Tuesday, September 23, 2008

'08-'09 Fantasy Hockey Teams

In no particular order, here's a brief look at the 16 teams participating in this year's HLOG Fantasy Hockey League. Place your bets in the comments on who you think will win the most coveted prize in Fantasy Hockey history.

(note: Tracy, I have your prize sitting on my desk and I promise that one day I will mail it to you)

NPI Conkuerors
Steph has decided to start the season with only 3 Defensemen (M. Green, Kubina, and B. Stuart). I tried that strategy one season and it didn't work out as well as I had hoped. There's a good chance that Steph's defense will not provide her enough points every week. There might not be anyone in free agency worth selecting, so a trade may be her best move.

3 Mile Isle Meltdown
Poor Teka thought the Draft was set for an hour later and ended up with an Auto-Drafted team. I think her team is decent but she is NOT thrilled with having Marian Hossa and is determined to rid her team of his stench. She also got stuck with Derek Armstrong (I took her favorite Armstrong), Darcy Mother Tucker (appropriately named by CapsChick!), and Bryan McCabe (that received a few chuckles).

Bethany's Bitches
Bethany has a lot of faith in Columbus' goalies as evidenced by her selections of Norrena and Leclaire for her Fantasy team. I think she has a case of the "over confidences" but wait till you see my team. She also managed to pick up three additional BJs (tee hee hee), Rick Nash, RJ Umberger, and Jakub Voracek. Wait, no Filatov?? If Columbus makes the playoffs this year, so will Bethany. However, Bethany should put some thought into making a trade for a LW because she only has two and will probably want one more when neither Nash nor Patrick Sharp are playing on a given night.

Update: Bethany wisely decided to drop Norrena. However, now she's rolling with only one goalie, which could present many problems, most notably securing the three game minimum/week requirement for goalies.

El's Belles
Ellie has a pretty decent team with a solid goalie tandem consisting of Lundqvist and Price. Eric Staal is her prized possession and if Cammalleri has a good transition in Calgary, Cheechoo regains his scoring touch from two seasons ago, and H. Sedin puts up big numbers like he should, Ellie could be a front runner.

Connie has a fantastic one-two punch at Center with Joe Thornton and Anze Kopitar. Despite her unwavering hatred for San Jose, she set aside her feelings to conduct business by drafting Thornton, Joe Pavelski (hmmm, she must have a thing for guys named Joe) and, of course, Rob Blake. She also drafted her new fave King, Dustin Brown, and with a solid offensive defensive corps, Connie will definitely be in the top half of the league in offense. However, will Cam Ward and Pretty Ricky be good enough to consistently win the goalie categories? I think not.

Dirty Birds
Elly has a strong affinity for Centers as she picked 5 of them. Yeah, 5! She was lucky enough to snag Vincent LeCavalier but, it'll be interesting to see if Jordan Staal can improve upon last year's outing and whether or not Patrice Bergeron can put up more than 7 points. Her defense is very defensively minded, not the best group for Fantasy Hockey, and Manny Fernandez is her #2 goalie...ouch. Elly, you may want to tweak your defense if you want to advance to the playoffs.

Heather B. has a very young team with loads of potential. Accompanying Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek are Jonathan Toews, Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, and Steven Stamkos. Surprisingly, Stamkos was picked very late; apparently not many ladies are expecting him to be close to the second coming of Ovechkin. She also got stuck with Pronger, but may have the last laugh if he can put up another 31 assists and 128 PIM. Despite backstopping Florida's squad, Tomas Vokoun had 30 wins last year and if he has another season like that he'll be the perfect complement to Evgeni Nabokov.

Red Square Raiders
CapsChick picked first and was awarded Alexander Ovechkin. Throughout the draft she proceeded to select (almost) only players from the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens: Koivu, Ovechkin, Semin, Markov, Poti, Komisarek, A. Kostitsyn, Higgins, Federov, Alzner, and Theodore. She should drop the other 6 players and pick up Caps and Habs to become the Monwash Capidiens.

Tracy was also on AutoDraft but I really like her team. She has Malkin, Getzlaf, Blake, Prospal, and Gaborik up top. Derek Morris is her weakest defenseman with only 25 points from last season. Her goaltending is suspect with Martin Gerber at #1 and Jonathan Bernier at #2. It still isn't certain whether Bernier will be with the Kings this season so she should be ready to drop him once the Kings roster is announced.

Kirsten was on Auto-Draft the majority of the time (perhaps for the entire Draft) and came away with a team I can only describe as 'meh'. Crosby, Olli Jokinen, and Brad Richards are offset by Sami Salo, Simon Gagne, Kevin Bieksa, and the European-bound Martin Straka. Her goaltending is shaky with Mike Smith (and the nonexistent Tampa Bay defense) backing up Manny Legace.

Great Gig in the Sky
AcidQueen was also on Auto-Draft but came away with a pretty solid team. You really can't complain with Mike Richards, Derek Roy, Dany Heatley, Patrik Elias, Jason Pomminville, JP Dumont, Niklas Hagman, and Andy McDonald. Her defensemen are great set-up men and even Chris Neil will make up for his low points with PIM. With Roberto Luongo and Mathieu Garon in net, AcidQueen probably has the best all-around team.

Update: Erik Johnson is expected to miss the ENTIRE season! AcidQueen, drop him....drop him like it's hot.

It Only Game
Cat, that lucky devil, is blessed with the amazingness of Nicklas Lidstrom but that's about it for her defense, which includes Matt Niskanen, Ron Hainsey, Mathieu Carle, and Ryan Suter; all decent players that are just not suitable for Fantasy Hockey. Brendan Morrow and Zach Parise will be leading her offense, but hopefully Joe Sakic can stay healthy and motivated to pot more than 13 goals. With the crazy Russian (Ilya Bryzgalov) and Peter Budaj in net, I think it's safe to say that Cat will be stuck trying to crack the top 8.

Sauer Power
Mo has a very strong offensive corps but a weaker defense than Cat's team. It's amazing that Mo was able auto-draft Le Petit Briere, Marleau, Vanek, Alfredsson, Nikolai Zherdev, Shane Doan, and Shanahan (I'm assuming he'll eventually sign somewhere). Her team didn't have a strong outing in +/- last season but Jared Boll and Shane O'Brien will most likely secure her a win in PIM every week.

Leanne has a full roster of second tier scorers that could consistently hand her the W every week. She also fittingly drafted the offensive defenseman powerhouse, Dion Phaneuf. Leanne smartly drafted three goalies to provide her a security blanket in case one goalie decides to have a mental breakdown this season.

Use and Amuse
Sherry opted to nap on her couch rather than participate in the Draft...I suppose she can still play. The Hockey Gods punished her by auto-drafting Mats Sundin and Alexander Radulov. However, maybe if Sherry commits an act to the Hockey Gods' liking, they'll allow Radulov to play in the NHL and convince Mats to quickly sign with a team before the start of the season. Sherry will absolutely clean up in the assists category but goals is an entirely different story. Sherry's defense won't be providing her many goals this season so she'll have to rely upon the sniper skills of Datsyuk, Daniel Sedin, Naslund, and Erat. If Toronto and Boston are winning teams this year, then she'll also receive decent goaltending stats from Vesa Toskala and Tim Thomas...but you never know with those franchises.

Vote 4 Lubo
I probably have the weakest defense with Boyle, Zidlicky, Jack Johnson, and Drew Doughty. I'm counting on Boyle becoming more of a points gatherer with San Jose and Jack to be more offensively minded this season. I'm only going to give Doughty through October to prove that he deserves to be on my fantasy team. I probably should have drafted someone else but I let my emotions get in the way. (Damn you feelings!) My forwards are all capable of putting up big numbers so I'm relying heavily upon them (Ribeiro, Drury, Frolov, Avery, St. Louis, Lupul, Modano) to carry the team. I called for Avery in the middle of the draft and surprisingly, everyone let me have him...I heart Avery! Like Leanne, I also drafted three goaltenders to be safe: Turco, Biron, and LaBarbera.

Since the Draft there have already been two trades proposed. In the first trade, Steph is sending Sam Gagner to Kirsten for Brent Seabrook. Steph will recieve a fourth defenseman (a must) and Kirsten receives a talented center who will probably be even better than last year.

The second trade will see Teka sending Ilya Kovalchuk to Mo for Thomas Vanek. I don't really know why Teka is sending away a player who notched 87 points last season, but I can only guess it's for personal reasons.

There you have it, ladies and gents, the '08-'09 HLOG Fantasy League. Hopefully throughout the season we'll provide you udates on how dramatically the teams have changed and which teams are the bottom feeders and which are the dominators. Are you ready for a Throwdown?


Connie said...

Ugh, I should have picked a goalie in an earlier round! Boooo... Cam Ward? =/

Cat said...

Yeah, I picked Matt Niskanen cause I just had to have him on the team. I didn't get any of the other defensemen I wanted, and since I wasn't there for the draft, it autodrafted me some fail.

Teka said...

It's because I'm trying to get a player I can pretend to care about... hence the trade for low-ranked Eric Fehr as well.

Bethany said...

Don't worry Conklin is now one of my bitches. :)

Kirsten said...

Autodraft clearly has a vendetta against me. Wow.

Steph said...

Hahaha I'm fixing that defenseman thing actually...the only reason I didn't take another was to prove to CC that I really WOULD draft Tomas Fleischmann aka Fuckhead.

Sherry said...

How many times! I fell asleep by accident, okay!

I kicked Sundin and Radulov to the curb already. Hopefully it won't come back to bite me later.

I'm still waiting on my 3rd place prizes from last year btw. :D

Connie said...

Haha, I was WONDERING who in the heck drafted Sundin!

The Acid Queen said...

Heh, I totally jinx0red the Blues. :D

violator said...

Great, I love these fantasy games! :D