Welcome to the pilot edition of FHS: Saturday! Night! Live! The idea here is simple: take your average Saturday night, add a shitload of hockey games, some gambling,
some a few quite a few cocktails, some fantasy commentary, then rinse, repeat and regurgitate into some kind of freeform, deformed, live blog experience right here on FHS. In other words, I have no idea what the hell is about to happen, or whether it will be terrible or awesome. But hey, as Cam wisely keeps reminding me, it's only fantasy hockey.
Full credit to FHS reader Mike Miller (FHS handle mjm44), who got me thinking about this idea with a Fanpost from earlier this season where he picked Saturday's winners (and if I recall, cleaned up) and offered some other predictions too. Miller also just happens to be battling me for first place in a keeper pool we started last summer, so that may add to the fun. The guy clearly knows his shit, as his deadly Evgeni Malkin/John Tavares/Zdeno Chara/Jaroslav Halak combo has me running scared right now.
Full credit also to Mr. Chris Nichols, the original live fantasy blogger. I've been a loyal reader for years. For game-by-game line combinations, PP times and player highlights, check out Nichols' live blog, seven nights/week here.
I will continue to update this blog (refresh page 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.
After the jump, we're going to start off with some good old fashioned gambling: Miller, myself, and FHS writers Michael B. and Cam will each offer our predictions for the winners and losers of Saturday's games, plus our picks for over or under for each game, based on an over/under of 5 goals.Based on the predictions below, I'll declare Saturday's champion at the end of the night. Let the games begin!
V = visitor win, H = home win
O = over, U = under
Some interesting dynamics here - Miller has the only NJD pick. Cam has the only TOR pick. I'm the only vote for CAR, and on a hunch I picked EDM where everyone else (wisely) picked DET. Guess I'm still blinded by Gagner's incredible eight point outburst, but I'm also thinking the Red Wings geezers have gotta be a bit tired as they continue their western road swing.
Due to some real life shit getting in the way, I won't begin posting updates in earnest until a bit later in the day, but feel free to post comments on the early games, and I'll be back to play host this afternoon. Cheers!
Well holy crap, I step out for a couple of hours and all hell breaks loose in Philly. Now 6-4 Flyers with 5 mins to go.
Boston loses 2-1 and have consecutive regulation losses for the first time since. Dec. 8. That's a hell of a streak. Are Thomas owners starting to get a bit nervous? He hasn't been his indestructible self lately.
Kesler with his fourth goal in five games. Heating up big time. 1-1 COL/VAN
And NJ hangs on for the win. Foster was benched for most of his last game - looks like he responded. 2+1=3, all on the PP with 5 SOG and 6:01 PP time. Might be the bottom line of the day for a d-man.
COL leads VAN 2-1, and are outshooting the 'nucks 21 - 8! Still more than half the game to go....
HUGE diving save as JSG recovers and denies Kesler. EDIT: Kess hit the side of the net. My bad. Thx Miller.
Semin scores on a penalty shot for his 13th goal of the year and second point of the game. Caps up 3 zip. Miller and I are looking good for the W here.
@TGfireandince: DeBoer said he'd prefer Kovalchuk not fight, "But you know what? Hopefully the word will spread that you don't want to mess with this guy."
And Vokoun gets the win for his 3rd shutout of the year, 3 zip over Montreal. Mjm44 takes the win and calls the under.
Halak confirmed to start tonight after recording his 4th shutout in seven games last night. His peripherals are now 1.96 and .921 on the year. Elite.
So far Miller is a perfect six for six in wins and over/under. Kudos!
Looks like Boston has regained some faith in Corvo. He tied for the team lead with 2.11 in PP time today and scored the B's lone goal on one of his four SOG.
Landeskog with a career-high 8 SOG so far tonight. Still over five minutes left, Canucks down 2-1 and are being outshot 38 - 22 so far.
From mjm44: Line of the day - John Garrett: "he did the reach around on Bieksa".
And the reach around must have felt good, as Bieksa pots the tying goal with 34 seconds left!!!!
And that, my friends, was the best "live" moment so far today. Too good.
We're headed to our first skills competition of the day. As per Sportsnet, Colorado is a perfect 7-0 in shootouts this year.
And Colorado is now 7 -1 in shootouts. Vancouver takes it 3-2. Luongo nets his 22nd win in his 36th game played this year. His 2.39 and .920 peripherals are very nice, but check out what they'd be if you remove October from the equation: 2.13 and .930. Take November out too and you'd have 2.08 and .932.
One hour until the puck drops in Ottawa, Long Island, Carolina and Tampa. I need a sandwich.
Aaaand games are underway again. The score so far tonight: Miller (mjm44) is a perfect 7-0. I'm next at 4-3. Cam has a 3-4 record and Mike is at 2-5. With the Van/Col game being considered an over/under push, I'm not counting it. This makes me think we need to go to half points next week....
Also considering putting out the call next Friday for anyone out there with their own predictions. The more the merrier...plus I'm pretty much ready to start putting money on this shit to create an illegal gambling extravaganza.
Kopitar on the board with an early PPG. With the assist, Williams is back on the scoreboard after his nine game point streak was snapped yesterday vs. Halak and the Blues.
Isles with the early 3-1 lead against shitty old Buffalo. If you care, which you shouldn't, Nielsen has a pair. In more relevant news, Okposo has added a helper for his 15th point in 17 games. Now that's worth caring about.
Great pass by Kessel to a pinching Phaneuf for the PPG. Kessel has 1G 1A so far tonight...his cold streak may be ending here.
TOR powerplay looks great..or Sens PK looks like crap....or a nice combo of both....
Just noticed Ryan O'Reilly's awesome five blocked shots from earlier today. This might singlehandedly cost me the BLK cat in the FHS Beta League this week.
Ah Don Cherry...you're like the abusive father I never had.
Games just about to start in Nashville, Phoenix and Dallas. And I just realized I somehow left the Dallas game out of today's card. Oh well. This is the best time of the night...seven games underway at the same time. If you're in an H2H league, the next two hours could very likely decide your fate this week.
Kessel continues to dominate Ottawa. Ten points vs. the Sens so far this year, and now a beautiful pass to Bozak who puts it home.
Over in Tampa, we've got Samuelsson with his fourth goal in three games, and Stammer with his 34th overall. One of these players should not be on your fantasy team...
St. Louis with his 14th and 15th of the year tonight. Ageless!
Fisher scores his 15th of the year and remains red hot. 8+8=16 in 15 games. Enjoy it while it lasts.
It's officially a goalfest in Tampa, with the Bolts leading 5-3 after two periods. I'm calling Stamkos hat trick in the third.
SKINNER!!!!! In june 2010 I traded my 2011 1st round pick to grab Skinner at 6th overall. I did that, and now I will never trade him. So that's that. Young Skinner is on the board tonight with his third goal in six games.
Over in Phoenix, Logan Couture has potted his 4th goal and 10th point in seven games. You're looking at the future captain of the San Jose Sharks.
Well, Stammer didn't get the trick I predicted, but he dishes unselfishly to St. Louis so the little guy can enjoy his own hatty. Bottom lines: Stamkos 1+1=2, 6 SOG, 1 PPP, 1 GWG, plus-1, St. Louis 3 G, plus-3, 4 SOG, 1 PPP. Sweet lovin'.
If you're a Cam Ward owner, 2012 has been very good to you. In 13 games played since January 1, Ward has posted seven wins with 1.60 and .951 peripherals. That's good for first in the league in both the latter categories, and a tie for third in wins. Oh, and he topped the Kings 2-1 tonight for his 3rd win in 4 games.
Uh oh, Montoya is melting down, although he has stopped 34 of 37 shots tonight. Sabres have come from behind on Gaustad's 3rd period goal and now lead 4-3. Where is the Tavares Show tonight?
Here are two things that do not mix well together: alcohol and statistics.
Doan and Clowe with two helpers each from my bench tonight. Sad face. Phoenix is surprising San Jose 4-2 in the third.
Edmonton jumps out to a 2-0 lead. I picked Edmonton/over in this one, so great...but two more points from Gagner is the story here. I wonder if a point in ten consecutive goals is a league record? Gotta be...
With a 3-1 victory over the Blues, Rinne notches his 11th win IN A ROW...and his 14th win in 15 starts. In those 15 games, Rinne is sporting 1.72 and .944 peripherals. Good grief.
Phoenix finishes off San Jose 5-3. Vrbata with his 24th goal, good for 5th overall in the league. WTF???
PICK 'EM AND OVER/UNDER UPDATE: This is pretty exciting actually. With the Dallas game accidentally left off today's card, only DET/EDM remains in progress. And so, as it stands, we have a three-way tie between me, Miller and Cam at 10 - 8. Mike is at a still a respectable 7-11 (lucky?), but will finish last. And so, the Edmonton game will be the tie-breaker. We all said over, so if DET wins, Miller and Cam tie for the win. But if EDM wins, the glory is mine - ALL MINE!!!
I haven't mentioned Kari Lehtonen until now because my H2H week was riding partially on his performance tonight, so I didn't want to risk any kind of jinx. But all's well that ends well, as Kari shut down Minnesota in the shootout for his third win in four games, allowing only three goals in that span. Thank you sir!
News flash: Johan Franzen has gone ice cold. Only two goals and four points in his last ten. He stil has 28 shots in those games, but zero PIM kills that buzz in a hurry. Oilers hold a 3-1 lead after 30 minutes.
Ryan Whitney is on a nice little run. Two apples tonight give him six points (1+5) in five games, and apparently he's playing pain-free for the first time in ages. Great news if you were able to be patient with him.
Well, HNIC just answered my earlier question - Jagr had points on fifteen consecutive Pens goals back in the day - but (and i'm not sure this is really a "but") it was over seven games. So Gagner needs to get in on the Oilers' next four goals to tie Jagr's ridiculous record. Come to think of it, it's kind of surprising Gretzky didn't clear15 consecutive in his supernatural 51 game point streak.
Babcock is juggling and it pays off. Zetterberg now playing between Franzen and Bertuzzi and Bert the Offender puts one home. 3-2 Oilers.
A first line-esque goal by Detroit's third liners has the game tied 3-3. Beauty. The Wings may have just found their travel lags. Yes - the Detroit Leg Wings.
Wish I hadn't gone there. But I did. So that's that. We're goddamn live here.
Sweet fake by Big Bert and I'm getting nostalgic for the West Coast Express. The Oilers' collapse is almost complete.
YES YES YES! Gagner was out there but did he get the point?
No. No he did not. Gagner's incredible streak ends at 11. Man, Eberle is so clutch.
What an overtime! Oilers deserved better. Who'd have thought that tonight's little betting competition would come down to a Dubnyk/MacDonald(!) shootout.
Wrong again, as Howard came in for the skills comp. It took extra shooters, but RNH put home the SO winner and Edmonton gets the W. This also means that, despite my dubious 11-8 record, I did the least shitty tonight as Cam and Miller finished at 10-9. So if you can call that a win, I'll take it!
Worth noting also - if you've been following the comments, MasterOfPuppets went 11-2 in the late games, and would have shamed us all with early games included. But there's always next week...
It's been a blast today, so thanks if you tuned in or commented. See you next week, I think.