Welcome to the second edition of FHS: Saturday Night Live! If you're just tuning in now, last Saturday we had some fun with a live blog, part of which included an over/under + pick ‘em competition between myself, Cam Collingwood and Michael Benedicks from FHS, as well as FHS reader/poster Mjm44. The delightfully acerbic MasterOfPuppets joined in part way through as well (and kicked our asses on the late games).
This week, we extended the invite for friends and readers to submit their own picks for today's twelve game slate. And so, today you'll see nineteen fantasy GMs going toe-to-toe (toes-to-toes? weird...) in a battle royale for the ages. Or, well, at least a mild distraction on a Saturday filled to the gills with your good friend and mine: NHL hockey. Today's champion(s) will be honoured in Monday's Fantasy Stars of the Week feature, and the resulting glory and fame will all but secure a supermodel girlfriend and a lifetime of forgetting about the little people.
I will continue to update today's blog (refresh for updates) throughout the day 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.
I may also disappear for long stretches of time, depending on the number and variety of beverages consumed. And I have to miss the late game, as my s̶u̶p̶e̶r̶v̶i̶s̶o̶r̶ wife and I have plans that are apparently more important than spending twelve hours straight watching hockey. Go figure.
After the jump, we'll look at today's games and check out everyone's picks via our latest technological marvel: a web-published Google spreadsheet! Oh! Wow....
With half of today's games finishing by 5pm EST, maybe we should just call this Saturday Live? Here's the slate:
Nashville Predators @ Boston Bruins
Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings @ New York Islanders
New York Rangers @ Philadelphia Flyers
Winnipeg Jets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Buffalo Sabres
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Colorado Avalanche @ St. Louis Blues
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Minnesota Wild
Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes
Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames
We asked you for:
1. Your pick for the winning team for each game (H = home win, V = visitor win)
2. Your pick for over or under for each game (O = over, U = under), based on an over/under of 5.5 goals.
The scoring system is simple: for every winner picked correctly, one point is awarded. For every over/under picked correctly, one point is awarded. So with 12 games on today's schedule, a perfect score would be 24 points.
And here, dear readers, is the scoreboard:
Due to the extreme limitations of the SBNation Story Editor (or more likely my extreme lack of effort)), I was unable to find a decent way to update the slate "in-post", but I think this will work for now. Let me know ff you have other ideas, or if you happen to be an HTML genius who will work for free.
I had a quick look at the picks, and it speaks to the NHL's parity that we're totally all over the place. There are a few trends though: unanimous under votes for the STL/COL match, whitch (see what I did there?) makes sense. Scottymac228 could build a real edge with that game though, as only he picked Colorado to win. Mjm44 and Timbits56 have the only over picks for LAK/NYI. Only Cam and scottymac228 picked the Jets to beat the Penguins. Only two under votes (Cam and tzuu) for the VAN/CGY game, which is a bit surprising considering the goalies involved. And Columbus actually managed five picks to win - possibly their biggest self-esteem bost of the season.
But, enough. Puck drops in 30 minutes. Buckle the fuck up.
Tim Thomas confirmed to start today. Enough of Julien's last minute antics!
So Rinne/Thomas coming right up. Excellent. I own TT in a keeper and look the other way at his tea party politics, but all this Facebook shit is just stupid. He is so rattled, and rattled goalies do not stop pucks. I hope he has that rebound game, but in reality Nashville scores four+ on him, unless Chara's in absolute lockdown mode.
I've had Mike Richards and Dustin Brown benched for about a week now. G A +/- PIM PPP SOG. These are crazy, crazy actions, but Simmonds and Clarkson are the smarter plays for me right now. This worm will turn again, but when?
Question: with nineteen entries in our little comp today, I sense the strong likelihood of a tie. So what's the tiebreaker?
That's right MoP - delightfully acerbic. Pour some of that syrup on your goddamn hotcakes.
Last night I thought I had a genius moment: change my SBNation handle to Kenny Bloggins! I kind of got stuck with jsuites anyway (long story), and Kenny Bloggins is fucking hilarious! Then I googled Kenny Bloggins, and my genius moment was downgraded to just a regular moment.
Thank you, leftwinglock.com, for your starting goalie push notifications. Brilliant. It would be wrong not to also mention Justin Goldman from Goaliepost / Dobber. I'm subscribed to Justin Goldman's email updates, which I find invaluable.
I was going to get my two year-old daughter to submit her picks this week, but her schedule was too packed.. Next week....
Sestito and Bickel wailing on each other. Good scrap, refs stepped in too soon.
As per MSG Network, NYR and PHI have had nine fights head-to-head this season. Most in the NHL.
Ryan Callahan puts the Rangers ahead with his second PPG in two games, those goals breaking a four game pointless skid, but he's still 5+2=7 over his last ten.
Wayne Simmonds (see above) tips in the point shot. Game tied 1-1.
Bruins are outshooting the Predators 13-5. Still no goals. Rinne is superhuman.
Simmonds now has six goals in his last ten games, and the PIM are starting to flow again as he's got nine in that same span. Hoping for a bunch more today.
Patrice Bergeron with a shorty for his 16th of the year. Was anyone really expecting 70 points out of him this year? Actually I think TSN projected him at 72, so there you go. Bs up one zip.
End of the first in Boston, Jersey, Long Island and Philly. Puck drops in 10 minutes in Pittsburgh and Ottawa. What's wrong with Saturdays? Nothing.
I think EDM OTT could be a goalfest. Most of us agree, as only Johnny Laan and MasterOfPuppets took the under there.
This from mjm44, and I have to concur on all levels: "Please insure scattered start times so that every game is not on intermission at same time. Signed, a loserish hockey blogger." But I'm mostly concurring with the loserish hockey blogger part.
Giroux, Simmonds and Hartnell ALL on PP1?? Laviolette is kind of awesome for that.
Wow, Giroux FORCED that breakaway goal past Lundqvist. 2-2 tie. Simmonds and Hartnell with helpers. Flyers outshooting Rangers 9-1 in the second period.
mjm44: Brown from Doughty although announcers think Loktionov may get credit i couldn't tell and now going to pp