Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back Where We Belong!

It is early, two days into Week 4, but its nice to see the Blue and White back atop the FunHL standings. Best get this posted before the injury gods strike again and thrust me back into the muck.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Injury Woes

Well the Highlanders are starting to pick it up. Week 3 looks to be a 40+pt week that has me knocking on the door of the Ramapithicines and Severed Heads for the lead - a big improvement from the last couple of weeks lurking in the shallow end of the pool - but now is the time that try men's hearts, injury time.

Sheldon Souray and (according to last night's summary) Bryan Berard are out. Souray's separated shoulder will keep him out at least 3 weeks but probably he's gone until the wiaver draft (in December). Hopefully Berard's groin pull is minor but its always a concern when a player with a long period of inactivity, say all of last year, comes back to play significant minutes.

We'll give Mara and Schubert a chance to prove that they belong and hope that this upcoming week is even better than the last.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Defending the Crown

Well the FunHL Entry Draft was held this past Saturday in Calgary and thanks again to Dan and Celina for hosting. Much appriciated. Celina's mom did the catering and the food was fantastic.

The first question of the draft was whether the Knights Templar would take a new franchise player or not. They did, taking Jason Spezza at center, which left the Highlanders free to take goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff. The Highlander's draft went as follows:

1st round (2nd overall) M.Kippruoff G, best goalie available and, hopefully, providing the comfort level between the pipes such that goaltending is not a concern.
2nd (23rd) P.Kariya LW, last of the elite lefties (only one pick away from getting Gagne but alas, no luck).
3rd (26th) L.Visnovsky D, had him ranked right behind Kaberle so glad to get him - made it through the first wrap-around before having to match Souray so assured of three good D).
4th (47th) S.Souray D, matched a bid from earlier in the the round - about where I figured to match but always hope that you can go two more rounds.
5th (50th) J.Williams RW, while the best left on right I'm a little afraid of this pick.
6th (71st) T.Connolly C, the end of season debate will be Connolly or Drury. I feel Connolly has the higher upside but we will see.
7th (74th) E.Jovanovski D, for a number 4 d-man I'm thrilled.
8th (95th) P.Mara D, a real question mark on D but with good potential.
End of Free Agent Rounds
9th and 10th (98th and 119th) J.Thornton C and C.Pronger D, IMHO the top ranked C and D FPs in the pool.
End of Franchise Player Rounds
11th (122nd) L.Nagy LW, another question mark but one with a lot of untapped upside.
12th (143rd) B.Guerin RW, Bid on Beauchemin on D but end up getting the veteran winger. The available comprables will be G.Murray or M.Ryder when the post-mortem is to be done.
13th (146th) B.Boyes RW, initially drafted what I thought was d-man M.Streit but when it was clear he was listed as a forward went with Boyes but it does take me off of my forward-defensman pattern.
14th (167th) S.Hartnel LW, poached him and am pleased with the potential for the price. Philly spent alot to get him and expect that they will use him.
15th (170th) B.Berard D, potentially my S.Souray steal of the draft or an injury-riddled risk. B.Burns in Min goes at the end of the round and may prove to have been the better call.
16th (191st) D.Stafford RW, moving into the benched players now and Stafford looks like a good option on right though T.Holmstrom may prove to be the better call here.
17th (194th) K.Pilar D, ok this was a gamble that has already blown up - hopefully a replacement can be found without too much cost.
18th (215th) J.Pavelski C, upside is there but really who knows. Hopefully Connolly doesn't get hurt and it never matters - ok, this could be a problem.
19th (218th) R.Vrbata LW, with no obvious d-option I fill out my left wing with a Coyote with upside. Someone has to score in Phoenix, right?
20th (239th) C.Schubert D, saw him good in the preseason and +30 as his +/- last year makes him a potentially playable #8 d-man so I'm not displeased.
21st (242nd) M.Legace G, knowing he would last didn't make my smirk any less. I am convinced that Murray will have St.Louis surprising teams all season long. I don't plan on playing Legace with Kiprusoff as the number one but its a nice security blanket an d at least as credible as Fernandez IMO.
22nd (267th) S.Crosby C, really surprised that he was still available :-) Of course he was promoted from my active list and will probably be the highest pointing second last pick even in the draft.
End of the Restricted Free Agent Rounds
2nd Round of Prospect Draft (16th overall) C.Franson D NSH, the choice on D was between Franson and Kindl and Franson is 6'5" so the choice was pretty easy.
2nd (19th) D.Setaguchi SJ, another saw him good selection but the guy knows how to score and is on the RW so has a better chance to click.
2nd (24th) B.Little ATL, as satisfying as it was to take Little hearing Cam swearing under his breath was the cherry on top.
3rd (25th) J.Hiller G ANA, with Price and Bernier gone Hiller has the best shot at being a regular contributor IMO. Other options included Hulenius in TB, Mason in CLB and Irving in CGY. I'm comfortable with this call.

The strengths are certainly down the middle (with Crosby and Thornton) and on the backend with Kipper between the pipes and as solid a quartet of top-end d-men as anyone else in the league (Pronger, Visnovsky, Souray and Jovanovski). The wing strength drops off very quickly so having some of the drafted potential step up will be key. It will be a good year but like last season a lot of things will have to fall into place to make a repeat a possiblity.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We're Number 2

The Highlanders are the defending Predator Cup, Challenge Cup and Omnivore Award Champions so their fans can be excused for feeling that the Highlanders are Number One, but at the recently held FunHL Entry Draft Slot Selection Lottery, the Highlanders were only able to secure the number two selection. In all seriousness, this is great news for the Kilted Army who will be assured of a top selection as the team makes its run to once again go Back-to-Back.

Notable potential selections include centers V.Lecavalier and J.Spezza; goaltender M.Kipprusoff; left winger H.Zetterberg; as well as members from last year's championship roster such as RW D.Alfredsson and D S.Gonchar.

The waiting ends September 29th with the 2007 FunHL Entry Draft.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Race

Nothing here that you can't find on the FunHL site, but in the event anyone is checking here, I am still holding on to a lead (following a very scary Monday night, and an equally pleasant Tuesday night). The rollercoaster action is getting more than a little stressful but I just don't see this settling into a nice, quiet romp to the finish. Brian and I are going to go toe to toe for the next three and a half weeks.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scourge Now Within Spitting Distance of Edge

While the race for the Predator Cup continues (the Highlanders gained a couple of points on the Bladerunners last night), the battle to avoid the Herbivore is also heating up. At the start of the week the Scourge had managed to close the gap between themselves and the 11th placed Edge to 9pts. Following last night's action that gap has closed to 4pts. The Scourge have been rejuvinated by the dynamic duo of Paval Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to be sure but are also more confident in their goaltending, having picked up Edge waiver draft cast-off Ray Emery and Keith Tkachuk.

The Edge still have the horses to hold the Scourge off but it will be interesting to see if the battle to avoid last produces some of the same players now for futures trades that have started to occur at the top of the table. Lots of fun.

A quick update on the Challenge Cup games. Following Wednesday's games, of the three teams in a playoff position only the Severed Heads are losing their game (by 10pts to the Knights Templar, who are having a great week). Of the four teams trying to catch up, none are winning their games. For there to be any change in the playoff teams, one or more teams that are "in" will have to lose all of their remaining games and one or more teams that are "out" will have to win all of their remaining games.

***Milestone Update***

In my self-absorbed obsession with a certain trade that occured following the waiver draft, I failed to note a significant event that occured on Tuesday night. Great Whites Franchise Player Martin Brodeur became the first FunHL player to garner 100pts this season. Brodeur, the 6th overall player selected during the FP draft, has been a mainstay of the Great Whites ever since. He has repeatedly outscored other, flashier, FPs but the consistancy and high level of performance makes him, hands down, the greatest FP in FunHL history. Brodeur is part of a tradition of excellent goaltending for the Great Whites that goes back to the league's first season when the franchise selected Patrick Roy with their first selection. Given his current high level of production and given that he shows no sign of slowing down, I predict that the Great Whites will continue to enjoy several more seasons of elite netminding in the years to come. Congrats Dan - nice pick!

Here are the unofficial stats as of last night:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bladerunners retake lead, Calgary leads All-Star Game

The Headlines say it all. These Stats include the corrected stats as of Week


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

FunHL Standings at the All-Star Break

Here are the FunHL Standings following Week 16 Action:

The Highlanders continue to lead the pack but the Bladerunners are closing fast having finished week 16 with a 24+pt Saturday night giving them the best week of any team. The Shadowmen join the 600pt club but are now 64pts back of the leader. The Severed Heads have a very strong week and look to join the top four. Down the table, the Personal Vendetta halt their slide towards their first Herbivore Trophy with a solid week and a move up the standings. While the Scourge remain in last they have a strong week as well and now are threatening to overtake the Edge who had the league's worst week.

In the Challenge Cup, the Bladerunners secure their ticket to the post-season with a convincing win over the Wolves. The Shadowmen drop to third, holding the tie-breaker against the Highlanders. The only team mathematically eliminated from the post-season at this point is the Scourge but several teams need to win and get some help if they are to keep playing past week 21.

The Omnivore continues to be a two-horse race between the Bladerunners and the Shadowmen. Two others are now in the "black" with three others hoping that the upcoming Waiver Draft can fuel enough positive momentum to push them forward over the last third of the season. The Edge, however, have a lot of ground to make up.

Next week only includes three days of games: Friday thru Sunday. The Challenge Cup season pauses but the Predator Cup and Omnivore stats will continue to be recorded.

The FunHL All-Star rosters appear to be set and the game will be updated here daily starting Saturday morning. Enjoy.