Week 18 Lineups and WD2 drops

You know the drill. Please include provisional drops and points for WD2...


Vader Vs Master Chief

After he loses the draw, Vader force-chokes the Master Chief to death

NHL 94 EA Sports Celebration

This is just so much awesome;



Week 16 Stats

Note that in the Challenge Cup Standings I have ranked the Vendetta and Scourge as per the actual Challenge Cup Tie-Breaker (1st off, head-to-head record: Vendetta 1 win and 1 tie vs the Scourge). I note also that in their only meeting of the season, week 1, I have the Shadowmen beating the Severed Heads - though I had previously recorded this as a tie. That has been corrected.


Week 17 Line-ups - ALL STAR EDITION

Hi guys,

Just a reminder that this week the Challenge Cup takes it's All Star break (what with the very short week) so it's the Calgary Conference vs the Out of Calgary Conference. The Barbarians (as they are filling in for the Lost Boys and as they were former OCC members) will have their members play in the OCC.

Please note two forwards and one defenseman on your rosters as your designated All Star representatives. Top pointing goalie for each conference will get the nod.

Sautday Night - Ovechkin's Hat Trick Not Enough As Edge Fall To Basement


Week 16 Gets Underway

Hey, stats out on the first day of the new week. Pretty good if I do say so myself.

Note I've been having some problems with a discrepency between what the Barbarians goaltending is calculated at under the "this week" vs "last week" totals. The "last week" total is the correct one but for a couple of weeks now Mike's total has inexplicably "dropped" from Monday to Tuesday. Not sure why this was happening but I think I have corrected it. Still could you keep a eye open Mike (or others) to see if the total looks off from this week to next - thanks.

To everyone who has been posting the line-ups to the blog, thanks. It really helps to get the stats out quicker. Darrell, thanks for a season of (almost) no changes - that really helps.

Corey, I really would stop it with the +/- stuff - too risky, at least for everyone else :-)


World Juniors - Update

Hi all,

As you may know, there was an unprecedented and unexpected response to the IIHF lottery for 2012 IIHF World Junior ticket packages. Following the priority windows allotted to winners of the lottery, Hockey Canada has announced that they have SOLD OUT all of the tickets available (with some previously going to Flames/Oilers and Hitmen/Oil King season ticket holders.

They have also announced, based on order of finishing, the two groups for the round robin preliminaries. Because they finished second (Conspiracy of Edmontonians perhaps?), Canada moves to group B, for which all round robin games will be played in Edmonton, and also include the US, Czechs, Finland and Denmark (Yes Doug, you will have to choose between Canada and Finland in the same group!). Calgary games for Group A will include champion Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Latvia. These games will be Dec 26-31st, 2011. All subsequent playoff, relegation and medal games will take place in Calgary, between Jan 1-5th, 2012.

On the plus side, I was able to get some tickets before they sold out! As they are for Calgary, they will include all ten games between the Group A teams listed above, as well as 11 playoff, relegation and medal games. Actual breakdown of the face value of tickets I don't yet know, but I suspect the round robin games will be lowest, followed by relegation games, playoff games, and lastly medal games. Of the round robin I can foresee greatest interest in Russia-Sweden, and of course the playoff games will depend on winners in the round robin.

Thanks to Collin and Bob for advance notice of commitment to buy some of the tickets. Once I know more, and have offered them the tickets they prefer, I will no doubt be open to others who are interested, so keep me posted if you think Junior hockey in Dec/Jan is appealing! Cam, let me know when you know your return dates to Calgary. Doug, let me know if you plan to trek South over the holidays.


Scourge Take Top Spot


World Juniors in Calgary!! Respond ASAP!

Hey all!

As you may know, the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship this year (Dec 2011/Jan 2012) are being held in Calgary and Edmonton. Specific dates are December 26, 2011 to January 5, 2012. There was a lottery for the privilege of being able to buy tickets to this event, and I am happy to relate that I was successful!

Here is the challenge:
The Calgary games are sold by seat for a 21 game package, which includes:
The gold medal game, bronze medal game, semifinals, quarter-finals, 10 preliminary round games and relegation games

There are three price levels for the 21-game ticket package in Calgary:
$1,299.00 CDN per seat for 100 level seats (includes first four rows of 200 level)
$999.00 CDN per seat for 200 level seats
$399.00 CDN per seat for 300 level seats

So for 100/prime 200 level seats, assuming either 2 or 4 ticket/seat packages, the total cost will be either $2600 or $5200. For regular 200 level seats it would be $2000 and $4000 respectively.

If we round off to 20 games for simplicity, that means that prime seating for a single game would be $130 for 2, or $260 for 4 ($65/seat)
If we calculate on the middle price tier, for a single game, $100 for 2 seats, $200 for 4 ($50/seat)

If we go with nosebleeds, the total is much easier to swallow at roughly $40 for 2 seats, $80 for 4 ($20/seat) but you are still in the nosebleeds :-(

As I understand it, you have to decide on one price range and one quantity of tickets, which you then get for all 21 games outlined above.

Ironically, I will likely be away for all but the last few days of the tournament, not to mention I can't handle the price of tickets on my own anyway.

- Are you interested in tickets and willing to share in the cost of buying them?
- What quantity (2 or 4) and price range ($20, $50, $65 per seat) are you interested in?
- As the lucky lottery winner I will likely put dibs on the gold medal game tix (esp. as I may not be in town for anything else!) but any others are up for grabs, and I'm quite willing to discuss options - my initial inclination is either a lottery among those of you wanting to buy as to which game you get, or giving first choice to whoever buys the most tickets and so on - depending on interest

Note that I need a firm commitment by noon Wednesday (!) to decide what if anything to purchase! Please email me or comment below ASAP!


The Future of Goaltending

James Mirtle's latest article for the Globe takes a look at how the size of goaltenders is a factor in the lowering of goalscoring in the NHL.

When I started watching the NFL as a wee lad of 12 or so, there were no (as in 'zero', 'none') 300lb players. It was unheard of.

In 1989 Canadian born offensive lineman Tony Mandarich a 6'5" 310 behemoth was picked 2nd overall by the Packers - ahead of hall of famers Troy Aikman and Barry Sanders. He was considered to be a freak of nature (later revealed to be a steroid user) to be so massive and yet so athletic.

Last year in the NFL roughly a third (10 or so players) in just the first round were over 300lbs, including 6'5" 331lb Mike Iaputi.

What's been clear all along is that there is an evolutionary pressure on the NFL to produce bigger and stronger and heavier linemen, and the results have been a dramatic increase in the size of the players.

Its long been obvious that the size of the players in the NHL was also getting bigger. I recall a lot of coke-machine drafts where certain teams (Islanders) didn't select players under 6'2", and a super-heavyweight of players was emerging lead by poster-child Eric Lindros.

As an aside, one of these swift skating refrigerators (Shawn Antoski) so enticed the Pittsburgh Penguins they traded their slower footed merely average sized Euro winger for him (Marcus Naslund).

But what is interesting to me about Mirtle's math is that while this instinct regarding players is true - they are an inch or so bigger on average and a few pounds heavier, the real difference in growth is in goal where the players are 3 inches taller and 20lbs heavier.

I had long thought that the problem with the drop in scoring in the league was largely the result of three factors:

1. Improvements in Coaching, but more specifically, the 'Trap'. I recall vividly that the 'Canadian' way of playing hockey was characterized by liberal use of a two-man forecheck that was expected to hound the other team in their own zone, and lead to big hits, lots of turnovers, breakaways, and all-round exciting hockey. Think 1987 Canada Cup.

Then I recall the Polish Olympic team playing a 1-2-2 style that was deadly dull, but helped them to build on their only strength (Peter Sidorkiewicz?) goaltending, and to throttle other teams until a powerplay would help them to get some offense going. Not long after, the 'Trap' seemed to be everywhere in the NHL.

In particular, there was one year we all watched in agony as Anaheim and Detroit trapped each other into Kafkaesque multiple overtime scoreless draw - and the fruition of this coaching tactic reached its absurd singularity where like a black hole, nothing, no scoring of any kind could escape.

2. The increase in quality of player at the mid/bottom of the roster. Ponderous thugs, guys who can't skate backwards, even one dimensional offensive players (the current exception being Robbie Schremp) are all but a thing of the past. Nowadays a teams fourth line is much more likely to have a high-energy checker who is safe in his own zone than a cement footed grunt who has trouble with his pivots.

- Goaltending pads. Here is Patrick Roy around the time he entered the league.

In particular note:

- Leather pads that get heavier as the game goes on
- Size of his catching mit
- Size of his stick
- Size of his blocker
- Size of his helmet
- Width of Roy's shoulders

Compare it to this:

This is what Roy looked like at the end of his career. Go figure that the older Roy got, the better his stats got. Were his reflexes better? His positioning? No, he was just 10% bigger everywhere and wearing gear that was 50% lighter than when he began his career.

Now these are to some degree all still factors. But Mirtle's point about the increase in size for goaltenders is still troubling to me.

There appears to me to be no point in complaining that the bottom end roster guys are more capable than they were 20 years ago even if it does stifle offense.

Similarly, I simply don't see anyone ever making the Trap illegal. It will always make periodic sense for coaches to want to play defensively, so even if it is way overused, it isn't going anywhere.

So with those two options all but moot, I have long suggested that goaltending pads be reduced to 1980 levels (and I think they should all use wood sticks too, but I digress), but if goaltenders aren't just getting bigger because of the pads - but because they are actually being selected for their massive frames, reducing the pads isn't going to make all that much more net available.

Nor will making the nets bigger necessarily change things (though scoring would go up in the short term) - afterall, that could just increase the selective pressure for bigger goaltenders even more.

How do we find a way to make more net available before every netminder is the NHL version of Mike Iaputi?

Week 15 Lineups

Please submit your lineups for Week 15.