Welcome to Thursday Night Live! If you've tuned in on the last couple of Saturdays, you'll know what we're up to here. Live fantasy hockey blogging throughout the evening, combined with a homespun gambling extravaganza that really needs an official name. Thus far I've been calling it an over/under/pick 'em competition - any suggestions for something a bit less wordy / more catchy?
I will continue to update the blog (refresh for updates) throughout the evening with fantasy highlights, random commentary and select tweets from around the hockey world. Feel free to chime in with any comments, criticism, banter, wins or insults you'd like to share.
Tonight we've got 20 entries in the comp. Defending champ baxpens has returned to defend his title. After the jump we'll look at tonight's slate of games, plus a link to tonight's over/under/pick 'em/GWG comp (see? terrible!) scoreboard.Here is tonight's slate:
We asked you to:
1. submit your pick for the winning team for each game (H = home win, V = visitor win)
2. based on an over/under of 5.5 goals, submit your pick for over or under for each game (O = over, U = under)
3. the new twist - submit your pick for the game winning goal scorer in each game. (Shootout winners count as a GWG) Difficult? Yes, the GWG points will be hard to come by. That's the idea.
The scoring system is easy: for every winning team you pick correctly, you get 1 point. For every over/under you get right, you get 1 point. For every GWG scorer picked correctly, you get 1 point. So a max of three points per game if you hit the rarefied trifecta of winner, over/under and GWG scorer.
And now, without further delay, the scoreboard link for tonight's competition:
As usual our picks are all over the place, but I picked out a few interesting dynamics: only Timbits56 and mjm44 picked Chicago to beat the Rangers. Jay Meyer has the only over pick for the PHX/LAK game. Every last one of us picked BUF/PHI to go over. Only team barlie and Mr. Moose took the over for NYI/STL, while Michael B and Justincalgary have the only over picks for WPG/MIN. The GWG selections are too numerous and varied to see any patterns, but I'm loving the darkhorse picks like MasterOfPuppets' Philip Larsen and Vladimir Sobotka. Get those right and A) you'll look like a goddamn genius and B) you'll be scoring a point that no one else does. Nice.
The winner will be featured in Monday's Fantasy Stars of the Week feature, and oh my fucking god, the endorsement deals alone will carry your family for generations. Yeah yeah, I know, that joke's getting old.
Really looking forward to the Hawks Rangers game. Chicago catches a bit of a break as they won't have to face Henrik Lundqvist, but backup Martin Biron is having a great year too - in 14 GP, he has 10 wins with a 2.02 GAA and .918 SV%. Corey Crawford is in for Chicago - along with a lot of Hawks, he's having a dismal year (2.99 GAA, .898 Sv%) and his last win came way back on January 18.
This from NHL.com: The Sabres have allowed just three power-play goals in their last nine games, which comes after a span of four games where they allowed six extra-man goals.
Another interesting stat from NHL.com:: the Islanders' forwards have collected 71 points on the power play, and the trio of John Tavares, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau has been on the ice for 60 of them.
Marek Zidlicky remains a healthy scratch tonight. mjm44 is hoping the Jersey trade rumours are true as he plucked the Z-man off waivers in our keeper league last week.
Puck drops in an hour in New York and Philly. I'll be back for opening faceoffs. But first...to the liquor store.
So I just got home and no internet or cable. Thanks Shaw! Good thing my neighbors Mr and Mrs Dlink don't have a password, and I have GameCenter Live.
Crown Royal is still working though. Check.
Hossa playing keepaway, what a player. Dishes to Leddy for the goal. Chicago up 2-0, two minutes in.
Holy crap. Sharp scores. Hawks up 3-0 and we're not even four minutes in.
As per Cam: Biron's GAA is 45.00+. Any poor sods out there have him dressed? Oh yeah, I do. Feck.
Pominville with his 22nd and the Sabres are up 1-0 on Philly. As per Cam, Simmonds injured in warmup but is playing with a full shield. Might put a damper on the scrap factor for Simmonds.
Vanek with his 21st and Buffalo's up two zip. Puck is about to drop in Tampa.
Oh shit Hossa. 4-0 Rangers. Is Biron still in?
13 of 20 entries picked home/under for CHI@NYR, myself included. Whoops.
Couture has his 24th of the year on the PP to put the Sharks up 1-0 on Tampa. He's got 4+9=13 and 32 SOG in his last ten games.
San Jose looking great tonight, outshooting Tampa 11-5.
Make that 11-6, and Stamkos has tied it up 1-1 with his 38th of the year, six ahead of Malkin.
Stammer is playing in his 300th NHL game tonight. 157+138=295, 199 PIM, 942 SOG, 108 PPP and 28 GWG. It's enough to make a grown man cry.
Second period underway, Sestito and Kassian with a great scrap. In a keeper, get Kassian now if you can. He is Hartnell/Simmonds/Clarkson 4.0.
Speaking of Simmonds...PPG and it's tied 2-2 in Philly. 15 points in his last 16 games. 16 PIM in his last seven. This is what you want.
Danny Briere has left the game with a UBI. He will not return.
Rangers finally get one, Marc Staal with his first of the year. 4-1 CHI and we're one goal away from the over.
Wayne Simmonds again with his second PPG of the night. That's 20 on the year for the Wayne Man. Enroth out, Miller in. Hartnell has two PPA.
Lindy Ruff is LOSING it on his players. Oh god, his ribs.
Five games underway simultaneously. This is the part of the night where my eyes roll back in my head and I float out of my earthly body and look down at my physical self, live blogging away on the old MacBook. It is, dare I say, an out of blogging experience.
Teddy Purcell has the Bolts up 2-1. Stamkos is 1+1=2 for the fifth time in his last ten games. True story.
Setoguchi with his 13th and Minny's up 1-0 on WPG. Heatley with the assist and he has 11 points in his last 10 games.
Voracek to Gustafsson for his first career goal, and the BUF/PHI game is officially an OVER. Giroux has two helpers now. 4-2 Philly on four straight goals from the Flyers.
Jason Arnott scores in his return from injury and it's 1-1 STL/NYI.
David Backes has a PPG to tie put the Blues up 2-1. Assists to Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo. That's Piet's 6th point and 5th PPP in his last five games.
As it stand now, Simmonds has the GWG. Truculence is a Virtue has the only Simmonds GWG pick. BONUS.
Evander Kane has his 20th of the year, and he has 4 SOG already tonight. 1-1 end of the first. Kane has 184 SOG in only 51 games this year.
Downie for the Bolts and he's 1+1=2 tonight. Vlasic scores 29 seconds later and we have another over in Tampa. 3-3.
Sharks pull ahead 4-3 and the goaltending in this game is...how can I put this delicately...extremely shitty. Niemi .824.
Flyers are just toying with the Sabres. Voracek has the 6-2 goal and Hartnell and Giroux have three apples each as the magic continues.
It's February 16 and Andy McDonald just scored his first of the year. Now Pietrangelo and the Blues are up 4-1 on the Isles. Al Montoya sporting a sparkling .765 SV% tonight.
More Flyers...seven goals in a row and Giroux has assists on five of them. Hartnell is 1+3=4 tonight. Hokey dinah.
Pietrangelo's goals changed to Perron and he remains on fire. That's 7+2=9 in his last six games.
Carl Hagelin has scored to make it 4-2 Chicago. CHI/NYR is officially our third over of the night.
4-2 final at MSG and Patrick Sharp has the first GWG of the evening. Who picked him? No one! House always wins.
Pietrangelo with his third assist of the night and STL is up 5-1 on the Isles. Say what you want about league parity, but the better team is still obvious more often than not.
Some guy named Stamkos has tied it up with his 39th goal in 57 games. 4-4 Sharks Bolts.
Philly wins it 7-2, and I'd like to congratulate Truculence is a Virtue for scoring our first GWG point with Wayne Simmonds. Even better than that though, TIAV also picked home/over, so the unholy trifecta of winner, over/under and GWG has been ACHIEVED, my friends. Nice going Trucs! I'll be updating the spreadsheet shortly.
Once again, you'll find the best writing here down in the comments section, as evidenced by Edanger's latest:
And need to pick a few keepers. The sweet Italian sausage is always a safe bet but the sopressata, Tasso and Capicola are ready for a breakout. On defense, Jalapenos are the sexy pick but I’m leaning towards shitake mushrooms for their solid peripherals. And in goal, I think the anchovy, while a little streaky, might just pull the whole team together.
The lead has changed hands again in Tampa, as St. Louis (Marty, not the Blues) has the Bolts ahead 5-4 now. Eight minutes to go.
Sounds like Jamie Benn is in trouble:
"He’s bleeding out the back of his leg." First time I have ever heard those words. Re: Jamie Benn injury tonight
If it's serious, Benn's injury is bad news for Lehtonen owners. I know this first-hand.
Fantasy powerhouse Tommy Wingels has tied it up for San Jose. 5-5 and the GWG is up for grabs again. Heading to OT.