When I put together the boxes for the inaugural PITB Anti-Fantasy Hockey Pool, I limited things to just 15 boxes. This still allowed me to have a wide range of scoring forwards and fourth-line pluggers, puckmovers and pylons, and starting goaltenders and backups. It couldn’t, however, be completely comprehensive and a number of players who didn’t make the cut have had phenomenal seasons, or terrible ones by anti-fantasy standards.
Phil Kessel, for instance, is second in league scoring with 36 points. Right now, he belongs in the “Art Ross Candidates” box, but would have been more likely to be in the “Powerplay Performers” box with Joe Thornton, Teemu Selanne, Dany Heatley, Patrick Sharp, and Thomas Vanek. Thing is, if he had been there everyone would have picked him, resulting in a massive spike in most scores. Sure, a few people might have picked Heatley – who is still the lowest scoring player with 20 points – but no one expected this out of Kessel.
That goes double for his teammate, Joffrey Lupul, who is fourth in league scoring – sandwiched between the Sedins. Lupul has 33 points, but his previous career high is just 53 points. He needs just 21 points in his next 53 games to set a new career high. He had just 31 points last season, so he wasn’t even on my radar. The only place he would fit would be in the “Injury Prone Players” box, where he would have 10 more points than the next highest scorer in that category (Marian Gaborik) and 27 more points than the lowest scorer (Matthew Lombardi).
As for defencemen, Erik Karlsson, Brian Campbell, and Marc-Andre Bergeron are currently the scoring leaders. None of them appear among my selections. Karlsson scored 45 points last season, so his success isn’t too much of a surprise, but Campbell hasn’t been among the league leaders in defensive scoring since 2008-09 and Bergeron’s career-high in points came 6 years ago when he had 35 points with the Oilers.
Among the goaltenders, Jimmy Howard, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Miikka Kiprusoff are the league-leaders in wins and have a couple shutouts apiece as well. They could have been easily included, but what about guys like Kari Lehtonen, Mike Smith, and Brian Elliott? Elliott is the big surprise, with 12 wins and 4 shutouts in just 14 starts. That would net him 20 points in the pool, more than any other goaltender. But if I had included him with names like Thomas, Rinne, Luongo, Price, and Bryzgalov, everyone would have picked Elliott.
Really, I saved you all from some terrible decisions.
Holidayblues is once again in first place, but this time only by virtue of her name coming alphabetically before Joeducklow. And we have a new name in last place: By-Tor, who’s regretting his picks of Henrik Sedin, Patrick Kane, Teemu Selanne, Cody Hodgson (now the highest scoring “Calder Candidate” – yes, I missed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as well), Dustin Byfuglien, and Shea Weber.
The Anti-Fantasy All Star Team has 145 points:
|Name||Week 9 Total|
|38||Cha Cha Cha Charmin||213|
|59||F. N. Pig||224|
|79||Joy (aka alasmylove22)||232|