Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Magicpie's sure-to-succeed fantasy hockey guide

Allright it's fantasy season. So with that in mind, here's my fantasy league advice, focused mostly on yahoo leagues. This post is mainly going to be about general advice that applies every season. I'll try to have something more specifically related to this year's players and rankings once I have a better look at the player list.

Goalies Should Be Your Top Priority. As anyone who's played will tell you, this is by far the most important rule of yahoo leagues. Goalies take up two of your twelve roster spots but make up 40% of your total stats. What's more there's only about 20 good goalies in the league, and while you can usually pick up plenty of good forwards and defencemen off waivers throughout the season, good goalies are almost impossible to find after the draft. Your team can recover from not drafting enough left wingers, or picking crappy defencemen. The only sure way to fuck your team over for the rest of the season is to pick bad goalies. So make these your top priority. Unless you can get Sidney Crosby if any of the top 3 goalies (Lulongo, Brodeur, Kipper) are still available when you pick in the first round you should take them.

The first 8 picks are when the draft is lost, the last 8 picks are when the draft is won-In your first 8 picks you should have only one priority: Don't fuck up! By this I mean, don't waste any of your top picks on players who overachieved the previous year and are consequently overvalued. People who picked Chechoo in the first round last year know what I'm talking about. The first 8 rounds of the draft are littered with possible mistakes like these. As long as you recognise who these players are (it's actually not that think Andrew Brunette's gonna put up 80 points again this year?) and avoid them, you should already be better off than most of the managers in the league who will probably have wasted at least a couple of their high picks on these overrated players at this point. As for the last 8 picks, well there's not much to say about this except that there's much more value to be had here than people assume. Players fluctuate to the point that a 4th-5th round pick 2 years ago goes 10th or 11th this year because of one bad season. Don't let that one bad season scare you. Take these guys and if they come back to their old selves you have a good shot of winning your league.

Better to take the misranked players earlier rather than later-For those of you that don't know what I mean by misranked players, these are quality players that end up being ranked way way lower than they should be by yahoo because they missed most of the previous season and thus put up no stats. I'm not talking about players ranked 10 or 20 spots lower than they should be, but top-20 picks being ranked 500th. This means that they're put at the bottom of everyone's draft list and everyone forgets about them, meaning they can be picked far later than they should be. The draft then becomes like a game of chicken between some managers, as they see how long they can wait before finally taking these guys. My advice is this: don't wait. If you see Alex Tanguay ranked 600th when you know he should be going in the 4th round, don't push your luck and wait untill the 9th or the 10th round to take him because some some other jackass who's thinking the same thing might take him in the 8th and letting you end up with nothing. Even if you get him only 2-3 rounds later than he should be going, you're still helping your team, and you're running a far lower risk of ending up with nothing.

Draft magazines are useless-There I said it. They're not bad for entertainment but their predictions arent too great.

Positions matter. Back a few years ago every left winger turned into a player that could play both left and right 10 games into the season so you could get away with just picking the best players and worrying about the rest later. This is no longer true. Most wingers can play only right or left, meaning that left wingers are in far shorter supply and thus more valuable than right wingers. Make sure you're solid at this position before picking any RWs. As another note, centers are probably the deepest position fantasy-wise so you can get away with picking them later in the draft, and defencemen, while important (aside from a good goalie, a defenceman who can put up a point per game is the most valuable commodity in yahoo fantasy) tends to be overvalued, so a lot of the good defencemen get picked earlier than they should be, so my advice would be to stay away from them in the early rounds. In contrast, defense is also the position where you're most likely to pick really really good contributors in the later rounds. It's usually possible to not pick any defencemen with your first 7-8 picks then pick four midrange/undervalued guys in a row with your next 4 picks and still end up with a solid defense corps.

Follow this advice and I guarantee...well nothing. Good luck to all in their drafts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There. It's over. It's done. Now we can all shut up about it.

By the way, Linden's stats last season adjusted for ice time:
points/60 min ES ice time: 1.53
points/60 min PP ice time: 2.71

And Bryan Smolinski's:
points/60 min ES ice time: 1.57
Points/60 min PP ice time: 2.70

I don't hear anyone calling Smolinski washed up.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This needs to happern

One of the most annoying things about watching hockey on TV is all the pauses. Icings, penalties, goalies freezing the puck, pucks going out of play, etc. Basically for every minute of actually watching the game you get another minute of watching players skate around getting ready for a face-off. This kills the flow of the game and makes it a lot more boring to watch (us kids these days, we don't have long attention spans). As such, I really wish they'd start running edited replays of Canucks games with all the pauses between plays cut out, and just the actual game being shown.

Yeah, I know the CBC already shows edited versions of its Hockey Night in Canada games later that night. The problem with these, though, is that they're edited pretty badly. They cut out about a third of the game itself along with the pauses in play and the whole thing seems random and disjointed. That's not what I want. Instead they should show every second of actual play, as well as leaving in a few seconds before a face-off and after a stop in play so the whole thing doesn't look to disjointed. Also, after a perticularly nice goal it might be good to leave room for some replays before going to the next face-off. Basically the editing needs to be done right for something like this to work.

If done right, though, game replays like these could actually make for a pretty good programming choice for, say, the more dead time slots like those on mornings and late-nights when some networks (this means you, Sportsnet) don't feel its worth the cash to buy actual shows and just end up playing the same damn Sportsnet News re-run over and over.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I demand a recount!

Well it seems I lost the canucks blogger contest thing. So instead of voting for me this round I'm gonna ask you all to vote against the guy that beat me. Vengeance will be mine.
At least this time around they're asking people to submit their email every time they vote (last round you could vote as many times as you wanted) therefore hopefully preventing a scandal of "vote for Rory"-like proportions.

Since I took the time to write it I might as well get something out of it so here's what my post would have been if I'd gone through:

I have to say that I came down with a bit of writer's block trying to come up with a post about the Canucks' prospects. So after seriously considering putting up a post titled "Harold Druken: The Man, The Legend"(I'm not joking), I've instead decided to rip off ESPN's Bill Simmons and write a post based on quotes from the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa and Bart are on different hockey teams. Why? Why the hell not. Each notable Canucks prospect gets a quote from the show and an explaination.

Homer [upon seeing Uter the German kid]: "Look, that kid's got bosoms! Who's got a wet towel?"
This one goes to Michael Grabner. Based on everything the Canucks are saying, Grabner better start putting on weight if he wants a shot at making the team. There's a small chance that the Canucks may know more about this stuff than me, but count me among the people who don't get the whole "this guy's too small to play, he's not getting ice time unless he bulks up" approach to prospects. It just seems like a lot of the time it does more harm than good.

Apu[after shooting a puck at Lisa]: "The goalie of my dreams!...Now let's try a hard one to make sure it wasn't a fluke."
He may not be a goalie but this quote goes to Janik Hansen. He played surprisingly well during his short call-up in the playoffs last year, but a lot of young players play above their normal level their first few games in the league purely because of the andrenaline (look at how Alex Edler's play worsened later into his stint with the team last year). Hopefully he gets more of a long-term shot this year and we find out if that was the real Janik Hansen we saw in the playoffs.

Homer: "Oh my God Marge. A penalty shot with only four seconds left. It's your child versus mine. The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore"
This one goes to Luc Bourdon and Alex Edler. Based on our current defence situation, there's only really room for one young defenceman to earn himself a regular spot on the team in the next couple of years. Wether they like it or not, those two have a bit of a competition on their hands. It would also make for a great running sub-plot for this season if these two played equally well and the town split into "pro-Edler" and "pro-Bourdon" camps that reularly duked it out on sports radio and message boards and such. Seriously, this needs to happern.

Marge: "I don't know how you two can sit here laughing at poor Lisa while she's out there probably scared to death."
Luc Bourdon gets himself an additional quote here. All reports during his 9-game stint at the start of last season indicated that the problem was not lack of talent but mental. And you know what, I actually feel pretty bad for him. It would probably suck to know that you've missed your chance chance at an NHL career not because you didn't have enough skill but because you couldn't get it together confidence-wise. Here's hoping that he pulls it together this year.

Milhouse[playing goalie for Apu's team]: "I could have been equipment manager, but noooooo."
To Cory Schneider. I don't know why it was just a great quote.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

And now for another exciting edition of "people who look like things"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


The good people are having a "choose our new blogger" contest, and your humble corespondent had his entry chosen as one of the options. To the five of you who actually read this blog, if you guys could throw a vote my way that'd be great (my entry's the one named Magicpie). Either way if you want to check out all the entries here is the link.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Burke doesn't match

As you've no doubt heard, Brian Burke did not match the offer sheet and Penner is now headed to Edmonton for 5 years at 4.25 million per year. This offer, or rather the muted reaction to it, might be the most significant thing to happern this off-season. The surprise and anger that you would have expected after Burke didn't match hasn't been there so far. Yes, it's still early, but there haven't been any angry quotes from anonymous GMs calling Burke a pussy for not matching and claiming his actions will destroy...well I don't know what exactly. Compare this to last year, when even though Nonis matched Kesler's RFA offer he still got angry calls for other GMs for not doing so quickly enough. By now, though, he stigma that used to be associated with RFA offers, both in terms of offering them and even remotely contemplating not matching them, seems to have mostly dissapated. For the first time in a long while, or I guess ever, we've seen the RFA process occur without a huge ammount of scorn being heaped on all sides by the hockey community. Offer sheets are now a legitimate tactic. In the hockey world, this might be one of those huge historical moments that changes the way things are done from this point on. I think it's pretty likely that next summer we're going to see a lot more RFA offers and that not a lot of fuss, at least of the "RFA's are forebidden asshole!" variety, will be made about them. So congratulations Kevin Lowe. Your desperation has created a new world for us all.