- Cage Match
- Written by Rick Roos
Who is fantasy hockey's most frustrating player to own?
Welcome back for week two of the Cage Match Tournament to decide - once and for all - who deserves the “honor” of being named fantasy hockey’s most frustrating player to own! Thanks to all who voted in round one, which produced both some close matches and others whose outcomes were never in doubt.
As I mentioned last week, in round two we’ll see the top two vote getters in each bracket face off, and the player with the highest total when the dust settles will represent his bracket in next week’s semifinals. Every vote still counts, as even those who ran away with victory in round one might be in for a closer race when the number of players you can vote for per bracket drops from eight to just two!
For each bracket, I’ll run down the vote totals from last week, set up the battle between the top two vote getters, and make some comments and observations regarding week one.
Once again voting will take place – with Dobber’s renewed blessing - in the General Hockey Chat area of the forums, with specific links located at the end of each bracket listing. Although part of the reason to put them there is increased visibility, the voting (plus the posts that go along with them) is fantasy relevant, since poolies can see how/what the market might be for a player both in general and as compared to another.
Bracket #1 – Goalies
Craig Anderson (XX votes) – 20 votes
Jaroslav Halak (XX votes) – 20 votes
Jimmy Howard (XX votes) – 5 votes
Roberto Luongo (XX votes) – 3 votes
Steve Mason (XX votes) – 7 votes
Pekka Rinne (XX votes) – 0 votes
Cory Schneider (XX votes) – 9 votes
Cam Ward (XX votes) – 36 votes
First off, maybe it’s because I’ve owned him four of the past five years, but seeing Luongo finish second to last astonished me. And while I figured Rinne wouldn’t be a top vote getter, I didn’t see him getting zero votes. Was there a better option than him to include? Let me know in the comments.
But the big news in this bracket was the tie for second place between Anderson and Halak. To break the tie, I counted the posts in the poll thread from last week, where Halak narrowly edged Anderson.
And although Ward had nearly twice as many votes as Halak last week, those votes have now been wiped away, and perhaps when now faced with just two choices many of the 44 voters who picked goalies other than Halak or Ward will end up casting their ballot for Halak. If not, then we’ll at least get to see whether the gap narrows somewhat.
Bracket #2 – Band-Aid Boys
Martin Hanzal (XX votes) – 0 votes
Ales Hemsky (XX votes) – 14 votes
Nathan Horton (XX votes) – 3 votes
Kris Letang (XX votes) – 48 votes
Joffrey Lupul (XX votes) – 18 votes
Jeff Skinner (XX votes) – 8 votes
Jason Spezza (XX votes) – 6 votes
Alex Steen (XX votes) – 0 votes
Letang had the widest margin of victory among any round one champion, and the most total round one votes. And although I figured he’d be in the mix, I’ll admit I didn’t peg him as a runaway winner. But that might stem from me never having owned him in a league.
The battle between Lupul (who received my vote in round one) and Hemsky for the second place spot was quite close. It’s hard to find fault with anybody having picked one over the other, since picking between these guys in a band-aid boy contest is kind of like choosing between strep throat vs. the stomach flu.
I’m a bit surprised that neither Hanzal (who I honestly see as at least as frustrating to own as Skinner) nor Steen (is he that much worse than Hemsky?) received any votes. Let me know in the comments if I should’ve swapped in two better choices.
But what shocked me the most was Spezza not even finishing in the top four. Who would’ve thought a 75 game season in 2013-14 would erase so many people’s memories so quickly. Or maybe he’s been a band-aid boy so long that folks somehow no longer find it frustrating as much as par for the course?
As far as the Letang vs. Lupul match-up for this week, it’s hard to picture Letang not winning; he fits the category and is not only more widely owned than Lupul, but also has likely broken more hearts, as opposed to merely disappointing like Lupul. Then again, as evidenced by him receiving my vote last week, I think that when it comes to being a pure band-aid boy Lupul fits the criteria more than Letang. We’ll have to see what the final votes tell us.
Bracket #3 – The “What Have You Done for Me Lately” Guys
Jeff Carter (XX votes) – 1 vote
Mike Green (XX votes) –35 votes
Rick Nash (XX votes) –26 votes
Zach Parise (XX votes) –1 vote
Dion Phaneuf (XX votes) – 5 votes
Daniel Sedin (XX votes) – 4 votes
Alex Semin (XX votes) –11 votes
Eric Staal (XX votes) –12 votes
After day one of voting the only question was whether Green or Nash would finish with the most votes, and then slowly but surely Green pulled away, likely because of his band-aid boy status on top of his WHYDFML frustrations. Seeing Parise tie for the fewest votes surprised me, as did Nash’s strong showing. Then again, I’ve never owned Nash, so I might’ve been spared his full impact. For what it’s worth, my vote went to Phaneuf, as to me he always seems like a better bet than nearly any of these guys to actually recapture his past magic.
For this week, Green looks hard to dethrone; but I hadn’t counted on the many people who’d fallen victim to Nash. Plus, he’s played a few years more than Green, giving more poolies a chance to have suffered from owning him. On paper it should be the closest battle of the week.
Bracket #4 – The Rest of the Worst
Patrik Berglund (XX votes) – 9 votes
Ryan Clowe (XX votes) – 4 votes
David Desharnais (XX votes) – 2 votes
Steve Downie (XX votes) – 5 votes
Tobias Enstrom (XX votes) – 17 votes
Marian Gaborik (XX votes) – 32 votes
Dustin Penner (XX votes) – 11 votes
Ryan Suter (XX votes) – 6 votes
If you’d ask me where I thought Berglund would finish, never would I have imagined fourth. But I guess he’s touched more nerves than I would’ve guessed. On the flip side, I figured that Desharnais would have a better (worse?) showing, since he’s been all over the place in his career.
In the end, seeing Gaborik and Enstrom as the top two vote getters seems like the right result. Will Gaborik’s recent run of good health and production be enough to outpace Enstrom, who’s left so many fed up owners in his wake? Hard to say for sure – we’ll have to see what happens.
Quarterfinal voting will close on Monday July 21th, so be sure to vote for all brackets by then! See you next week for Round three – the Semifinals!