THN's playoff pool strategy
So I went to the THN offices today for their pool. Picked up my $50 winnings for finishing second in the regular season, but got a $60 parking ticket. So down $10 :( (my car's back end was a couple of feet past the 'do not park' pole, but hell it was only for an hour so I chanced it)
Anyway, 10 people in the pool, pick 12, total points. Standard for playoff pools. Participants included Adam Proteau, Ken Campbell, Ryan Kennedy, Jason Kay, Brian Costello and the rest of the gang there.
I picked the No. 9 out of the bucket. By the time my pick came around, the PIT bones were picked clean, but nobody had touched the Rangers or the Preds yet.
I had printed my list off by "team" and in a shallowish pool like this one I had decided to build around three teams. Since I was picking 9th and 12th I would go NYR and NAS. I'll worry about my third team in a later round.
So I went with Brad Richards over Gaborik. Then I went with Radulov. Gaborik was gone by the time it went back to me, but otherwise NYR and NAS was untouched. I did Callahan and Legwand.
Next time around, Stepan, Erat and Hagelin were gone. But I was looking at 1. Stepan 2. Weber 3. Del Zotto 4. Dubinsky. So I grabbed Weber and MDZ - two d-men. Now I have three of each, and felt secure that I could get one more decent player from each team so at this point it was time to jump in on a third team.
Phoenix was untouched. So was LA, OTT and FLA. I decided to go with the hot goalie who is playing against the questionable goalie - so Phoenix over Chicago. I grabbed Ray Whitney and then Radim Vrbata.
Now my strategy was to go with 5 NYR, 4 NAS and 3 PHO - to closer balance out the conferences. But I was surprised as the draft went on at how the Rangers were being snapped up. The Preds too.
When it got back to me again, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Erat, Fisher were all gone. There is nobody on the Rangers I like who are left. Except dark horse Chris Kreider. I knew I could get Kreider last round. So again the strategy shifts: NYR 4, NAS 5, PHO 3, with Kreider as the last round pick.
I selected Hornqvist and then Doan. It comes back to me again it was either take one of the Kostitsyns - and I trust them as far as I can throw them - or Suter. While a Kostitsyn could get 15 points in these playoffs or even more, I thought I would go with the sure thing in Suter - a point every two games. So Suter, then Kreider.
NAS: Radulov, Legwand, Weber, Hornqvist, Suter
NYR: Richards, Callahan, Del Zotto, Kreider
PHO: Whitney, Vrbata, Doan
In these types of pools, you can't really go in with a set list. You need to shift strategies practically every two or three rounds. Best bet is to take three different (very different) scenarios into your draft, have them sorted by team. Draft according to the way the wind blows. By the third round, you'll be going by just one list. This is what makes my customizable draft list so perfect.
Hope this helps!