Angus here again... live blogging the experts draft.
Snagged Olli Jokinen. He was a top 20 center in our league last year using the scoring categories we have in effect. I think he clicks in Winnipeg with Kane and Burmistrov, assuming the Wheeler-Little-Ladd line remains intact. A very solid top six.
There are actually zero RW left...
I snagged Michal Neuvirth as my third goalie. I think he's the long term starter in Washington.
Dennis Wideman is my best defenseman. #fantasyhockeyproblems
I always enjoy drafts in the later rounds - I trust my ability to land some sleepers. It's getting to be put up or shut up time now. Still some big names left, though. Vincent Lecavalier just went.
Kimmo Timonen goes. Always one of those "steady eddie" type of defensemen who seems to slide down the draft list from year to year. Not a huge name but he is quietly one of the best defensemen in the game, and he has been at that level for almost 10 years now.
Clutterbuck goes in Round 11. The first guy who has really risen because of the switch from PIM to hits.
My strategy for these three rounds - one defenseman, two forwards. I am going to sit and grab most of my D near the end.
In Round 8, I wanted Brent Burns. Of course he goes two picks in front of mine. I neded up taking TJ Oshie - gets lots of hits, I think he is primed for an offensive breakout, too.
Mark Giordano and Wayne Simmonds go right after me. Both are very solid picks. Still in Round 8 here.
Shane Doan goes to Jake. No word on whether Doan has made a decision on whether or not he will join Jake's team just yet, though.
Kevin Bieksa was a great pick - he gets lots of points, power play points, decent hit totals, and he shoots the puck a fair bit for a defenseman too.
Grabbed my first defenseman in Round 9 - Dennis Wideman. He's going to be good with the scoring statistics we use. As for real life... that remains to be $een.
Gates snagged Dubinsky - nice move, LW/C, and lots of opportunity in Columbus compared to New York.
Dobber proclaims that Steve is stealing his picks - Steve "that guy" Laidlaw - let's see if the nickname sticks.
In Round 10 I nabbed Ryan Kesler - even if he is out until January, I can put him on the IR. He'll return to form with a proper recovery from offseason surgeries.
Ryan Ma has started cursing. Let the fun begin!
I reluctantly grab Brad Marchand. Two Bruins is two more than I would like to own...
Gates snags Ryan Suter right after me. I don't have any defensemen yet - I figure I can wait a bit more as the hits category gives value to a lot of lesser-known defensemen.
Last year's champ, Ryan Ma, has a strong club. Backstrom, Getzlaf, St. Louis up front, Green on defense, and Rask and Hiller in goal. Somehow he does it again!
A mix of defensemen and forwards going - Burrows, Keith (no hair pulling this time), Moulson, Vanek, Campbell, etc. Very good players still on the board. I have my eye on a few, and I am sure the picks head of me will take care of my choice for me.
I don't pick forever, so going to make some green tea. Hey, don't knock it till you try it. Feel free to comment below to let me know you are reading along. Any advice, I could use it in a league with so many sharks.
Anders Lindback goes. It is now official - the best goalie left is Al Montoya. I grabbed Logan Couture - 30 goals and lots of shots (or whatever he scores in a shortened season) is what I am expecting. And he has LW eligibility, too.
Do we have a defensive run forming? Subban, Green, and Dan Boyle all go in consecutive spots after mine.
Kevin "Who Shattenkirk's bed" Shattenkirk is off the board. I have my eye on a certain young forward who scores a lot and shoots a lot.
A goalie run has returned! I nabbed Devan Dubnyk after seeing Varlamov, Holtby, and Crawford all go ahead of my pick. The downside of a 16 team league is it is hard to get a read on draft strategy of your fellow GMs.
I need a goalie. Now. I am picking in a few spots.
Lots of good forward talent going - Iginla, Lucic, Marleau, Ryan, and Iginla. Marleau was a guy I targetted - he is underrated in fantasy circiles because of his real life reputation (as a big-game wilter, if you didn't know). I'm not sure it's entirely fair, but it does affect people's perception of him.
Alex Edler is off the board. A great pick - he should emerge as a top fantasy option with a steady partner in Jason Garrison. Edler has 60-point upside - in fact he was on pace for 65 last season until falling off offensively.
Gates unites the Sedin twins. A rare feat nowadays in fantasy hockey leagues.
I grabbed Jason Spezza with my next pick. I wanted a second goalie but figure I can now wait a round or two. Hopefully that doesn't backfire...
Picks before mine - Landeskog, Benn, Evander Kane, and Phaneuf.
Dobber grabs Craig Anderson right after. Maybe I should have taken a goalie.....
To finish off Round 3 - Dobber/Angus/Gates - Hartnell/Seguin/Henrik Sedin. I think Seguin's primed for a monster year.
Aaaaand Mac steals my guy. David Backes goes four picks ahead of mine. I figured he would have slipped to me. Doesn't have the "name" value of similar players, but with hits and SOG he's a stud.
Backstrom (Minnesota) goes. Not much left in terms of goaltending, unless you want to take a gamble on a project or a guy in a 1A/1B situaton.
Kopitar goes a few spots ahead of my pick. I wanted him, but he wasn't my top target.
Eric D grabs Luongo - if he is indeed traded, an absolute steal in Round 3.
The goalies continue to fall - in Round 3 - Elliott, Niemi, and Marc-Andre Fleury are snatched up.
I have my eye on a certan forward for Round 3... hoping he will drop. It may seem like an off-the-board pick, but he fits our scoring system like a glove.
Big Dustin Byfuglien is a SOG monster, and he is the third defenseman taken. I really liked the pick here by Eric Daoust.
Rick Nash goes in Round 2 - someone is hoping for a Broadway comeback. Kris Letang is the second defenseman off the board. James Neal goes in Round 2 as well.
Carey Price goes as well. Corey Perry dropped down to mid round two, as we have dropped PIM. That hurts his value a bit, even if he returns to score 40+ goals in a contract year. He was grabbed by Mac Vincent.
The goalie run continues in Round 2. Miller, Mike Smith, and I nabbed Cory Schneider. Obviously I am confident the Canucks find a way to move Luongo once the lockout is over.
This has been one of the biggest goalie runs in my drafting history - Dobber grabbed Miikka Kiprusoff right after me. I'm not sure if Jonas Gustavsson is still available or not. Seriously though, the top 10 goalies are already gone through one and a half rounds.
We are into Round 2. I really want a goalie here, as I don't pick again for a while (13th out of 16 is my draft order).
Round 1 is underway - I will try to blog and draft at the same time!
Ovechkin goes 1st overall - with hits, that is a great pick.
I picked 13 - wanted Tavares, ended up with Parise. We count PPP and SOG, and he will be dynamite for both of those. I think he has a ton of motivation to succeed in Minnesota.
Goalie run was crazy in Round 1 - Rinne, Quick, Lundqvist, Rask, are all gone.
Dobber snags E. Karlsson in Round 1, one pick before me (like a modern day murderer's row in the drafting order).
Angus here - I'll be blogging during the Experts League draft tonight, and I will post up my round-by-round thoughts this weekend. Check this post on the forums out to find out more informaton about the league - and perhaps offer me some advice!
Lockout Update: Day 18 - There is still a lockout.
Fantasy Guide - The guide was last updated Sept. 26. The next update will be next Tuesday. We have the Expert League draft tonight and I'll be doing a write-up and analysis on it. However, I'll be tied up at the Blogs with Balls conference the next two days, and that runs straight into a couple of Thanksgiving celebrations I'll be off to with the family. So there's the reason for the delay.
Brendan Ross has served up some fresh ramblings over at Dobber Prospects. Fantasy hockey ramblings about actual games - what a concept!
Well that was a kick in the teeth, wasn't it? "No progress" trumpets Bill Daly. Nice. Just when things seemed to be taking a positive turn. When Daly is fully aware that the NHL can get the season started by gradually winding down the players' percentage of the take whilst maintaining the same dollar amount - thus avoiding any rollbacks. We know that's how it will end up. No need to miss games to get to that point. Just like the last lockout - we knew that the players would get a cap, and by fighting the fact they ended up costing themselves a year of earning.
Funniest team name and winner of a team audit - Chris Bieniek came up with "It's Cold in Here, Turn the Ehrhoff". And if that name is too long for you, he also came up with the runner up - "Taxi Cab Kanefessions"
Other funny names: Multiple Scoregasms, Laraque Obama, Byfuglien's Beer Belly, Hoglund's Heroes, Peter North Stars.
Also a clever one worth mentioning: "You Should Have". Why clever? Well, as Tom Collins explains on the FB page: In Yahoo, it gives the team name, plus who they selected. So after you pick Zach Parise it says this: "You Should Have selected Zach Parise"
Patric Hornqvist has signed a one-month deal with a Swiss club, and apparently this same club (in the B League) is expected to sign Alexei Kovalev as well. I expect that Kovalev's contract will be for the year, which - if so - would thereby end speculation of an NHL return.
A column in The Hockey Writers states that a stint in the AHL could benefit Sean Couturier. I agree - he is in the exact position that Eric Staal and Jason Spezza were in last lockout. Young, highly talented, with lots of upside…and this also gets him confidence in terms of scoring early and often. That will go a long way towards his mindset when he's back in the NHL. Because, let's face it, he's a fantastic checker and poolies don't want him to get TOO comfortable in that role.
This is a blow to the NHL. Don't underrate this move, even for the long term. ESPN has come to an agreement with the KHL. ESPN3 will carry KHL games throughout 2012-13. Five games will be aired in October, with three of them having Alex Ovechkin in them. Granted, it's on ESPN3, but it's a start.
Jamie Benn to Germany. Zdeno Chara to Prague and Patrice Bergeron to the KHL. Drayson Bowman to the AHL Craig Smith to Finland. Matt Duchene to Frolunda. Also - Tommy Wingles and Tom Wandell are off to Europe.
More talk on replacement players. What do you think? Myself, I don't care. I'd watch. And you know what, it would count in my league - even if it meant just two replacement players are owned in the hockey pool. I need my fantasy hockey fix, and I don't care how.
Kudos to Buffalo beatwriter John Vogl for keeping a running tally of the collateral damage of the lockout. When a Buffalo game is wiped out, he lists some people who are out of work - waitresses, cooks - he gets pretty specific, which makes more of an impact. I encourage all bloggers to do this. I care about this. I find this interesting. I don't care about what an NHL player is doing right now and I certainly don't want to hear an interview from one. And I care even LESS about owners. Nope, just tell the sad stories about the people out of work because of this. They deserve their story to be told.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard concussion update - he says he's 95 percent. Still, you have to think that he's a hit away from missing another season or worse, retirement. A risky pick who should not be selected until the bench rounds, if at all. But his upside is still there.
Here are some top plays by the aforementioned Bouchard: