Well-Hedged Hockey at United Center

26 03 2009

I attended the Hawks-Sharks game last night, which worked out nicely because I could enjoy the game without being too nervous over the result.  I’m a Blackhawks fan, so I liked them to win, but my playoff fantasy hockey matchup this week has me started Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabakov and my opponent starting Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.  It’s a perfect example of using fantasy sports as a hedge, something I discussed in an earlier post.

Free of any strong bias, I was able to simply watch two playoff teams in an exciting, up-tempo game.  Here are some things I realized:

  • Evgeni Nabakov plays for the sharks.  I did not know this.  I knew he was on my fantasy team.  My fantasy team won the regular season and is likely to win the league.  This either says something about the quality of play in my fantasy league, or about the lack of a need to really know a sport to win at fantasy sports.
  • Modern hockey, since they eliminated the two-line pass, is really exciting.  2-1 is no longer a high-scoring hockey game, and 4-1 is no longer an insurmountable lead.
  • The Hawks start a defenseman named Niklas Hjalmarsson.  That’s awesome.  Hockey is the only sport where players’ names start with Hj.
  • The Hawks have a winger named Dustin Bufflin.  Okay, can you spell Bufflin?  B-Y-F-U-G-…wait, what?  Bufflin?  Are you out of your mind?
  • Hockey referees where pads.  I’m pretty sure.
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3 responses

31 03 2009
tallahustler

I have to say that I would have given you a run for your money if my damn team showed up in the semifinals. Also, it would have been nice if more than 3 or 4 people payed attention to the league so that trades, etc. might have happened. Instead, I was stuck taking the slim pickings from the waiver wire for the entire season.

7 04 2009
Ben

Welcome to the comment board, buddy. It’s interesting that our league ended up with one semi-final matching up our high-school class of 2000 and the other matching up class of 1999.

We’ll cut some managers next year and hopefully add some more enthusiastic ones. Usually takes a while to put a good league together.

13 04 2009
tallahustler

Well it looks like it’s over. Congrats. 3rd place isn’t bad for someone who’s never played fantasy sports before (right?). It looks like you’re right about goalies. My only reservation is that once you get beyond the first few locks at the position, goalies become more of a gamble (like your speculation about starting pitchers) — who could have known that Steve Mason or Chris Mason (I’m drafting both next year, by the way, and the team will be called Two Masons, One (Stanley) Cup) would tear it up this year? Who knows if either of them will be good next year? Remember when Jim Carey won the Vezina Trophy (or for that matter, when Jim Carrey was relevant?)? What the hell happened to him?

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