Hockey Wilderness Fantasy League Mid-season Recap: Division 2


Hello all. If you've read part 1 of my HWFL mid-season recap, you probably learned a lot about opposing teams, or even your own. You've probably noticed that there is more to fantasy hockey than meets the eye. You have to closely analyse your opponents and the progress of players to truly come out on top... either that or just be luckier than everyone else. You could spend hours forming the perfect team only to be beaten by someone who picked up a bunch of sleepers. Anyhoo, assuming you read part 1, you know what to expect for part 2

Join me after the jump.

HWFL Division 2 standings as of January 28th 2011:

2. Krotz the Wall, managed by Jacob (Krotz the Wall), 112-70-13 = 237 pts

4. Puttin on the Foil, managed by Kori and Shelby (Shleske and her father), 104-73-18 = 226 pts

5. Bertrand Acadians, managed by JS (BubbleWild48), 107-78-10 = 224 pts

6. The 12th Legion, managed by James M (JMarushin), 105-76-14 = 224 pts

7. Loquita Bananas, managed by Brigid22, 101-79-15 = 217 pts

9. Shienar Black Hawks, managed by Andy S, 101-83-13 = 215 pts

12. Finnish your Czechs, managed by Tara (taralynn09), 88-88-19 = 195 pts

16. Fedoruk's Face, managed by Elise Butler, 79-109-7, 165 pts

17. Hakan Loobies, managed by augustzera, 72-109-14, 158 pts

18. Nikk's Nokkers, managed by Nik, 64-116-15, 143 pts

 

Krotz the Wall: Ranked 2nd because he's 1st in the division, but actually 3rd overall, Krotz the Wall has done some great work with this team. Drafted 11th, he got Louuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu with his first pick, which worked out pretty well considering he was auto-drafting due to absence. He has a staggering 4 players in the top 16. Krotz is #1 in the league for goals, #2 in assists and SOG, #3 in PP points, GAA, SV% and Saves, but next to last in blocks, his only weakness, which cost him a bundle of points. This team is truly a contender, a force to be reckoned with. While Krotz has made some great moves, none were better than his acquisition of Ryan Kesler AND Dustin Byfuglien. What did he give to get them? Tyler Bozak and Kevin Bieksa. Who gave them those players?... Yours truly... Their ranks? Kesler is 9th... Big Buff is 16th...Bozak is 504th and Bieksa is 141st... I dumped both players....I'm a dumb-ass.

Team MVP: JS.... actually, it's Eric Staal

Best Matchup: Pulverized The 12th Legion 13-0-0 in week 4.

Fun fact: The only team to have won a matchup 13-0-0.

Puttin on the Foil: My nemesis, Shelby. It used to be Bryan, but Shelby and I have been trash-talking ever since our matchup... we are also quite close in the standings, so it's more of a logical rivalry. She is co-managing this team with her dad, making this the only tag-team in the league. They drafted 8th and netted Henrik Sedin. Something tells me that the reason he was only drafted 8th is because he's a Canuck, this being the HWFL. They drafted pretty well, but left a glaring weakness in the crease, forcing them to trade away two of their top players, Anze Kopitar and Jarome Iginla, to fix the problem by adding Ilya Bryzgalov. Curiously enough though, they've had winning records in all goaltending categories except shutouts. This is one of the most intriguing trades of the season, as it could either save them a few goaltending points, or completely backfire in their faces by losing out in other stats. They are a mere one move away from being the busiest team in the league, which helped them to a current 4th place in the standings. They've got a very low number of goals, but they've got great set-up guys in the lineup.

Team MVP: Henrik Sedin

Best Matchup: 8-3-2 against my Bertrand Acadians in week 7, my most humiliating, emasculating defeat. I shall have my revenge someday, hopefully in the playoffs.

Fun Fact: Shelby has cooties. This is 100%, irrefutably true. :P

 

Bertrand Acadians: My team. I drafted 3rd, and picked SS: Super Stud (actually, Steven Stamkos), who is ranked 2nd, 1st among non-goalies. He's been pure gold for my team. I think I drafted very well, as was pointed out to me by Hakan Loobies before the season began and I quote '' I think you'll be just fine J.S. Your team is intimidating ''... Too bad I'm probably the worst in history at trading. Exhibit A: Ryan Malone for Guillaume Latendresse. This was more bad luck than anything else, because it was a fairly even trade. Exhibit B: Ryan Kesler and Dustin Byfuglien for Tyler Bozak and Kevin Bieksa... I dare all of you to find a dumber trade than this one. Of course both guys only started performing well immediately after I traded them. Jaroslav Halak started fairly well for me, but started to falter after a while. I've been struggling to find a good 2nd goalie. I started out with Jonathan Bernier, but Jonathan Quick proved to be just too good, so that didn't work out, then I went with Jose Theodore, who was pretty much my single greatest move in a sea of bad ones. I have the best shutout record in the league and i'm tops in blocks, both in number (by quite a margin) and in record. I believe I have a well balanced team, but frankly, I'm on the decline because my team isn't as strong as it used to be. My draft strategy was to find players that can contribute in all categories and it worked out pretty well, but I would be much higher in the standings if I hadn't pulled off the single, most bone-headed move in the history of everything. My playoff spot is safe for now, but I will need to make a GOOD trade to solidify it.

Team MVP: Steven Stamkos

Best Matchup: I crushed Tara's Finnish your Czechs 11-2-0 in week 11.

Fun Fact: The only team that is represented twice in my roster is the Minnesota Wild... and since I have 18 players due to having 2 in my IR list, this means I have players from 17 different NHL teams... the most in the HWFL.

Fun fact #2: I'd like to explain my team logo. It is actually the Morais family crest (my mom was a Morais before she married my dad). The slogan ''More Majorum'' 1)is a play on ''Morais'' (More is to be pronounced similarly to ''Morais'') and 2) is latin for ''As was the way of the ancestors''.

 

The 12th Legion: James is one half of another big rivalry in the league between The 12th Legion and Andy S's Shienar Black Hawks. These two teams are true enemies, big brawls in each of their matches, blatant personal attacks in front of the media, the GMs can't even look each other in the eyes, yes, a truly epic rivalry if there ever was one! He's one of my closest competitors and I'd have to say that he is 3rd in my rivalry hierarchy, just after Shelby and Bryan. He drafted 2nd and picked Sidney Crosby with his first pick, which I don't have to fool anyone into thinking this was a pure gold pickup, but the NHL's golden boy has missed a few games due to concussion, which caused a massive slowdown in the 12th Legion's point and faceoff outputs. He is actually leading the league in total faceoffs won, but that probably won't last without Crosby's generous contribution. The 12th Legion is also one of the best in the league in goaltending, thanks in large part to Pekka Rinne, who I still think is rather underrated. It's actually hard to find an exploitable weakness on this team, except maybe in PIM, but the longer Crosby's injured, the harder it'll be for the team to secure its playoff spot, because they are currently in 6th place, the last playoff spot.

Team MVP: Sidney Crosby

Best Matchup: Destroying Nikk's Nokkers 12-0-1 in week 7

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, The 12th Legion's slogan ''Vae Victis'', means ''Woe to the vanquished ones''... Am I right?

Loquita Bananas: Drafted 16th and chose Henrik Lundqvist in the first round, a very insightful choice, as he's one of the highest ranked goaltenders this season. She also made some very interesting choices in players like Patrick Sharp, Chris Pronger and Alex Edler to name a few. She drafted very well and it paid off. Also, I'm sure that looking back now, she doesn't mind the fact she acquired my Ryan Malone for her Guillaume Latendresse. Currently in the 7th spot, she is still very much in the playoff mix, mere points away from the first 6 teams, but if she does end up faltering, she has some of the most interesting trade chips around, so it'll be an interesting few weeks for her I'm sure. The team's specialities are SOG and blocks, for which they rank 1st and 2nd respectively in the HWFL. The big weakness is in faceoffs won, which is actually a pretty hard stat to be good in. Other than that, pretty well-rounded, with a lot of top-flight players, but the lack of a reliable 2nd goalie hurt this team very much. She had initially drafted Alex Auld, but since the Habs pretty much never play him, she had to switch around a few times. I will laugh very hard once Carey Price and the Habs unevitably crash and burn towards the end of the season and/or playoffs due to overexertion of their starter.

Team MVP: Henrik Lundqvist

Best Matchup: Kicking the Singapore Slings around 12-1-0 in week 15.

Fun fact: Loquita Bananas and Datsyukian Dekes played the lowest scoring tie so far in week 3. It ended 4-4-5 .

Shienar Black Hawks: The other half of the heated 12th Legion/ SBH rivarly is managed by Andy S. Currently ranked 9th in the league, but still not too far behind so that a 12th/SBH playoff clash is impossible. He drafted 12th, and did so very well might I add, netting players such as Patrick Kane, Bobby Ryan (which he traded for Jonathan Toews) and Semyon Varlamov. The problem with his team, or at least early on, was getting the minimum 3 games for goalies, which cost him a bevy of points in the standings. I believe he should've been a playoff team right now if not for that, but he still has plenty of time to catch up, and just like Loquita Bananas, many interesting trade chips if he fails in the playoff race. One of the bigger mysteries on this team: How the hell is Justin Williams rated higher that James Neal, Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews? Seriously? This team, when you look at the stats, is clearly what could be considered a run-n'-gun team. Near the top in goals, SOG, hits and PIM (2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd). Certainly to be considered a prime candidate to steal a playoff spot, but he will need consistency and health from his goaltenders.

Team MVP: Patrice Bergeron

Best Matchup: Raining on WhoKnew?'s parade 11-1-1 in week 12.

Fun Fact: Has been a Yahoo! Fantasy sports player since 2000, the longest of all managers.

 

Finnish your Czechs: I love this team name. Tara drafted 10th and chose Jonathan Toews, which she recently traded to get Bobby Ryan, so she got the most out of Toews and got Ryan, so great choice. Other than that, she has assembled a rather intimidating team with the likes of Johan Franzen, Milan Lucic and Mikko Koivu. Also, while I hate to admit this, Carey Price has been solid gold for her in net...ugh! The team is #3 in goals and faceoffs, #19 in assists, and pretty much middle of the pack in everything else. This team's not quite out of the playoff picture yet, but it's a stretch at this point. She'll absolutely need a good, healthy Carey Price (I need the contrary) and the continued good play of her top-flight players to squeeze her way into the tight playoff race. Also, the return of David Perron, who's missed most of the season with a concussion, is uncertain, but would be very welcome. If she fails, she also has some intriguing trade pieces for a would-be contender to nab.

Team MVP: Mikko Koivu

Best Matchup: Defeating WhoKnew? 8-4-1 in week 14.

Fun Fact: Finnish your Czechs are playing an even .500 at 88-88-19, but have trouble against teams in their own division, 47-60-10.

 

Fedoruk's Face: I think it's a close competition between Fedoruk's Face and Finnish your Czechs for best name in the league. The only thing is the name ''Fedoruk's face'' makes it seem like the team is easy to break! Elise drafted 4th and picked Ryan Miller, who's had an up-and-down season playing for Buffalo this year. She actually picked Rask immediately afterwards, which is exactly the same thing I did in my other fantasy draft... boy that didn't work like we planned, huh Elise? She has done well in finding players that weren't so highly rated before the season began, but are now. The team has respectable totals in all categories except for an abnormally low number of PP points and faceoff wins, which has to be the main reason this team is so low in the standings. While Miller and Rask haven't quite performed up to expectations, they still aren't slouches, and Elise netted a great 3rd goalie in Cory Schneider. The playoffs are pretty much a dream at this point though, so the courtship for her top players begins.

Team MVP: Tomas Plekanec

Best Matchup: Creaming Ihmeellinen9 11-2-0 in week 13.

Fun Fact: She drafted Benoit Pouliot... EWWWWW.

 

Hakan Loobies: Drafted 9th and chose brain-eater Daniel Sedin with the first pick. As it pains us Wild fans to see, them Sedin fellows are pretty good, so very nice choice here. The first six rounds of the draft were pretty good, but it went downhill from there as they couldn't find quality goaltending and that proved to be a killer. The only real strengths of this team lie on the Powerplay and assists. The rest range from average to mediocre, especially in hits, where they are the only team not in the 500s.. hell, they're not even at 400! (399). One thing this team has done well is get some good sleepers, such as Anthony Stewart and Derrick Brassard, but of course, it just wasn't enough, because they got screwed by the likes of Sergei Gonchar and Jonas Gustavsson

Team MVP: Jeff Carter

Best Matchup: Breezing through Finnish your Czechs 11-1-1 in week 3.

Fun Fact: 50 of the team's 72 wins came from within their own division.

 

Nikk's Nokkers: Dead last in division 2, but still not bad compared to Monica and Daniel (sorry guys!), The Nokkers picked Martin St.Louis with their 13th overall pick, a wise choice, because like fine wine, he ages well. Of course, it helps to play with a guy like Steven Stamkos. They also drafted Cal Clutterbuck, but even his presence wasn't enough to net them more points in the hits category, which means I'd hate to see where they would've been without him. The Nokkers' specialty was assists, not too surprising considering their top 4 players account for 141 assists. It's rather surprising that their goaltending stats are so low considering they have Jonathan Quick, which can only means the 3 game minimum wasn't met often enough. Two other crippling weaknesses were in SOG and faceoffs. Other than that, not so bad, but the playoffs are not in their future, which means they could trade away some talent, which they have in droves to answer to specific needs like assists (St.Louis), hits (Clutterbuck), faceoffs (Mike Richards) and so on. Most of their players actually out-performed their original rank, which is a positive.

Team MVP: Mike Richards

Best Matchup: Punching Fedoruk's Face 9-3-1 in week 1.

Fun Fact: Nikk's Nokkers are the only team in the single digits in moves pulled off in Division 2(3 moves total).

 

Hope you enjoyed this detailled two-part report. Now, hopefully you know more about your enemies and you'll be able to strategize and come out on top or even help another team!

Peace!

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