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Swimming in playoff pools

Rotoworld
Dose: Atlantic Coasting
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Tuesday's Dose reviews the final few weeks of regular season action for the Atlantic Division

Playoff pools are a strange animal.

Personally, I feel my fantasy hockey successes tend to come from an evolving combination of waiver wire pickups, deep draft pick bargains and the occasional sell-high/buy-low trade. Generally, it seems like the good times stem from studying the movements of others, whether that amounts to the play of dark horse players, people undervaluing certain guys in a draft or overvaluing fellows whose hot streaks might peter out.

A significant amount of those advantages dissolve in a playoff instead of regular season pool.

So take that previous bit as a disclaimer: postseason fantasy hockey represents uncharted wilderness to me. As far as my foggy memory goes, this is now just the second year I’ve done anything fantasy-wise when “the games matter the most.”

Now that the grains of salt have dissolved on your taste buds, I’d like to trot out a few thoughts on how you should select your playoff team(s).

(By the way, the folks at Fantasy Postseason have a format available for you to enjoy right after you finish reading this column.)

PLAN

While I appreciate the comfortable feeling of picking players from bad teams just about as readily as I do players from dominant squads in the regular season format, there’s a strangely subversive element to disregarding one or more of the 16 postseason squads available in a playoff draft.

Really, you have to ask yourself a crucial question: “Do I want to win this league or do I just want to save face and be competitive?”

Hopefully you want to win the league. If that’s your choice, then I’d strongly recommend “investing” heavily in specific teams rather than trying to spread the wealth by grabbing a guy or two from all 16 squads. After all, there will only be eight left after round one, four remaining after round two and so on …

With that in mind, it’s important to note the ebbs and flows of your league, and maybe even identify some prejudices. Is everyone mocking a decent-enough team to the point that no one’s taking them? Is one squad being picked to bits as if owners are vultures? These are key observations if you want to stock up on players from a team (or teams) who will make a deep playoff run.

YET BE PREPARED TO SCUTTLE THAT PLAN

Of course, some might become so intoxicated by the formulas they’ve concocted that they’re unwilling to acknowledge a failed recipe. In a draft with limited resources like a playoff pool, it’s important not to depend too much on getting the right picks at the right time. It’s also dangerous to reach for lower-end talent when there are clearly superior values.

With that in mind, you have to be prepared to throw out previous notions if it’s clear that other people have the same ideas.

DETERMINE A DARK HORSE OR TWO

Most importantly, you should note that the highest seeds are likely to draw the most attention. Sure, everyone wants to load up on players from a powerhouse like the Pittsburgh Penguins or Chicago Blackhawks, but taking that journey means traveling down the path of most resistance.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to get guys from those teams when it makes sense (I have Evgeni Malkin [first overall] and Marian Hossa [21st overall] myself), but you’re more likely to lock down multiple quality players from teams who are riskier.

Before you draft, make note of the teams you believe have the chance to advance at least two or three rounds. Depending upon how your draft breaks, you might get some real value by picking a bunch of players from those squads while everyone fights for the sixth or seventh best guy with a Native American logo on his chest.

On Page 2, I’ll discuss how this team ID process a) kinda just fell into place and b) prompted me to make a substantial risk or two.

GET GOALIES EARLY

Depending upon how stat categories are laid out, it often pays to WAIT for second or third-tier goalies during regular season drafts. That’s not really the case with netminders in playoff pools, however.

Think about it this way: there are just eight starting goalies who will see the second round of the postseason. Backups are only going to see time if 1) the guy in front of him implodes or 2) the guy in front of him gets injured.

While forwards and defensemen are plentiful, netminders are a scarce resource that probably won’t last more than a round or two.

Obviously, use your best judgment with what might be a “reach,” but make sure you get at least one starter you can believe in.

Now that I’ve laid out a few drafting tips, check out the next page to see how the Rotoworld playoff draft went. Try not to giggle too loudly at my team, as I’m fragile about these things.

MY ROTO

Conveniently enough for this column (and not quite as conveniently enough in the sense that I had to be the first guy pulling the trigger in the draft), I received the top pick, so we can start with my team. Here’s the old battle axe:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    1     Evgeni Malkin     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

2    20     Carey Price     G     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

3    21     Marian Hossa     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

4    40     Anze Kopitar     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

5    41     Viktor Fasth     G     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

6    60     Brent Burns     D     San Jose Sharks      MANUAL

7    61     Drew Doughty     D     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

8    80     Zach Parise     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

9    81     Michael Ryder     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

10    100     Ryan Suter     D     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

11    101     Derek Roy     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

12    120     Justin Williams     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

13    121     Jaroslav Halak     G     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

14    140     Mikko Koivu     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

15    141     James van Riemsdyk     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

16    160     Zack Kassian     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

17    161     Brian Gionta     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

18    180     Niklas Hjalmarsson     D     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

19    181     Ben Scrivens     G     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

20    200     Devin Setoguchi     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

The useful stuff comes with my second pick rather than selecting Geno first overall, I’d say ...

Carey Price was easily the best goalie available after a staggering run of netminders. To me, it’s important to draft goalies who have a strong hold on jobs even in the regular season, but it’s downright crucial in the playoffs.

Price also dictated one of my investment teams: the Canadiens. Getting Anze Kopitar in a thrifty spot helped to push me toward the Los Angeles Kings (my Stanley Cup dart throw … er, pick).

My biggest gamble - one I’m not totally sure I’d recommend - was buying in on the Wild. It all started with the irresistible (for me, at least) value of Zach Parise at 80 and continued with nice values for Ryan Suter (100th overall) and Mikko Koivu (140th overall).

Look, I don’t really think the Wild are going to beat the Blackhawks. Still, I think I did the best I could to place myself in a high-risk, high-reward situation. The Canadiens and Kings could very well make deep runs (Los Angeles is my reluctant Stanley Cup pick) while the Wild represented bold gamble values.

Again, it’s all about adapting on the fly. This edition of the strategy probably has a lot to do with the fact that I was making “sandwich” picks.

Still, I think the core of the idea is valid: get the best players from a handful of teams and cross your fingers that the right pieces fall into place.

Goalies wise, I grabbed Price and then took a few weighted risks on threatening backups with the hopes of one or two working out. If you can get two starters who are likely to make decent runs, do that instead, though.

OTHER TEAMS

Here is Corey Griffin’s team:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    2     Patrick Kane     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

2    19     Corey Perry     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

3    22     Dustin Brown     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

4    39     Brian Elliott     G     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

5    42     Craig Anderson     G     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

6    59     Derek Stepan     F     New York Rangers      MANUAL

7    62     Andrei Markov     D     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

8    79     Nazem Kadri     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

9    82     Pavel Datsyuk     F     Detroit Red Wings      MANUAL

10    99     Tomas Plekanec     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

11    102     Kevin Shattenkirk     D     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

12    119     Ryane Clowe     F     New York Rangers      MANUAL

13    122     John Erskine     D     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

14    139     Tyler Bozak     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

15    142     Lars Eller     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

16    159     Ryan McDonagh     D     New York Rangers      MANUAL

17    162     Kyle Clifford     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

18    179     Mika Zibanejad     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

19    182     Kyle Palmieri     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

20    199     Cody Franson     D     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

Take a gander on the players Michael Finewax ended up with:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    3     Marc-Andre Fleury     G     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

2    18     Jonas Hiller     G     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

3    23     Jarome Iginla     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

4    38     Bobby Ryan     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

5    43     Paul Martin     D     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

6    58     Ryan Kesler     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

7    63     Sheldon Souray     D     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

8    78     Francois Beauchemin     D     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

9    83     Troy Brouwer     F     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

10    98     Alexandre Burrows     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

11    103     Brandon Sutter     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

12    118     Jannik Hansen     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

13    123     Andrew Shaw     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

14    138     Tomas Vokoun     G     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

15    143     Jason Garrison     D     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

16    158     Craig Adams     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

17    163     Alex Galchenyuk     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

18    178     Rafael Diaz     D     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

19    183     David Desharnais     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

20    198     Christopher Higgins     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

(Note: Maybe I should’ve taken the leap with Marc-Andre Fleury, even if I think he’s a flawed netminder. I’ll move on before I get too envious.)

Now consider his team-building philosophy:

I decided to take goaltending with two early picks as I saw that won it last season so getting Fleury and Hiller, two goalies on teams that should go to the Conference finals, will help. Since the pool is weighted in that first round points are what they are, the second round is doubled, the third round tripled and the Cup Final quadrupled, I went with Pittsburgh players and Anaheim players with some Montreal and Vancouver players sprinkled in. Of the 20 picks, none of my players finished lower than third in their Conference. If form holds true (and unfortunately it rarely does in the Stanley Cup playoffs) I should be in the mix. Grabbing Desharnais, Galchenyuk and Diaz late could be really good if Montreal has a deep run.

Finewax conveniently explains the league’s scoring system:

Skaters:

Per Goal:                           2.0

Per Shot on Goal:              0.1

Per Assist:                         1.0

Per Penalty In Minutes:      0.2

Per +/-:                               0.5

Hat Trick:                            5.0

Power Play Goal:               1.0

Power Play Assist:             1.0

Short Handed Goal:           3.0

Short Handed Assist:         3.0

Game Winning Goal:          2.0

Hits:                                    0.5

Faceoffs Won:                    0.0

Faceoffs Lost:                     0.0

Goalies:

Per Save:                 0.1

Per Goal Allowed:   -1.0

Per Win:                   3.0

Per Loss:                 -1.0

Save % >= .920:      0.0

Shut Out:                  5.0

Per Round Scoring Multipliers:

Round One:                1.0

Round Two:                2.0

Conference Finals:     3.0

Stanley Cup Finals:    4.0

Jump to soak in more playoff pool ponderings.

MORE TEAMS

Marty York’s squad:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    4     Chris Kunitz     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      AUTO

2    17     Pascal Dupuis     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

3    24     Patrice Bergeron     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

4    37     Mike Green     D     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

5    44     Nicklas Backstrom     F     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

6    57     Jeff Carter     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

7    64     Matt Cullen     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

8    77     Brandon Saad     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

9    84     Jonathan Bernier     G     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

10    97     Patrick Marleau     F     San Jose Sharks      MANUAL

11    104     Brooks Orpik     D     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

12    117     Andrew Ference     D     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

13    124     Mark Fraser     D     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

14    137     Vladimir Tarasenko     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

15    144     Peter Budaj     G     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

16    157     Michael Del Zotto     D     New York Rangers      MANUAL

17    164     Cal Clutterbuck     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

18    177     Jason Chimera     F     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

19    184     Brad Boyes     F     New York Islanders      MANUAL

20    197     Pierre-Marc Bouchard     F     Minnesota Wild      MANUAL

Steven Lampert’s team, with pick-by-pick analysis:

Round 1 (Pick 5): Jonathan Toews

Toews put together a solid regular season. If the Blackhawks continue their hot season through the playoffs, their captain will be a big part of it.  

Round 2 (Pick 16): Antti Niemi

While the Sharks draw a difficult matchup against the Canucks in round one, Niemi could steal the series for them, making him a high-risk high-reward pick.

Round 3 (Pick 25): Braden Holtby

Holtby broke out in last year’s postseason, and I’m a believer in his clutch ability. Not to mention that the Caps have been hot of late.  

Round 4 (Pick 36): Tyler Seguin

The dynamic 21-year-old had a disappointing regular season, but he has the talent to put up some big points in the playoffs.

Round 5 (Pick 45): P.K. Subban

Quite surprised the Norris Trophy favorite made it this far through the draft, so I’ll happily take his production even if the Habs may not have enough to make it past the second round.

Round 6 (Pick 56): Mike Ribeiro

Ribeiro has been so consistent this season, and should receive huge minutes in the Caps’ postseason run.  

Round 7 (Pick 65): David Backes

St. Louis will be in tough against the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. If they advance, Backes will be a large reason why.

Round 8 (Pick 76): Max Pacioretty

After missing the chance to participate in the playoffs last season, Pacioretty should come out firing on all cylinders this year.  

Round 9 (Pick 85): Mike Richards

Richards always seems to pick up his game in the playoffs. If the Kings can advance past the Blues, expect more of the same from him.

Round 10 (Pick 96): Ryan Callahan

The Rangers underperformed this season, but Callahan is a gritty player with some scoring potential which is a great combination for playoff hockey.  

Round 11 (Pick 105): Matt Cooke

May have jumped the gun here a bit, but Cooke may provide some point production in addition to his hit total.  

Round 12 (Pick 116): Jake Muzzin

The 24-year-old had a quietly good rookie season for the Kings, and he may provide a spark in the back end for the defending champs.

Round 13 (Pick 125): Dougie Hamilton

Another rookie defenceman that should have some energy left in the tank, Hamilton is a breakout candidate this postseason.  

Round 14 (Pick 136): Dan Hamhuis

While Hamhuis has put together a string of quality seasons with the Canucks, he has never performed well in the postseason. Here’s hoping that changes this year.  

Round 15 (Pick 145): Maxim Lapierre

Lapierre adds grit and proved during Vancouver’s 2010-2011 run to the cup that he can have an impact in postseason play.

Round 16 (Pick 156): David Perron

Much like his teammate David Backes, Perron is a threat on both ends of the ice, and should produce if the Blues can get past the Kings.

Round 17 (Pick 165): Luca Sbisa

There is no doubt that Sbisa is limited offensively, but this pick had more to do with his potential to compile hits and PIMs, and the fact that I had yet to select any Ducks players.  

Round 18 (Pick 176): Tyler Kennedy

I was fairly pleased to see Kennedy still on the board this late in the draft. In last year’s postseason, he tallied six points in six games for the Penguins.  

Round 19 (Pick 185): Mason Raymond

Raymond will be relied upon to generate some secondary scoring for the Canucks if they are to advance. His playoff experience may work to his advantage.  

Round 20 (Pick 196): Justin Abdelkader

I wanted to draft a Red Wing in case they pull off the upset over the Ducks in round one. Abdelkader can perhaps provide some offence.

Brian Rosenbaum’s pick-by-pick analysis:

6) Kris Letang- Best defenseman in the draft in my opinion. Hoped to get more Penguins to with him but alas it didn’t work out.

15) Jonathan Quick-Playoff tested and rounding into form. Kings could have their way with the Blues.

26) Duncan Keith-I believe in drafting positions of scarcity first. Keith is the best defenseman on the west’s best team.

35) Joe Thornton-Maybe when we least expect it…

46) Evgeni Nabokov-I got nervous there wouldn’t be any starting goalies left so I grabbed the veteran.

55) Nathan Horton-I meant to draft Krejci first. Luckily for me he was still there 11 spots later.

66) David Krejci-The Bruins haven’t looked good the last few weeks. That’s why I think they will do well in the playoffs. Make sense?

75) Dan Boyle-I just fell into a Sharks and Bruins thing at this point and Boyle is always good in the post-season.

86) Logan Couture-Continuing with my Sharks’ theme Couture was the best forward to pair with Thornton.

95) Joe Pavelski-Another Shark and a great player in the clutch.

104) Rich Peverley-Thought it was time to go back to Boston and he was the best left on the board.

115) John Carlson-Capitals could be good and I needed a d-man. Thought he was good value at #115 overall.

126) Niklas Kronwall-Started a late collection of Red Wings 13 rounds in. Not sure why!

135) Martin Havlat-I wanted the last decent San Jose forward and he was it.

146) Sergei Gonchar-An oldie but a goodie. Just in case the Sens pull an upset against the Penguins or Bruins.

155) Martin Erat-I figured since I had Carlson I should try and get another Capital and Erat should be motivated to do well in the post-season.

166) Daniel Paille-Bruins all the way baby!

175) Valtteri Filppula-I picked him because I wanted to finally learn how to spell his name.

186) Damien Brunner-Talented rookie. If you don’t pick a guy named Damien you’re bucking for trouble.

195 Robin Lehner-I needed a 3rd goalie and drafted Lehner just in case the injury-prone Anderson goes down.

Ryan Dadoun’s team:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    7     Corey Crawford     G     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

2    14     James Neal     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

3    27     Zdeno Chara     D     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

4    34     Brad Marchand     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

5    47     Milan Lucic     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

6    54     Brent Seabrook     D     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

7    67     Bryan Bickell     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

8    74     Dennis Seidenberg     D     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

9    87     Matt Moulson     F     New York Islanders      MANUAL

10    94     Michal Rozsival     D     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

11    107     Viktor Stalberg     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

12    114     Matt Martin     F     New York Islanders      MANUAL

13    127     Johan Franzen     F     Detroit Red Wings      MANUAL

14    134     Mark Streit     D     New York Islanders      MANUAL

15    147     Michal Neuvirth     G     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

16    154     Matt Beleskey     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

17    167     Jarret Stoll     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

18    174     Daniel Winnik     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

19    187     Vladimir Sobotka     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

20    194     Dustin Penner     F     Los Angeles Kings      MANUAL

One more jump for the rest of the teams ...

Jimmy Hascup’s team:

8) Henrik Lundqvist - He's among the best in the game and can win a series on his own.

13) Alex Ovechkin - Over the last 17 games: 19 goals and 10 assists.

28) Jimmy Howard - Hasn't been the best playoff goalie, but he's been lights out the past two months.

33) Rick Nash - The Rangers' most dangerous scorer will be hungry in his second-ever playoff berth.

48) John Tavares - Too much potential to pass up. Even if the Isles' playoff lives last four games, one would think Tavares would still be very productive.

53) Niklas Backstrom - Not expecting much against the Blackhawks, but he'll be worked heavily and I steal away a starter from someone else in the league.

68) Phil Kessel - Ten of his 20 goals came in 12 games in April. The offense will be there -- the question is how long Toronto can keep this feel-good season going.

73) Brad Richards - Struggled all year until April when he put up 16 of his 34 points. No matter what, he's a Conn Smythe winner and playoff performer and, with 77 points in 83 games.

88) Alex Pietrangelo - Can't let the down season deter me -- I needed a defenseman and the playoffs are a new season. Plus, he logs heavy minutes and is still very talented.

93) Henrik Zetterberg - I couldn't let Zetterberg slip by, even if the Wings are a seven-seed. Zetterberg also doesn't wilt around the playoff pressure, with 51 goals and 102 points in 109 games.

108) Slava Voynov - He had five more points (25-20) in six fewer games this year and was the Kings' most productive defenseman.

113) Jay Bouwmeester - The past few seasons have been poor, but he's rebounded nicely this year with 22 points in 47 games. Further, he could thrive in his first playoffs.

128) Brendan Gallagher - Just seems like a big-time player -- impressed in his first full season with 15 goals and 28 points and I don't expect him to be overwhelmed in the playoffs.

133) Saku Koivu - Production is declining but I needed to diversify my team and he's another player with a great playoffs track record.

148) Mats Zuccarello - The Rangers are a better offensive team since he's joined them. He oozes creativity and gets a lot of time on the power play.

155) Lubomir Visnovsky - Not his best season but I needed depth on defense and he gets tons of man-advantage time.

168) Cory Conacher - Skilled, but he's had trouble finding his way with the Senators -- perhaps the postseason kick starts his game?

173) Jason Pominville - Dealing with an upper-body injury so it's unclear when and if he's going to play. I'll take my chances this late, though.

188) Joel Ward - Wasn't great with the Caps in the playoff last year, but he did have seven goals with Nashville two years ago.

193) Derick Brassard - I'm banking on a lot of Rangers here, but Brassard has been too good to ignore since coming to New York, with five goals and 11 points in 13 games.

Kevin Brown’s band:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    9     Tuukka Rask     G     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

2    12     Cory Schneider     G     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

3    29     Daniel Sedin     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

4    32     Henrik Sedin     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

5    49     Jaromir Jagr     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

6    52     Erik Karlsson     D     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

7    69     Alexander Edler     D     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

8    72     Kevin Bieksa     D     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

9    89     Chris Stewart     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

10    92     Chris Neil     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

11    109     T.J. Oshie     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

12    112     Milan Michalek     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

13    129     Roberto Luongo     G     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

14    132     Kyle Turris     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

15    149     Alexander Steen     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

16    152     Patrik Berglund     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

17    169     Adam McQuaid     D     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

18    172     Gregory Campbell     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

19    189     Andy McDonald     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

20    192     Jordan Leopold     D     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

Brown’s analysis

My strategy entering the draft was simple: goaltending, goaltending, goaltending.  I wasn't a mathematics major, but even I realized pretty quickly that with 10 people in the pool and a requirement to start two goaltenders, the supply of puck-stoppers would run out early.  With that in mind I grabbed Tuukka Rask and Cory Schneider with my first two selections, laying the groundwork for the rest of the draft.  In addition to loading up on Bruins and Canucks players, I identified one more team from each conference that I thought was undervalued, the Senators and Blues, and filled my roster with their players as well.  I'm a little concerned about the fact St. Louis is facing the defending Stanley Cup champions in the opening round, but I like their depth and think they can win the series.  The Senators have suffered so many injuries this season that we don't really know what the team looks like at full strength.  I'm banking on Erik Karlsson's return giving them a spark and I expect to win at least one round as an underdog. Having said all that, my chances likely hinge on those of the Canucks.  With both of their goaltenders, each of the Sedin Twins, Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa are on my roster, I'm hoping this is the year they drink from Lord Stanley's mug.

Corey Abbott’s allies:

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    10     Sidney Crosby     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

2    11     Ryan Getzlaf     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

3    30     Ray Emery     G     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

4    31     James Reimer     G     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

5    50     Patrick Sharp     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

6    51     Brenden Morrow     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

7    70     Dion Phaneuf     D     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

8    71     Teemu Selanne     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

9    90     Jussi Jokinen     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

10    91     Andrew Cogliano     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

11    110     Nick Leddy     D     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

12    111     Joffrey Lupul     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

13    130     Matt Niskanen     D     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

14    131     Brandon Prust     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

15    150     Dave Bolland     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

16    151     Anton Khudobin     G     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

17    170     Marcus Johansson     F     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

18    171     Cam Fowler     D     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

19    190     Daniel Alfredsson     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

20    191     Mikhail Grabovski     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

Abbott’s self-assessment:

Check out his thoughts on the process:

I have to admit I didn't have much of a strategy going into the draft aside from the general idea of taking Penguins, Hawks and Ducks. Having the last pick obviously wasn't the best of situations, but Sidney Crosby's cloudy status allowed me to nab him with my top selection. I was hoping to get Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews as well, but they had already gone so I decided to pick Ryan Getzlaf. After that I tried to fill out my crease, but there wasn't much left there in terms of quality keepers or quality teams, so I settled on James Reimer because he's guaranteed to start and Ray Emery because he should play if Chicago goes deep. After that my roster was filled with Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Chicago depth players with some Maple Leafs sprinkled in to round out the group. A couple of missteps occurred in the drafting process when I got Brandon Prust from an auto draft error and I picked up Boston's Anton Khudobin for my bench when he opposes my healthy contingent of Leafs players. But I can plead ignorance on that since we started the draft without knowing the match-ups in the East. Hopefully, my gamble on Crosby pays off and the other teams I'm banking on advancing can pull through.

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Hopefully this post will provide you with some insight on how a draft might go. Stay tuned for weekly updates of the Dose as the playoffs rage on.

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