Offseason Topics

Hi Gang,

Congrats again to the Severed Heads on their 3rd Predator Cup.

Still with the Flames now extinguished, the task of pre-draft preparation is now before us. First issue for the DC to address is goalie stats. This is always an annual event to look at the numbers and see if they are completely out of whack or not. Last year we held pat at 4 after moving there post-lockout from 3.5 and there was certainly an arguement last season to make the switch but now I really can't muster much of a defense to the current 4.0 standard - it really is too high.

14 of the top 24 FunHL point-getters are goaltenders. Of the 9 FunHL players to garner a 100 or more pts this season (not including TG pts) 7 of them were goaltenders including the top 4 point-getters. Nabokov and Brodeur both had 29 more pts than Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin and while I will conceed that both Nabokov and Brodeur had good seasons - no body is suggesting (outside of our FunHL stats system) that their play this year outshone Alex the Great by almost 30pts!

Goalies are over-valued at present but I'm not sure that the 3.5 standard is the only solution here. While the 3.5 option reduces the goaltending union to having only two 100pt players (Nabokov and Brodeur are both about 102pts) I'm not sure that it really gives us what we want.

The DC's job is to work on a recalculation of the figured stats, such as the goalie shutout standard of 4 or 3.5 or some other number, but I am wondering if it might not be time for the pool to look at whether we want to look at other ways of calculating goalie stats in a more radical manner - wins, saves, save %, etc? I throw it out there.


The ultimate hockey girlfriend

Found this exerpt in an article in the Globe

Little-known fact: Although he's Canadian, Jason Reitman's interest in hockey came from his wife, Michele Lee, who is from Vancouver and is a rabid hockey fan. Reitman has said that the only way he could get her to date him was to become interested in hockey, and the first gift he gave her was a white board like hockey coaches use, and she showed him the different plays while they watched the game on TV.


Although is your wife knowing more about hockey than yourself good or bad? Certainly cannot be too bad as you get to watch lots of hockey. Might be hard to explain to the guys though if she always does better in the pools or bar room bets.


Playoff Pool v1.0

Hi guys,

This year's playoff pool will be structured in the following manner; $10 per team, you can have as many teams as you wish. The playoffs begin on Wednesday, however, the first game of each series isn't over until Friday, so let's make the deadline Friday noon MST.

Each team will be composed of 9 forwards, 6 defencemen and 1 goaltender for a total of 16 players per team. Please enter your team on this forum so everyone knows who is picking what etc.. Once you have posted a team please in all fairness to the rest of us, do not delete it after you have sent it out on the blog in response to this posting.

Depending on the number of teams and guys taking part in this playoff pool, it will be most likely winner takes all in terms of prize money, or there will be a first and second prize.

I will now post Bob Team #1 as an example:

f-Datsyuk(DET), Crosby(PIT), Malkin(PIT), Kovalev(MTL), Iginla(CAL), Ovechkin(WSH), Sakic(COL), Jagr(NYR) and Richards(DAL)

d-Lidstrom(DET), Gonchar(PIT), Markov(MTL), Phaneuf(CAL), Green(WSH) and Robidas(DAL)


Points will be distributed as follows:
for players: 1 goal = 1pt; 1 assist = 1pt;
for goalies: 1 win = 2pts; 1 loss = 0pts, however 1 OTL = 1pt & 1 OTW = 3pts; 1 SO = 3pts
: it is possible to get 6pts for a OTW + SO

Good Luck to all, and I expect to see many teams posted by Friday, or hopefully earlier!



Playoff Pool?

Eager to put the taste of Crosby's Repeat-crushing injury behind me, I thought I should ask what we are doing for the playoffs?


Severed Heads victorious!

Wow - I think I spent the whole of Sunday evening exhaling.

The first cup I won I was almost 100pts ahead of the pack by X-mas, and I knew with certainty that I was going to win. The second cup (the following year) saw my collection of Penguins explode offensively (Jagr and Kovalev) and when I picked up the un-retiring Mario for the stretch drive I knew my team was good enough to win it all - I just needed enough time to catch those ahead of me.

This season though, was nothing like either of those before. This year I never ever felt like the Heads were unbeatable. I never felt like I had patched all the holes in the roster, or even that I had a distinct edge over my competition. I didn't have any monster weeks that launched me into contention, and I don't think I even broke 50 pts for a week.

It was Jagr's worst year, maybe ever. Heatley missed time with injury and fell short of the 60 goal pace he started the season on. My goaltending as drafted was merely mediocre (not to mention still playing in his 40's), and while I had some talent on the farm, it was limited to one prospect who could safely be dressed, and that was the case only after the 25 game mark was passed.

All in all, I never felt like I was in the middle of a winning season.

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon when Jagr scored on Brodeur turning a 3pt Brodeur performance into just 2, and even more importantly, reducing the +2 Oduya to merely +1 (for a total 4pt swing on that one goal), that I really, really knew it was going to happen.

Lots of people deserve to be recognized for their efforts this year;

Thanks to Brian for his work keeping our spreadsheets updated and accurate.

Thanks to Doug for his work keeping us updated on all the stats.

Thanks to Bob, Rob and Dan for working the RC in an efficient (more or less ;-) manner, and for organizing and maintaining the WD's and ED.

You guys are all key to keeping the pool functioning at such a high level - and we couldn't do it without you.

I'd also like to thank everyone in the pool for making this year so special. We have the best pool in the world, and the best people in it.

Thanks to you all!

Finally, here's a warning to you all for next season;

Fear My Wingspan

Severed Heads Win 3rd Predator Cup, 2nd Challenge Cup; Wolves Win 3rd


VERY Unofficial stats

Curiosity getting the better of me...

Based on ESPN-reported stats, here are the numbers for Saturday night for the Leaders, and the standings going into the last day (unofficially):

The Severed Heads

L: Nash-Clb - 0

C: Sundin-Tor - 0

R: Selanne-Ana – 2

D: Schneider-Ana - 0, Kaberle-Tor - 0

TG: Nash - 0

Total Players – 5
Total Points – 2
Total going into last night of play: 1009.27

The Wolves

LW Naslund VAN - 0, Huselius Cal - 1, D Sedin VAN – 0

C Plekanec MON - 1

RW Kovalev RFA MON - 1

D Phanuef Cal P3 - 0, Markov MON - 1

TG Phanuef CAL - 0, Markov Mon - 0

Total Players – 7
Total Points – 4
Total going into last night of play : 1005.63

Gap – 3.64 points

Hold your breath...

Two Days, 6 Points - Severed Heads Can Taste It


FUNHL Awards

Here are my nominees for various FUNHL version awards;


Phaneuf-D Cgy Wolves
Nabokov-G Severed Heads
Malkin-C Pit Severed Heads
Brodeur-G NJ Wolves
Ovechkin-L Edge

So here's the thing, I personally don't think that by nature of the position they play, goaltenders should be eligible for an MVP award - that is what the Vezina and Jennings trophies are for. Special trophies for special people at a special position.

If we take the goaltenders out of the equation then, we are left with Ovechkin, Phaneuf and Malkin.

In Phaneuf we have the leagues best all round defensemen, and as TG (182 pim) one of the highest scoring players in the league.

Malkin exploded over the second half of the season, making himself by far the most productive forward over the last 40 games, and a threat to reach 50 goals if he can hat-trick in his final match of the season.

Ovechkin has the best overall stats, and on his back the Edge have moved from the cellar and closed the 60 point gap from two months ago, to come within 13 points of the top 6.

Here's the thing then, Malkin is having an awesome year, but he's #2 in scoring, and well back in goals.

Phaneuf gets much of his credit for doing double duty as goon, but his scoring isn't substantially better than rivals like Gonchar, and he's still behind Lidstrom in raw offense.

Ovechkin on the other hand, just set an all-time record for goals scored by a left winger with 65, he leads the league in goals, points, and highlights, and he does this will leading his team in hits.

Ovechkin wins this going away. Its also no longer clear to me that Crosby will put up better stats than Ovechkin moving forward.


Brodeur-G NJ Wolves
Nabokov-G SJ Severed Heads

I go with Nabokov. And it's not me being a homer, the numbers are pretty definitive - 76 games and a league leading 139.98 pts.


Phaneuf-D Cgy Wolves - his 110pts as a combo D-man made him a threat for MVP and a lock for top Defenseman.

Bob(in his capacity as ghostly presence on the phone as I type this) insists I include Lidstrom and Gonchar as runners up, but for the record, I don't see this as being very close, and I have Pronger as the next best over Gonchar.

Jack Adams

To be determined, but I'd say barring a strong case made by others it's between the Wolves and Severed Heads coaches. Special mention for the coach of the Edge, Dr Frankenstein for breathing life into a monster over the second half.

(As an aside, the secret for the Edge early suckage? The reason for the subsequent turn-around? Garage league goaltending by Ward and others and the arrival of steady Bryzgalov, respectively).


Despite his gaudy stats, Carey Price isn't a starter in the FUNHL. However, Niklas Backstrom is - and what's more, he's been a ppg contributor once they changed his coach. It's no fluke that Ovechkin's stats took off after Backstrom was installed as his pivot.

Runner up; Jonathon Toews who played meaningful minutes on the Wolves 3rd line down the stretch and more than held his own.

Severed Heads Edge Back Into Narrow Lead With Only 3 Days To Go


Who Goes home early

Washington will represent the south east. They play at home against Carolina tonight. A win and they are tied in points. Washington then plays Tampa and Florida the night after Carolina plays them and Florida has to travel to Washingon. Also they have Ovechkin.

Buffalo will not make it with three road games against 2 playoff teams and toronto. They lose the win tie break against Ottawa and both Philly and Boston are playing better and only need one win to eliminate Buffalo.

Therefore Buffalo and Carolina go home earlier.

The west is trickier.

Chicago is out with two games against Detroit and have to win the last three and then get some help.
Edmonton is out as only two games left but they can make it close.
Nashville is in. Two games against lowly St Louis and one against Chicago. So who do they displace.
Colorado is in as they play a resting Minnesota and the teams below them are fighting against each other.
Calgary Vancouver - both are playing lowsy hockey. Calgary is on the road for the last three games. Vancouver is home the last three games. Now that Loungo's child is born he may be more focused. I think Vancouver wins on Saturday and eliminates the Flames.

Calgary, Edmonton, Chicago go home early.

Final Week Starts With Severed Heads Extending Lead; Avery helps Bladerunners in Challenge Cup Final, Highlanders in Omnivore

leader analysis week 27

Bladerunners have the most games will it be enough
Bladerunners - m6,t5,w5,t13,f8,s5,s11 - 53 two plus minus players
Wolves - m0,t12,w5,t12,f6,s7,s7 - 49 - one plus minus player
Highlanders - 47 games - 6 plus minus players
Severed Heads - m4,t7,w4,t10,f3,s5,s11 - 44 games - no plus minus players

This is going to come down to Sunday and the deciding factor could be if only one of Broduer and Nabokov play that day. With so many Sunday games, stars being rested for the playoffs could be a factor.