May 272015
 

Lindbloom_top_20150527June 9, 1978 

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains – Paul Simon

By Rich Lindbloom

Something dawned on me as I watched the post-game interviews after Saturday’s thrilling, if not discombobulated, victory over Ducks.

Toews, Kane and Crawford all appeared to be exhausted, almost zombie like as reporters peppered them with questions. Although they won the thrilling overtime game, their countenance and words belied a group of warriors who were physically and mentally exhausted. The core group of this Blackhawk team is playing in their fifth Conference Finals in seven years. The Hawks are well aware of the self-sacrifice it takes to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals – it’s akin to climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen. (Keith could probably do it, and Toews would die trying no doubt.) Herculean efforts, battling through pain, taking themselves “to the limit one more time,” is a steep price to pay through one deep Stanley Cup run, let alone five.  Continue reading »

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May 232015
 

Lindbloom_Rorschach_Top150523A Rorschach Test

Dale Arden: “Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save the earth.”

By Rich Lindbloom

The Rorschach Test, developed by Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach, involved the complex analysis of ten ink spot images that patients were to look at and record what they saw.

Lindbloom_2_150523

I took one psychology class in college. I remember recognizing in myself many of the personality traits and not being too happy with the results. I quickly suppressed all the phobias, before I became a neurotic mess. If there are any psychologists out there, please let me know what you think of my answers to the 10 cards; 1. Satan, perhaps Corey Perry, 2. a mountain goat or clown, 3. The Joker, 4. a guy riding a motorcycle, 5. The stealth bomber, 6. an aircraft carrier, 7. an upside down girl, 8. Donald Duck with sun glasses, 9. Ostriches, 10. a uterus.  Continue reading »

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May 172015
 

By Brad Vandenberk

Finally, after waiting 10 days, game one of the Western Conference Final was played at the Honda Center in beautiful Anaheim. The Hawks have been trying to stay in game shape after disposing of the Wild in 4 straight games. There was one more test that stood in their way to reaching the Stanley Cup and it was the Ducks. They came to play this afternoon, but it was the Ducks who took game one with a 4-1 victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Hawks with 39 seconds left in the second period. That would be all she wrote from there.

Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen were in net for this one and Andersen looked sharp, absolutely robbing Patrick Kane on a wide open net. David Rundblad replaced Michel Rozsival who broke his ankle and will not be able to resume playing until next season. Rundblad was very noticeable but in a bad way, almost solely being responsible for 2 of the Ducks goals. Continue reading »

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Apr 202015
 

LeaveThemAllBehind_2015Apr20

By Lane Myer

As promised, here is the revised Top 50 Under 25 list that we initially published back in early January for Keeper/Dynasty leagues. Since we don’t cover much here in this column dealing with keeper or dynasty leagues, we figured this would be the most beneficial manner to toss something out there in a fairly simple manner.   Also I’m told everyone loves a list. Not that you were anyway, because you’re much smarter than that, but don’t pay too much attention to the ranking number. It’s a highly convoluted process with attempting to mix current production with future projection along with other factors such as basic stat categories, age in relation to similar value players, and future playing time and line-mates for the younger less established players.   Tie-breakers were awarded to players with an age advantage and/or those who are more likely to hold multi-positional eligibility.

As a reminder, as with almost everything we do here, these are penned with standard stat category leagues in mind. That means 6×4 or 5×4 fantasy hockey leagues that use the basic stat categories that usually include Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, PPP and either (or both) PIMs or Shorthanded Points on the offensive side and Wins, GAA, SV% and Shutouts on the goalie side.

*Revised Top 50 Under 25 after the jump…

Continue reading »

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Mar 232015
 

TheDudesPager

The Week Ahead: March 23 – March 29

4 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, DAL, DET, FLA, LA, MIN, NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, PIT, SJ, WINN
3 Game slates: ARI, BOS, BUF, CLB, EDM, MON, TB, TOR, VAN, WASH
2 Game slates: PHI, STL
Back to Back games: ANA, BOS, CAR, COL, CLB, DAL, DET, FLA, LA, MIN (x2), NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, PIT, SJ, WASH, WINN

By Lane Myer

Quick show of hands – how many of you rolled out of the rack on Sunday morning afternoon, logged into your Roto, points, or head-to-head league and subsequently felt a fantasy-dagger in your back at the vision of emblazoned pluses and minuses that littered your league’s home page. Count ‘em five Saturday shutouts that undoubtedly had a profound effect on your current league’s standings or head-to-head weekly matchups.   Who knew so many hockey players were NCAA basketball fans.

Last week we covered head-to-head league playoffs, and minus the schedule, much of that info still applies, especially for those of you whose playoffs begin this week. For this week, we’ll take a look at those of you heading down the stretch in Roto and points leagues. Especially those of you in leagues with player use maximums. Continue reading »

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Mar 162015
 

IllinoisLotterCup_IceHogs2015Quest for The Cup – photo: @GoIceHogs

The Week Ahead: March 16 – March 22

4 Game slates: ARI, BOS, BUF, MON, STL, VAN
3 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CAR, CHI, CLB, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, NJ, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, SJ, TB, TOR, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: COL, DAL, NASH, NYI
Back to Back games: ARI, BOS, BUF, CHI, COL, CLB, DET, MON, NJ, NYR, STL, VAN

By Lane Myer

Playoff Time!

Monday begins playoff time in a good percentage of head-to-head leagues. For some they will begin the following Monday. Regardless, it’s time to start focusing in on the schedule. Especially for those in deeper counting stat category leagues where one goal, assist, hit, blocked shot, penalty minute or faceoff win can mean the difference in winning a category and advancing to the second week.

It’s the difficult part of playing in head to head leagues. Should one load up on players who will be playing in 4 games this week? Or should you keep your roster status quo? A lot of that will depend on your league’s roster size and allowable adds per week because if you do advance past the first round you obviously have additional weeks where you’ll need your best players. Continue reading »

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Mar 092015
 

ItsAlwaysSunny_Macs

The Week Ahead: March 9 – March 15

4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, NASH, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR
3 Game slates: ARI, CAL, COL, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, MON, NJ, SJ, TB, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates:
BUF, CHI
Back to Back games:
BOS, CAL, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, MIN, NASH, NYI, NYR (x2), OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR

By Lane Myer

Trade Deadline Wrap

For your scanning/reading pleasure, the TTMI Action News Team was all over the trade deadline with five alarm late breaking hot Internet player updates from a fantasy hockey perspective. Some of those players had already donned the laundry of their respective new organizations which we covered at the above link last week, but a handful of those players acquired on Sunday and Monday were not covered as far as their roles with their new teams filtered out. So we’ll wrap that up right now. You can also consider using some of these players as potential waiver adds. Continue reading »

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Nov 282014
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks skated into Anaheim Friday afternoon and took advantage of post-Thanksgiving bargains against a depleted Ducks defense. Chicago dominated most of the action on the way to a 4-1 victory.

With the win, Chicago has won four out of the first five games of its annual November road jaunt. The Hawks were in control throughout the matinee despite a game effort by Anaheim goalie Frederick Andersen.

First Period-The Hawks got their first shot on goal via Brad Richards late in the fourth minute. That attempt, gloved by Frederick Andersen, was followed by some increased offensive pressure on Chicago’s part. Anaheim put together a nice shift in the Hawks zone in the eighth minute, though Chicago eventually cleared the puck and posted the first tally of the contest. Continue reading »

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Oct 122014
 

TheLeague_2014Oct12_post_AutoDraftBluesGot the Auto-Draft Blues??

By Lane Myer

The Week Ahead: Week 2, Oct 13-19.  

4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, BUF, CGY, COL, SJ
3 Game slates: CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, STL, TB, TOR, WASH
2 Game slates: ARI, CAR, CHI, MIN, PHI, PITT, VAN, WIN

Hopefully you’re not one of those panicky owners who has been dropping solid middle round quality players that have an extended track record of production for bottom pairing quality players who happen to get off to a quick start. Make sure you’re checking player usage if you are one of those people.

For example, Olli Maatta is a hot pickup right now after his 3 assist performance against the Ducks in the opener, and he may end up being solid this season, but if you look at his usage, he’s only accrued 1 shift on the PP for all of 24 seconds. Continue reading »

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Oct 032014
 

Goldblum_Kroll

Part One of this feature ran earlier today.

For the introduction – Fantasy Chatter: Undervalues and Deep Cuts

By Lane Myer

FANTASY ‘HAWK FACTOR

Not much in the way of undervalued Blackhawks this season unless Teuvo Koivu captures a top 6 role due to injury, or Jeremy Morin skates top 9 minutes all season long.   Nick Leddy would normally be a trendy target to peg for a break out season should he happen to come upon top 4 pairing minutes and a wealth of  PP opportunities, but it seems like Leddy may be bumped off of the second PP unit in favor of Richards and Seabrook if recent events come to fruition.   Perhaps an ill-advised trade is forthcoming which may in turn bump Leddy’s value back to where it should be.

The wildcard would have to be Brandon Saad.  See Breakout Candidates section above.   If there is one Hawk, health provided, who should easily out earn his draft position, it’s Saad.

Patrick Kane is typically overvalued in fantasy drafts by a round or two each year, but he’s a reliable star who sparingly misses games.   There is value in certainty.   Continue reading »

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