Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fantasy Hockey Team

Today was the Live Draft for the Ultimate HLOG Fantasy league. You can read about the draft at HLOG. Here's my team in the order that I picked it:

  1. Joe Thornton - C (SJ)
  2. J.S. Giguere - G (Ana)
  3. Jonathon Cheechoo - RW (SJ)
  4. Alexander Frolov - LW (LA)
  5. Lubomir Visnovsky - D (LA)
  6. Tomas Vokoun - G (FL)
  7. Eric Staal - C (Car)
  8. Sergei Zubov - D (Dal)
  9. Jason Blake - LW (Tor)
  10. Manny Legace - G (STL)
  11. Justin Williams - RW (Car)
  12. Sami Salo - D (Van)
  13. Patrik Elias - C (NJ)
  14. Tomas Holmstrom - LW (Det)
  15. Marek Svatos - RW (Col)
  16. Michal Rozsival - D (NYR)

The league is set up for Head-to-Head play and we're competing in the following categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, W, Sav %, GAA. Each team must have their goalies play a total of at least 3 games per week, which makes having a top goalie crucial. Over the past couple seasons of playing Fantasy Hockey I also noticed that teams were most successful when they had three goalies, something I never wanted to embrace till it was too late in the season. This year I was determined to start the season with three goalies. The lineup each day consists of 2 C's, 2 LW's, 2 RW's, 4 D's and 2 G's, which means, with a 16 man roster, that you'll have to bench 4 players. Since most D don't put up a lot of numbers, I've noticed that it's better to only carry 4 D throughout the whole season.

I had the 7th pick out of 12 teams so I was worried about my first pick. I would have liked Crosby or Ovechkin but, of course, they were taken when it was my turn. I knew that I would eventually want a top goalie but didn't really want to take one in the first round. Thankfully, Joe Thornton was still available so I snatched him up. The next 5 guys taken in the first round: Sakic, Iginla, Luongo, Miller, and Malkin.

I knew that I had to get a goalie in the second round before the top ones were all taken. Unfortunately the best one left was Giguere and despite my initial goal of not taking any Ducks, I just couldn't pass up Giguere. Other Number 1 netminders taken after Giguere: Turco, Backstrom, Hasek, Fleury, Nabokov, etc.

For the next three picks I wanted to fill out a starting roster with a LW, RW, and D pick. I figured Cheechoo would be my best bet at RW (and think about the combined points I will get with Thornton and Cheechoo!!) and couldn't pass up the opportunities to select Frolov and Visnovsky. Every season I hope Frolov will become a 40-goal scorer and not giving up hope this season! Lubi put up a lot of assists the past couple seasons and he's usually a sure bet on the power play.

I was excited to pick up Zubov in the 8th round because I thought he would have gone sooner. I was about to select Toskala as my third goalie but Kirsten snagged him just before it was my turn so I settled for Manny Legace.

I was surprised that I got Elias so late in the draft. I am worried about New Jersey's low offensive production but Elias is usually pretty consistent every season.

I think my team is pretty solid, but so is everyone else's team. The number of teams in this league was capped at 12 so all of use could have quality teams. It'll be interesting to see which players see their production drop from previous seasons and which players have breakout seasons. Preseason starts this week and the regular season is only several weeks away!!


Silencer76 said...

Elias fell as far as he did in your league not so much due to offensive production in New Jersey I would think, as opposed to Elias's health issues the last couple of seasons. He did play 75 games last year, but his goal production dropped. Played just 38 games in 05 06.

I was more surprised that Staal (the cover boy for NHL 08) was around in the seventh round of your draft.

Mark it down, Vesa Toskala will be the top goalie in TO. As a die hard Leafs fan for more than two decades, he has the most talent of any goaltender in Toronto in quite some time.

Kirsten said...

WHOO! Toskala! I was hoping he'd be good.
You have a very solid team, it should be a very good league. The talent seems to be fairly evenly distributed, etc. I would imagine there will be some awesome trash talking too, if Steph ever speaks to me again...
BTW I wanted Thornton, Cheechoo, and Holmstrom, but a certain lady a pick ahead of me seems to have them on her team...

KMS2 said...

S: I'm banking on Elis not having an another case of Hepatitis and hopefully playing a full season. I think he's fully capable of putting up big numbers, so let's hope I'm right!

I was very surprised that Staal was still around in the 7th round. I had him two years ago and he was phenomenal for my team. He didn't have as good of a season last year but I think he'll be better this season.

K: You should be very happy that you have Toskala. I was surprised that no one was taking him so I was planning on stealing him late in the draft but you beat me to it. Glad to know that I stole some of your picks ;) Makes me feel a little better about not getting Toskala. I finally signed up for Netflix and "Youngblood" should be arriving in the mail today!

Silencer76 said...

The thing that troubles me about Elias is that he scored 38 goals the season before the lockout, and has put up just 37 since. Staal did regress a bit last season, but the entire club did. Can only hope that they rebound a bit to help your team, since you have J Williams too.

K: Toskala, in the last two seasons for San Jose, was a combined 49-17-5 with 6 shutouts, a .905 save percentage and a GAA of 2.46. The Leafs got a steal taking him from San Jose, who now has to deal with Nabokov on a full time basis.