November 21, 2006
Hi Everybody! Winnipeg Johnny here to inform you via another exciting edition of the Weekly Crosscheck.
A pretty good week all-around last week. I didn’t call them all right, but I came pretty close. The Ice Bats and Pucknuts won both their matchups and are tied with a league leading 88 points. The Spankers finally woke up much to the Sublimators dismay. The Monks beat Take Off Eh. The A-Team just squeaked by Spezztacular, but Camo lost to Sen Stanley, fulfilling my prediction that the A-Team would take the lead in the Northern Division.
It was both a good week and a bad week for the Ice Bats. They finally got some goaltending (yeah… rotating 4 goaltenders) and smashed the old Wins record. In the meantime they lost the goals record to Camo, and worse, lost the PIM record to the Monks. The Sublimators tied the old Saberswinthecup! shorties record of 3. Although the Ice Bats have a firm lead in overall PIM, we might see some drastic line-up changes before the end of the season for no other reason than to re-take the goon title.
What are the picks for this week?
Week 8 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. Saberswinthecup!
The Ice Bats will take this one vaulting them in to sole possession of the lead.
Spezztacular vs. Pucknuts
The Pucknuts will win, although Spezztacular will put up a battle in Assists and Goaltending.
5 For Fighting vs. Sublimators
The Sublimators should take this easily and start their climb back up the ladder.
Spankers vs. Monks
This is the matchup of the week. Both teams with a hot hand right now. It’s going to be close in all categories. Lets call it a draw.
SenStanley vs. A-Team!
The A-Team is on top of the Division, but they won’t stay there. They might beat SenStabley but not by enough points to stay ahead of Camo.
Camo vs. Take Off Eh
Camo still has the better line-up although they’ve been cold. Camo will come out ahead and re-take the Northern Division.
Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The first ever induction into the Hockey Blog All Stars Hall of Fame. Ladies and Gentlemen…. it gives me great pleasure to announce the 2006 inductee…… Bamboni!
That is all.
November 13, 2006
Hi Everybody! Wow! What a week.
Seven of ten league records were either broken or equaled, and I completely blew most predictions. First of all, I need to apologize to Cara. The Sublimators rocked and blew Take Off Eh out of the rink! Also The Monks totally annihilated Camo, and Five For Fighting didn’t even get off the bench against the Pucknuts. (Hey…at least I called the last one.)
The Ice Bats tied their own goals record at 19, and set the new assists record at 39. I’m also happy to report that the Ice Bats old PIM record still stands although the Sublimators came within a 5 minute major of breaking it. Saberswinthecup! tied the Monks plus/minus record of +19, and also somehow pulled out a record 3 shorties, while the Monks went on to set a new Power Play record of 26. Also (much to Pucknut’s and my disbelief) SenStanley set two new goaltending records of 1.13 GAA and 0.971 SV%. Standings tightened up as The Pucknuts took first overall, and Take Off Eh fell into the basement. Camo got knocked from first to third overall, but are still tops in the Northern Division.
Well, lets see if I can do any better predicting the outcomes for this week.
Week 7 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. 5 For Fighting
This is an easy call. At least 7/10 for the Ice Bats. Perhaps a little goaltending from them this week? I sure hope so.
Saberswinthecup! vs. Pucknuts
Again an easy call. At least 6/10 for Pucknuts. Pucknuts are in big goaltending trouble this week, so watch for them to end up a few points behind the Ice Bats.
Spankers vs. Sublimators
The Sublimators should take this, although at some point the Spankers are going to wake up and start winning again. I don’t think this is their week, though. Spankers have a little farther to fall in the standings.
Take Off Eh vs. Monks
The Monks played great last week, and should win this week, however there was a major line up change for Take Off Eh, so they aren’t going down without a fight. Must suck to lose to your sister, eh?
Spezztacular vs. A-Team!
The A-Team keeps getting better and Spezztacular is anything but. An A-Team win may actually land them in first place in the Northern Division.
Camo vs. SenStanley!
Camo really fell a little short last week and is having a lot of IR trouble. I say they bounce back this week, but not enough to stay ahead of A-Team.
Now in the spirit of Hockey Hall of Fame Week I’d like for you to vote for which retired big fuzzy blue hockey mascot we should induct into the Hockey Blog Allstars Hall of Fame.
Benny (Winnipeg Jets: retired 1996) or Bamboni (B.C. Icemen: retired 2002)?
Submit your vote via the Blog comments…. we’ll announce the winner next week.
That is all.
November 6, 2006
Hi Everybody! Winnipeg Johnny here, back from a road trip. Thanks to Pucknut for filling in the last couple of weeks!
Lets take a quick look back at last week and Pucknuts predictions.
Pucknuts vs Spankers: Prediction - Pucknuts win. Reality - Pucknuts win big and continue their rocket ride out of the basment.
Ice Bats vs Take Off Eh: Prediction - Ice Bats win. Reality - Ice Bats win, setting a new PIM record in the process.
Sublimators vs Monks: Prediction - Sublimators win. Reality - Alhough it was close in most categories, the Monks turned their game around and won.
5 For Fighting vs A-Team: Prediction - A-Team win. Reaity - A 5-5 draw! Pucknut said it would be close, so I’ll give him credit.
Saberswinthecup! vs SenStanley: Prediction - Saberswinthecup! win. Reality - SenStanley actually showed up, adjusted the lines and killed Saberswinthecup!.
Spezztacular vs Camo: Prediction - Camo win. Reality - Camo crushes Spezztacular. (Pucknut thought this would be close).
Good job Pucknut. 4 for 6, and nobody would have predicted the SenStanley win.
Camo increases the league lead and the Ice Bats are way out in front in the Southern Division, but The Pucknuts are making a charge and A-Team is hanging in. So what’s up for this week?
Week 6 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. Spankers
The Spankers are down, but not out. Still a strong team. The Ice Bats will win, but not by much.
5 For Fighting vs. Pucknuts
5 For Fighting doesn’t stand a chance. Pucknut will score big, and possibly take over first place in the south.
Take Off Eh vs. Sublimators
Well well well… finally the brother/sister matchup. I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of this one. The Sublimators will try hard, but I predict that Take Off Eh will pull way ahead by Saturday and take the win easily.
Camo vs. Monks
The Monks have moved their line up around and Camo has been idle, but I don’t think any of us will be beating Camo soon. Good luck Billy!
Saberswinthecup vs. A-Team!
The A-Team will continue to do well. They will win, but not with enough points to stay ahead of The Pucknuts.
Spezztacular vs. SenStanley!
Spezztacular has been falling slowly and SenStanley has turned the team around. This will be close, but SenStanley will take it. Look for them to overtake Saberswinthecup!
Those of you in the USA, don’t forget to vote on Tuesday. Please check to see if any of the candidates on your ballot support maximum sentences for game altering miss-calls.
Yeah Mick McGeough, I’m talkin’ ’bout you.
That is all.
November 1, 2006
I learned my lesson…do not publish the stats and crosscheck on time! Yahoo was a little late processing some of the games from the weekend and a lot of the stats were changed. The new stats are up and only a few games saw changes in scoring and only one with a serious change to the outcome. As I mentioned in the first Crosscheck, Camo lost all the goaltending categories because they did not achieve the minimum games limit. Well guess what? Another Marty Turco start gave them their 3rd start and changed the score from 1-8-1 to 4-4-2. So Camo moves BACK into first place in the Northern division, knocking A-Team down to second while the Sublimators slip down to 4th giving the Pucknuts their first taste of the top 3 in the Southern Division.
The new scoring also gave us more record breakers. Take Off Eh claimed the new PIM record with 62 and the Pucknuts took the PPP record with 22. The Bats hung on to the overall PIM lead, but the Sublimators are now in second only 3 minors and 1 major behind.
Enough review, back to week 5!
That is all
October 30, 2006
Pucknut back again for more gloating.
Yes, the Fenton Pucknuts continue to win and are slowly climbing out of the cellar and into the mix of top teams who seem to be taking turns bring in first place of the Southern division. This week it is the Ice Bat who, as predicted, batted around the Monks and are one point ahead of the Sublimators in the Southern division. Helped by the tricks from Sid the Kid and Tomas Kaberle the Bats also set the season record for goals (19) in a week. The only record set this week, although many others came close. The Monks are now cleaning out the basement as a result of this defeat.
My highlighted matchup of the week between Camo and Sublimators turned into a blowout. Although Camo continued to dominate in goaltending their failure to meet the minimum requirents led to a thrashing that dropped them out of first place in the Northern division. The Sublimators are now poised to make a run for first in the South.
The Spankers did indeed suffer from the light schedule and posted their worst performance of the season. The A-Team were the ones doing the spanking this week which is the only fitting way to treat a Philly fan. The loss dropped the Spankers to 3rd while A-Team jumped into first place of the North.
As predicted, 5 for Fighting moved out of the basement in dramatic fashion by running all over SenStanley. SenStanley even checked in this week, but seems to have run away in shame rather than fixing his lineup. In the last matchup Spezztacular managed to move over the .500 mark while Sabreswinthecup continue their slow decent to the bottom of the Southern division.
Week 5 Matchup
Pucknuts vs Spankers
This is the matchup of the as the last year’s top two teams meet up again in a grudge match. Can the Pucknuts continue their winning ways or will the Spankers turn their team around after last weeks humiliating effort? It will be a close week, but the Pucknuts, of course, will take the victory.
Ice Bats vs Take Off Eh
The Ice Bats try to hold onto their slim lead while Take Off Eh attempts to get their team to, well, take off. They may be near the bottom of the standings, but they have always kept the scoring close so I’m calling for an upset with Take Off Eh winning by a narrow margin. The REAL competition this week will be for the PIM category. The Bats are in first overall and Take Off Eh is second.
Sublimators vs Monks
Can the Ranger’s continue to romp on the West Coast and help the lowly Monks return to form? Not this week. The Sublimators will easily take the week and make a play for first place in the Southern division.
5 For Fighting vs A-Team
After sleep walking to an easy win over SenStanley, 5 for Fighting will be brought back to reality with a tough match against A-Team who are trying to hold onto first place. Look for a close matchup with the A-Team winning while keeping a close eye o the scoreboard to see if Camo can leap frog into first.
Sabreswinthecup vs SenStanley
Looks like its Sabreswinthecup’s week for some easy wins. They will maintain their lead over the last place Monks while SenStanley reaffirms their role as the joke of the league.
Spezztacular vs Camo
Camo will make their comeback this week and try to move back ahead of A-Team and into first place, but don’t count out Spezztacular. I predict Camo will win, but not by as large a margin as they would hope. The race for first will remain close.
So put on your game face (and your helmet hair), it’s week 5!
That is all.
October 27, 2006
Greetings all! Pucknut here filling in for Winnipeg Johnny.
I’ll start off by apologizing for the delayed Crosscheck (I guess that would be called charging). I have been busy enjoying the success of my team last week. After being called out in last weeks Crosscheck the Pucknuts have turned things around and are ready to steamroll into first place. When they win the cup again, remember it all started with a thrashing of the Monks.
The Bats were correct that they didn’t stand a chance against the Sublimators goaltending despite putting up respectable numbers, but underestimated how well they would do offensively. Take Off Eh put up some decent numbers, but were upset by the A-Team in a week that was much closer than the final score indicates. 5 For Fighting and Spezztacular showed us that they both suck pretty equally. Camo ran away with it this week it a highly offensive matchup with Sabreswinthecup that featured some of the worst goaltending we’ve seen this season (1/3.39/.870 to sweep goalie stats?!?)
Records continue to fall as teams are finding their stride. The Spankers and Camo matched the goal record with 18. Pucknuts and Take Off Eh set a new record with 32 assists. The Spankers are picking up where they left off last season and set new highs with 21 PP points and 173 shots. The most impressive feat of the season that is unlikely to be beat is the Sublimators with 5 wins, 1.26 GAA and 0.956 coming from the combined work of Giguere, Garon, and Fernandez.
Looking at the standings, Camo continue to stretch their lead of the Northern division while the Spankers move into first place in the South.
Week 4 Matchup
Pucknuts vs Take Off Eh
The Pucknuts have retooled their lineup and will continue their run to the top of the division. Expect Take Off Eh to claim a couple categories, but the end result will be another lopsided Pucknut win.
Ice Bats vs Monks
The Ice Bats have finally claimed the PIM lead and will look to make a run at first. As the Rangers go, so will the Monks and the Rangers are having a slow start. Bats take the win.
Sublimators vs Camo
Camo is the team to beat right now, but the Sublimators have the hottest goaltending in the league. This is the matchup of the week and won’t be determined until the last day. Camo will continue their win streak by a small margin of victory.
Spankers vs A-Team
Another close matchup, but can the Spankers overcome their light schedule? This one will be a draw and allow other teams to leap frog these two in the standings.
5 For Fighting vs SenStanley
Another matchup to determine who sucks less. Can 5 For Fighting take another week and get out of the basement? This week they’ll do it.
Sabreswinthecup vs Spezztacular
Both teams are falling in the standings. Here’s an opportunity for one of them to delay the inevitable for another week.
That is all.
October 16, 2006
Hi Everybody! Winnipeg Johnny again.
I made some great calls last week, and a few not so good ones. First of all, I have to apologize to Pucknut John. John… I’m sorry your team sucks. If it weren’t for your moderately good penalty minutes you would pretty much have gotten skunked. The only reason that you aren’t in the basement is because the lame duck 5 For Fighting turtled and did get skunked. I know you know this. I’m just making sure everybody else knows it too. What happened to the league champion Pucknuts? Time to fire the coach?
All other games went pretty much according to plan. Well, all that is except for A-Team vs Green Bay Monks. The Rangers went to sleep for a few days and that hurt the Monks. The series ended up a draw.
We do have a bunch of new season records to acknowledge, not the least of which is 61 PIM by SenStanley. What was Derek Morris’ infraction? I missed it. Moris already has half as many penalty minutes as he did for the entire season last year. Take Off Eh now has the GAA and Sv% records. What was it I said about Alex Auld last week? The Spankers got 122 shots on goal this week. That’s beatable, folks. Remember… there’s no such thing as a bad shot on net. Just ask Olli Jokinen. The Monks have the new record for Power Play Points (20), and the Sublimators have the new record for goals (18) - both also beatable. Camo tied the Pucknuts first week record of 5 wins. I don’t know if any of us will beat that soon. Take Off Eh and the Sublimators have a chance. What contending team doesn’t hold a record? The Ice Bats, of course. In fact my team is still trailing in overall PIM by one stupid 2 minute infraction. We’ll fix that this week.
Camo is still the team to catch, although there are only four points separating the top four teams. So the question is… what’s up for this week?
Week 3 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. Sublimators
I don’t think I stand a chance against the Sublimator’s goaltending, but the rest of the points (except for PIM) are up for grabs. This one is probably going to go the the Sublimators.
Green Bay Monks vs. Pucknuts
The Pucknuts have been beaten up pretty badly the last couple of weeks. Have heart John… the Rangers have started their early season slide so I think you have a shot at the Monks.
Take Off Eh vs. A-Team
The A-Team has been limping along while Take Off Eh has been consistently good. Take Off Eh will win this week and continue their run at the league leaders.
Spankers vs. SenStanley
What’s to predict? Spankers will spank SenStanley and catch up to the league leaders.
5 For Fighting vs. Spezztacular!
This is a contest to see which team will suck less. I’m guessing Spezztacular will suck less and take the week keeping 5 For Fighting in the basement.
Camo vs. Saberswinthecup!
The two top teams! Camo will win this one, but Saberswinthecup will take a few points including PIM. It will be a close goalie battle.
I’m going to be out of town for most of the next two weeks, so hopefully Pucknut can fill in for me on the next Crosscheck. I’ll leave you with this: Here are the logos for the teams that finished in the top six places in this league last year.
That is all.
October 10, 2006
Hi Everybody! Winnipeg Johnny again.
The first week of hockey is over. There was plenty of action and lots to see. First of all, did you notice that there were fewer interference penalties handed out? What do you think? Were there fewer infractions, or did the refs finally get a clue? Also, the new stick blade curve limits didn’t seem to help with the shooters in the shoot outs. Just ask Antero Niittymaki and Henrik Lundqvist. Finally, there was something rotten in Buffalo, and it isn’t the way the team is playing. Did you notice? Here’s a hint.
Now.. on with the Crosscheck.
As Pucknut points out, the stats are now available through this Blog page.
My predictions from last week were pretty accurate, however what no one at Yahoo told us was that because of the shortened week, the three goalie game was waived. Those wankers! It didn’t alter the outcome much, except that Saberswinthecup! stole a point from the Spankers because they only played two goalie games (with the Dominator). We cry “foul”, but nothin’ Yahoo is going to do about it. We are considering awarding the current GAA league record to the Sublimators, however.
The Northern Division were pretty much no-shows this week, however Camo did end up blowing 5 For Fighting out of the arena and is currently in first place overall. Things were a little more competitive in the Southern Division with only 1 point separating the top four teams. I also have to point out that the Ice Bats are not winning the PIM category, but I’m sure we’ll pull ahead of the Sublimators this week. It’s not my fault that Jarkko Ruutu decided to become a sniper instead of a goon all of the sudden. Actually, I’m not complaining about it, really. Way to go Jarkko!
Week 2 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. Camo
Camo is the team to beat. I predict that the Ice Bats will fall behind early in the week, and catch up on Saturday, only to lose on Sunday because of goalie stats. Camo by 2 points.
Sublimators vs. Pucknuts
This will be the matchup to watch. It will be close all week. For the Sublimators Spezza needs to turn on his magic, and Bell needs to get healthy and get skating. I don’t see either happening, so I give this one to the Pucknuts.
Green Bay Monks vs. A-Team
No question about this one. The Rangers are hot and the A-Team is not. A-Team needs to put Connolly on IR, and get another goalie. Also Ward needs to stop acting like the biggest sieve in Ontario. Not going to happen. Matchup to the Monks.
Take Off Eh vs. SenStanley
This is an easy call too. Take Off Eh is shaping up to be a real contender and SenStanley is a lame duck. Alex Auld could take on both of SenStanley’s goalies all by himself. Better watch out Kathleen… Stephen isn’t going to be far behind you by the end of the week.
ShimerSpankers vs. Spezztacular!
Although Spezztacular did OK last week, this week is not going to go his way no matter how well Bertuzzi and Kiprussof play. The Spankers have a great all-around line-up and will probably be leading the southern division by the end of the week.
5 For Fighting vs. Saberswinthecup!
5 For Fighting is in dead last, and this week isn’t going to help. Saberswinthecup! need to fix up their line-up, but even if they don’t they will take the week easily.
Stay tuned hockey fans. Another great week is on its way.
That is all.
October 10, 2006
Week 1 Fantasy stats have been compiled. I will now be posting this stats on the website!
October 5, 2006
Hi Everybody! Winnipeg Johnny here. (GM, Birchcliff Ice Bats of The Hockey Blog All Stars Fantasy Hockey League.) So the puck has dropped on another season. We are up to twelve teams this year, so I thought I’d give you a little who’s who of teams (as best I know at this point). It looks like we are going to break the league into a Northern and Southern division using U.S. Rt. 90 as the line.
A-Team (Manager unknown to me)
SenStanley (Manager unknown to me)
Spezztacular (Manager unknown to me)
5 For Fighting (Manager unknown to me)
Camógaíocht (Manager - Kathleen)
Take Off Eh (Manager - Stephen)
Fenton Pucknuts (Manager - Pucknut John)
ShimerSpankers (Manger - Dave)
Green Bay Monks (Manager - Billy)
Birchcliff Ice Bats (Manager - Winnipeg Johnny)
Sublimators (Manager - Cara)
Saberswinthecup! (Manager - Jim)
I beleive that all the mystery managers are located somewhere in Ontario and are all Sens fans. They are all new to the league this year. I would appriciate it if they would confirm or deny this in the comments, so I can taunt them when the Leafs finally beat the Sens.
Kathleen lives on the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence River, and was the manager of last year’s 6th place team Oochamkunutk (”Ooch” for short). She has decided to change the name of her team primarily, I think, to make it harder for me to write the Crosscheck. From here on out her team name will be reported as “Camo”! I’d have to change your team logo this year anyway, Kathleen. Albany is no longer affiliated with the New Jersey Devils.
Stephen lives somewhere in New Hampshire, and is Cara’s brother. He grew up just on the South side of the St. Lawrence River too, and close enough to Canada to see Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. I believe he may be a Hab’s fan. This is his first year in the league.
Pucknut John lives in Binghamton and he has excellent season ticket seats for the Binghamton Senators. He is also the proprietor if this BLOG site. The Fenton Pucknuts finished first in the league last year. Pucknut is a Rangers fan, although I’m sure he will tell you that his favorite team is, without a doubt, the Binghamton Senators.
Dave is also from Binghamton and works for the same company as Pucknut John. Dave was the manager of the second place Philly Phlamers last year. Since the Moonshimers folded their team this year, Dave is going to have to pick on somebody else. Since he is a Flyers fan who can take it as well as he can dish it, don’t hesitate to flame him. You Ottawa boys…. don’t hold back on our account.
Billy lives in Queens, NY and is without a doubt a die-hard Rangers fan. (Just check his fantasy line-up.) I hope it works out for you better this year Billy. The Green Bay Monks finished in 5th place last year. Sorry I had to grab Lundy out from under you. Perhaps we can talk about a deal for Shanahan. I’m sure a pint of beer at the Irish Cottage will be involved.
Winnipeg Johnny no longer lives in Winnipeg. Unfortunately I no longer live in New York either. I’m sitting behind a desk in Reston Virginia. The Birchcliff Ice Bats finished in 3rd place last year, and I’m trying to improve by not having as many Leafs and Canucks in my line-up. I am a Winnipeg Jets fan, but do not recognize that team from Arizona. My favorite team is the Manitoba Moose.
Cara is originally from Upstate New York, but finds herself in central Florida. The Sublimators finished 4th last year, although they gave the Ice Bats a real run during the play-offs. I think Cara is currently a Lightning fan, although I have known her to cheer for New Haven and Binghamton (UHL), as well as Bridgeport, Manitoba, and Binghamton (AHL). She is a real hockey fan.
Jim is also in central Florida, and is new to the league this year. Although I haven’t met him yet, I gather that he is a Sabers fan. His web-site indicates that he spent a few years in California, although it’s hard to imagine that he did not originally come from Upstate New York if he is a Sabers fan. Jim, are you going to be in Philly for GSA, or San Fransisco for AGU?
Anything anyone else would like to add…. that’s what the comments are for.
Week 1 Matchup
Ice Bats vs. Pucknuts
I’ll concede goaltending to the Pucknuts, but that’s all! This will end close to a 5-5 tie.
Ice Bats will not loose PIM to anybody this year!
Sublimators vs. A-Team
The A-Team is off to a good start thanks to Heatley, but Spezza is just getting warmed up for the Sublimators. The A-Team needs to pick up a third goalie. With the three game rule, I give this one to the Sublimators. Cara… way to pick up Ott!
Green Bay Monks vs. SensStanley
This could be a close one. We’ll have to see if the Rangers play like they did at the beginning of the season last year or at the end. SensStanley needs a third goalie too, so advantage to the Monks, however I think I’ll wait to call this one until after the Rangers game tonight.
Take Off Eh vs. Spezztacular
I’m a little jealous that Spezztacular got both the Sedin brothers and Salo. I wanted them! Sundin also had a great game last night. A good strong team, but I think Take Off Eh is a little stronger. Both teams have two goalies, so I’m giving this one to Stephen.
ShimerSpankers vs. Saberswinthecup!
Wow! Two good looking teams neck and neck so far. This one is going to come down to Sunday night. Both teams have one player who won’t be skating, but Saberswinthecup! needs a third goalie. Otherwise I would have given them this matchup, but I think ShimerSpanker will take it.
5 For Fighting vs. Camo
Hmmm…. I don’t even have to resort to DiPietro jokes to predict that Camo will take this one hands down. Kathleen let the computer chose for her and ended up with a ridiculously great line-up.
The puck is dropped. The game is on. Lets have a great season, and keep your stick on the ice.
That is all.