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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

howsabout a hockey update?

Since we've last visited the KHL, SKA St. Petersburg has widened its lead in the Western Conference.  (A reminder- for simplicity's sake, any game going into OT will be massed in the third column of their record by myself.) SKA has rung up a 4-0-2 record in November, including an 8-1 demolishing of Spartak in which SKA spotted them the first goal and then netted 3 in a 1:46 span of the second period.
Dynamo Moscow continues hot in 2nd place- their only loss of the month a 2-1 loss to Nefthekhimik where goalie Tuomas Tarkki stopped 36 of 37 Dynamo shots.  Torpedo has won three straight to inject itself into the leader board, a point behind slowing 3rd-place Dinamo Minsk.  That streak includes back to back shutouts, 1-0 against Salavat Yulaev and 5-0 against Neftekhimik.  Atlant, with their spanking-new coach tops that, winning 4 straight close matches- three of them by 3-2 scores- to pull within one of fifth-place Severstal.  Following them are Red Army and Dinamo Riga, then collapsing Spartak.  Spartak has gone 1-5-1 in November, being outscored 20-7.  Lev's brief renaissance has fallen off, a mix of losses and OT losses dropping them to 7-14-5.  The thug factory in Vityaz continues to be conference doormat, their only RT win this month so far a 3-2 win over Spartak (go figure).

In the East, Amur remains in the hunt despite a bad slump that was finally snapped in a 2-1 win over Avangard. Traktor continues to have the league's second best record at 15-6-3 ( SKA being best at 19-2-6).  They kept ahead of Amur with back to back wins over Lev and CSKA.  They are followed by Avangard and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, who is on a 4-game winning streak. The bad news for double-M is that they came against Yugra Metallurg Novokutnesk, Amur, and Sibir, who've combined to have a 4-10-8 month.  Barys is in fifth, having just had a streak ended by a Red Army 4-2 win. Ak Bars continues to struggle, losing 4 of 5; Yugra trails them in 7th.  Salavat has not found a solution in a new coach; they did rebound to beat Traktor 4-0, but that was the sole RT win, and the 3 losses include a 7-3 pasting by Moscow.  "The other Metallurg" is next, followed by Sibir, who has lost a good start by going 0-4-1 in the month.  Last place belongs to my woebegone Automobilst team.  It's not that they aren't trying- they split 2 OT games and all three losses were by one goal.  The lone RT win was a 4-2 affair against Minsk which they had took the lead with a Ilya Malyushkin goal with just 1:02 left, then hit the empty net with 0:19 remaining.

And here, for the first time this year, is my patented Eurohockey update! 
England's EIHL is being led by Belfast's Giants, 5 pts clear of Nottingham.
France's Ligue Magnus as usual led by Rouen, with Chamonix and Briancon hot on their tails.
In the Swiss National league A, Fribourg, SC Bern, and Davos are all tied for first, with Kloten's Flyers just 3 back.
Italy's Serie A is topped once again by Val Pusteria; Asiago, who snuck into the playoffs and then won them 2 years running, is mired in a 5th place tie, 9 points back.
In Germany's DEL, Adler Mannheim leads by one over Hamburg; my Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg team is puttering around in 7th.
Norway's GET-Ligaen has Stavenger again on top, and with a vengeance.  The 18-2-0 Oilers are 16 points clear.
Sweden's Elitserien is led by HV71 by 3 points.
In the S-M Liiga of Finland, Kal Pa holds the top spot by 5.
SonderjyskE once again is running away early in the Danish AL-Bank Ligan, 16-2-2 and 10 points in front.  Blue Fox Herning, who caught them to win it all last year, is third, 14 back.
Austria's EBHL is 54 games in (each team) already, and the top powers from last season are right there - KAG Klagenfurt holding a 10-point lead on Red Bull Salzburg.
And finally, the earthquake-recovered Asia League is led, as per usual, by Anyang Halla, 1 point up on the Nikko Icebucks.

And now, for your entertainment, I begin a feature on the worst teams in these leagues.  We won't count perpetual doormat China Dragon of the Asia League, because no one can match their 0-12-0 record and average score against of 7.5 to 1.5 (The range here runs from a 5-3 loss to Anyang- the only game they've topped 2 goals- to a 14-0 thrumping against Nikko) .  In all honesty, there are only three contenders right now.  Villard in France is getting outscored at a 5.7-1.1 clip, but are only 8 games in (0-7-1).  The Fife Flyers of the EIHL are a better challenger, with a 1-13-3 record and a usual score of 5.8 to 1.7.  But right now, the top contender for worst team in Europe is Frisk Asker of Norway, with a 2-18-0 record, and an average score against of 6.4 to 1.8.  That's 128 goals against in 20 games!  Now I don't feel so bad about Automobilst (which, in the end, was the reason I did this in the first place.)

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