The Puck Pastor gives you three ways to deal with unmet fantasy hockey expectations.




I preached a couple Sundays ago about how the things that frustrate us year round can often frustrate us more at Christmas. Our expectations about the kind of life we should have increase at Christmas and so the gap between what we want and what we have is magnified. Everything is supposed to be a certain way. Family is supposed to be happy. Finances are supposed to be plentiful. Little Drummer Boys are supposed to earn extra income as midwives. We talked about this dynamic and tried to find some hope for the disappointed.  


The same equation of unmet expectation equals disappointment is true in fantasy hockey as well and by this time of year we are all experiencing some disappointment, as players on our teams are not coming through in the way we thought. Let's take a look at a few places on your roster where your expectations may not have been met and see if we can't deal with your disappointment. 




I've had terrible luck with goalies this year. Originally I had drafted the tandem of Rinne and Nabokov. I assumed Nabby would benefit from the almost universally agreed on upward trajectory of the Islanders this year. I also assumed Rinne would be his normal self, I was optimistic to have two decent starters in my deep league.


My optimism died quickly. Turns out the Islander's stink and Nabby couldn't stop a beach ball, even before his groin injury. Then I was out bid by a guy named Ed (outbiddED?), on a waiver attempt at Kevin "No Foolin'" Poulin. In panic mode, I grabbed Reto “Yogi” Berra after his big debut against Chicago a few weeks back and rode his hot streak of no wins and GAA 4.31 over the next few starts. 


Pekka Rinne, of course, got an E. Coli infection in his hip. I should have seen that coming. Pretty common in sports medicine to ice an injury with a raw side of beef and that darn E. Coli can sneak in there. I'm being ridiculous. How the heck do you get an E. Coli infection in 2013. Isn't something we've figured out how to avoid? Is he going to get rickets next? Thankfully, I had Carter Hutton on my bench. Of course, Hutton screwed the pooch and then I was really stuck. 


Since all the starting goalies and most of the back-ups are already gone in my league I've turned to the wire and ended up with these three


Jonas Gustavsson (17% Yahoo) and sneaking in his fair share of games.


Frederik Andersson (19% Yahoo). Not playing much but when he is in he wins. 


Curtis McElhinney (14% Yahoo). Lieutenant Bobrovsky went down the night our waivers closed and it wasn’t clear what the extent of his injury was.  I put a last second claim in for a few bucks and got him. He rewarded me with a shutout a couple days later.


Not the three goalies you set out to get on draft night, but if you’ve been stuck with something like a Hutton and Berra tandem these three should hold the fort until Rinne heals up.




Need forward help? Why don’t you jump on the bus….the ColumBUS that is. Ho Ho Ho. Even though Dubinsky just came back and Horton and Gaborik are both out, they are still hanging around that eighth playoff spot. Not too bad considering Dubinsky is the straw that stirs the drink over there (I don't know what that means but I've always wanted to say it and it is tough to work into a sermon) while Horton and Gaborik are both first line guys on most teams. Be worth your while to try to pry one of the aforementioned three away from someone in a buy low scenario. But maybe check Gaborik's return date - rumor is he may have caught rabies from the Nashville medical staff during a road game. Or, if you don’t want to move any of your assets you can probably find Dobber favorite Cam Atkinson (8% Yahoo) on the wire.




Tough to shore up the defense at this time of the year. Early waiver wire surprises are probably all picked up and there was no one top flight there anyway. Here is where you can probably play off of another owner’s frustration and score someone cheap.


I bet you would be surprised at what you can get Mike Green for. John Carlson is stealing his power play time. His one measly goal doesn't make up for his lousy plus/minus. Classic buy-low candidate and could be a real steal depending on his asking price. However, I don’t think he can get much worse and the upside might still be there. As his coach pointed out, last season Green had eight goals in April.


Hope that helps your fantasy hockey life. If you are curious about chasing the connection between disappointment, expectation, and Christmas into your real life you are welcome to watch my talk here ( 



Of course, be aware the link is to a HD video of a church service so if that sort of thing isn't of interest to you here is an alternative link which, though intended for your betterment, is not religious in any way (

Twitter: @nweselake



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