Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Carraggi of Operation Sports,
It was the biggest year for the Boston Bruins in decades, and I honestly could not have cared any less. Me, a sports writer for a major Boston newspaper and “die-hard” fan of everything Boston, was more concerned about the state of the putrid New England Revolution (MLS) than I was the conference-leading B’s.
Like most (ex-)fans, you could blame the lockout. After that, hockey just did not have the same appeal to me. They just became grunts scooting around the ice while scoring less than a geeky high-school student.
Fast forward to today, and I am eagerly awaiting the day Tuukka Rask and the boys can redeem themselves after one of the ugliest choke jobs in NHL history.
What changed my opinion on the sport so drastically that I would ignore a record-breaking 2008 campaign just to salivate over a question-filled 2010 one? The answer is EA’s NHL series.
This may sound absolutely ludicrous, but the degree of difficulty and amount of strategy it took to score a goal in an NHL game was always lost on me until I began playing the series during the last two years.
If you are in a fantasy league and need some help, maybe the Higgins Hockey Fantasy Index: 2010-2011 by Rob Higgins could give you that one piece of advice you are searching for. And besides, I have a small blurb in the book.
The book will soon be available at Amazon.com and you can get it in Kindle format too.
I asked Rob “why a fantasy hockey book?”
Rob Higgins: I just wanted to create the book I have always wished existed. An annual hockey book that comes loaded with information that speaks directly to the tracking of player values. With tools that I can actually use. My stat - HFI - is a scouting tool that a hockey fan can utilize to evaluate players for the purpose of a fantasy league and it’s a much more telling and reliable resource than, say, a bunch of dudes predicting the future, with all due respect to the dudes whose job it is to write thousands and thousands of words about what’s GOING to happen.
from John Robinson of The Gamer at ESPN,
Ben Bishop has to be one of the busiest men in all of sports gaming. Jumping from his work on “MLB 2K10” into his main gig on the “NHL 2K” series, Bishop is also working heavily on “NBA 2K11 ” for the Wii.
Talk about dedication to his craft.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Bishop after an extremely bumpy ride in the “NHL 2K11” RV that 2K Sports is currently sending on tour throughout the country complete with flat-screen monitors and gaming stations in order to let fans get their hands on early builds of the game….
Jon Robinson: Why is “NHL 2K11” Wii-only?
Ben Bishop: With “NHL 2K10,” the Wii version was surprisingly successful. It was by far our best-selling version of the game, so we felt like it was a good opportunity for us to step back a little bit and see where we can take the series, while at the same time, continue the surprise we had last year on the Wii. This gives us the chance to see where we are and where we need to go moving forward.
A few current NHL players pick their ultimate hockey starters.
You’re the GM and control the players and salary cap (well in most cases) as you compete against the rest of the world.
Jarret Stoll helped to enhance the faceoffs in NHL 11. Take a look at the behind the scenes video…
from the CP at TSN,
Ryan Kesler has been on quite a roll of late.
At the recent Olympics, he scored in the men’s hockey final and emerged with a silver medal as part of an impressive young U.S. team. Since returning to the Vancouver Canucks, he has three goals in four games—with two of those goals coming in Detroit near where he grew up in Livonia.
And now the 25-year-old can celebrate being the cover athlete for the NHL 2K11 video game, following in the footsteps of Alexander Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marty Turco, Martin St. Louis, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Drury and Brendan Shanahan.
Kesler calls it the “icing on the cake” after his Olympic experience.
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
With Del Zotto racking up more minuses than points, Varlamov on the shelf, and van Riemsdyk toiling on the third line, a new crop of freshman has taken over the month of December. Steady-as-she-goes seasons by John Tavares, Niclas Bergfors and Tyler Myers aside, there are some new faces making noise this month that should be on your fantasy radar.
HIGGINS FANTASY INDEX: Rookies
(December 1 - 14, 2009)
1. Dan Sexton, F, Ana : 2.9 HFI
2. Nathan Gerbe, F, Buf : 2.8 HFI
So I found myself short a fantasy hockey player after I finally dropped Ales Kotalik’s lazy ass to the wire. He did so well in the early going there, it was tough to do. Then I took to finding who’s next on the free agent list that I wanted to pick up, and I found myself in a troubling position. In a league that allows 3C, 3LW, 3RW, 6D, and 1G to start any given day, I have 7C, 5RW, 5LW, 3D, and 3G on the team, one man short. (I counted a couple of C,RW players twice there.) So what’s an armchair manager to do? My experience is having 6 of any wing position is just too crowded for the average NHL schedule. More than 6 C’s and you’re definitely not rolling one or two guys on big game nights. The 3G’s is plenty. I run a short bench on the D position simply because most D men can’t put up forward numbers and a forward who gets 60 points and plays 2/3 of the time is more valuable than a D man who chips in 30 points.
So my question to you is, what to do? How do you balance your roster? Help me pick a guy off the free agent list. I’m just crazy enough, after a couple of days of your suggestions, I’ll pick up your top vote.
After posting my last entry on right wingers, I discovered a couple of folks are in deep enough leagues where finding talent at left wing is also a challenge. With that in mind I’m going to assume your league has already snapped up those left wingers whose unexpected rise from obscurity has already been noticed and find out what other wire bait might be useful to your team.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org