Shameless Highlander Victory Lap

Great race Brian!  I won't lie, it feels fantastic to be in the 4-time club with Dan.  Collin, I hope to disappoint you and push for 5 as soon as next season, if I can.  That said, if it can't me me next year I would be happy to see you, Rob or any other GM who hasn't yet tasted the sweet Jagrmeister of victory to win their first.

The Omnivore win was completely unexpected, though most welcome, it didn't even seem possible until the last few days.  I still think I could have taken Brian for the Challenge Cup (and hence my second Triple Crown) as well but for Subban's gooning it up :-) - really, has he every gotten 17 PIM in a game before??.

Last couple of times I prepared one of these pictorals in advance, in both 2009 and 2010, I ended up falling short to both Darrell and Brian so I held off until I knew I had it in hand this time.  No sense angering the Hockey Gods.  As a result, my morning at work was not as productive as it might have been.  C'est la vie.

My plan at the draft was to have one of my FPs compete for the Art Ross, though I must admit that I did not expect that it would be St. Louis who accomplished the feat.  Crosby's pre-injury play was amazing but missing a quarter of the season is, unfortunately, par for the course for Sid the Kid.  Acquiring St. Louis at the ED proved a vital piece in the run, would like to think he has another one in him but I suspect that he will begin to drop off soon (unless you are interested in trading for him, in which case I have no doubt that his production will hold :-). 

My D, coming out of the entry draft was much weaker than I am normally comfortable with and seeing Gardiner, among others, underperforming really hampered me but acquiring Makarov (after a slow start) proved an important piece and Yandle, in the last week in particular, went on a tear.  Rinne was a wise investment in net as the "trade Luongo to promote Scnheider" gamble only paid off in the last few weeks once the Predators began to stumble.  Matching on Hall proved to be another good call on my part as his 50pts made him the fourth highest contributor to Highlander pts (right behing the FPs and Rinne).  My Shadowmen-inspired helicoptor team of Croby, H.Sedin and M.Koivu gave me one of the most potent centers - by design - and Eberle and Burrows game me two thirds of what I wanted on right.  I had a surplus of talent on left but probably didn't maximize the trade value of Fleischmann or Marchand.  I also did not get as much toughness as I might have hoped for.  Still, the Omnivore Baseline gives a good indication of how one's team looks out of the Entry Draft and only Collin and Mike Getta had a higher baseline with only the Edge as significantly higher.

The trade deadline was so different from years past as there were only a few post-deadline weeks to be concerned about.  Rob offered me a fantastic, "win the game card" deal but I was unwilling to part with both Barkov and my 1st without getting Schultz back in the deal.  Rob, wisely, went and made his deal with Brian and then I watched Kessel go on fire for Brian and I began to quietly curse my arrogance.  The last minute deadline deals I made with Cam, Dan and Bob did not cost nearly as much (though I suspect that Orlov, Kreider and Perron will come back to bite me down the road) and getting Mike Green, in particular, was a big part in addressing a long term deficiency in my blue-line corps.  The other defensive pick-ups provided alternating production: Doughty got nothing in the last week but 5pts in the two weeks prior.  Weber gave me 5pts but only in the last two weeks.  Visnovsky gave me two goose eggs but a 4pt week in week 14.  Pre-deadline deals to get Richards and Callahan really paid dividends once the Rangers woke up - but it sure was touch and go for a while there.

Anyhow, as always it is a blast being part of the pool - even when I don't have a good season.  Thank you all for putting up with my self-serving trade offers, my delayed or erroneous stats and my long-pauses when it is my turn to draft (not to mention my flights of gratuitous self-indulgence, like this post).

My dad's 70th birthday was this past Sunday and I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have a group of friends like all of you and to have had them for as long as this pool has been around.  I know how rare it is to keep in touch with people given the distances involved, the many work and family commitments all conspiring to make maintaining those connections all the more difficult.  I would like everyone to know how much I appreciate the effort we all make to stay in the pool and hope you find the connection as rewarding as I do.  Enjoy the playoffs, and the NHL entry draft and I look forward to outdrafting, outtrading and outlucking you all again next season.

Doug McLachlan, GM of the Highlanders 4-time (and counting) Predator Cup Champions

Avs Win Draft Lottery and 1st Rnd Playoffs start tonight!

So the 1st time in 3 years Edmonton does not have the 1st pick or one in the top 5...Obviously they MUST be getting better...he he...\

So Colorado picks 1stoveral and Florida second...

We'll see how these teams mess up!

The playoffs start tonight with three games!!  All in the West starting with CHI vs MIN and STL vs LA on CBC with ANA vs DET on TSN...



Saturday Night Triumph for Highlanders: Win Predator - Photo Finish in Omnivore

With only a Bruins-Senators game to go in the NHL schedule, and neither the Highlanders nor the Bladerunners have players in that game.  The Highlanders' Oilers and Rangers had good games and built their lead back to over 20pts.

The surprise was the leap yesterday gave the Highlanders in their quest to wrest the Omnivore off of the Shadowmen.  This could change if Boston's Marchand gets a point or two it will shift the baseline enough to give the Omnivore back to Bob.  Did not expect this to come down to one game given Bob's big lead.

Neal gets Hat trick

I guess Malkin and Neal are back for the Pens for the Playoffs...


FUNBA Final Results

Greetings fellow B-Ballers!

I know everyone is wrapped up in the Predator Cup race (and rightly so), or cheering on the Flames to get a high draft pick the better to select Sasha Barkov as our future #1 centre, but the FUNBA has finished (a week ago, my bad) and it behooves me to do a recap of the final weeks for those of you who stuck with it to the bitter end.

First off, congratulations to Bob and his Thunderbay Murderball! They cruised to victory in the last two weeks crushing Darrell's finely tuned Calgary GoodFellas.

Special mention has to go to the play of Carmelo Anthony, who secured his first NBA scoring title this year by improving his slot selection and by attempting and making a ton more 3-point shots.

Brian's Calgary Sharpshooters finished 3rd by polishing off Mike's Ball-Bearings in the consolation round, a very solid finish for both GMs as neither has paid much attention to basketball prior to this pool.

The final consolation match-up was the Lethbridge SkyWalkers improbably man-handling the Edmonton Flatlanders! The SkyWalkers had been abysmal all freaking year long, largely due to a plethora of injuries, but enough guys got healthy down the stretch (especially PG John Wall and PF 'Disco' Dirk Nowitzki) that the SkyWalkers were among the league leaders for the last 3 matches of the season. The win by Lethbridge's favourite B-Ball team catapulted them out of the basement and into 5th place!

Final Standings (after playoffs)

1. Murderball
2. Goodfellas
3. Sharpshooters
4. Ball-Bearings
5. SkyWalkers
6. Flatlanders
7. Chumfeeders

Thanks to everyone who participated! It wasn't the FUNHL (it never could be), but I certainly enjoyed the hell out of myself (and until the playoffs I was in dead freaking last for the entire year).

News and Notes

For kicks, I looked up the top scoring players for the year, to see how everything shook out;

1. LeBron James-SF SkyWalkers
2. Kevin Durant-SF/SG Goodfellas

Really, no surprises here, as these guys were at the top of most people's lists.

3. Russell Westbrook-PG Chumfeeders

The warp-speed point guard elevated his game this year, and was the Chumfeeders top weapon. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the playoffs and the OKC Thunder's hopes to upset the Heat are torn up with it.

4. Kobe Bryant-SG Murderball

As much as I hate on Kobe, he had an absolutely fantastic season. Sadly for him, he tore his Achilles' tendon in the late stages of the season and the Lakers are all but toast as a result. Very curious to see if Bob franchises Kobe or not.

5. James Harden-SG Sharpshooters

'Fear the Beard', Harden was balls-out AMAZING for the Rockets this year, and went from #3 banana in OKC to the 5th best player in the league. He's also a ton of fun to watch, and should be the clear 1st choice as FP for the Sharpshooters.

6. Steph Curry-PG/SG Chumfeeders

He's the second coming of Allen Iverson, too short to be a shooting guard, too good a scorer to be a point guard, all he does is bomb away and fill the net. The definition of a 'volume shooter', Curry is one of the purest offensive gunners the league has ever seen. Should be a lock to join Westbrook as Chumfeeder FP.

7. Chris Paul-PG Flatlanders

Had a pretty typical Chris Paul season; lots of lobs/assists to Blake Griffin, ran one of the league's best offenses, played excellent defense (lots of steals), and missed games here and there to injury. Without a doubt a cornerstone player in his prime.

8. Monta Ellis-SG/PG Murderball

I just didn't see this one coming. Ellis is a 'Steph Curry-lite', but he scored/assisted enough to put him in the top 10 all on his own. I had downplayed him as being FP calibre, but the stats don't lie.

9. Jrue Holiday-PG Ball-Bearings

Was arguably one of the most improved players of the year as all his counting stats were career best in 12/13. Unexpectedly the best player on the BB's roster, he's probably earned an FP tag from the team.

10. Deron Williams-PG Ball-Bearings

I gave Mike some grief for taking Deron ahead of James, and while that choice still looks bad, it no longer looks horrific. Williams had a VERY slow start to the year, but his second half was exceptional, and for the last 40 games he played at a top 5 level. The BB's backcourt looks to be pretty much set between Williams and Holiday for the BB's.

Other players of note:

Damian Lilliard-PG 11th, David Lee-C 12th, Flatlanders

The Flatlanders had three guys in the top 12 scoring for the year. Am I the only person who had no idea that David Lee was capable of being a top 12 scorer in fantasy basketball?

Kemba Walker-SG 13, Greivis Vasquez-PG 14, Sharpshooters

Here are two reasons why the Sharpshooters were as good as they were - a sophmore SG on a terrible team, and vastly improved point guard on an equally terrible team. Would I FP either of them? I really don't know.

Anyway, there you be. I hope everyone had a BLAST, and I look forward to competing with you all next year.


Final Week - Friday Night Stats

The Highlanders took full advantage of the fact that only two Bladerunners took the ice on Friday, though both Kane and Keith did get a point, and rattled off a 10pt night thanks to 3 each from Hall, Eberle and Yandle with another single from M.Koivu - who may yet outscore the injured Crosby this week.

The Bladerunners enter Saturday's games needing to make up 15.44pts to claim their 4th Predator Cup, if they can't the Highlanders will see their name engraved on their 4th.  The first team to do this, the Great Whites, have been out of the Predator Cup race for several weeks now but have succeeded, it would appear, in their quest to avoid a first to last fate as they have a 5pt lead on the cellar-dwelling Severed Heads.  Normally a 5pt deficit can be overcome on a busy Saturday of games but the current edition of the Severed Heads has not shown this level of offensive jump.

The Omnivore still would appear to be Bob's, notwithstanding the Highlanders good night as everyone scoring for the Highlanders were already on Doug's baseline.  Still, it has become a race, which did not seem possible a few weeks ago.

Last weekend for regular season hockey.  Bring on the Draft Lottery - Oiler and Flames fans alike.

Hall's beautiful pass

Always leave your stick on the ice and good things will happen...


Final Week - Thursday Night Stats

Wow, the Bladerunners goon squad entered the fray again last night with Dion Phaneuf notching some 12 PIM and a 3pt night.  The Highlanders have seen their once dominant lead dwindle to a mere 7.44pts.  With Highlander injuries to Clowe and Schneider impacting their active line-up with no ability to swap the wounded warriors out - should be an exciting (or terrifying) last couple of days.

The Severed Heads are now looking to excape the indignity of finishing dead last for more times than the Highlanders have finished second and need to make up almost 7pts themselves.  Could be a tight final few days for several teams.

While the Highlanders struggle to hold on to a lead in the Predator Cup race they have, surprisingly, jumped up into the Omnivore conversation.  The Shadowmen should have wrapped this up a while ago but after the trade deadline the Shadowmen have watched their huge lead slowly disappear to the point where they only are 12+pts ahead of the Highlanders.  Still have difficulty seeing this actually change hands but it is a much more interesting race, with three days of games to go, than I ever expected.

Somebody is joining the Great Whites with Four Predator Cups, we just can't say yet who that team will be.

Ole time Ovechkin...

The Ovi-Wan of Old...What a power goal...


Final Week - Wednesday Night Stats

The Bladerunners scratched a little closer last night as the Highlanders' Oilers stayed quiet but the Highlanders still hold a 13pt lead with three days/nights of games to go (as neither team has a player in the rescheduled Sunday Ott-Bos game).

New Art Ross Leader...

New Art Ross Leader...ALSO a Highlander FP...LOL

Nice Hat Trick feom Martin St. Louis...

Datsyuk makes Doughty look bad....

Detroit still in it...


NHL Draft lottery c/o nhl.com

NEW YORK/TORONTO – The 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery™, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2013 NHL Draft™, will take place Monday, April 29, at 8:00 p.m. ET.
The League, in cooperation with TSN, will announce the results of the Draft Lottery live during a 30-minute program produced and televised by TSN in Canada. The special presentation also will air in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network and will re-air on NHL Network™ U.S. at 9:00 p.m. ET.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be in TSN's studio in Toronto to reveal the order of selection for the top picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery will be the first in NHL history in which all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup® Playoffs -- or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams -- will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection.
The odds of winning the lottery are unchanged from previous years and determined by the teams' regular-season point totals. The lottery-winning team will draft first overall, with the remaining 13 teams slotted in reverse order of their regular-season point totals. In previous years, the winning team could move up no more than four slots in the draft order.
Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting minor league hockey through the Scotiabank Community Hockey Sponsorship Program, which reaches more than 4,500 minor teams and leagues across Canada. Through its sponsorship of the 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery™, Scotiabank continues to demonstrate its commitment to hockey families as players transition to the professional level.
Earlier today, the National Hockey League's Central Scouting Bureau released the top ranked players for the 2013 NHL Draft. Defenseman Seth Jones of the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks and Aleksander Barkov of Finland's Tappara have been named the top 2013 draft-eligible skaters from North America and Europe, respectively. Full rankings and past draft selections can be found at www.nhl.com/draft.
The 2013 NHL Draft will be held Sunday, June 30, with all seven rounds being conducted on the same day for the first time since 2006. As previously announced, the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center will host the event.
Based on team finish, the percentage chance of being selected in the Draft Lottery is:
Team 1  25.0%
Team 2  18.8%
Team 3  14.2%
Team 4  10.7%
Team 5  8.1%
Team 6  6.2%
Team 7  4.7%
Team 8  3.6%
Team 9  2.7%
Team 10  2.1%
Team 11  1.5%
Team 12  1.1%
Team 13  0.8%
Team 14  0.5%
The following is a summary of the impact on the order of selection since its introduction in 1995:
YearSelectedEffect on Draft orderPlayer selected
1995Los AngelesMoved from 7th to 3rdD Aki Berg
1996OttawaRetained 1st selectionD Chris Phillips
1997BostonRetained 1st selectionC Joe Thornton
1998Tampa BayMoved from 3rd to 1st via tradesC Vincent Lecavalier
1999ChicagoMoved from 8th to 4thRW Pavel Brendl *
2000NY IslandersMoved from 5th to 1stG Rick DiPietro
2001AtlantaMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002FloridaMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Rick Nash **
2003FloridaMoved from 4th to 1stG Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004WashingtonMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Alex Ovechkin
2005PittsburghN/AC Sidney Crosby
2006St. LouisRetained 1st selectionD Erik Johnson
2007ChicagoMoved from 5th to 1stRW Patrick Kane
2008Tampa BayRetained 1st selectionC Steven Stamkos
2009NY IslandersRetained 1st selectionC John Tavares
2010EdmontonRetained 1st selectionLW Taylor Hall
2011New JerseyMoved from 8th to 4thD Adam Larsson
2012EdmontonMoved from 2nd to 1stRW Nail Yakupov
* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.
** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.

Week 15 Tuesday Night Stats - Highlanders Maintain Lead, Great Whites Out of Basement

The Great Whites have taken advantage of a sleeping Severed Heads squad to move out of last place.  The Highlanders have increased their lead over the Bladerunners to a still narrow 17pts while the updated Omnivore stats show the Shadowmen with a still healthy, if narrower, lead over those same Highlanders.

[Note: The Personal Vendetta's numbers a a little lower after I noticed that I had him playing two goaltenders last week.  I have corrected that now and do not believe it impacted his position in the standings at all but did want it to be accurate.]

Fun and games with fans from Calgary and mullets?!

A Calgarian joins the JagrMeister Mullet Cult...


The Final Week 15 Line-ups

So long and thanks for all the fish...

Thanks Cameron for this last week's inspired pic.

Congrats to the Bladerunners on their Challenge Cup Win!

Now let's see who collects the Predator! (and even Omnivore and Last place)

Submit final submissions below, please!

Week 14 Final Stats - Bladerunners are Challenge Cup Champions, Highlanders hold 16pt lead in Predator, Great Whites within a point of escaping basement


Saturday Night Stats - Highlanders Try And Creep Back Into Challenge Cup / Hold On to Predator Cup

Sunday's games will tell the tale of whether the final week will mean anything in the Challenge Cup and how close the gap will be for the Predator Cup.  The Great Whites are making a real effort to overtake the Severed Heads and escape the basement but will it be enough...


Playoff Hockey Pool - Sunday April 28th

With only one game on Sunday April 28th - Ottawa Boston reschedule...

This would be about as perfect a day for a Playoff draft as any. I do not have to stay up late and the rest of you do not have to rush home from work and juggle supper.

Send me an email with what time works for you if interested.

Friday Night Stats - Week 14

The Highlanders finally get their Rangers and Oilers to show up, at least long enough to get a bit of breathing space atop the Predator Cup standings.  Their lead is still fairly slim but not as tight as the battle for last between the Great Whites and fast-falling Severed Heads.


Can the Jets make it?

Pavelec keeping the Jets chance alive...

Speaking of the Jets - What about Columbus or the Islanders?

Or within the FUNHL - What about the the Highlanders trying to blow their lead and the Great Whiites desparate attempt to get out of last...

10 days to go...

Week 14 - Thursday Night Stats

For a moment there on Thursday night the Highlanders looked like they might actually regain some of their cushion - some breathing space in the relentless advance of the Bladerunners to the top of the Predator Cup table.  But it couldn't last the night.  With a half-minute to go in the Leafs loss to the Islanders, Kessel and Phaneuf combined on a "meaningless" goal and from there the advance continued.  Schneider surrendered 3 goals in 5 minutes taking a nice pt gain and converting it into a pt loss for the night.  While Niemi pitched a one-hitter.  2.5pts is the lead now.  Little reason to expect it will last Friday night.


Wednesday Night Stats - Bladerunners Look To Overtake

Highlander chicken counting before egg hatching appears to be catching up with them as the Bladerunners have shaved the once 30pt lead down to a mere 6pts (seriously, Subban gets 17 PIMs last night?!).

Not only are the Bladerunners sporting a healthy lead in their Challenge Cup Finals game but now look to pass the Highlanders and go for the double with with the Predator Cup.  Any return to the ice by Crosby, Hall, Eberle, or any Ranger would be most welcome right about now :-)

I was in the poker tournament this weekend but it is looking like Brian's all-in at the Trade Deadline may have been just what his team needed.


Week 13 Final Stats - Bladerunners Draw First Blood in Challenge Cup Finals, Draw Closer in Predator Cup Race

Boom.  The Bladerunners paid a big price for their deadline deals but Phil Kessel (7pt week), in particular, is paying off in spades.  The Bladerunners will return to the Tyrell Centre up 1-0 in the Challenge Cup Finals looking to dispatch the reeling Highlanders, whose Oiler/Ranger lifeline went stone cold (well Clowe did get 7PIM, but it was an ugly week at a very bad time).  The gap has been reduced to 19pts, a completely makable amount.  Rob's "I told you so" is warming up in the corner.

At the bottome of the table, the Great Whites have two weeks to catch the Scourge and need about 15 pts to do it, dropping a little further behind.  No Herbie this year but 1st to last is a steep fall which I suspect they would wish to aviod.

The Omivore - oh seriously, it's Bob's ok. :-)

Two weeks, 13 days - drop the puck.

Week 14 Line-ups...

Well guys, you all know the drill...
Please post your line-ups here.

Week 14 marks the 2nd last (penultimate) week of this FUNHL season.
Good luck all...and don't be too anxious!


Thursday Night Stats - Week 13 (Bladerunners Take Lead In Game One of Final)

Bladerunners have a solid Thursday night, matching the Highlanders' production in the Tampa and Montreal games and capitalizing on scooping points in the Detroit-San Jose tilt to take a 3.5pt lead in game one of the Challenge Cup Final and cutting the Highlander's Predator Cup lead to 25pts with little over two weeks to go.  Should be tense.


Wednesday Night Stats - Week 13

Calder Nominees (video) and Norris speculation...

Ok I guess Huberdeau>Gallagher>Saad

Dark horse:  Bodin D MIN

Still in it - J.Schultz D EDM

As for the NORRIS

I like R.Suter-MIN

others:  PK Subban, Letang and of course Chara

The Vezina

"BOB" in CBJ [would they even be near the playoffs without him?]

Thoughts?  my Hart comments are in another post...



I think Gaborik likes his Columbus linemates better than in NYR (or just hated Torts! or

Gabby is a deep moody guy...lol; still what a move!

Ovi en feugo!

Don't look now but will Ovi's 2nd half get him a Hart?

Tuesday Night Stats - Week 13

Game one still way too close.