09 April 2007

12th best in the world?

or just shit? you decide:

My initial foray into an "Expert's" hockey league:

Rank Team Points Moves
1. TSN.ca 68 9
2. mckeenshockey.com 66 11
3. rotoworld 65.5 5
4. The Hockey News 61 15
5. Fanball 59.5 9
5. FantasyHockey.com 59.5 15
7. RotoPass 54 9
8. Y! Sports 42 8
9. CBS Sportsline.com 40.5 5
10. Rotowire 40 28
11. TalentedMrRoto.com 37 27
12. SportsBlurb.com <--(yeah, that's me) 31 23

The first year of the TalentedMrRoto.com ICE Experts league just finished and what a doozy it was. Dead last. Since it's my blog, I suppose I can give my excuses, right? Right?

I have none other than this: I'm not accustomed to the one-year only (non-keeper) leagues. Obviously I knew the deal going in, but I never adjusted my draft strategy. Also, I completely failed to take the importance of goaltending into account - with 12 teams and 24 starting goaltending spots, if I drafted poorly - oh, and I did: Martin Gerber! Alex Auld! Dan FREAKIN' CLOUTIER!!! - there was no way out via the waiver wire so I'd be forced to deal. I did, but far too late.

My draft was a litany of bad picks and underachievers - I did create waves by taking Evgeni Malkin in the first round (much later dished for Roberto Luongo) and three picks later I grabbed Nicklas Lidstrom. Good start, eh? Gerber in the 3rd. Bad, but recovered with Daniel Briere in the fourth. Nathan Horton in the fifth ended up ok, but it was too high to grab him (again, would have been a good pick for a keeper league).

The next six rounds were holy hell for me: Mark Bell, Joffrey Lupul, Auld, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Jussi Jokinen, Paul Mara. To call Bell a bust (or Lupul for that matter) isn't telling the full story - he was supposed to be my big pick, the package deal who would net me points in every category. Chris Neil in the 12th got me big PIM points.

Rounds 13-16: Milan Michalek, Wojtek Wolski, Jordan Leopold, Jason Pominville.
Rounds 17-22: Lukas Krajicek, Jim Vandermeer (I was strictly thinking PIMs), Anze Kopitar, Raffi Torres, Cloutier, Ladislav Smid.

Pominville and Kopitar were the best of a mostly lousy group here (later on I flipped Kopitar for Maxim Afinogenov and just as I climbed to 9th place Max broke his wrist. Yay.)

Countless free agent acquisitions and a few trades gave me false hope and the last month was spent in the cellar, picking up goons to try and punch my way to the top. I did end up 2nd in PIMs.

In the end though, it was a great time - I can only hope I won't be relegated next year if and when they do it again. My thanks to Eric Maltais at TalentedMrRoto.com for making the efforts to found the league.

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