Left-field commentary with an emphasis on the tech and media aspects of the fantasy hockey universe. Published every second Sunday throughout the season. View the RN archive here.
So I had this bizarre dream, in which Edmonton, Dallas and Minnesota were all top 8 in the standings, and the Leafs were in first place. The Leafs! How ridiculous is that? You know, I'm a pretty typical Western Canadian hockey fan, pre-programmed to resent the Buds for hogging the media spotlight no matter how bad they've been in recent years. So it's refreshing to finally see the performance living up to the hype, last night's Bruins whitewash notwithstanding.
Did you know...Justin Goldman over at goaliepost/goalieguild has tweeted (twat?) 30,836 times as of last night? The man is my kind of insane. Hilariously, for every 1000 goalie-centric tweets, he throws in one about his love of some obscure Scandinavian heavy metal band. Goldman is truly an eccentric mad genius.
After the jump, party at Hartnell's! Plus Jagr's secret powers, the perils of drinking and the internet, regret, second chances, and much much more.
Who would have thought I'd at any point have even a twinge of regret about trading Jason Pominville and Tomas Fleischmann last summer as part of a deal to land Ilya Kovalchuk? This too shall pass, but seriously, Kovy - get your ass in gear buddy. (EDIT: I wrote that before Kovalchuk's 3 apples in his last 2 games. There there now, that's better).
Regarding Scott Hartnell: in my last Random Notes column two weeks ago, I wrote "Hey Scotty, Wayne Simmonds is throwing a party, and you're not invited". I could not have been more wrong...the party appears to still be very much at Hartnell's place, with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr bringing the hot chicks while Scotty hits on their leftovers. Huge sigh of relief here...I own Hartnell in three of my four leagues. Simmonds should continue to be a nice own for peripheral stats, but Hartnell could return to 30 goals if he plays with Jags and Giroux all season.
Speaking of Jagr, he is currently on pace for 82 points, which would have put him eighth in league scoring last year. Amazingly, 82 points would only rank as Jagr's 11th best season. Lean back, relax, and travel back in time with me to Jagr's 1995-96 bottom line: 62G, 87A, +31, 96 PIM, 403 SOG and 51 PPP. Heavens to Betsy. JJ should never have clipped back his iconic European Longbun hairdo, as clearly it was the primary source of his magical hockey powers. But he didn't ask me, did he. No, he did not.
So, last week I got drunk. Worse, I got drunk and posted right here in an FHS Fanpost that Alain Vigneault would be fired by Christmas. In doing so I'm pretty sure I lost any credibility I might have built up around here. Clearly, this is not a bet I should have placed - not in public anyway. The lesson here is obvious: don't drink and blog! But by all means, continue to drink. As Homer Simpson once toasted, "To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems". True words, Homer. True words.
Tobias Enstrom's collarbone, meet Jack Skille. Ouch. See you around Christmas, buddy.
After nine games, Babcock finally decided to break up Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Owners of Detroit's peripheral players, rejoice! I traded Max Pacioretty for Johan Franzen at the beginning of the year. No regrets....yet. Along with all of Detroit, Franzen had a frustrating few games there, but came alive last night with a huge bottom line (1+2=3, 2 PIM, +3, 6 SOG). Tasty.
Ryan Miller lasted 6:23 before being pulled vs. the Flyers last Wednesday. Antti Niemi lasted only 2:03 against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Fastest goalie pull in league history? I think it might be MacTavish pulling Jussi Markenen at the 1:18 mark back in 2007 vs. the Ducks. Let me know if I'm wrong though...
Amazingly, perennial NHL whipping boys Columbus Blue Jackets have managed to find a whole new level of suck. Way to step it up fellas. If there was a bad beat jackpot in the NHL, CBJ would take it home. Hyped FA acquisitions James Wisniewski and Jeff Carter have yet to play a game together, and touted goalie prospect (and FHS favorite) Mark Dekanich has been laid up, leaving poor Steve Mason to do what he does best: shit the bed.
File this in the "I should have known better" file: in an inaugural keeper draft this past summer summer, I picked Mike Green, Chris Pronger, Ryan Whitney, Tobias Enstrom and Alex Goligoski as my five starting D-men. You know the rest of the story. Right now I'm only dressing 4 D (Goli + waiver pickups Joe Corvo, Sergei Gonchar and saviour Sheldon Souray) in the hopes of rolling my top guys when they come back to make up for lost man games. It's a bit of a rope-a-dope strategy, which is fun, but also quite risky as I'm assuming I'll actually have the available star power to execute the plan at some point this year. Pronger and Green look to be back soon, but I can't shake this nervous feeling.
Open question to our readers: what is your favorite phone app for checking box scores? The Score seems to have the fastest load, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. CBC is okay, but again, doesn't provide a complete fantasy picture. The NHL GameCenter app is glitchy and box scores are slow to load. Curious as to what you all are using out there.
Rick DiPietro has played four games this year - and finished all of them! He must be relieved to be over his quarter-season mark so early in the year.
Well folks, that's all I've got this time around, so this brings us to the moment you've all been waiting for: your latest Montoya Cup update!
Full Montoya Cup rules can be found at the end of my first Random Notes column. As of my last update two weeks ago, A-Mo was on pace for 54GP and 27 wins, with a 2.01 gaa and .930 sv%. Well, the worm has turned - Montoya has been in the press box for the last two weeks while Nabby and DiPietro have a go. So, the suspense continues, and this year's most un-coveted fantasy championship remains entirely up in the air. If I accomplish only one thing this year, let it be keeping you on the edge of your seats with the Montoya Cup and the resulting public humiliation of either me or FHS head honcho Cam.
See you in two weeks, Cheers!