(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. This week's author is The Rev. Zamboni from The Palm Isle. Enjoy.)
By The Rev. Zamboni
I'm not going to make the playoffs. And I know why. I called it back in December:
"I stared at Pekka Rinne's game logs for 45 minutes this past Sunday, but wisely decided against picking him up; and he gave up five to St. Louis a few nights later.... So yeah, Pekka Rinne, enjoy your Calder Trophy. Maybe someday I'll come by and shine it for you."
I wrote that on December 11. The Canadian Farmboys, managed by fellow The Palm Isle writer and Isles' fan, Mr. Bad Example, picked up Rinne on January 16. Rinne has 22 victories and a .921 save percentage. I decided against picking him up back in December because I have Cristobal Huet, who has 18 victories and a .913 save percentage.
Guess whose four points ahead of the Bad Habitants and holding to the last playoff spot in the final week of season?
I'm not missing the playoffs because of one reason alone. But it's especially disappointing that one of the myriad bad decisions that hurt the Bad Habitants this season is so clearly identifiable.
I didn't have the stones to drop a middling goalie on a team at least a year away from shoring up its' back end. I didn't have the stones to drop Cristobal Huet and take a chance on a promising upstart in an organization known for getting monster years out of promising upstarts.
Had I climbed up to 7th in the past few weeks and spent this week scratching to somehow make up the four-point differential, this would be written in a very different tone. But the Bad Habitants have fallen from 4th to 6th, and finally to 7th in the past four or five weeks. But really, considering this roster, the Habitants ascent to 4th earlier in the season was an anomaly. This is a 7th place team, or, at best, a 6.5th place team. I'm hoping for a miracle turnaround this week, but am also resigned to the likely negative outcome. (I'm leading my match up with "It Was a Nice Season" 5-2, but the Canadian Farmboys are up 5-3).
If this is the end, it's come in good time. The real season is getting far more interesting, even to an Islanders fan. I've mentioned my rooting interest in Cornell University hockey, and that team is in the ECAC playoffs beginning this weekend. (On a quick side note for the supposed Canadian who busted balls on NCAA hockey earlier this year: Should you ever meet an American that tells you they are a hockey fan: believe them. It takes considerable effort for U.S.-bound fans to get their hockey fix when compared to our northern cousins. And whether the NCAA is as good as the major juniors is irrelevant. Do you disparage an AHL fan because the AHL is not as good as the NHL? Moron.)
Fantasy is a fun distraction, but by this time of the year I prefer the real thing, getting outside to play some ball/street/tennis court hockey, watching the NHL, AHL, and NCAA seasons wind down, and, of course, plopping in front of the TV rebuilding the Islanders on NHL 09 (absolutely rescued from the abyss, by the way, by a recent patch available online), with the window open.
It's been fun being a part of Puck Daddy. But it's also been fun rediscovering the energy to get back to hammering away at The Palm Isle as this engagement winds down. Thanks to all of the readers who stuck around and offered advice, even if I was too stupid or hamstrung to take any of it.
Ok, let ‘em know you're there.
The Reverend Zamboni