention to where his stick is so he doesn't accidentally trip people, and get a hold of his emotions during games when he's frustrated with his scoring potential. If he focuses on getting to the puck in time, maybe he'll have more of a chance to think about passing to the correct player instead of just icing it and upsetting everyone. His plus/minus has improved since last season, but the dude just needs to get his act more together, and for the playoffs, maybe he should focus on drawing penalties out of the other team and giving his bois a chance to make some magic happen.
WC: 157

Code:
13. Written, up to 5 TPE Pick up to 5 Challenge Cup related topics to write about! Each topic is worth 1 TPE. Each answer must be 50+ words to qualify.
B. Kata Vilde and Benjamin Blue are two of the best goaltenders in the league - which team has the advantage in net?
The Calgary Dragons are coming off two sweeps before the Challenge Cup finals while the Barracuda are coming off having to head into game 6 for both of their rounds. Looking back at the regular season 50, Blue had a 0.919 SA, and a 0.35 difference in his GAA versus Vilde. Blue even faced more shots, and had the most shutouts this past season, so looking at those stats alone, Blue definitely has the advantage in net. However, the Dragons defense looks to be a bit stronger on paper, and everyone knows they've got some forwards who aren't afraid to get near the net, so the playoffs are a different beast, or dragon, u could say.
WC: 116

D. What's your favorite player NAME on either team? why? (note: not who's your favorite player. which player name)
Out of all the names on the Dragons or Barracuda, Gunnar Soderberg probably has my favorite player name. It sounds like an NHL player's name, it rolls off the tongue easy, Gunnar is just a cool name in my opinion, and I like all the "R"s in the name, seems like it'd be fun to hear announced at a game.
WC: 60

E. If you could choose any one of the following four options, which would you pick? 1. A chicken parm sandwich from Esa 2. A tray of cookies from c00kies 3. A custom feet pic from JSS 4. An hour long stick and puck session with Jepox
A parm sandwich sounds delicious, but I would pay good money to have an hour long stick and puck session with Jepox. Not many may know this, but Jepox does score goals, and it would be my dream to watch and/or get hockey lessons from Jepox. I imagine it would be like getting lessons from that one famous little kid who is mic'd up by his father and says hilarious things.
WC: 71

Code:
15. Casual Member Special, 3 TPE max - 1 TPE for participation, 0.5 TPE for each correct answer - SEND ANSWER IN PM TO "PT DIRECTOR" (tagged below)
A. As defined by draft class, who is the oldest player in this series?
B. What is the name of the Calgary Dragons' Arena?
C. Name 3 previous names of the Tampa Bay Barracuda franchise
D. From these two teams, which player had the most PIMs in the S50 regular season? (Look, I'll even give you a link to the index right below this code box. When I posted the link directly, it auto-corrected the colon + slash into a partial frown face; it looks funny and the link still works so i'm leaving it)

**Important**: Send the answers to username "PT Director" with the subject of the message titled “S50 CW" - Do not send it to my personal account; those will not be graded. Do not post the answers in here; you will not get credit for the task.
PM sent

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2.) I’m cheering for the team that employs Gunnar Soderberg. Of course, Tampa Bay has plenty of young talent that has been firing on cylinders outside of the Swedish wonder, like Olivier Cloutier, Austin Roenick has had a great playoffs, Nikolai Evans has been a nice top-4 d-man, but also have (emerging) stars locking up top minutes in Flacko Lagerfield, who hasn’t had the greatest playoff run but is still one of Tampa’s best, Kristaps Ball and Maui being Tampa’s top pair, and netminder Benjamin Blue who’s coming off a fantastic season. With no real areas of concern, I think Tampa can take the cup home.

3.) If there’s anything I’ve noticed over the course of my time in the SMJHL and SHL, it’s that the playoff series’ are wacky, and I mean predicting is just a matter of how lucky you feel. The playoff format right now is kinda fine as is, and the only thing I’d suggest if the format can’t change dramatically, is maybe making wildcard should be a single elimination or a best of three. Not that these teams are not worth watching, but a wildcard game features two teams that may have just scraped into the playoffs. Cutting the series to a game or three games brings out more meaning as there’s a bit less room for error. However, if we could completely change the structure of the playoff format, then let’s make it all about goals. Have a 2-legged series and whoever gets the most goals wins, and no, away goals won’t be a tie-break. Should both teams have the same amount of goals after the end of the second game, we’ll go to a continuous three-on-three OT until someone scores.

4.) If I’m being honest, my bracket was really what happened in an alternate universe, so to be fortunate enough to get more accurate predictions than the majority of the league with what I’ve already seen is kinda cool. Tampa Bay won of course, but let’s go all the way back to the beginning. Calgary dusted LA in five whereas Manhattan beats Toronto in 6 (somehow convincing awards committee that Lallo Selman is ROTY). With those to moving past the wildcard, the western semis feature Calgary-San Francisco and NOLA-Edmonton while the east semis are Buffalo-Hamilton and Tampa-Manhattan. Tampa comfortably cruises to a trip to the conference finals through Gunnar Soderberg’s excellence and will face Buffalo, who’ve been here enough times the past five seasons to know what’s expected of them. On the western side of things, NOLA dethroned the reigning champs and Calgary take down San Fran in controversial fashion as Mike Izzy scores a phantom goal in OT to win the series for the Dragons. Riots take over the city, and management is asking the league to replay the game, but the request is declined, leaving Tampa, Buffalo, Calgary, and NOLA as the remaining four teams. Tampa “shocks” Buffalo as the new kids in town comfortably take down Viktor Marius and co., while the Spectors get showered with gumbo by the fans after finally making it to the challenge cup. In an all out fight to the death, the Barracuda are your S50 Cup Champions.

7.) One area of my game I’d like to work on is my discipline, but not just defensively. As a two-way defenseman, I really want to make sure that the game is slowed down, because transitional play (defending and jumpstarting rushes), being able to limit the amount of times players enter the zone and create, and not being pressured into a forced pass leading to a turnover have been lacking, hence my relative CF%, passing pct. being at 67.49%, and having to put my body on the line by blocking so many shots instead of suppressing them. Of course, more TOI and getting older will all help with my development, but my overall game could benefit so much by being a more disciplined player. Fortunately, I have great defensemen and ex-defensemen as teammates in GOD McZehrl, Geoff Moore, Igor Volkov, and Mathias Seger. Putting in a little work in the offseason will go a long way, right?

8.) Funnily enough, he’s been thrown into a conversation with Mike Izzy in it, but Gunnar Soderberg is due for an MVP sooner rather than later. I mean, the entirety of the S50 season and Soderberg’s resume speaks for itself. 42 in 50 as a sophomore, been a top three pick his draft class, contributor to a gold medal, and a player that elevates his teammates. It helps that Oliver Cloutier takes top opposition for him, but I doubt his numbers drop if he has the shooting talent of Flacko Lagerfield alongside of him. Development isn’t linear, but I can’t see Soderberg regress until the later stages of his career.

15.) Sent to @PT Director

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Task8.

I've gotta got with Mike Izzy. The guy is a very seasoned vet who has been around the league for years and has been consistently putting up all-star performances with strong play on both sides of the ice. I think he's still due to bring home an MVP award as he tends to be a very key piece of an always strong Calgary Team. He can do it all from hitting and defending, to leading the charge down the ice and popping the puck into the net. He's long been a valued member of the team and has been key to their success this season

14.

Again I'm going to have to go with Mike Izzy. The dude just had a monstrous playoffs while putting up some huge numbers (over 30 points through all the series). He knocked off some key teams in the process and it was key that he was a leader both in the locker room and on the ice. He had the ability to score in clutch moments, and never gave up even in series and games that weren't looking so hot for his team. I think that he is the easy choice for the Dragons MVP through this playoff run

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