- Cage Match
- Written by Rick Roos
Who is more frustrating to own? Ward or Halak? Green or Nash? Letang or Lupul?
Welcome back for week three 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 and/or round two, as you helped us reach this point – the FINAL FOUR!
As I mentioned in week one, the last four players standing (or, in the case of band-aid boy bracket “winner” Kris Letang, maybe sitting?) will be matched this week based on round two vote totals, with the player who received the highest total votes in round two pitted against the lowest round two vote getter, and the second and third place finishers facing off in the other semi-final battle this week.
In this column I’ll run down the vote totals from last week’s quarterfinals and “close the book” on each of the four brackets. Then I’ll set up what should be two epic semi-final matches for this week, as all four players that remain finished within 12 votes of each other in round two, with three being separated by only four votes!
This week’s voting will once again take place - with Dobber’s continued blessing - in the General Hockey Chat area of the forums, with specific links located at the end of the column.
Bracket #1 – Goalies
Jaroslav Halak – 19 votes
Cam Ward – 50 votes
While Ward receiving more votes in week two versus week one wasn’t surprising, Halak receiving fewer was a bit hard to process. It could be a combination of some folks who voted for him in week one not doing so again in round two for whatever reason, or perhaps a few people rethinking their week one votes for Halak based on the forum comments that accompanied the goalie polls.
Either way – Ward’s vote total was up by nearly 50% from week one to week two. If anything, he seems to be gaining momentum as the tournament progresses, perhaps due to some owners having sadly been forced to relive moments they long thought had been suppressed.
Bracket #2 – Band-Aid Boys
Kris Letang – 52 votes
Joffrey Lupul – 16 votes
It’s a similar story for Lupul as it was for Halak, although Lupul somehow lost even more votes from his first round total (two, compared to just one for Halak). Here I think - even more so than with Halak - the week one and two comments in the polls might’ve swayed some people away from Lupul, as in many cases Letang owners sounded like they’d been to the fantasy equivalent of hell and back more than a few times.
And although Letang had the lowest vote increase from week one to week two, that was mainly a function of him having received so many week one votes. He enters these semi-finals with the highest round two vote total and thus the #1 seed for the semi-finals.
Bracket #3 – The “What Have You Done for Me Lately” Guys
Mike Green –40 votes
Rick Nash –24 votes
These results were very interesting, as Green received only five more votes in week two versus week one, while Nash (like Lupul and Halak) saw his vote total fall. In this case, perhaps some of the supporters of the week one choices (like Hurricanes Eric Staal and Alex Semin, who combined for 23 week one votes) felt that neither Green nor Nash rose (sunk?) to a level of frustration that merited their vote in this round?
Either way, Green finished with by far the lowest round two vote total, which sets up an all defenseman battle for this week between him and Letang. Maybe I should use this as an excuse to do an actual Cage Match between the two players once the regular column resumes? Let me know your thoughts on that in the comments.
Bracket #4 – The Rest of the Worst
Tobias Enstrom – 16 votes
Marian Gaborik – 48 votes
Like Ward, Gaborik saw his vote total increase significantly from week one to week two, while Enstrom (like Halak) lost a mere one vote. The big question is whether Gaborik, who’s emerged from these first two rounds largely untested, will have what it takes to be victorious against Cam Ward this week.
I think a Ward/Gaborik match will be hard to predict, since a goalie against a forward really is an apples vs. oranges type of battle. Plus, some leagues don’t even include goalie categories, which might leave Ward at a disadvantage that he didn’t have to face in weeks one and two against only other netminders.
Voting Links and Deadline
Semi-final voting will close on Monday July 28th, so be sure to vote for all brackets by then! See you next week for Round four – the FINALS!