Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rookie tries fantasy hockey.

So this is what it's like to build a team.
Except Gauthier is a vegetarian and I love chicken wings, so not really.
I recently joined a hockey pool for the first time, and learned that "fantasy hockey" isn't those dreams I have where Josh Gorges makes me waffles and we watch Arrested Development together. (Did I just blog that out loud?)

My draft was yesterday, and it was every bit as stressful as my fantasy football draft a few weeks ago. I'm guessing that all the grumbling and the yelling and the loud noises and rise in blood pressure are normal when drafting a fantasy team?

In any case, here's the lineup for Every Day I'm Byfuglien:

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh. He scores lots of goals and gets lots of penalties. I get points for both of those things. Plus, I was confused about whether to take him, Stamkos, Ovechkin, or Henrik Sedin. So I took the guy who tweeted a picture of his cat.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago. Because he's Jonathan Toews.

Tomas Plekanec, Montreal. I don't think I get points for faceoffs, so that's a Plus for Pleks. I have a good feeling about him this season.

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles. He's good all-around, and he's a King. I went for Brown since Doughty and Kopitar were snatched out from under me.

Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal. Yeah, I took a gamble on Andrei. Most people don't believe in him, but he can do great things during contract seasons. And if he doesn't do a lot of scoring, he'll probably get in trouble, and I'll get points for PIMs.

He was really excited when I picked him
Shane Doan, Phoenix. So, Jarome Iginla was taken. And then two picks before I was going to take Evander Kane (the baby Jarome Iginla), he got drafted. So I took Shane Doan, who, like Iginla, is a great player and a great captain. Also, whenever I'm in doubt, I just think of what players Czechtacular likes. (I'm still her protégée, no matter what she says.)

Joe Pavelski, San Jose. He's good during the regular season, right?

Brian Gionta, Montreal. My captain. Why not?

Devin Setoguchi, Minnesota. Remember how on Friends, Chandler always went back to Janice? I think Setoguchi is my Janice. So many things have happened that should have made me stop liking him: The Sharks have lost in the playoffs when they were supposed to win the Cup. I've seen him wear Ed Hardy. He got married and didn't tell me. He joined Twitter, was boring, then quit because it was "too distracting," only to come back after he'd been traded to Minnesota. Through it all, I still like him. This isn't healthy. Don't let me down again, Devin.

Brent Burns, on the fantasy hockey campaign trail
Brent Burns, San Jose. The trade to San Jose is supposed to be really good for him, right?

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit. He's Nick freaking Lidstrom. He's good at everything.

Jack Johnson, Los Angeles. Okay, so I got another King. He's a badass.

Cam Fowler, Anaheim. I took him because everyone says to take Cam Fowler in fantasy hockey.

Theo Peckham, Edmonton. He gets penalty minutes. And that mustache.

Brooks Laich, Washington. He didn't become a Hab this summer, so this is the closest I'll get to having him on my team. Should I re-name my team As You Laich It?

Mason Raymond, Vancouver. (aka, The Opposite of Name-Dropping) Okay, so he's broken. But when he's fixed, even if he doesn't come back 100%, he'll still be damn fast.

James Wisniewski, Columbus. He's good at hockey. I remember that much from last year. (The rest is all a blur, stained by tears over player injuries and Saku Koivu's return to the Bell Centre.)

Michael Ryder, Dallas. At first this was Teddy Purcell in Tampa Bay, but Ryder apparently had an incredible preseason and will be getting lots of ice time. Or so I'm told by someone who actually pays attention to the Dallas Stars.

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles. By the time I got to this pick (second round, 16th overall, I think?) all of last year's top 5 goalies had been taken. Except maybe Tim Thomas, but I guess I forgot about him and I'm better off with no Bruins as long as fantasy hockey isn't cursed like football is, in which case I'd have drafted Brad Marchand twice just to ensure some kind of dumbass injury. But I digress. Quick would have been my backup goalie, so I took him first, thinking of that insane shutout he posted against the Red Wings last year.

Corey Crawford, Chicago. Considering how he played last season, I'm lucky to have him on my team. I feel like we should be referring to Crawford as "the next ________" but I don't know who to compare him to.

Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg. The ThrashJets are going to be better than they were last year, simply because they'll have fan support, and Pavelec was already really good. Also, he's Czech.

So, there you have it. A team with a punny name, filled with players who are good at hockey (right?) and who I like (except for Cam Fowler, because who's dis guy?).

Now comes the next step: figuring out how this fantasy sports thing works.

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