Connect with us

Fantasy Watch

Live NHL Playoff Pool

With the popularity of hockey pools across North America, we have decided to live blog a hockey draft that a number of Illegal Curve contributors take part in each playoff season. The pool is 10 rounds with a snake format. Each team must select ten players, with each team’s two worst players being scratched and only the top eight point producers counting towards the final points total. The pool is a total points pool, which means the team with the most points from its top eight players is victorious.

We hope this draft can serve as a mock draft for all the poolies out there. After each round, I will write a short analysis of some of the picks that stood out and why they did.

The draft gets underway in just over half an hour. The draft has a whopping 15 teams.
Here is the draft order:

1. Adam Gutkin (Numbers Game) and Steve Werier (IC Contributor)
2. Cole
3. Seth/Drew
4. Lioz/Ohad
5. John
6. Sam/Payton
7. Adam/Sergio
8. David
9. Rod
10. Richard (Me) and Rocky (HD Corner)
11. Aaron
12. Shaun
13. Hari
14. Sam/Dave
15. Ezzy (AHL Report and Euro Curve) and Hart

I will be posting the picks round-by-round with a short analysis after each round.

The draft is getting underway now…

Round 1:
1. Adam and Steve: Sidney Crosby
2. Cole: Pavel Datsyuk
3. Seth/Drew: Evgeni Malkin
4. Lioz/Ohad: Joe Thornton
5. John: Henrik Zetterberg
6. Sam/Payton: Alexei Kovalev
7. Adam/Sergio: Nicklas Lidstrom
8. David: Jarome Iginla
9. Rod: Ryan Getzlaf
10. Richard/Rocky: Jaromir Jagr
11. Aaron: Alexander Ovechkin
12. Shaun: Teemu Selanne
13. Hari: Mike Modano
14. Sam/Dave: Marian Gaborik
15. Ezzy/Hart: Marian Hossa

Analysis: There were two shockers this round. The first was Iginla at such a high pick. David is a Flames homer, however, and that is why he reached. The Flames are playing a better team in San Jose and they most likely will be a first round casualty. The second surprise was Modano, as he is probably the fourth best forward on his own team. Nostalgia can do wonders… The best value pick of the first round may be Shaun at 11 with his Selanne pick. Selanne has been terrific since his late-season return and many have the Ducks pegged for a Stanley Cup repeat.

Round 2:
16. Ezzy/Hart: Nicklas Backstrom
17. Sam/Dave: Mike Ribiero
18. Hari: Joe Sakic
19. Shaun: Sergei Gonchar
20. Aaron: Chris Pronger
21. Rich/Rocky: Patrick Marleau
22. Rod: Zach Parise
23. David: Tomas Plekanec
24. Adam/Sergio: Andrei Markov
25. Sam/Payton: Brian Rafalski
26. John: Scott Niedermayer
27. Lioz/Ohad: Jonathan Cheechoo
28. Seth/Drew: Scott Gomez
29. Cole: Tomas Holmstrom
30: Adam/Steve: Brian Campbell

Analysis: In the second round, team still draft the best player regardless of team. However, after this round you start seeing teams take players from the team of their first/second round picks. The combination strategy is very popular because you are hoping the team you draft from goes the farthest and thus plays the most games. Therefore, having more players on that team is beneficial. Hardly any teams will scatter their selections from more than 5 teams. The biggest surprise of this round is probably Backstrom, but he is a talented surprise that plays with the game’s best player in Ovechkin. Any thought that the Habs were not going to be well-respected in the draft have gone by the wayside as three Habs have already been drafted. Also, Holmstom at full health is a solid pick at the end of the second round, but I am a bit concerned about his groin. That pick may be a little risky for a top two pick.

Round 3:
31. Adam/Steve: Petr Sykora
32. Cole: Mark Streit
33. Seth/Drew: Paul Stastny
34. Lioz/Ohad: Milan Michalek
35. John: Johan Franzen
36. Sam/Payton: Dany Heatley
37. Adam/Sergio: Chris Drury
38. David: Andrei Kostitsyn
39. Rod: Corey Perry
40. Rich/Rocky: Martin Straka
41. Aaron: Alexander Semin
42. Shaun: Chris Kunitz
43. Hari: Jason Spezza
44. Sam/Dave: Brenden Morrow
45. Ezzy/Hart: Pavol Demitra

Analysis: The third round is where teams go off on later teams they think will do well. This, of course, leads in 15 different directions as every team has a different 8 teams they think will advance in the second round. Rock and I like the Rangers, while others are banking on the Capitals, Sens, etc. In my opinion the Flyers aren’t getting enough respect. But that is just one man’s opinion. A Peter Forsberg pick has to be next round doesn’t it?

Round 4:
46. Ezzy/Hart: Ryan Malone
47. Sam/Dave: Pierre-Marc Bouchard
48. Hari: Vaclav Prospal
49. Shaun: Peter Forsberg
50. Aaron: Todd Bertuzzi
51. Rich/Rocky: Joe Pavelski
52. Rod: Patrik Elias
53. David: Chris Higgins
54. Adam/Sergio: Daniel Cleary
55. Sam/Payton: Brian Gionta
56. John: Daniel Briere
57. Lioz/Ohad: Milan Hejduk
58. Seth/Drew: Saku Koivu
59. Cole: Mikael Samuelsson
60: Adam/Steve: Ryan Whitney

Analysis: Not a big fan of the Bertuzzi pick. He just didn`t do anything for me this season and looked old. I like the Higgins selection by David. Higgins is a player who plays better when the games are more physical which is sure to be the case against the Bruins. Also, I think John got a steal in Briere. As you may be able to tell, I favor the Flyers in an upset over the Capitals.

Round 5:
61. Adam/Steve: Brian Rolston
62. Cole: Valtteri Filpulla
63. Seth/Drew: Pascal Dupuis
64. Lioz/Ohad: Andrew Brunette
65. John: Mike Richards
66. Sam/Payton: Mike Green
67. Adam/Sergio: Sergei Kostitsyn
68. David: Michael Ryder
69. Rod: Mathieu Schneider
70. Rich/Rocky: Jordan Staal
71. Aaron: Viktor Kozlov
72. Shaun: Ryan Smyth
73. Hari: Brad Richards
74. Sam/Dave: Daymond Langkow
75. Ezzy/Hart: Mikko Koivu

Analysis: Pascal Dupuis went too early here. By too early, I mean it is too early he went at all. I don’t care if he’s playing with Crosby, he’s awful. I like the Ryan Smyth selection by Shaun. With Nick Schultz getting an appendectomy, I like the Avs more than I did before, and I still liked them to win the series. Also, good value selection by Hari with Brad Richards.

Round 6:
76. Ezzy/Hart: Brooks Laich
77. Sam/Dave: Kristian Huselius
78. Hari: Cory Stillman
79. Shaun: Doug Weight
80. Aaron: Mikhail Grabovski
81. Rich/Rocky: John-Michael Liles
82. Rod: Wade Redden
83. David: Alex Tanguay
84. Adam/Sergio: Brendan Shanahan
85. Sam/Payton: Guillaume Latendresse
86. John: Joffrey Lupul
87. Lioz/Ohad: Jamie Langenbrunner
88. Seth/Drew: Wojtek Wolski
89. Cole: Jiri Hudler
90: Adam/Steve: Maxime Talbot

Analysis: Ezra would have been better off selecting Ricky Lake. Also, Douggie Weght has been an unhappy healthy scratch in Anaheim, so Shaun may have been better off drafting another Duck instead. Tanguay is a good selection this late. The Flames always play the Shakrs well and if they do make a run, Tanguay will play a big part in that. Shanahan seems like a steal here, but he has been placed on the fourth line for Game 1 versus the Devils. Also, considering the Devils are the favorite, Langenbrunner at the 87th overall pick is good value.

Round 7:
91. Adam/Steve: Ryan Clowe
92. Cole: Niklas Kronwall
93. Seth/Drew: Sergei Fedorov
94. Lioz/Ohad: Devon Setoguchi
95. John: Nigel Dawes
96. Sam/Payton: Dion Phaneuf
97. Adam/Sergio: Roman Hamrlik
98. David: Jason Arnott
99. Rod: Alexander Radulov
100. Rich/Rocky: Brandon Dubinsky
101. Aaron: Samuel Pahlsson
102. Shaun: John Madden
103. Hari: Niklas Hagman
104. Sam/Dave: Brent Burns
105. Ezzy/Hart: J.P. Dumont

Analysis: The picks in this round were all good. I love the Setoguchi selection by Lioz/Ohad. Ryan Clowe was a nice selection at the top of the round and Kronwall was a good value pick by Cole. Radulov is a risk/reward pick as he could be great if he replaces Jan Hlavac on the first line. However, there is no sign that is the case, and he has struggled on the second unit with Bonk and Erat.

Round 8:
106. Ezzy/Hart: Kris Letang
107. Sam/Dave: Dainius Zubrus
108. Hari: Owen Nolan
109. Shaun: Travis Zajac
110. Aaron: Bobby Ryan
111. Rich/Rocky: Sean Avery
112. Rod: Paul Martin
113. David: Mike Komisarek
114. Adam/Sergio: Jere Lehtinen
115. Sam/Payton: Eric Belanger
116. John: Todd Marchant
117. Lioz/Ohad: Jeremy Roenick
118. Seth/Drew: Craig Rivet
119. Cole: Bryan Smolinksi
120: Adam/Steve: Mike Knuble

Analysis: It is hard to make fun of any of these picks because the players are all brutal. We are already 120 deep and still have 30 more picks to go! Bobby Ryan could be good, but he isn’t even assured a spot on the Ducks’ starting roster when the playoffs begin. Also, the Roenick pick is a nice one by Lioz/Ohad. The veteran has scored some big goals all season long and that could pay off in overtime in the playoffs.

Round 9:

121. Adam/Steve: Jeff Carter

122. Cole: Brad Stuart

123. Seth/Drew: Antoine Vermette

124. Lioz/Ohad: Jay Pandolfo

125. John: Marc Savard

126. Sam/Payton: Chris Kelly

127. Adam/Sergio: Maxim Lapierre

128. David: Martin Erat

129. Rod: Daniel Alfredsson

130. Rich/Rocky: Kimmo Timonen

131. Aaron: Travis Moen

132. Shaun: Tyler Arnason

133. Hari: Craig Conroy

134. Sam/Dave: Mark Parrish

135. Ezzy/Hart: Tom Poti

Analysis: With our worst two players not counting towards total points, and it being the ninth round, teams are loading up on high risk/reward players like Savard and Alfredsson. The Jeff Carter selection caught my eye, as I am surprised the young center fell this far. Good selection by Adam/Steve.

Round 10:
136. Ezzy/Hart: Torrey Mitchell
137. Sam/Dave: Sergei Zubov
138. Hari: Marco Sturm
139. Shaun: Johnny Oduya
140. Aaron: Tomas Fleischmann
141. Rich/Rocky: Michael Roszival
142. Rod: Francois Beauchemin
143. David: Matthew Lombardi
144. Adam/Sergio: Adrian Aucoin
145. Sam/Payton: Kim Johnsson
146. John: Braydon Coburn
147. Lioz/Ohad: Mike Grier
148. Seth/Drew: Gary Roberts
149. Cole: Kris Draper
150. Adam/Steve: R.J. Umberger

Analysis: Teams are just rounding out their squads. This was a deep draft by playoff standards. 150 players is a lot to pick when the player pool is basically cut in half. We will be posting updates of the results of the pool every Monday morning.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.