Playoff Pools

Alright, we are a week away from the end of the Regular season which means it is time to start prepping for Playoff Pools. Unless your pool happens to expand into the playoff season, which I’ve only every been apart of one pool that did that. Wasn’t a huge fan of that since you don’t build your team at the beginning of the year or at trade deadline to determine your playoff fate. You build your fantasy teams to win the regular season.

Playoff pools offer some different challenges from the type of pools, to team pools, to bracket type picks. Either way, you need some form of strategy before going entering the pool.

One of the ways I plan when draft is to focus on the 4 teams I think will make the Semi – Finals in both Conferences. This way I stack up on the players so that if most of those teams make it that far you have a good chance of being in the money of that pool.

I will add more to this tomorrow.

Trade Deadline is Over

I always look forward to #NHLTradeDeadline line. As many of us saw, it was a pretty uneventful day. TSN and Sportsnet spends oodles amount of money, time and resources to have people talk about the trades ever year. Of course they cannot predict how many trades will get done, you have 5 hours of basically meaningless content and conversation since no real trades started until after 1pm. (Just when I got home I might add).

Several trades where already completed days before the deadline that had some impact on those teams going for the Stanley Cup. Therefore it didn’t leave a lot of left for the final day and hours so somewhat anti-climatic. I used to take time off to watch the whole show and a few times it has been well worth it and a few times it wasn’t, like this past one.

On to the trades, as usual there were some that blew us fans away and then there were some we all thought, even the experts that did not happen. Love some of the press comments, and I’m being sarcastic when GMs stand in front of a microphone and lie about certain things. Personally I don’t care much, but I know the media probably hates the song and dance they get.

Bottom line, some teams made trades that should improve their team while some stood pat and either way we will see what happens in over the next couple months as we head into the Playoffs and run for the Cup.

 

 

 

Today – Feb 19

Had to delete my NJ mid season report because of all the Spamming. Friggin unreal.

 

Sorry for not many more posts lately, taking care of things on Twitter as best as I can. In the midst of selling my house so a little busy right now.

Trade Deadline just over a week away and that is always exciting. I don’t expect too many big deals and overall I think the volume will be down this year.

Until next post.

Center Ice Chatter

Steve

Tampa Bay Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report

Tampa Bay: Last year’s Stanley Cup finalists are not looking that good this year.  The team is basically the same, with a few added depth pieces and Namestnikov who is playing well right now. Injuries to Tyler Johnson haven’t helped. The pending free agency for Stamkos seems to be another distraction then there is Drouin who wants out. What a mess in Tampa.

At this point I don’t see this team making the playoffs and Stamkos, if he waives his no trade could be on the move as I highly doubt he will resign in Tampa. His 33 points are okay but should be higher, but then he is not playing Center, his natural position. Kucherov leads the team in points by 1 point over Stamkos, and not a huge surprise although a bit of a slow start to the season he is right now the most consistent player on the team.

Tampa still has some really nice young pieces. An unfortunate season for Tyler Johnson who had a blowout year last year and injuries not his friend this year. With Stamkos gone next year he and Kucherov will be the focal points, pending any player they sign or trade for.

Flippula, Palat, Killorn and Callahan are all having down season and Callahan is really bad with only 14 points which doesn’t help fantasy owners at all. That list is way too long for this team and shows why they are not having success. If they don’t put up the goals to win more games, then they’ll be watching the playoffs instead of playing in them.

Bright spots are Namestnikov as noted and Marchessault (could both names be any longer) with Namestnikov getting top line opportunities. I think he could be a sleeper keeper for you next year assuming you got him on waivers and cheap.

The other bright spot on D is Hedman who hasn’t really skipped a beat as their number one Dman. 25 points in 44 games is nothing to complain about. Nor is 22 points from Stralman. The bust has been Carle. Making over 4 million and has 0, and that is a zero for points.

The one area on the team that has been good is in net. Bishop is having a decent season with 18 wins, and back up Vasilevsky has been adequate in relief.

St Louis Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report

St Louis: This team continues to end up in the top grouping in the Western Conference, but never seems to have enough to go a few rounds in the playoffs. Another team loaded with talent that it is almost scary but for some reason fall short year after year.

Leading the way is superstar Tarasenko! This guy is a pure goal scorer and has many years to go in the NHL. Never trade this guy unless you get a boat load and more for him! Steen is having another very good year as well, and it helps playing with Tarasenko.

After T&S, the points drop off for this team and I’m sure fantasy owners go nuts when you think many of the players / forwards on this team don’t have more points. Captain Backes can’t stay on one line so consistency is a huge problem. I say just leave him with T&S! That is where he seems to have earned most of this points when playing with them and I know us owners want more from him!!

Mid-tier forwards for lack of better term are Lehtera, Stastny, and Brouwer are all under-performing. Then there is Schwartz who we all had high expectations for and got injured early in the season. He should be back soon so a must starter and hopefully he can pick thinks up where he left off last year. This team could use that boast.

Fabbri has been a pleasant surprise, not so much in what he can do, just wasn’t sure if this team was ready to use him regularly this year, but probably had no choice with injuries and lack of production from the above noted.

I still rank their Defense in of the top 5 in the league but this year there has been a lack of production. Hey wait, there is a theme here on this team. Trade rumored Shattenkirk has 26 points in 38 games which is very good. Pietroangelo at 19 and a -8 is not something fantasy owners probably expected from him. The pleasant surprise on D is Parayko who many teams want now should the Blues make a trade and why not, he is performing, putting up points and he is young. Looks like a bright future for him and you probably got him on waivers this year, and he should be a keeper for you going forward.

Jake Allen started to take over the #1 role for this team and it was going really well. Not a big injury but enough to set back fantasy owners and now Elliott who has been very good while in St Louis is holding down the fort. Most likely only a short term stint until Allen is back so kind screws up your goalies plans with this team.

San Jose Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report

San Jose: I will admit this is my second favorite team in the league. This team has so much talent on it and has had for a couple years now and we all know that they just can’t seem to get over the playoff hump whether it is making it or bowing out early.

They easily in my opinion have two solid lines that can score and make it dangerous when playing against them. Leading the way again is Pavelski with 43 points now as of this posting. Thornton keeps on putting up the points consistently as does Marleau with 34 and 30. You shouldn’t complain when selecting any of these guys as they always deliver in fantasy pools.

The biggest surprise is Joel Ward. His 27 points has far exceeded anyone’s expectations. I don’t think he can keep up the pace but should easily have 45 points which is a bonus for anyone who drafted him, and I know as I did! J

While I have noted that this team does have two lines that can score there has been a little underachieving from a couple players in Hertl and Couture. Now, Couture obviously gets a mulligan because he was hurt so that didn’t help any of his owners this year.  Hertl is okay with 21 points but he needs to take more advantage when someone is out of the lineup like Couture was. Donskoi was one of the European descents that people thought he would benefit playing in San Jose and all that talent. Unfortunately he is only average at best and sometimes not even seen.

The other players of note are talented and maybe in a couple years will be in the top of the points leaders for this team are Tierney, Nieto and Karrlson who looked real promising late last year playing on the top line but not doing that much this year. They are all good players for very deep leagues.

Now on to Burns who is having a Norris trophy season but may be second fiddle on the final balloting. His 40 points I believe are a career high at this stage of the season and I would strongly consider him a keeper in any pool at any price. What I mean by that is if you are in salary type pool, defenseman don’t usually go as expensive as forwards but right now he is producing like one, so his dollar per point value may make him worth a keeper value.

After Burns this team has never really had a top scorer but Vlasic who is up and down in points is having a nice season and 40 points is not out of the question at this point but 35 will still look very good for him. Braun and his 17 points is nothing to complain about either do far and better than some elite Dman on other teams.

Martin Jones seems to be the real deal after watching Quick for a few years. Given the chance to be the number 1 goalie, he has done really well. Keep him if you got him!

Chicago Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report – Reposted

Due to spammers I am reposting this.

Chicago: I must admit I was looking forward to this write up and will also admit I was never a Blackhawks fan but the model they have created since drafting Kane and Toews, etc and the trades and the success of the Stanley Cup victories have made them a model of success! Bravo!! It has also been a deep team to pick up players for your fantasy teams.

The only difference this year is most of the scoring is from the top line and man has Kane been an absolute stud this year. If you picked him as I did in one big pool, he has been an absolute stud and at this pace he should be the Scoring Champ.

24 year Panarin  has just over half of what Kane has in points which is more than Crosby or Kessel, Perry or Getzlaf. He has been a great addition for the Blackhawks and fit in really well with Kane. If you were smart enough or lucky to draft him, what a gem you have.

Now, I mentioned the first line has done most of the scoring, but Toews and those that play with him have done adequately as well, but there is a big drop off from first to second line in points. From a fantasy  prospective it hasn’t been a bad second option with Hossa or Teravainen, and Anisimov.

Keith missed a bunch of games but at 24 points in 32 games it is not a bad pace. Alternatively Seabrook has picked up the slack and is having a great year as well.

One bust has been Dano who came over in the Saad trade. He had flashes of scoring late last year in Columbus but has done nothing with all the high profile talent around him. Obviously he still has time, but I know many who were thinking he was going to have a good year. I even projected him at 32 points, ouch that was way off.

I can’t forget to mention what a year Crawford has had statistically with 6 shutouts. He was drafted last out of 14 goalies in one pool. What a steal that was! No reason why he can’t sustain his wins the rest of the season so if you try to pick him up it will cost you!

The one area this team may have trouble in getting another top flight scorer with their Cap so they have to continue to develop within, which has worked before and as noted, is the model other teams are now using.

Pittsburgh Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report

Pittsburgh: Oh man, where do we go with this team? Loads of talent! One of the best generational players in Crosby, and you could argue at times Malkin, yet this team just seems to struggle this year. They’ve already made a Coaching change and brought in another rookie Coach who is having his own struggles now. I know it doesn’t help when they have injuries but that is just an excuse.

At least one of Malkin or Crosby is leading the team in scoring and they are actually 1-2 now. Malkin has obviously been the best player and Crosby is really turning it on lately. Question will be can they make the top 10 or 20 in the scoring race by the end of season and at least help fantasy owners make a run in there pools??

Where is Kessel? I was laughing and arguing with those that had him easily pegged to hit 50 goals this year. While playing with either Crosby or Malkin there was a chance, but boy this guy just seems to bring the worst out in players / teams and himself, whatever it may be. Sure he had a couple good years in Toronto with limited talent around him, but last couple of years, he is like Waldo, where did he go. His 24 points sucks for fantasy owners! Trade him if you can if haven’t already, as I think average is what he will be the rest of the season.

What an unfortunate situation that Dupuis had to call it a career. This team has a very nice complimentary forward group, at least on paper but as already mentioned, this team is just underperforming especially when it comes to scoring and helping fantasy owners. No other forward has hit 20 points yet and those names are Hornqvist, Perron, and Kunitz and I think that is pathetic that none of these players who have had good years in the past may not even hit 40 points for the season. Now that is one of the worst group in league for us fantasy owners!! Boo is what I have to say.

Then they traded for Bonino and signed  Fehr to help with depth scoring, and they have done almost nothing to help the team.

This team has spent all their money on forwards except for Letang who is a pure scoring defenseman and his 26 points is actually pretty good for this team and he has missed a handful of games. There are some really nice bright spots on Defence for them but all really too young at this point. Maatta and Dumoulin for example I think have nice futures ahead of them but I think throwing them into the firepan and trying to hold down the fort is just not ready for them and don’t expect them to put up big numbers just yet.

Fleury in net was actually having a decent year and 15 wins is nothing to really complain about He is nowhere near how well he played last regular season where he several shutouts but he was good for fantasy owners before his injury. We’ll have to watch and see what he does in the second but I after my rant I think this team can turn it around and Fleury will benefit with more wins.

Philadelphia Mid Season Fantasy Hockey Report

Philly: The Flyers are one of those teams the past several years where you look and shake your head at what they do. Every year there is something within the team dynamics that you just can’t figure out.

One of those items this year was the horrendous start and play by Voracek, and then the team itself. So he is up to 29 points now and he could end up with 60 points at the end of season, but with the big contract he fell asleep on his money for a few months and disappointed fantasy owners!

Giroux is leading the team in scoring to no real surprise and has also picked up his game lately but still outside the top 20 in scoring. If we simply double his out I don’t think owners will be overly thrilled with 66 points when you probably had to pay a lot to get him or drafted him early.

On a whole the forward group is not up to par for fantasy owners. Too many of them just at 20 points now in Simmonds, Schenn, and Couturier. Read and Raffl seem like all they are getting are 4th minutes with the lack of production and just pushing the 15 point mark, if that. Overall this team has not helped many fantasy owners or draft pools.

Getting rid of Vinny was a smart move and will help their Cap next year so it will be a mystery to see who they bring in to refill the gap of the cap they like to spend too.

Only bright spot has been Gostisbehere who I know a few people that really liked him as a Junior with lots of upside and he has done really well since becoming a regular Dman for this team since Streit went down with an injury. This is another team that needs more from their defenseman when it comes to scoring.

The goalie situation has been the longest enigma on this team, but right now they have a good tandem in Mason and Neuvirth, but they just need one of them to be more consistent as here is another tandem situation that drives fantasy owners bonkers.

It is another season for what seems like a dysfunctional team that are Jekyll and Hyde so far this season.