Last year, I never really got into the NHL hockey season. With the lockout being so long, by the time the season started, I’d moved on with my life and just couldn’t figure out how to fit hockey watching in. But the thing is, I really *like* watching hockey. And when you add to that the fact that the light at the end of the MBA tunnel is fast approaching, I really will need something to do to fill all the free time I’m going to have come the end of December! All that to say, I’m very excited that the new season starts this week.
And with the new season starting this week, so too does the annual VWXYPool! Hockey pool! The pool is open to regular readers of my friend Cath’s blog, VWXYNot?, which means it’s full of nerdy scientists who love to watch hockey and trash talk one another. So it’s loads of fun!
Now, as you know, I like to have a theme for how I pick the players for my hockey team. In 2011-12, I took the term “fantasy hockey pool” literally and formed Team Hottie, for which I could only chose attractive players. And I did terribly in the pool. So then in 2012-13, I decided to go the opposite way and formed Team Uggoe, for which I could only choose the hideously ugly. And I again did terrible in the pool. So I’m starting to think that choosing hockey players based on appearance may not be the best way to form a hockey pool team. I think it’s time for a new strategy.
And my new strategy is thus: I’m taking a suggestion that Cath made last year in a comment on my Team Uggoe posting – I’m forming Team Hockey P0rn, which means I can only put someone on my team if they have a name that sounds in some way dirty. The obvious members of the team, as Cath pointed out in that comment, are:
- Grant Clitsome
- David Legwand
- Alex Burrows
A quick look at the list of available players has given me the following additions:
- Victor Hedman
- Jonathan Quick
- Patrick Kane
- Evander Kane
- and someone I’ve never heard of before, but who is perfect for this team: Jiří Tlustý
This is a good start, but clearly I need more players. So I thought I’d ask you, gentle reader: do you know of any NHL players with dirty sounding names?
Due to the shortened NHL season this year, week 8 marks the halfway point. I’ve continued to be a delinquent, in that I have yet to change my picks this year (eep!) and it’s really showing in the results. Speaking of which, here they are. First up, the points for the week:
Some people got lots of points. Others (such as me), not so much.
Next, the time trend analysis:
To me, this continues to look like a pile of spaghetti, though you can see that Sugar Scientist and Mod Scientist continue to battle for top spot, with Lava and Raj not far behind. Of course, there’s still half a season to go, so really, this could still be anyone’s game!
Hey, remember that time I joined this year’s hockey pool? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t – looking at the pictures of my team of uggoes is something that I imagine most people would try to shut out from their memory. *shudder*
Anyway, as I’m sure you remember, I’m generally pretty delinquent when it comes to the hockey pool. I make my picks at the start of the season and rather than switching my picks each week based on player’s performances and other relevant data, I tend to just let my picks ride. This year I’ve been even more delinquent than usual – in fact, despite week 3 of the hockey season having just ended, I am just now watching a Canucks game for the first time all season! So, basically, I’m watching the game as I write this – so please excuse the typos that will likely result from my attempt at multi-tasking!
First up, here’s a shiny bar chart of everyone’s points this week:
Clearly, having “Scientist” as your last name was a good strategic this week, with Mod Scientist and Sugar Scientist leading the pack in week 3, with Lavaland close behind. My personal strategy of doing nothing seems to be working out OK for me, as I’ve been consistently moving up – I was 9th in the first week, 8th in week 2 and came in a respectable 4th for points in week 3. Last week’s winner, Gerty-Z, had quite a fall from grace, dropping to second-from-last in points for this week. Just goes to show that anything can happen from week to week!
Turning now to the overall points, the graph, at this point, looks like a pile of spaghetti:
Though we do see that Sugar Scientist has held onto top spot for overall points since week 1 and there appears to be a group of 2 (Bam294 and Gen Repair) breaking away at the bottom in the race for the title of “most efficient” (i.e., the most efficient player is the one who gets by on the least amount of points).
Looking forward to see how things go in week 4!
Remember that time I was in a hockey pool and did terribly? Well, there’s a new pool for the playoffs and guess who is leading the pack?
These are the standings as of this morning
OK, so I know that it’s early days and that I’m only 3 points ahead of Cath, who is in second place and who jumped from last to 2nd in one day (!)…
… which clearly shows that position in the pool is pretty meaningless this early on. But I’m still posting this, because I know (based on my past pool performance) that I’ll probably never been in this position again, so I have to brag while I still can! I’m in first! Hooray for me!
I’m also in a bracket pool and doing super craptacularly bad at that:
And we aren’t even going to talk about the Canucks right now! Not only are they down 2 games to none, having dropped two games at home, despite being the President’s Trophy winners playing the 8th place team – but they’ve also ruined my bracket prediction that they’d beat LA in 5 games! Argh!
So apparently, just like I did with having a blog, I have been completely ignoring the fact that I’m in a hockey pool. So let’s see how were are doing with that, shall we? (Note that since no one did a week 23 update, I’m doing a double update for weeks 23 *and* 24! And I’m only 6 days late with it! w00t!)
We can clearly see that there are two distinct groups in this pool, as has been mentioning in previous postings by my fellow poolmates (which, of course, I can’t seem to find the links to). Cath is in the lead of the top group, followed by Modscientist and Richardipus (pretty much tied in second place), followed closely by Lavaland.
Group 2 is being led by Gery, then Scientist Mother and Chall. Myself and Mr. E-Man are threatening to break off as a third group, and Bob is holding tightly the prize for most efficient (i.e., the one who can get through the pool on the smallest number of points).
And then, just because the data for all the previous weeks of the pool was sitting there in a handy little spreadsheet when I went to write this posting, I couldn’t resist making a graph from the beginning:
I’ve been incredibly lazy in my hockey pool and haven’t changed my picks since the first week. And I’ve suffered the consequences, as I now sit in last place in my pool! *hangs head in shame*
So I decided that it was time to shake things up, which meant I had to actually look at my list and see who was underperforming and who I should replace them with, which, of course, meant I had to make a spreadsheet. And after this in depth analysis, I made the following changes to my roster.
Kicked Off The Team
- Benoit Pouliot
- Dustin Brown
- Shea Weber
- Brent Seabrook
- Victor Hedman
- Carey Price
I should point out that I have adapted my definition of “hottie” for the purposes of this pool. If I can find just one photo of a player on the Internet in which they look hot, they now qualify as a hottie.
I scouted out Ryan as a hottie in my analysis of the new draftees earlier this year, and while I realize his good numbers have a lot to do with the hat trick he got against the Canucks, I decided to take a gamble on him that he’ll keep playing this well – and that he won’t get sent down to the minors for development.
Former Canuck. Current hottie.
Here’s hoping the new recruits bring me up from my sad little last place existence!
So the hockey pool has started! And since “week 1” only constituted two days, Cath decided that she’d start doing the weekly updates next week. Well, bollocks to that I say! I’m doing well and need to brag, because you never know how long you’ll be on top! I could be in last place by the time next Saturday rolls around! And with that, I give you this shiny line graph of the hockey pool’s standings as of the end of Week 1:
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, as of this writing, I am currently #1 in the pool, with a cool 26 points after last night’s games. Take that, everyone!