Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who will be our Savior?




I wish I could say "Mario Lemieux ain't walking through that door" to try to fire up this team. Except Mario probably will walk through that door, and when he does he's going to kick everyone's ass for their embarrassing display in this series.

As fans that's the only word that can sum up the Pens performance so far. Embarrassing.

Of course, it isn't over yet. There's still at least 1 game. And for the Penguins to win their going to need a hero.



Remember we're talking Staal in SCF Game 4. Malkin in Carolina. (gulp) Talbot in Game 7.

Here they are in betting order.


Crosby - 3/1

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The captain and mostly undisputed best player in the world. I'm expecting him to put us on his back even if we don't win. Where's the Crosby that took Derian Hatcher's stick to the chops and then beat the Flyers senseless for it? I have a feeling he might make his comeback tonight.


Malkin - 11/2

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The soon to be reigning Art Ross and Hart winner. He's not been nearly as bad as everyone has said. But he hasn't been the player we expect either. The effort is there. Just not the finish. If he hits the net in Game 3, we're not having this discussion about him.



Fleury - 7/1

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He has been what the Spanish would call "No Bueno" which literally translates to "No Beans". Beans are important, Fleury has not been. If he hadn't been remarkably bad he would probably be closer to 5/1. He is the most important person on this list to turn it around individually, even if he's not the favorite. The Pens will survive if a few players still play poorly, but not Fleury.


(Neal) - 10/1

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Obviously Neal isn't playing and no bets can be made on him. Unless you're an idiot of course. In which case I'll take your money.

(editor's note Gambling is illegal and for fun only don't use real money etc. etc. seriously though if you want to bet one of these give me a call)

However, Neal and Staal would have been my two bets to pull the Pens out of this in Game 4. Damn.


Staal - 12/1

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Remember when Malkin got "the talk" a couple years ago about how the Pens needed him to step up, even with Sid in the line-up, and he did? I feel like Staal needs that talk right now. As well as the subsequent ice time and responsibility to back it up. He's my dark horse to save the Pens season, and I think the way he gets there is by having the onus put on him.


Letang - 14/1

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Man, my prediction for this series going the way of Pens-Caps '09 went right out the window when he got kicked out of Game 3. And the shhhh. Really dude? That was when I realized the whole Pens team stank of desperation. Letang is the centerpiece of that defense and maybe the Pens MVP for long stretches during the season. He's also never been the strongest player mentally on the team. Here's hoping he finds his game.



Kunitz - 20/1

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The best winger in the line-up for Game 4. Kunitz might be the biggest reason they lost Game 3. I've loved this guy since the day we got him, but man did he mess up big on Sunday. It's one thing to take all the fighting penalties and goofy stuff the Pens did. But his 2 penalties were just totally loss of composure. He's got to be back to his old self for us to have a chance.

Dupuis - 20/1

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Man, how far has this guy come that he's got the same odds as Kunitz! And frankly, I'd have him higher on the list, except I KNOW he's going to get a point or two. So for me "hero" means great PK work, a force on the forecheck and defensively AND a multi-point game. And I still feel stupid not betting him.

Sullivan - 25/1

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One of the bets I would make. Mostly because the Pens are getting shellacked on Special Teams. And Sullivan is the calming force behind the Pens PP. Plus, the name Sully has a good record when it comes to heroics.

Orpik - 40/1

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Free Candy has turned into Candy from a Baby. As in it's easier to steal the puck from Orpik than. The heart of this defense and the de facto vet needs to have an entire game like the Stanley Cup Final shift that made him a $4 million dollar man.



Tangradi - 100/1

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This might as well be 1000/1.
You want to know all you need to know about Tangradi right now?
When Crosby came back and there were no wingers for him you know who he played with? Not Eric Tangradi. They put him with Cooke and Kennedy. Bylsma thought guaranteed third liners were a better fit for the best player in the world than a guy with top line potential. Only reason he's on here is because he's a part of the line-up change. But man if he wants to stick in the NHL with this team he couldn't pick a better time to live up to his potential.


So that's it. If you're not fired up for the game tonight by now, call for an ambulance, because you're dead.

Remember no matter what happens we stick by our team.



Go Pens.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"What's that? Ah--[Sidney Crosby]? Don't talk about--[Sidney Crosby]! You kidding me?! [Sidney Crosby]?! I just hope we can win a game! Another game!"

Can't agree with you more Jim, because we gotta talk about Playoffs!?!

Playoffs?!?! Play-offs!?!

Alright, we get it. Moving on...


DISCLAIMER: All predictions made in this article were written before the puck dropped in the opening round. I'm not the kind of cheap bastard that would wait until he's seen how series seem to be unfolding before he made a prediction. Actually, I am that kind of cheap bastard, I just didn't do it in this case.

Pittsburgh - Tampa Bay

I think there are 3 keys to this series. And for everyone that likes old school game shows, I will reveal them to you in "Password" form.

and the 1st password is...


Special Teams.

BUZZ!!!

Crap. I always sucked at password. Anyway.

Special teams are important in every series, but for the Pens-Lightning I think it's more specific than that. I think whoever wins the battle between Tampa's PP and the Pens PK will win the series.

Tampa was ranked 6th overall on the Power Play, but slowed a bit down the stretch as Stamkos cooled off.

The Penguins were 1st overall on the Penalty Kill, but came back down to Earth from their lofty 90% kill rate, in the last quarter of the season.

If Tampa puts up gaudy numbers, like 5 for 18, which is always possible in a short series they will win. But if the Pens can keep them closer to 2 for 20 they will take it.

Game 1 was a good start only getting to the box once. Limiting the penalties they take will be a huge advantage to them.

And the 2nd password is...


Don't worry I'm not stupid enough to tell you the password again.

1st clue - Crazy


Nothing? ok...
2nd clue - BIG


Still nothing?

3rd clue - Goooaal...

BUZZ!!!!

DAMNIT!!!

This game was a stupid idea. Anyway the 2nd key to the series is Fleury vs Roloson.

Again, this isn't exactly revolutionary stuff. Goaltending is a huge factor in playoff series, and the first game for all the teams showed that. But here's why I think it means a little extra in this one.

Roloson was a huge part of leading Edmonton to the finals in 2006. He's proven, like Fleury, that he can carry a team through multiple rounds. And in my opinion he is the best chance TB has of winning the series.

Which brings me back to my point. Contrary to popular belief Fleury does not need to play out of his mind for the Penguins to win the series. He just has to be better than Roloson. And not even significantly better.

If he can do that he will neutralize Tampa's best weapon and the Pens will win.


On to the 3rd password.

And I figured out a way not to screw this one up.

I'm just gonna use pictures that way I can't accidentally say the password.

So the 1st clue is...





Got it yet?

Alright, I'll give you another one...



Got it now?

Really? Fine, one more clue.



Seriously, you don't know it yet?!?

It was Martin St. Louis.

This game sucks.


Anyway.

He has 13g and 21a for 34 points in 32 games over in the last 8 seasons against us (which is about the time he started getting good.

Meanwhile Lecavlier has 24g in 37gms over about the same period of time but only 4 in his last 14. He feasted on the Pens when we sucked, but St. Louis has been their best player against us over the last 6 years.

Stamkos has been average against the Pens, had a poor end to his season and is in his 1st playoff series.

Lecavlier, as I showed, hasn't been particularly effective against us in recent years.

If Tampa's going to win this series, it's likely St. Louis is going to have to have a Cammalleri esque series. Otherwise, their done.

(Btw fun fact St. Louis has 66pts in 43 games against carolina. For a guy that averages around a point a game overall, that's crazy.)


Wrap-up

So those are my keys to the series. If the Pens win, I guarantee they will win at least 2 of these 3 match-ups. Otherwise, it's not only going to be a long series, but probably a disappointing one for Pens fans.

Prediction

Everyone always picks 6 or 7. It's the safest way to hedge your bets. Teams sweep series, teams win in 5, people just don't have the balls to say it.

Pens in 5


Other series

NYR suck. Washington in 5

PHI is awful right now, BUF is on fire. Sabres in 6

This is that series where you go a lot of games to make yourself seem smarter. BOS in 7.


VAN in 6
SJ in 4
PHX in 6
NSH in 7


Count it.

- the legend

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Legend and The Law Do a Mock Draft Recap Part 2


All Star Weekend ended up being a smashing success. At least that's what the media is saying.


My opinion? Definitely better than before, but still not great. However, in the context of the other major professional sports, the NHL is doing something right.

Frankly, I don't think they could have gotten any luckier than being pitted against this years Pro Bowl, one of the worst sports events I've ever seen in my entire life. And I watched a total of maybe 7 minutes of it.

And despite the nearly universal mockery, I feel like The Guardian Project has minimal downside, and large upside.

All together it was a good weekend for the NHL, but I know what you all are really wondering, was it a better weekend for The Legend or The Law?

Well the post today is going to include my All-Star Breakdown as well as a conclusion to The Legend and The Law do a mock draft.


NHL All-Star Skills Competition


Fastest Skater


They started off this year's skills competition with the fastest skater race and added two wrinkles to it, pitting defenseman skating backwards, and goalies skating against each other.


The Legend's Take

If they really wanted to add a cool wrinkle to it, they need to do a relay race. The classic mano-a-mano race is normally pretty good, but the D skating backwards was just goofy. Next year they should add a 3 man relay race. They could even keep the goalies or the backwards skating as a part of that


The Legend and The Law Results

Kris Letang beat Duncan Keith in the backwards contest and Cam Ward beat Tim Thomas in the goalie race, though conspiracy theorists speculate he may have taken a dive for the hometown guy, giving me two points.

via sbnation via 30fps


Unfortunately, St. Louis beat Ryan Kesler and Mike Green is fatter than...well...someone really fat, and he got destroyed by Steven Stamkos.

The rookies ended up being the highlight of the race, which didn't mean much to us.

The Legend - 2
The Law - 2

Breakaway Challenge

Now I've started to here some grumblings about this event. And read one article that said it needs to be scrapped because the players obviously look outside of their comfort zone. My response to that is simple...PFFFTTTT.

Frankly the only problem I have with the event is the embarrassment I feel for the weak moves the players attempt. You can search youtube and find hundreds of moves better than what they tried, and many of them done by kids under the age of 12.

I mean there's a video on there by Stamkos, from 2008!, where he talks about some of the moves that might be attempted in the competition that year, some of which were still better than what they did.


The Legend's Take

2 things need to be amended about the Breakaway contest.

First, they need to find a way to make the goalies try, without trying too hard. When the goalies don’t care a lot of great shootout moves, like the Forsberg move, end up completely ineffective. But obviously if they are going full boar, they may interrupt a move in progress.

I think the best way to do it would be to bring in a celebrity goalie for the competition, or a retired player if the host franchise has someone appropriate that fits the bill. I don't think the amateur goalies they had two years ago worked, but a celebrity would be perfect both from a promotions stand point and because they would be the perfect mix of effort vs inability.

And second, they need to bring in 2 amateur players, 1 for each team. Hold a contest on youtube where the winner gets to participate. If 13 year-olds are making better shoot-out moves than the pros, then why not pit them against them. I guarantee it would be a huge hit.


The Legend and The Law Results

Ovechkin won but didn’t deserve it. The best was Corey Perry, but he finished near the end. Voting for this competition sucked.

Oh well, it was an easy 8 points for me.

The Legend – 10

The Law - 2

Shooting Accuracy

A confused Dustin Byfuglien did not realize the targets

were sponsored by McDonald's not made by them


This was actually one of the highlight events for me. I liked the twist of making it a race, though it diminished the classic 4-4 milestone, and the best moment of the weekend was the do-over.

For those that missed it teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp were pitted against each other, but when the whistle blew Toews didn’t start shooting. In fact it wasn’t until Sharp was a couple targets in that Toews realized they had started. When Sharp polished him off, JT had the same look on his face that any one of us would have had in the situation, the “this sucks, this isn’t fair, this sucks” look.

Then the NHL stepped in and did the smartest thing they could have done. They decided on a do-over. Screw the rules, screw it’s his own fault, on the weekend they decided to have the schoolyard draft, they decided to play by schoolyard law. If something unfair happens, do it over. They proved they were all-in with this concept. Kudos.


The Legend's Take

This is one of the cooler events as the carnage that results from a hit is normally pretty cool and when a player gets on a role the crowd always lets out a collective “wow” sigh. There’s only two ways to improve the event.

1. Bring back the camera in the targets. I’m not sure why they didn’t have it this year, but it’s always cool seeing the puck come at you on TV and destroying expensive equipment. Plus with 3D TV’s becoming popular can you imagine what that would look like?

2. Would involve completely blowing up the competition, which I don’t think is necessary. But if they wanted to revamp it for some reason I would change it to a shooting gallery of sorts (think a sharpshooter shooting bottles of a fence post). Instead of the four corners of the net, they could line up targets, or water bottles on the crossbar or along the boards. This might work better as an add-on to the Skill Challenge Relay, but I think it would be exciting to watch a player mowing down targets like that.

The Legend and The Law Results

Kesler beat Richards, Nash beat Kessel and Daniel Sedin beat Havlat (should have been Sedin vs Sedin).

Meanwhile, Toews beat Sharp in the redo and Kane beat E. Staal.

In the finals D. Sedin helped me pull away by destroying Kane. Chalk another one up for The Legend.

The Legend – 15

The Law – 4


Skills Challenge Relay

Not a bad debut for this event, we’ve seen much worse over the years. The highlight was Toews blowing through the targets to close out his groups run. That and Kris Letang hitting the net with about 10 one-timers, but unable to get them above the barrier (a shock for any of us that have watched him miss high and outside for 3 years). For those that know hockey it was kind of funny watching a defenseman shoot absolutely textbook shots from the point, that were actually hurting him in the contest.


The Legend's Take

The biggest problem with this contest is that in a race, people want to see people racing. Time vs. time is only dramatic when you have clocks ticking down. That would be an interesting twist next year. Have the first group set the standard, and then have the best time running down on the scoreboard for subsequent runs. It might actually be fun watching guys peeking at the clock, or pressing themselves in their individual skills because they know they’re behind

Also, when you’re doing a multiple dimensional competition like the one they did you need to move from station to station quicker. For instance have the first guy do the one timers, then have the guy skate through pylons, towards the next station, then do passing, then have a guy stickhandle to the next part, etc. Having the one timers take almost a minute to complete really dragged.

It’s really an easy fix though. Cut each station in half and do them all twice, same competition but it would be much more intense.

The Legend and The Law Results

I couldn’t figure out a way to split up the points here since every group included rookies and players that were incorrectly drafted by us, so I just chalked up the points won to each of us. Team Lidstrom won the event 5-3, so The Law finally started chipping into my lead.

The Legend – 18

The Law – 9


Hardest Shot


No joke here, I just really wish when his stick broke
it would have snapped up and hit him in the eye.


The hardest shot competition, though not my favorite, is clearly one of the best. The energy in the building when Chara broke his record was palpable, and the showdown between him and Weber was probably one of the better moments of the night.


The Legend's Take The only thing I would want to do to this one is make it a little more exciting outside of the top 2 players. I mean Byfuglien’s shots were awesome, and no one cared because Chara and Weber had already destroyed his numbers.

I think the solution is to break it down into 3 groups, with 4 shooters in each group: the lightweights, middleweights and heavyweights. And you could have the winner from each group, plus a wild card face off in the finals.

How you divide up the groups I’m not certain. But you could build anticipation better this way. Start with the rookies maybe, then you’re snipers who all shoot mid to high nineties, then the defensemen probably, who tend to have the hardest shots.

The Legend and The Law Results

This was a bad event for us. As 3 of the 6 winners, Sharp, Byfuglien and Weber, were on the other guys team, thus disqualified.

The Law had Burns and Stamkos notch points for him, and I avoided the shut-out with Chara’s come from behind victory in the Finals.

The Legend – 20

The Law – 11

Elimination Shoot-out

I think the NHL saw this going better when they decided to implement it this year. I thought the elimination shootout was effective, except of course not enough players scored. I’m not quite sure if there is a fix for that though.

I remember back in the day watching Mario score 3 or 4 times on a goalie during the skills competition. I just think the goalies have gotten too good these days.

The Legend's Take I think one change that needs to be made, is you should make sure players face a different goalie in each round. Subban shooting on Fleury twice was just stupid.

One interesting way they could switch this up is have each guy get 3 pucks. And they have to take 3 back-to-back-to-back breakaways on all 3 goalies. Then like the home-run derby they eliminate the field by half or a third or whatever, and do that every round.

I’ll admit that’s not a great idea, but I feel like the event was very anti-climatic because nobody scored, and this is the only way I could think to switch it up.

The Legend and The Law Results

This was The Law’s last chance for a big come back. The 1st round was very even with 6 guys on each team scoring. Unfortunately, 3 of my goals were ineligible (Subban, Couture, and Karlsson) and only 2 of his were (Buff and Shattenkirk).

In the 2nd round only Perry and St. Louis scored. 2 points for each of us.

The Law entered the 3rd round of the shootout down by 8 points. 3 goals by St. Louis and non by Perry would pull out a victory. But alas it was not in the cards. Perry scores and Marty does not. Game.

Skills Competition Results

The Legend – 28

The Law – 17

Draft Results

The Legend - 15

The Law - 11


Weekend Total

The Legend - 43

The Law - 28


As you can tell The Law was behind going into the All-Star Game, but considering how everyone was calling for a Lidstrom blowout, and I weighted the game on Sunday heavier than the previous two days, he certainly had a chance for a come-back. Let's see the results.


THE LEGEND AND THE LAW DO A MOCK DRAFT RESULTS

Long story short I ended up giving 2 points for goals, 1 point for assists, and scored only the players we correctly drafted on Friday. Which means Shea Weber's 4 assists for Lidstrom's team went unaccounted for.

I also gave The Law 5 bonus points for Patrick Sharp being the MVP, despite being on Team Staal. It just felt right considering how early he drafted him. Touche.


The Legend's team ended up scoring 8 goals and 14 assists for a total of 30 points. Which gave them a total on the weekend of 73 points.

With the 5 bonus points for MVP The Law had 40 points to make up on Sunday. He managed to score 9 goals but only had 13 assists for a total of 31 points. Narrowly losing to The Legend by the final score 73-64.

Eat it.


It was a fun weekend. The NHL had some success with their new format, and I kicked The Law's ass at a hockey related game. A good time was had by all.


Now let's play some real hockey.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Legend and The Law Do a Mock Draft Recap Part 1

The Law and I decided to have a contest for the NHL All-Star Game starting with a mock draft completed earlier this week. Just as the weekend is broken up into three days, our competition will have three different rounds.

Round 1 is the Fantasy Draft which went on last night.

Round 2 is the Skills Competition.

Round 3, of course, is the game itself.

Round 1 Scoring rules

There are 3 ways to score on Day 1.

- Each team will receive 2 points for drafting a player in the same round he ended up getting drafted in. For instance I correctly picked that Cam Ward would go in the first round to Team Staal which means 2 points for me.

- Each team will receive 1 point for drafting a player +/- 1 round he ended up getting drafted in. For instance The Law predicted that Team Lidstrom would take Keith Yandle in the 11th round, and he took him in the 12th: 1 pt to him. This ended up being a good way to show how accurately we assessed the value of the players.

- Finally, bonus points will be added or subtracted depending on the intangibles predicted. This scoring will make more sense at the end.

Results of Round 1

First I need to start by saying this. Out of 18 draft picks The Law and I correctly chose 14 players for each of our teams. We each got all 3 goalies correct, 3 out of the 5 defensemen and 8 out of 10 forwards. That is ridiculous.

With all the mock drafts posted across the internet I guarantee there isn’t an “expert” out there that did better. And if it wasn’t for The Law’s stupid aversion to the Sedin twins and Shea Weber, we could have done even better.

Here is the breakdown of our draft vs. the actual draft

Rd

Team Staal

The Legend as Team Staal

Team Lidstrom

The Law as

Team Lidstrom

1

Cam Ward

Cam Ward

Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos

2

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin

Duncan Keith

Jonathan Toews

3

Daniel Sedin

Daniel Sedin

Henrik Sedin

Patrick Sharp

4

Zdeno Chara

Henrik Sedin

Shea Weber

Marc-Andre Fleury

5

Rick Nash

Dustin Byfuglien

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas

6

Henrik Lundquist

Kris Letang

Daniel Briere

Daniel Boyle

7

Marc Staal

Henrik Lundquist

Dustin Byfuglien

Brent Burns

8

Patrick Sharp

Claude Giroux

Jonathan Toews

Brad Richards

9

Daniel Boyle

Carey Price

Marc-Andre Fleury

Daniel Briere

10

Carey Price

Corey Perry

Jonas Hiller

Jonas Hiller

11

Jeff Skinner

Zdeno Chara

Brad Richards

Keith Yandle

12

Kris Letang

Shea Weber

Keith Yandle

Anze Kopitar

13

Claude Giroux

Matt Duchene

Brent Burns

Duncan Keith

14

Erik Karlsson

Marc Staal

Martin Havlat

Martin Havlat

15

Corey Perry

Rick Nash

Anze Kopitar

Erik Karlsson

16

Patrick Elias

Jeff Skinner

Matt Duchene

Loui Ericksson

17

David Backes

David Backes

Loui Eriksson

Patrick Elias

18

Paul Statsny

Paul Statsny

Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel

As you see we did remarkably well. But let’s get to the scoring.

2-point round

The Legend correctly predicted that Team Staal would draft Cam Ward, Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Sedin 1, 2, and 3. Very nicely done. He also predicted that David Backes and Paul Statsny would go to Team Staal with the last 2 picks.

The Law correctly took Steven Stamkos first for Team Lidstrom. He got Jonas Hiller with the last goalie selection, Phil Kessel with the last pick overall and in the middle of the draft was able to nail Tim Thomas and Martin Havlat.

Results

10 points each: a draw.

While The Legend was able to navigate the beginning and end of the draft successfully, The Law benefited from having 2nd choice when it came to rounds 10 and 18. Nevertheless it was The Law correctly grabbing Tim Thomas and Martin Havlat in the middle of the draft that evened this round out.

1-point round

The Legend picked Henrik Sedin in Rd. 4 when The Law easily could have gained an extra point, and accurately grabbed his goaltenders in the middle rounds.

The Law was able to grab Keith Yandle in the middle and Loui Ericksson in the late rounds to show his acumen.

Results

3-2 The Legend.

The Legend took advantage of his goalies in this round, as well as The Law’s mistake in passing over Henrik Sedin, to take a lead overall.

Bonus Points

The Legend gets a bonus point for his assessment of Shea Weber. He remarked as he drafted him, just after his selection of Zdeno Chara, that the pick would lock up the Hardest Shot competition. Sure enough when Team Staal pulled the trigger on Chara in round 4 of the real draft Team Lidstrom responded with Weber for the same reason.

He also gets a point for correctly predicting Eric Staal’s dig of his brother when he selected Henrik Lundquist. Though the real Staal did not go to the extreme The Legend wrote of in his mock draft, his choice to delay after saying “from the NY Rangers…” before announcing Henrik Lundquist’s name showed the perverse pleasure The Legend know would come out.

Finally, The Legend gets another bonus point for correctly predicting the first 3 picks by Team Staal. It wasn’t just the Cam Ward pick, which had been rumored for awhile, but knowing that Staal would go after Mike Green’s teammate 2nd and then pick Daniel over Henrik took a lot of knowledge and a little bit of luck.

The Law gets a bonus point for, and it hurts me to say this, correctly predicting the large number of Blackhawks that would end up on Lidstrom’s team, including one being taken in the 2nd round.

However, there were some big mistakes by both teams and points have to be deducted as well.

The Legend was certain Eric Staal would not draft his brother. While there was the light hearted ribbing, at the end of the day, Marc is playing with his brother.

The Law took Toews as Lidstrom’s 2nd pick. Meanwhile, he ended up being drafted 16th overall, after both of his Chicago teammates.

He also chose to pass on Henrik Sedin, choosing instead to take Patrick Sharp. This is the kind of error we just can’t allow pass. Sorry Law.

Results

The Legend – 2

The Law – -1

Total – Round 1

15-11 The Legend takes the early lead on The Law

As for Round 2 and Round 3, only players correctly drafted by The Legend and The Law will be eligible for scoring. Which means that anything Dan Boyle, Erick Karlsson, Patrick Elias and Patrick Sharp do for Team Staal won’t count for The Legend and anything Dustin Byfuglien, Shea Weber, Henrik Sedin and Matt Duchene do for Team Lidstrom won’t help The Law.

However, before we wrap this up we must announce an additional penalty to The Legend’s squad. Because of his certainty that Marc Staal would not be drafted by his brother Eric we are going to declare Marc ineligible for The Legend’s team for the rest of the weekend. Which means The Law, though behind, has an extra player in play for Rounds 2 and 3.

Enjoy the skills competition tonight and we’ll see you all back here tomorrow for the results.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Legend and The Law Do a Mock Draft

So I let The Law pick which team he wanted to represent, he chose Team Lidstrom because according to him “Staal’s team sucked”. Whatever.

With all the rumor’s going around about Staal’s first overall pick that made my choice easy.

Staal’s Pick: Cam Ward

Lidstrom: “Wow Legend, goalie first overall, do you want that pick back?”

Staal: Easy there, big boy. We all know that’s who Staal is drafting first overall, well anyone that actually pays attention to the league at least.

Lidstrom: “Is that a dig at me? I’m sorry I’m in law school and not unemployed, I don’t have time to prepare for our fake mock draft of an exhibition draft by reading various mock drafts of a fake draft. I’m taking Stamkos for marty because he told me he’d cry if I didn’t”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Steven Stamkos

Staal: You do realize they don’t have Power Plays in All-Star games right? I’m confused is you’re goal to draft the smallest team in All Star history? I’m making my first Skills competition pick. He’s not having a great year, but he’s the reigning breakaway champion and Mike Green’s gal pal

Staal’s Pick: Alex Ovechkin


I bet that's not the first time he's done that for Malkin


Lidstrom’s Pick:Jonathan Towes

Lidstrom: “I’m drafting centers, since I’m starting with two wingers, and pretty good ones at that.”

Staal: Well I’m drafting the best players out there, and I don’t know how this guy has fallen this far, but I’m taking

Staal’s Pick: Daniel Sedin

Staal: and I’ll put him with Kesler since I’m sure you’re going to take

Lidstrom’s Pick: Patrick Sharp

Staal: WHAT! Patrick Sharp! You have a chance to split up the Sedin Twins for the first time since the womb, and you take Patrick Fricken’ Sharp.

Ok seriously Pat. Sidebar.

(Legend: You are supposed to be drafting as Nicklas Lidstrom. You’ve drafted two Chicago Blackhawks and have a third on your team as a captain, dude at least play along.

Law: “I play for keeps”.

Legend: I hate you)

Staal: Fine I’m not letting you get away with that one. I’m taking

Staal’s Pick: Henrik Sedin

Staal: And I’m going to kill you with my Vancuver wizardry.

Lidstrom: “man back-to-back. You hit the Swedes harder than Tiger Woods. I’ll take the Flower”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Marc-Andre Fleury

Lidstrom: “He’s a starter, and the only Stanley Cup champion in goal out there”

Staal: On that note I’m going to crack the defenseman seal and get

Staal’s Pick: Dustin Byfuglien

Staal: I only wish that his partner from the Thrashers was…

Lidstrom: “SCREW YOU”

Staal: going to be there as well. Oops, did you want him? My bad.

Lidstrom’s Pick: Tim Thomas

Staal: That’s a nice pick. He’ll be fun during the skills competition, I hope they mic him up.

Staal’s Pick: Kris Letang

Staal: I’m going big or going home with offensive defenseman. Although Tanger can play in his own end, all three of my D so far are practically forwards.

Lidstrom: “yeah, yeah. Before you snap up all those guys I’ll take the one left on the board that plays that way”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Dan Boyle

Staal: Nice pick-up. I probably should have taken him before Letang, but I was thinking about the Elimination Shoot-out with Kris. And with his skating he might just excel in an exhibition game. Since we’re on a defensive kick I’m going to go with the guy that has been a big part of the defensive success for the Rangers this year (looks directly at Marc Staal)…

Staal’s Pick: Henrik Lundquist.

Lidstrom: “That was cold dude”

Staal: Had to be done.

Lidstrom’s Pick: Brent Burns

Staal: I’m sorry who?

Lidstrom: “What do you meant who? He’s one of the top scoring defensemen in the league.”

Staal: It’s the All-Star Game. They’re ALL among the top scoring defensemen in the league.

Lidstrom: “Whatever, I’m looking for studs”

(Legend: Yeah I bet that’s what they called you in high school, before you became The Law. Pat “the stud finder” Corcoran)


Pat "the stud finder" Corcoran's first find



Staal’s Pick: Claude Giroux

Staal: He’s having a monster year, and I feel like he’s the type that might just snipe 2 or 3 without even thinking about it.

Lidstrom: “Speaking of good years, I don’t know how he’s fallen this far but I’ll take

Lidstrom’s Pick: Brad Richards

Staal: We have to take our goalie by the 10th round and I have a strategy here. I’m taking the one who probably has had the best season of any goalie so far.

Staal’s Pick: Carey Price

Lidstrom: “speaking of studs”

Staal: He is quite a pretty man

Lidstrom: “I was talking about him taking it in…”

Staal: Alright then, remember this is a family blog just make you’re pick

Lidstrom: “In the spirit of people taking it from behind I’ll take”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Daniel Briere

Staal: …from behind

Lidstrom: “ha…ha”

Staal: That leaves me to draft the guy I had my eye on in this round

Staal’s Pick: Corey Perry

Staal: Who will inevitably score on…

Lidstrom’s Pick: Jonas Hiller

Lidstrom: “Oh you’re funny”

Staal: Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week. Alright, I’m going to actually need some defensemen that play defense on my team though, so I’m going to take

Staal’s Pick: Zdeno Chara

Lidstrom: “I can’t believe he’s fallen this far but I’m taking”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Keith Yandle

(Legend: He’s fallen that far The Law because he was added to the team yesterday, but then again you’re just mopping up all the injury replacements aren’t you?)

Staal: I got an easy pick here. I’m wrapping up the Slap Shot competition this year by taking

Staal’s Pick: Shea Weber

Lidstrom: “yeah with Chara and Weber, I might as well not even put anyone out there”

Staal: Not without a lot of protection I wouldn’t

Lidstrom’s Pick: Anze Kopitar

Staal: That leave me with one of two players I want, and I gotta go with the one that never should have fallen this far and is built for an open ice game

Staal’s Pick: Matt Duchene

Lidstrom: “Not a bad choice, for me to poop on”

Staal: Well that’s just uncalled for

Lidstrom: “I’m going to finish off my raping of the Chicago Blackhawks by drafting

Staal: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Lidstrom’s Pick: Duncan Keith

Staal: Sidebar

(whisperwhisperwhisper)

Staal: Shucks, oh…well…I guess…I’ll…just…have…to…draft…my…brother…marc…then.

Staal’s Pick: Marc Staal

Staal: Hey Pat, what do you think about a trade?

Lidstrom: “A trade?”

Staal: A trade.

Lidstrom: “What were you thinking for a trade?”

Staal: A trade.

Lidstrom: “A trade?”

Staal: How about Claude Giroux and Marc Staal for Daniel Briere and Duncan Keith?

Lidstrom: “Sounds good to me”

(Marc Staal, not even having reached the stage yet stands there stunned)

Staal: Done. (shrugs shoulders at brother)

(in game break)

Trade review

So what were your thoughts about that trade?


Staal: Well, frankly I wanted Duncan Keith, and I wasn’t so

interested in either of the last two defensemen on the board.

I thought Pat should get a Swede on Lidstrom’s team, even

though he seemed to have an unhealthy aversion to them.

And anytime I could hurt my brother, while at the same

time messing with two Flyers, I figured why the heck not?


Lidstrom: “I admit my love affair with CHI guys was getting

a little bit ridiculous, plus I realized why not let

Keith knock one of them out during the game.”


(back to the draft)

Lidstrom’s Pick: Martin Havlat

Staal: Seriously man, when you’re not drafting Blackhawks players, you’re drafting former Blackhawk players. I’m surprised you didn’t try drafting Cristobal Huet.

Lidstrom: “I would of, but I wasn’t sure how the transfer agreement with Fribourg-Gotteron worked”

Staal: I hate you. I’m taking the last “I can’t believe he fell this far guy”

Staal’s Pick: Rick Nash

Lidstrom: “I will take Loui Ericksson”

Staal: Dude you have to draft Karlsson, it’s the 15th round

Lidstrom: “I don’t want Karlsson he’s like -17”

Staal: He’s the last defenseman, you have to take him, and besides he’s Swedish, you’re Swedish, Lidstrom is going to have some Swedish players on his team.

Lidstrom’s Pick: Erik Karlsson

Staal: I’ll be nice and leave Erickson for you…

Lidstrom: “I am not Swedish…”

Staal: …because I can’t leave my boy hanging any longer…

Lidstrom: “…I have never been nor will I be Swedish…”

The Staal’s Pick: Jeff Skinner

Lidstrom: “…or be with a swede”

Staal: Ok then.

Lidstrom: “…mmmm.... swedish fish”

Lidstrom’s Pick: Loui Ericksson

Staal’s Pick: David Backes

Lidstrom: “Ass. I wanted him, oh well that just leaves me with two to pick from. Pretty much a toss up here, I’ll take

Lidstrom’s Pick: Patrick Elias

Lidstrom: “Man you know what I should have said before instead of the Tiger joke…Hey man what is Jasper Parnevik picking your team?”

Staal: Is he dead? Cause that’s not funny dude.

Lidstrom: “You’re thinking of Payne Stewart”

Staal: I meant Elias.

Lidstrom: “ouch”


God, why couldn't you have taken him instead?


Staal: Alright that leaves me with Phil Kessel. Wait, that’s not enough players. (as of our mock draft the NHL had not yet named the last injury replacement player for the game) Screw it I’m gonna draft…

Staal’s Pick: ________

over…

Lidstrom’s Pick: Phil Kessel

Lidstrom: “You can’t do that”

Staal: Just did. Enjoy your Maple Leaf, I’m taking nothing over him. Talk about Mr. Irrelevant.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

WE'RE BAAAAACK

So I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for the NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft.

This would be my face the whole time if I was at the Draft.


Screw the game, the draft Friday night is going to be the main event.

There are already theories abound about the draft. Will Eric Staal intentionally not draft his brother just to make him sit there and stew? Are the captains going to draft their teammates? Countrymen? Friends? Are they going to pass over rivals? Are they going to try to snipe the players they know the other guy wants to draft?

There’s even talk of a collusion strategy where some of the highest scoring players don’t get drafted until the late rounds, because as some put it “they probably never got picked last in anything." You couldn't make that up.

I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going to happen at the draft, but I assure you something fun will.

For my glorious return to the blog I figured a two-part post was best. Up first are the odds for what I think might happen at the All-Star Draft on Friday. Part II is The Legend and The Law mock draft for Friday night, which I will post on Friday morning.


Betting odds on 2011 NHL ALL-STAR DRAFT

(remember all listed odds are for entertainment purposes only, gambling is not only illegal but really, really hard.)

1:2 Eric Staal does something to embarrass his brother

2:1 The Sedin twins switch places or fake being the other one if they get drafted separately


1:1 Someone gets drafted without the use of their name. i.e. “we’ll take the tall guy in the back”

10:1 Someone is traded during the draft for an inanimate object, such as equipment or food

500:1 Stone Cold Steve Austin’s intro music blasts halfway through the draft and Sidney Crosby comes tearing down the stage grabs the mic and screams “You jibroni’s didn’t think a little concussion was going to keep me out of the draft did you? Well I’m in the draft now, because Sid the Kid Said So!”

I would literally kill to see this

1:2 Then Max Talbot throws him two beers which Sid will crack on stage.

100:1 Jeremy Roenick shows up wearing a feather boa and announces his inclusion in the draft. “woooo”

150:1 Gary Bettman shows up in Paul Bearer make-up and announces that Kesler and Green turn heel on Eric Staal and join Team Lidstrom.

Which do you like better Paul Bettman or Gary Bearer?


(man these predictions really took a WWE turn somewhere in there)


+/-2.5 The number of references during the draft to all the players sticks being thrown into a pile and picking teams that way.

3:1 The odds that none of these things happen and I end up crying myself to sleep after getting trashed watching the draft because the NHL came up with a brilliant idea right on the heels of their good exposure during 24/7 and then failed to capitalize on it.