Challenge Cup Playoffs Open With Visitors Taking Leads; Edge Pressure Scourge

The NHL has finished their trade deadline and ours is next Monday's line-up. The headlines in the FunHL, however, are not the usual Predator Cup horse-race (though the Highlanders have extended their lead over the last two nights of play) it is the horse-race at the bottom of the table. What a difference a week can make. The Scourge had been riding H.Zetterberg and P.Datsyuk to a big and growing lead on the last placed Edge and seemed poised to avoid a rookie season Herbivore and then the Edge woke up and made a deal for Jason Spezza. The trade is paying dividends this week to be sure but the real story is the return of players already on the Edge line-up such as O.Jokinen and A.Ovechkin. Think about this. One week ago tonight, Wednesday February 21st, the Scourge had built up a 35+pt lead. As of last night's action the Edge have pulled to within 3pts. That's how fast things can change. A caution for the Highlanders and encouragement for the Bladerunners to be sure.

The Challenge Cup playoffs open up this week with the Severed Heads hosting the Highlanders in one semi-final and the Bladerunners hosting the Shadowmen in the other. In early action it is the visitors who have the lead. As mentioned before, a win by either team would be their first ever in Challenge Cup playoff action. While both the Bladerunners and Heads have been here before and have both won Challenge Cups. Lest you think that the Challenge Cup always goes to the eventual Predator Cup winner, in three of the seven years it has been awarded the Challenge Cup winner has NOT also won the Predator Cup and on two occaisions the Predator Cup winner didn't even make the Challenge Cup final.

Milestones and notes that I had forgotten to make. The Great Whites are now an 800pt team - congrats. The Wolves have passed the Severed Heads who fall to 5th.

Following Tuesday's action, here are the unofficial stats:


NHL Trade Deadline Deals - analysis

Guerin -> Sharks for a 1st, Nieminen and some deep roster prospect.

Is anyone suprised? He'll re-audition as Thornton's port side gunner, after which he'll take a run at scoring 50+ ala Cheechoo last year.

The Penguins picked up; George 'Heavyweight Champion' Laraque, Gary 'Obi-Wan Fitness' Roberts, a Kwiatakowski to fill out the D (and with that name he had better be tougher than Polish leather), and the latest in a long line of goaltending prospects stuck in the Sharks system to pop loose, Nolan Shaeffer, to round out the teams goaltending depth. Well done, I say, well done.

Bertuzzi to the Red Wings for picks. Bertuzzi is the ultimate boom bust proposition. Boom, and you have an unstoppable offensive force, one who can; score 40 goals, assist on 60, record a 100PIM, and bulldoze his way to the net at will. Bust and you have a very expensive locker room cancer with a tricky back and a propensity for near criminal mayhem. My bet is he goes 'boom' in a big, big way, and is an even bet for FP status next year. Essentially this means that Luongo and Kraicjek were traded to the Vancouver Canucks straight up for Bryan Allen and a first.

A smooth move by the Chi-Hawks has them moving a 6th rnd pick and Karl Stewart to get hulking Nikita Alexeev. A little 'fear my wingspan' for a late pick and MIA euro-prospect. Nice.

Dallas adds Mathias Norstrom to their blue-line in what has to be the most underrated moves of the day. They are not going to go gently into that good night come playoff time, and adding a battle tested warrior like Norstrom is proof of that.

The Leafs trade a minor league defenseman and a 2nd rnd pick to the Coyotes for Yanick Perrault. For those of you paying attention, only a few months back Yanick was the last of the free agents signings - so he could have been had for the value of his contract. But it's like free-money when you trade with the Leafs, who come trade deadline are now ready to cough up a 2nd for 5th and a depth prospect for a guy they could have had for free. All in all, the Leafs season is another idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

The Flames picked up David Hale for a 3rd rnd pick. Nice. Hale is a good depth body for a cup drive, and came at a reasonable price. Over this year, Calgary has ADDED; Tanguay, Conroy, Stuart, and Hale. A top line forward, a 2nd line centre, a top 4 defenseman and a depth defender, all of which compliments a franchise forward in his prime, a pair of all-star calibre defensmen, and a cold blooded assassin of a goaltender. Let the playoffs begin!

Now contrast the slow smooth maneuverings of Calgary's Sutter with Edmonton's Lowe, as today Lowe tears the heart of the team out, spits on it, and ships it off to the Islanders. The same GM who is paying everybody's favourite 38 year old backup Dwayne Roloson $4m a year, who signed a way overachieving AHL scoring star Shawn Horcoff to an expensive $3m a year deal, couldn't find it in his heart to pay Smyth $5 and change? Like the Thornton trade to San Jose, this could almost be a franchise killer. Expect Lowe's head.

FunHL Stats On Hold

Hi Guys,

The spreadsheet is all set but CBS sportsline hasn't posted last night's stats (I suspect that they are holding off until the deadline deals are all completed).

I'll keep checking back throughout the day but if not, I'll make the first post of the week tomorrow.

My back of the envelope calculations had me gaining a couple of points on Brian.

Talk to you then.



Week 21 Ends With Highlanders Holding Narrow Lead

Sorry for the delay everyone, tommorow should be out much quicker.

Until then, here are the unofficial stats as of Sunday night:

Trade: Lost Boys-Shadowmen


Bob will confirm this trade via e-mail (maybe here too). He will also circulate my line-up for this week since I will not get home until well after it is due tonight.

To the Lost Boys
Brindamour C Car (RFA)
Clark R Wsh

To the Shadowmen
Roy C Buf (RFA)
O'Neill R Tor
Lost Boys 1st Rd PrD

"Make it so"

GM Lost Boys


Bladerunners extend lead; Knights Templar join 700pt club; Shadowmen fall to 4th in Omnivore

The Highlanders were looking poised to retake the lead in the Predator Cup race last night until the Calgary and Los Angeles scores came in. Jerome Iginla's 4pt night along with K.Huselius and L.Visnovsky's 2pt nights was the difference needed to forstall any drop from top position. Indeed, the Bladerunners gained a further two points on the Highlanders and have the league's top point total for the week at over 45pts.

The Knights Templar are having a fine week of their own (over 36pts) and last night crossed over the 700pt mark. The Great Whites are also enjoying a solid week (currently over 34pts) and are poised to cross the 800pt mark tonight.

The fine Great White performance looks to be impacting the Challenge Cup as well, though the fish themselves have been eliminated from the post-season. Should the Great Whites hold on to their lead over the Shadowmen and the Highlanders go on to victory in their game against the Edge, the Highlanders will move into 3rd place ahead of the Shadowmen and avoid the Bladerunners in the first round.

In the Omnivore, the Shadowmen took a +/- hit from defenseman D.Markove last night (he went -3) and are now in fourth place in the Omnivore standings. The Highlanders passed them but still remain 12pts back of the Scourge and 28pts back of the Bladerunners and their impressive +44pt standing.

My appologies in advance but I have a conference out of town tomorrow so the final stats for the week won't be posted until late Monday.

Until then, here are the unofficial stats following Saturday night's action:


Another Quiet Night

The Highlanders gain a quarter point on the Bladerunners last night. Seriously, thats all. Its a rush this morning but here are the unofficial stats as of last night:


Bladerunners Back In Lead

The see-saw battle for the Predator Cup continued last night with the Bladerunners extending their lead in points for the week and finally pulling back ahead of the Highlanders. The Bladerunners garnered half of their points in one game as Lecavalier, Boyle, Kozlov and Hossa accounted for 6pts on the night between them. The lead is only three-quarters of a point so it may not hold after tonights games.

Further down the table, both the Lost Boys and Personal Vendetta have crossed over to the 700pt club. The Lost Boys did it while passing the Vendetta in the standings to now sit in 8th place.

The Challenge Cup standings are in some dispute between the official stats keeper and this board but none of the disagreements affect the playoff teams. With the Severed Heads currently losing their game and the Shadowmen winning theirs the potential exists that the two teams will swap positions but it is looking increasingly likely that our playoff matchups are going to hold.

In the Omnivore, the Bladerunners continue to build on their lead. The Highlanders are closing in on the Shadowmen in their effort to occupy third spot.

Following Thursday's action, here are the unofficial stats:


Quiet Night, Highlanders Make Small Gain/Big Trades

Not much time this morning. Will edit this to a full post later.

For now, here are the unofficial stats as of Wednesday night:


Awards 2007

See post below for the reasoning on this one.

But, when were people thinking of doing the awards for 2007? I'd like a chance to see as many as possible of you again, and knowing now makes booking plane tickets/begging for a sofa to sleep on easier and cheaper.

Also, what are the odds of getting the far flung Edmonton/Vancouver/Thunder Bay/Nova Scotia elements of the league to show?


Lost Boys seek GMing advice for 2008

Hello all,

I got my degree, and a cozy-enough job this year, and I've been evaluating what to do with my life next year. As some of you know, I was considering Calgary and pursuing technical certification in my field of interest. But, I don't drive, and having escaped school, am not so keen to return to it.

Anyway, life without irony--or at least long-term circular logic--would not be life as I understand it. Way back when I was a wee paduwan of 16 or so, I was told by Bob that what I really needed to do was go and see the world a little. I didn't want to at the time, and scoffed at the notion, fairly certain that Toronto was all I needed.

Well, a decade has passed (Friday was my birthday, I'm 26) and, it seems, life has finally gotten around to putting me in a position of actually wanting to see the world, and proving Bob right. I need greater and grander things. My heritage qualifies me for a UK, and thus, EU passport... and London's Calling. (The Clash, 1979)

So this is my situation to the league.

1) I want to keep the Lost Boys and stay in the FUNHL. I've been pursuing a strategy for next year's draft (RFA's over PrDs), and have finally gotten my FPs to the point where I don't need to worry about them for another couple decades.


2) How do people feel about GM participating on a 10 hour time difference? Calling me will be tough, and participating in 4 hour WDs that start at 10 p.m. is going to be rough. I also won't be able to show for the ED or PrD in any meaningful way. If I choose to travel frequently, routine access to my e-mail to submit line ups and the like will become difficult too.

So, options as I see them:

a) I participate from Europe, send my spreadsheets to the appropriate people to execute my drafts as best they can, trade through e-mail, and continue my blog-based snarkiness, just on a 10 hour time difference instead of a 2 hour time difference. My strategy continues unabated.

b) I get a co-GM to help manage the Lost Boys while I'm gone. This'll be someone who you can call about trades, will get line-ups in, and can participate in the drafts. This will also give the league an option of training a potential future GM without running a guppy pool. (I'm told this was done when someone... Collin?... went to Australia)

c) The FUNHL starts to look for a new GM to take over "Franchise 11." I stop offering PrDs for RFAs. Though... let me say if we go with this option: can I come back when I'm back on the continent?

My preference is option "a" but figured I'd throw it out to the league now for due judgment and consideration. If we go with "b" I have a friend in Toronto who really loves and knows her hockey, and deserves a pool of this calibre to splash around in, even if only for a year. Though, none of you know her, so that may prove an issue.

I may need to be persuaded from practicing dark magic on your FPs if you go with option "c".

Alright... now go ahead and opine. I don't leave until September.

GM of the Lost Boys.

(Happy to buy your RFAs, now, or in June)

Bladerunners/Highlanders Effectively Tied; Ramapithicines Latest Team To 700pts

I really ought to put both the Highlander and Bladerunner logos atop the Predator Cup Standings today - they are that close - but if it ends up like this at the end of the season, the Highlanders would still win.

The teams are separated by less than a half-point. Less than a goal, less than an assist, less than 7.5 minutes of shutout hockey by your goalie, less than a two minute penalty for looking so good. (Full marks to the first of you who can identify the athlete/actor in the commercial, the product and the rest of the ad).

The Bladerunners did indeed make the right call in net earning a point from Giguere that Kipprusoff could not provide while Huselius and Iginla's production helped to ease the concern of watching the recently traded Statsny record three points. The Bladerunners good night extended to the Omnivore as well as they are now back over +40pts and creating some distance between themselves and the second place Scourge.

The other event of the night was the Ramapithicines edging over the 700pt mark just ahead of the Personal Vendetta and Lost Boys who could join them as early as tonight.

The Challenge Cup games are still early but the Highlanders hold a lead on the Edge while the Shadowmen and Severed Heads are down in their two games.

The unofficial stats as of Tuesday night's action are:


Week 21 Begins With Bladerunners Gaining Ground

There were only three games in the NHL yesterday but it was enough to help the Bladerunners close the gap between themselves and the first place Highlanders to a mere two points. The recent additions to the Bladerunner squad begin to hit the ice tonight (actually Legwand had one point for the team already) and hope to propel them back into first place by the end of the evening. The Personal Vendetta managed a 9pt night, best in the league, and moved past the idle Lost Boys in the Predator Cup standings.

With the Challenge Cup's playoff teams now set, the issue becomes one of seeding. The Bladerunners have clinched first place and home ice throughout the playoffs. The Severed Heads, while currently in second, could fall into third with a loss this week against the Wolves and a Shadowmen win over the Great Whites (both teams would finish with 13-7 records but the Shadowmen hold the tie-breaker). The Highlanders would need to win their game against the Edge and have the Shadowmen lose to the Great Whites to move into third place.

Lots more hockey to play and (apparently) two more weeks until the FunHL trade deadline so lots more trading to take place too. The unoffical stats as of Monday night are as follows:

"Ties" for the Challenge Cup

Perhaps we should add ties or rather OTLs to the Challenge Cup contests

eg 1A tie only occurs with a mathmatical tie between to teams at the end of one week of play, each team receives 1 point each.
eg 2An OT is declared when there is a 3 point difference between two teams and a Win to the mathematical winner, for 2 points and the other team gets an OTL receives 1 point.

This would have the FUNHL and NHL have similar models.

That would be a Rule Proposal for the Challenge Cup.


Covenant changes for next year

Since Chris seems to have declared the bar open for rules changes we'd like to see implemented.

My suggestion:

Can we have an official roster keeper, who tracks "for the record" who drafts whom, and who is traded when, and then circulates it on something like a weekly basis. Brian's good enough to pass around his version whenever I give a squeak, but it seems like something the league could use in general as an official thing. Kind of like the way week to week stats are done now by Darryl and Doug.

I'd wouldn't be opposed to offering compensation for this in the form of something like two extra ballots in the entry draft lottery for service to the league.

On that note, is there any reward for the stats jobs Doug and Darryl do? Should there be?


FUNHL News and Notes

Massive trade occurred this weekend between the Wolves and Bladerunners - in what is another deal that could have decade long effects:

---> Bladerunners: Iginla-R Cgy FP, Huselius-L Cgy RFA, Visnovsky-D LA, Giguere-G Ana, Kobasew-R Bos P2 (inj), Legwand-C Nsh, Shadowmen 1st PRD, Bladerunners 3rd.

---> Wolves: Luongo-G Vcr FP, Parise-L NJ P3, Stastny-C Col P1, Cheechoo-R SJ, Martinek-D NYI (inj)

Lots of ramifications here. When I heard this deal had gone down, the following thoughts shotgunned through my consciousness;

- Luongo's fate was effectively sealed with the Kiprusoff trade. Nobody can afford to invest a franchise contract to their backup goaltender for long.

- The Bladerunner's have now collected all the best available Flames (Iginla, Kiprusoff, Huselius), except one, Dion Phaneuf-D Wolves (ok, two - Tanguay FP for the Scourge) As a cup drive strategy, this is intriguing. Is Calgary heading for an offensive explosion that I wasn't aware of?

- In Luongo, I believe the Wolves have now got one of the best 4-5 FP's in the league. And he's only getting better. Vancouver is building their team ala the New Jersey model - from their franchise goaltender out (seriously - watch for the search for Niedermayer/Stevens clones to begin for the blue-line). Luongo is going to be handed 70+ starts a season, a rock-N-roll defense corps (as I say, that's coming) and a team focussed on playing defense first (take a look at Naslund's stats - he's back-checking now). He's going to win hardware. Iggy on the other hand, is arguably not even one of the best 4 RW in the FUNHL (off the top of my head; St Louis, Jagr, Gaborik, Selanne, Hossa, are all playing better. Hejduk though, is definitely playing worse.), and he plays the kind of complete power/checking/defense/offense game that guarantees his points don't remain competitive with the goal sucks and puck hogs. If I were an NHL GM I'd love to build a team around Iggy, but as a FUNHL GM he's a declining asset.

- Does this trade actually improve the Bladerunners anywhere obviously? Defense with the addition of Visnovsky. Cheechoo vs Iginla at RW? Sure, I guess Iggy is marginally more reliable (if less explosive in potential - see Cheechoo's Richard trophy from last year). Luongo to Giguere? A wash - if only because both are backups. Huselius RFA vs Parise P3? Colour me biased, but despite Huselius' hot streak, I prefer Parise. Stastny P1 vs Legwand? Even if Stastny had NO status, I'd prefer him.

- All in all IMO the deal opens up some flexibility for the Bladerunners by unlocking the goaltending position, but doesn't put them over the top. For the Wolves, it's a win, win, win. They add a LW with upside in Parise, a 2nd line centre playing at a ppg to compliment Kopitar, and they secure a franchise goaltender as FP.

Big, I mean BIG, day for the Wolves.

In other news;

-Did anyone else see the goal by Malkin the other night where he drops the hammer and picks the short-side corner from the boards? Oh. My. Goodness. I got so excited by the replay I had to change my pants.

- Crosby's touch for scoring goals seems to have disappeared - which is bad news for the Bladerunners. Why? Because the Highlanders are nose to nose with him and Crosby will undoubtedly eventually recover.

- Recchi is making a mockery of the Severed Heads Omnivore. He's had two of his biggest games since the trade, including a 5 point night today. Ugh.

- Has anyone been hotter than Lecavalier of late? Given he's almost a goal per game - Nope. So, it can't last.

- How many times will Richards and Sakic be traded for each other this season? 4? Can we see it happen twice in a week?

- My reaction on the Forsberg to Nashville deal? Hand this round to the Flyers, cuz Nashville WAY overpaid. The first and third round picks, I can understand. Scottie Upshall I can understand. Ryan Parent? No chance. Yes, Forsberg gives them a chance to win it all, right now. But a first, a third, Upshall and Parent is simply too much for a guy who is breaking down physically, and an unrestricted free agent at the end of the playoffs.

- What's even sadder? The Predators could well be the best team in the league, and they still wouldn't sell out their Nashville arena. It's like seeing the NJ Devil's put together Cup winning seasons in front of half filled houses. It just makes you say 'what a waste', and wonder why they don't just move NJ to Hartford where at least they would be appreciated. Nashville, Florida, Atlanta, and Anaheim should be moved to Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg, and Kitchener respectively. If we could get Carolina to relocate back to Hartford and then convince Nashville to play in Regina, we should.

-When the analysis of how the Severed Heads season came apart is completed one of the areas we are sure to reccomend improvements is with team toughness. In most weeks the contribution of goon minutes has been all but non-existent, and the result is the Heads have been pushed around. The Coach recently had words with the GM, and with the playoffs for the Challenge Cup approaching, finding some toughness for the stretch drive is still a possibility.

- As far as the NHL goes it's Lidstrom's Norris to lose. As far as the FUNHL goes, Sheldon Souray has all but locked it up. His play as goon as has been occasionally sporadic, but also devastating.

- My short list for FPs in the next ED looks something like this;

1. Spezza-C Ott

I give him top spot for; being younger, having more play-making abilit, and for having a better gunner as his side-kick in Heatley than Big Vinny.

2. Lecavalier-C TBay

All is going according to prophecy. As per my endless simulations on the X-Box, Lecavalier will now go on to record a 65-65-130pt season and win the scoring title next year.

3. Gaborik-R Min

One of the purest gunners in the league along with Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. Just entering his prime, and his GM seems intent on giving him offensive support.

4. Havlat-L Chi

Havlat has all the tools, warp speed, an imposing shot, and phenomenal stick handling ability. Only concerns are his durability and team mates. In many ways, he's like a youngish version of Elias, or a more consistently offensive Kovalev.

5. Bouwmeester-D Fla

The only defender FP on the horizon as far as I can tell. Blessed with massive frame, terrific skating and all-purpose offensive skills, it's just a matter of time before he is unstoppable, and like Pronger, picking up points just by breathing.

6. Nash-L Clb (Great Whites have right to match)

Was a better candidate two years ago, and has seen his stock slip a little. Mostly, he has just been going through the growing pains of a team in transition. Will eventually take a run at 50 goals in 50 games once the team finds him an elite playmaker.

7. Zetterberg-L Det

He had a horrible start to the year that has been redeemed by an absolutely mental second half. He's the safe late FP gamble when the exciting picks are off the board.

Crosby-Malkin will eventually both be FPs - just not this year.

Highlanders Recapture Predator Cup Lead, Clinch Challenge Cup Playoff Spot

It was a very good week for the Highlanders. Highest total in the pool, with a 53+pt week, and a move (on the final night of the week) into first place a mere 4pts clear of the second place Bladerunners. The Bladerunners are already responding by pulling off a massive trade with the Wolves to improve their defense, center and wings. Seven weeks to go, hold on this is going to be crazy.

In the Challenge Cup, the Highlanders did beat the Personal Vendetta and finally secured themselves a playoff spot. They are currently slated to play the Bladerunners in the first round but a win over the Edge and a Shadowmen loss to the Great Whites would have the Highlanders opening up against the second place Severed Heads in the semi-finals. The Severed Heads overcame a week-long deficit in their game with the Shadowmen to move into second place.

Of note, the Wolves moved past the 700pt mark last night making them the 6th team to do so.

Going into Week 21, here are the unofficial stats:


Prospect picks...

I was thinking about the non value of most of the prospect picks. As a way to increase the value of these i propose we limit the rds of prospect drafting to say 2 or 3 rds while mainting the current number of prospects all teams hold. What are your thoughts on this?

Highlanders/Bladerunners in Virtual Tie, Severed Heads Pass 700pts, Scourge Within 5 of Omnivore Lead

When the dust settled on a busy Saturday night of hockey, not much had changed. The Highlanders edged even closer to the Predator Cup lead but the Bladerunners will not willingly stand aside and, with little more than a point between them, the Bladerunners continue to cling to top spot. The Highlanders are having the best week, so far, in the pool at over 43pts but they had a good gap to make up at the start of the week and haven't quite done it yet.

In terms of milestones, the Severed Heads became the 5th team to cross the 700pt mark this season, doing it the same week as the Shadowmen and with the Wolves only 6pts away from doing the same tonight. Both the Ramapithicines and Lost Boys are poised to join the club next week.

The Highlanders' strong play this week may finally resolve the playoff participants for the Challenge Cup. Going into Sunday's games the Kilted Ones hold a 16pt lead on the Personal Vendetta. Should the Highlanders win, they will secure themselves a place in the post-season. The Vendetta are not alone in thier disappointment. The Wolves and Great Whites are also losing in their games this week so their fate would appear to have been set even had the Vendetta prevailed. The other Challenge Cup question has to do with seeding. The Shadowmen look poised to defeat the Severed Heads and ensure that they will finish as the second seed, the Bladerunners (should they hold on to win their game) will be the first seed, but their opponents in the opening round could be either the Severed Heads or the Highlanders. The Highlanders (if tied with the Severed Heads going into the final week) would need to win their final match of the season against the Edge while the Severed Heads would have to lose their match against the Wolves to push the Highlanders ahead of them in the standings as the Severed Heads would win any tie-breaker with the Highlanders.

In the Omnivore race the story continues to be the surging Scourge. Now 23pts clear of the last place Edge, the Scourge are only 4pts away from passing the Bladerunners in the Omnivore. The play of Henrik Zetterberg is obviously a big part of their recent climb up the ladder. One potential problem to their gaudy numbers is the return of T.Vokoun. At the moment, he is not the baseline goalie for the Scourge but with Huet's injury, expect Vokoun to begin to eat into those Scourge numbers.

A healthy number of games on tap for today and tonight, until then here are the unofficial stats as of Saturday night:


All Quiet Headed Into Pivotal Weekend

A relatively quiet Friday night as a couple of shutouts by non-FunHL goaltenders kept the scoresheets unusually blank. The result is not much movement in the standings (though the Lost Boys do pass the Personal Vendetta to move into 8th place in the Predator Cup race).

The quiet may be right before a storm this weekend as the Highlanders hold a 10pt lead in their Challenge Cup game against the Personal Vendetta. Win and they are in. The other teams chasing the Highlanders, along with the Vendetta, the Wolves and Great Whites are also down in their games. Barring a change in fortunes, the post-season picture may be clear by Monday.

Here are the unofficial stats as of Friday night:


FUNHL Rumour Mill....

With the recent Forsberg trade and speculation i thought it may be fun to create a rumour post... Here are a couple of trade rumours i heard and please add more...

Forsberg is being traded from the Vendetta to the Bladerunners for Luongo

Hemsky is being traded from the Scourge for a bag of pucks for the second time in less than a year.

All players on the Shadowmen are available for a price....well not really a rumour

The Scourge are interviewing a new GM

Shadowmen Hit 700pts, Edge Hit 600pts

A night of Milestones in both the FunHL and the NHL last night. As noted in the headline, the Shadowmen finally crossed over to become the fourth team with over 700pts (the minor fluctuations of goaltending stats meant he may have done it the night before but still - its done now). The Edge are still bringing up the rear in the Predator Cup standings but the have finally crossed the 600pt threshold. Still, the Edge are putting the celebrations on hold as they are slipping even further back of the Scourge now some 16+pts ahead of them in the standings.

In the NHL, Joe Sakic potted his 600th goal becoming only the 17th player to do so. Not to be out done, Mats Sundin scored last night and passed Dale Hawerchuk to claim 30th place on the all-time list. While the Finnish Flash also scored last night and passed Bryan Trotier to sit 27th on the all-time NHL goalscorers list.

In the Predator Cup race, the Bladerunners were poised to gain some ground on their rivals with 9 players dressed and Kipprusoff in the net but it didn't work out like that. The Highlanders got a fantastic performance from R.Dipietro while Kipper lost points. The Highlanders only had five players skating but managed multi-point nights from Dipietro (3), T.Selanne (3), Nylander (2) and Pronger (2). The Bladerunners are still getting fantastic production from V.Lecavialler, another 2 goals last night, and surpisingly steady production from A.Zhitnik (among others) such that his goaltending woes, which everyone expects to be temporary, didn't hurt too much. The Bladerunners still hold the lead and at the end of the season, that is what matters.

In the Challenge Cup, this weekend could prove pivotal. The Highlanders hold a lead on the Personal Vendetta which, if it stands up, will complete the playoff dance card. If the Vendetta can come back this weekend, the Wolves and Great Whites will need to turn their games around (losing to the Scourge and Bladerunners, respectively) if they want to have any hope of post-season play.

The Scourge continue to impress in the Omnivore and are in many ways the story right now but when all is said and done, the Bladerunners continue to hold a healthy lead.

A host of games over the next few days before the Week 20 chapter of the pool can be closed, until then here are the unofficial stats:

Trade: Lost Boys-Shadowmen

Lost Boys invest in future, Shadowmen invest in present:

To Shadowmen:
Sakic C COL (FP)
Visnovsky D LA
Avery L NYR

To Lost Boys:
Richards C FLA (FP)
Zidlicky D NSH
Kotalik L BUF (RFA)

Bob please confirm over e-mail for the benefit of those. Brian, any chance of getting an updated master circulated before sunday?



Foppa a Predator?

TSN is reporting that Forsberg is going to Nashville.

No time to link to the story but if confirmed it will be on all the sites at the side.

Not Much Change

The Headline says it all. While the Highlanders did make some ground up last night, their big guns were mostly quiet.

The unofficial stats after Wednesday night's action are as follow:


Bladerunners Extend Lead, Scourge Pass 600pts

The first real head-to-head test of the revised Bladerunner-Highlander rosters goes to the Bladerunners. Lecavalier pots 3pts against Phoenix, Kipprusoff has a 3pt game against Atlanta and Cheechoo has a 4pt night against St.Louis. Cheechoo's pts are particularly sweet as they match those scored by J.Thornton, who might otherwise have been the story of the night. Thornton's contibution was the best news the Highlanders had last night as new FP C.Pronger was silent in his debut for the Kilted Ones and the rest of the vaunted Highlander defense corps managed only 1.5pts. The Bladerunner lead is now 13pts and looks to be growing.

In terms of milestones, the Scourge become the 11th team to cross the 600pt level leaving the Edge as the only team to not yet reach that mark. Only three teams have passed the 700pt threshold though the Shadowmen should hit that mark tongiht and the Severed Heads are expected to follow later this week.

In the Challenge Cup the Highlanders, while losing ground in the Predator Cup race, are now leading the Personal Vendetta in their bid to secure the final playoff position. The Wolves lead their game while the Great Whites (who have the toughest schedule with which to close out the season) are trailing the Bladerunners. The battle for second place, and home-ice advantage in the semi-finals, has the Shadowmen up on the Severed Heads.

Here are the stats following Tuesday's action:


Personal Vendetta Get Early Start On Week 20

With only one game in the NHL last night, not much change should be expected in the standings but the Personal Vendetta did get off to a great start as their Flyers, Forsberg and Gagne, combine for 4.5pts. Most everyone else will get into the week tonight with a host of games on the table.

The Personal Vendetta's quick opening highlights the Challenge Cup Game of the Week. The Personal Vendetta are carrying the torch for the three teams clinging to a chance at the playoffs. The Personal Vendetta, along with the Great Whites and the Wolves, need to win their remaining games and have the Highlanders lose theirs to have a chance to earn the final playoff spot through the tie-breaker.

The tie-breaker first looks at records against all tied teams. For a quick recap lets assume that the Vendetta win this match against the Highlanders. They would have a record of 2-0 vs the Highlanders, 2-0 vs the Great Whites but 0-2 vs the Wolves. The Wolves have 0-1 records against both the Highlanders and Great Whites while the Great Whites sport a 2-0 record against the Highlanders. The various combinations of teams and their records against each other could result in any of these teams still making the playoffs - they just need some help, except the Highlanders who still control their own fate and simply need to win one of their two remaining games (this week against the Vendetta and next week against the Edge) to book their post-season flight.

Here are the stats as of last night's game:


Bladerunners Hold Lead; Scourge Overtake Shadowmen In Omnivore!


The Bladerunners cap a fantastic week with a trio of pts from Lecavalier and an assist from Boyle. Kipprusoff lets in three goals in 13minutes and it doesn't even faze them. 54pts. Best week in the pool, 10pts better than anyone else and a 20 point gain on the Highlanders for the week giving them a solid dozen point lead as we head into the final seven weeks. What makes the feat all the more impressive was that had they played FP Luongo in net and played Stastny at center instead of Drury, they would have gotten another 10pts. The Bladerunners are certainly making a statement and seem a strong bet to win back-to-back cups (joining the Severed Heads and the Highlanders as the only teams to ever do so) and win their third Predator Cup (something only the Great Whites had done before).

Their bid for the triple crown (the Predator & Challenge Cups and the Omnivore Award) is also looking good. The Bladerunners dispatched the Ramapithicines (eliminating them from playoff contention) and are now looking for a challenger in the first round. The Highlanders could not close the gap in their game with the Great Whites so the playoffs remain a possibity for the Fish as well as for the Wolves and Personal Vendetta. The Highlanders can book thier ticket with a win against those same Vendetta this week but that may prove tough.

The Bladerunners continue to hold a good lead in the Omnivore standings as well however the real story of the day may be the phenomenal transformation below them on the Omnivore board. The Scourge, yes you read that correctly, are now in second place behind the Bladerunners. P.Datsyuk and H.Zetterberg are on a tear and that is good news for the Scourge. Conversely, M.Havlat's return from injury and renewed scoring prowess is beginning to eat into the Shadowmen's baseline. The dynamic creates the unique situation where the top and bottom teams for most of the season are now battling for most-improved status. Should be interesting final weeks.

As of last night, here are the unofficial stats (please note that I have now adjusted the stats for Darrell's official week 18 stats and also corrected an error on the Bladerunners' totals - I had him playing D.Markov for both pts and +/-, he was played for pts):

Lost Boys await injuries/better offers, file line up from poor memory

Hello all,

I have no easy reference to my team, but I know I didn't get around to filing a line up for my team. Not having a reference to said team here at work, these are my changes to the previously filed line up. (I don't expect to get home till well past the deadline tonight, so am doing this pre-emptively.)

Play: D Vinsnovsky, Liles & Roszival, Hill as TG,
bench Wideman and uh... uh... One of my equally less memorable Ds (Any suggestions here are welcome)

Also, I am playing Langenbrunner, right?




Setting an 'Iron Man' mark in any sport is noteworthy. To do it in a contact sport like hockey is remarkable.

But to do it as a shot blocker?


Scourge Pass Edge, Bladerunners Extend Lead

At both ends of the table, the race is certainly on. The Bladerunners are on their way to a massive week already potting over 52pts with many key players still set to dress for Sunday's games. They have not built an impressive 14pt lead on the Highlanders and with news that D.Hasek may be injured (who the Kilted Ones had hoped would solve thier goaltending woes) seem certain to keep pulling away. At the other end of the standings, the Scourge continue thier strong showing this week by not only making up the 5 pt gap on the Edge but creating a 6 pt gap of their own as they blow past the Edge and into 11th place. The Scourge also become the third team in the Omnivore to post a double digit positive score, things are certainly getting much better for the rookie GM and his charges while the Edge and their fans must be wondering what are they doing wrong. Stay tuned on both fronts, the race is not over yet.

In the Challenge Cup all eyes are focused on a few matches. Most importantly, the Great Whites holding a 6pt lead on the Highlanders. If they can hold on to win they (and the Personal Vendetta and Wolves who are also leading in their games) can still hope for that final playoff spot. If the Highlanders can find a way to shut the door (which it appears the Shadowmen and Severed Heads are doing in their games) then the playoff picture will be much, much clearer. Again, stay tuned.

Here are the stats after Saturday night: