Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yet another thing riding on #34...

Along the way during the draft I’d delete the lines for players drafted, which allowed my ranking system to dynamically reflect the changing nature of the available talent remaining. At times it became apparent that only a few relatively elite performers remained in a given position, and that helped inform my choices during the middle rounds.

So yeah, there's the one paragraph explanation of why I won't be winning Mirtle's hockey pool this season. I had my usual draft: thrilled with the early parts, then lost the ability (or perhaps, will) to select the best player available about halfway through, and it ended up being a bit of a monkey show.

In an 18-man draft, I had the coveted/dreaded corner spot at the far end -- #18. The upside of this spot is that you just take the guys you have targeted, and don't concern yourself too much with whether it's 15 picks early, because Hey! -- there are 34 picks before it comes back to you. The downside -- apart from picking 18th in the first round -- is that it's a bit too tempting to reach for guys; "I have two picks, I can afford to gamble with one of them!". Here's how it went:

Last pick of 1st/First pick of 2nd: Kipper and Lidstrom. Kipper could return to his spot as the #1 fantasy goalie this season, Lidstrom will have points, ST points, +/-, everything except the PIM. One of the few elite D-men (PS Phaneuf was already gone).

L3/F4: Paul Stastny and Nicklas Backstrom. With an anchor goalie and d-man on board, it was time to try to load up on forwards. Here's two guys who could quite conceivably finish Top 10 in scoring this season. Backstrom's value is somewhat contingent on how much he plays with Ovechkin, but he was a 4th overall pick and is probably near the point where he'll produce regardless.

L5/F6: Alex Tanguay and Martin Havlat. Don't suppose I need to explain why I like Tanguay for the umpteenth time. As for Havlat, his health is a gamble, but he's a superstar when healthy.

L7/F8: Niklas Kronwall and Sam Gagner. When two of the scoring categories are Shots and +/-, Red Wings d-men seem like a good bet. I went too early with Gagner, somehow not realizing that Horcoff was still on the board.

L9/F10: Jason Blake and Kari Lehtonen. Blake is due to bounce back in the offensive categories, I think. He was, what, 3rd in the league in SOG last season? Lehtonen was the last undisputed starting G on the board, and had a surprisingly decent .916 SV% last season.

L11/F12: Mark Giordano and Jason Williams. I wanted Gio, so I took him. Williams seemed like the last decent bet for 25 goals on the board.

L13/F14: Matthew Lombardi and Mats Sundin. I always pick Lombo; wouldn't want to be left behind if this is finally the year he busts out some impressive counting stats. Sundin or Havlat figures to be my steal of the draft.

L15/F16: Jaroslav Halak and M-A Bergeron. There's a non-trivial chance that Halak will be the #1 G on one of the best teams in the league by mid-autumn. I'm guessing MAB's icetime will be massively torqued by Lemaire to the direct benefit of his stats (lots of O-zone faceoffs, PP time, shifts against 3rd/4th liners). Either that or he'll be a healthy scratch.

L17/F18: David Moss and Curtis Glencross. Moss I wanted, I remain convinced that he's going to play an important role this season. Glencross (god love him) was a panic pick, I just could not find anyone I wanted scrolling through the board. I just dropped him for Richard Zednik. No offense GlenX!

L19/F20: Denis Grebeshkov and Tomas Fleischmann. I needed a 5th d-man... perusing the FA wire, I see a couple of guys I probably want more. Last pick was between Fleischmann and a C who shall remain nameless for now; I needed the depth on the wing more.

Prognosis: same as usual. A regular season placing somewhere in the mid-to-high single digits, followed by a loss in the quarters or semis. Good times! More chitchat about this same league here and here.



I'd be interested in knowing how the entire first 2 rounds shook out in this draft. Have you got that info?

From Mirtle's C-Pool... you haven't seen panic picks until you've seen me pick. Every pick after the 6th is questionable:

Round Pick Player Position
1. (3) Henrik Zetterberg LW
2. (38) Martin Biron G
3. (43) Tomas Vokoun G
4. (78) Patrick Sharp LW
5. (83) Ales Hemsky RW
6. (118) Ryan Smyth LW
7. (123) Jonathan Cheechoo RW
8. (158) Pavol Demitra C,LW
9. (163) Ryan Kesler C
10. (198) Stephen Weiss C
11. (203) Adam Foote D
12. (238) Joe Pavelski C
13. (243) Kevin Bieksa D
14. (278) Owen Nolan RW
15. (283) Christoph Schubert D
16. (318) Keith Ballard D
17. (323) Mason Raymond LW
18. (358) Marc-Andre Bergeron D
19. (363) Douglas Murray D
20. (398) Kris Draper C

Admittedly, there's a strategy underlying the draft picks (dominate goalie stats, do well on +/- and shots, steal a couple of other categories), but when Ryan Kesler is your first center chosen, you failed. My saving grace is that Demitra picked up C-eligibility afterwards and even that isn't much.

I'd be interested in knowing how the entire first 2 rounds shook out in this draft.

Without getting into any detail about who picked where, here's the list of the first 36 picks.

Rd 1: A. Ovechkin, E. Nabokov, S. Crosby, E. Malkin, M. Brodeur, V. Lecavalier, D. Heatley, R. Luongo, J. Iginla, H. Zetterberg, P. Datsyuk, J. Thornton, D. Phaneuf, M. Hossa, I. Kovalchuk, J. Spezza, E. Staal, M. Kiprusoff

Rd 2: N. Lidstrom, H. Lundqvist, M. Turco, J. Giguere, C. Price, D. Alfredsson, M. St. Louis, M. Fleury, J. Theodore, C. Osgood, P. Leclaire, N. Backstrom, R. Getzlaf, O. Jokinen, T. Vanek, R. Nash, B. Rafalski, T. Vokoun

1st Round:
1. Alexander Ovechkin
2. Evgeni Nabokov
3. Sidney Crosby
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. Martin Brodeur
6. Vincent Lecavalier
7. Dany Heatley
8. Roberto Luongo
9. Jarome Iginla
10. Henrik Zetterberg
11. Pavel Datsyuk
12. Joe Thornton
13. Dion Phaneuf
14. Marian Hossa
15. Ilya Kovalchuk
16. Jason Spezza
17. Eric Staal
18. Miikka Kiprusoff

Snaking back, Rd. 2:
1. Nicklas Lidstrom
2. Henrik Lundqvist
3. Marty Turco
4. Jean-Sebastien Giguere
5. Carey Price
6. Daniel Alfredsson
7. Martin St. Louis
8. Marc-Andre Fleury
9. Jose Theodore
10. Chris Osgood
11. Pascal Leclaire
12. Niklas Backstrom
13. Ryan Getzlaf
14. Olli Jokinen
15. Thomas Vanek
16. Rick Nash
17. Brian Rafalski
18. Tomas Vokoun

Well there's 3 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Theodore in the second round could look remarkably stupid.

On the other hand, Getzlaf late 2nd round could end up looking friggin' genius.

But that's just what I think.

Heh, sorry Matt. My day job is boring enough that I'm happy to give away three minutes.

Jose Theodore that early with Backstrom/Leclaire/Huet/Biron/Vokoun/et al still on the board is criminal. Sure it might work out, but it's like investing all your money into a stock with a 90% of failure... and 10% of the time it'll pay you a 5% return.

Getzlaf is definitely a great pick, helps you in every category and seems to go later than he should.

Lecav (and Heatley) over Iginla is a little suspect.

Of course, I passed Malkin to take Zetterberg so I'm not sure I should be critiquing anyone.

I ought Nabby 2nd overall was suspect...as was choosing Phaneuf in the first round.

11. (203) Adam Foote D


I think you made a mistake taking Lidstrom as your second pick - sure there aren't a lot of impact defenceman, but defenceman simply don't have the same relative impact of a good forward in a fantasy pool. I'd rather take mid range defenceman later on and make sure I take lots of high talent forwards.

I only say this because I took Pronger 2nd overall one year and it ended up being a mistake for the very reasons I just outlined.

11. (203) Adam Foote D


Even I don't know. I guess his PIM was kind of... high? In my defense I was trying to play a game in the background.

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