(Ed. Note: "I Hate My [expletive deleted] Fantasy Team!" is a weekly feature on Puck Daddy in which we vicariously live through two Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey GMs as they provide snarky advice and tales of woe. Your GM this week is Hextall454 of Melt Your Face Off.)
The title most often bestowed on those who play fantasy sports is General Manager. This makes sense; your virtual responsibilities closely mirror those found in the job descriptions of guys like Lou Lamoriello and Ken Holland. (But unlike Ken, you aren't accountable for driving Chelios to his Bingo Night. That guy hates to be late.) In order to achieve a successful fantasy campaign, you must become an expert in the fine arts of drafting, trading and walking the precarious waiver wire. These are your weapons for a season of greatness.
But what about day-to-day success?
The decisions that affect an NHL hockey team on any given isolated night fall to the Head Coach. The coach decides on the smallest of crucial details: ice time, shift changes, how many bearclaws Derek Boogaard eats in between periods. In the NHL, the GM and Head Coach are two different people. But in Fantasy, you're stuck with doing two jobs on one salary. (And since your team is likely a non-profit, your hard work comes cheap.)
Two weeks into the season, Hex the GM is ready to fire Hex the Coach.
Generally, start/sit decisions are easy in fantasy hockey. Since the league averages six games per night, your roster is typically 60 percent idle at any given time. That leaves plenty of slots on the starting roster to play the guys that are actually lacing up that evening. Easy street. A fantasy Head Coach can pat himself on the back for playing hockey players actually playing hockey. As you lean back in your chair, deciding where on your mantle your league's garish trophy will call home, Saturday's schedule catches your eye.
What do you mean, 13 games? Thanks a heap, Bettman.
With 26 teams in action, you've got actual choices to make. And in fantasy, there is no greater decision than picking two of your three goalies to staff the crease on Saturday night. My options? Funny you should ask:
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames -- I don't care how many 6-0 drubbings from the Canucks you've incurred, Miikka. If you hold the all-time GAA record, have three Vezina noms in four years, and were drafted by me in the 3rd round, you're playing. Game: at Edmonton.
Jose Theodore, Washington Capitals -- So what if the Thrashers beat you 4 times in 30 minutes in their home opener? The game winner was against your back-up, Brent Johnson, so he spared you the loss. You're 2-0 on the year and you beat the Penguins. Suit up. Game: vs. New Jersey.
Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers -- I'm going to level with you, Tivo. You're a nice guy and all, but unless I need to make up some serious ground in the Saves category, you're going to be at the end of the bench with a ballcap. Game: vs. NY Islanders.
Okay, that was easier than I thought. I think I'm off to bed. Who's hosting SNL? Brolin? I'll catch the Goonies this week to make it up to him.
The next morning ...
WHAT DO YOU MEAN VOKOUN GOT A SHUTOUT?!
Head Coach Hex is so fired.