It's been awhile, hockeybuzz. After being abroad for the second half of last season, Buffalo Sabres hockey is back in my life for sure now.
Fantasy hockey, anyone? I'm totally hooked on fantasy hockey. It's the first time I've ever played any sort of fantasy sport, but hockey is so straight forward and it's getting me more acquainted with players outside of just the Eastern Conference, Northeast Division. Anyway, my team had an awesome day; I went with a few riskier picks like Jochen Hecht and Martin Havlat, but they've been awesome. Now if only Huet could get some wins in ... in any case, here's the line-up as of today (I just switched Hecht out for Patrick Marleau, though, because of the injury possibility):
C - Jason Spezza
C - Henrik Sedin
LW - Thomas Vanek
LW - Alexander Semin
RW - Martin St. Louis
RW - Martin Havlat
D - Brian Rafalski
D - Andrei Markov
D - Niklas Kronwall
D - Tobias Enstrom
BN - Joffrey Lupul (RW)
BN - Jochen Hecht (C)
BN - Jaroslav Spacek (D)
BN - Chris Kunitz (LW)
Players I would've liked to have gotten: Evgeni Malkin, Brent Seabrook, Craig Rivet.
It's not a competitive league at all, just a casual one set up on Yahoo!, but man it is fun.
A few start-of-season notes: Despite starting off with two losses, I'm picking Chicago to be the most improved team in the West. I still expect Detroit to be a powerhouse, and I see Vancouver dropping a bit, with the Sedin twins possibly considering (or worse, threatening) trade options. In the East, there's going to be a much bigger battle for the top spot. The two teams I expect to drop the most are New Jersey and Pittsburgh; I see them at the bottom of the 8 playoff teams. Another team fighting for one of the bottom playoff spots will be Philadelphia. Biron will always be my favorite, but I know he can be shaky; he had a great season last year and really helped the overhauled Flyers team out a lot, but I don't know if he can hold the team together again for another year.
I hope to see Buffalo around 5th or 6th seed, and with a seemingly weakened Ottawa team, the main competition in their division will be Montreal. Basically, I think there will be four teams that made it to postseason last year that will be fighting for the bottom two spots: New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Ottawa.
My thoughts about the Sabres first two games coming up next!