I am only in one hockey pool this year, and oddly enough it is with eleven (yes, eleven) others, all of whom live in the Detroit area.
Our pool is through Yahoo, and it has this really cool system where you can bench players when they are not playing, and call up others when they are. Goalie stats are included, and every week you are matched-up against one other member of the pool. Last week, I was matched up with Ken, the Motor City Madman. He is the Commissioner of the league, and invited me to join back in the summer. How could I resist joining a pool with 11 yanks? I mean, it should be a cake-walk, right?
There are four of us that are battling it out for first place. Last week, I really thought I was going to pull away. Heatley and Spezza continue to be on fire, Naslund has been doing well, Ovechkin is still tearing it up, and recent addition Scott Hartnell has been impressive also.
It sounds like a recipe for success, but I made one big mistake.
I picked up Alex Auld.
When Cloutier went down, I thought it was easy goalie points to snag Auld. He had done well in the few starts he had received, but last week he sucked worse than a Powermatic Legacy 2100.
So I lost my match-up to Ken.
But I don't really feel so bad. Ken knows his stuff. Led by the likes of Gomez, Datsyuk, and Chara, his team has been holding its own. We are currently tied for second place according to the points total, but he gets the nod because he has more "wins" than I do (a "win" occurs when you beat the other player in a statistical category at the end of your match-up. I.E. Last week my players scored 15 goals to Ken's 6, so that is one win for me. Conversely his players had 45 minutes in penalties to my 20, which means one win for him.)
It is a great pool, and I've had a lot of fun tracking my stats and following my players. It really does make hockey that much more exciting to watch, because I've got a vested interest in nearly every game that gets played.
But last week I was bested by the Commish. His hockey knowledge and skill in choosing players is second only to his rugged good looks and charming personality. I've heard it said that Ken's sense of humour is amazing, and although he can turn a joke like no other, he is seldom the "centre of attention" like most other humourous types. As well, Ken has shown time and time again that his is a noble fellow, full of integrity. This is evidenced by the fact that he climbed a 26-foot high tree once to save a neighbour's cat. When the neighbour offered him a reward for his efforts, he donated the money to the local animal shelter. Firefighters be darned when Ken is around.
But most importantly, is Ken's quality of character. Rather than gloat about his obviously superior fantasy team, he quietly goes about his business, encouraging the rest of the GM's in the pool.
What a classy guy.