So taking a bit of a break from my Islanders team that can never make the playoffs, I decided to do a fantasy draft. I love doing odd teams, so for this one I had just finished watching some Slap Shot and decided to try a goon team. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of players who are flat out enforcers in EHM, so I decided to start by grabbing Role Players and tough defenseman. Here is the team I ended up with;
Clutterbuck – Dubinsky – Tootoo
Shawn Thornton – V. Sobotka – Craig Adams
B. Sutherby – Konopka – Brule
Bissonette – Burish – Ryan Reaves
Chara – Byfuglien
L. Schenn – Garrison
Leopold – Komisarek
I figured this team would get pretty much wrecked. I had also heard a rumor that the “hit and grind” strategy for lines was overpowered. So I tested it out by giving that strategy to all 4 lines. I had a feeling the game was a tad broken when they went undefeated during the pre-season and just flat out stomped everyone, barely allowing double digit shots some games. Then I started playing the regular season…
They are in 1st place with 58 points and a 25-7-1-7 record after 40 games. They are last in the league with 103 goals for. But they lead the league in Goals against with only 62, 2nd place has 101 GA. The PP is worst in the league with a 13.5%, but the PK leads the league at 85.37. Basically all of the top two lines had Career years in Goals, Assists and Points. Most of those notices were around games 40-50, although some like Brule hit those marks early.
Unfortunately the team only made it to the Conference Finals before being beaten by the Rangers in 6 games. What ended up happening is that Chara got hurt for the last month of the season. During his time out we played 18 games and basically matched the number of losses we had in the first 64 games during the last 18 games. The team was never the same, even when he came back.
Still, getting this ragtag team to the Conference Finals was pretty amazing. And according to Wikipedia I set a new record with lowest amount of goals against in a season. We were also nominated for the following awards:
Jack Adams Award: Scott Gordon
Calder Memorial Award: Jhonas Enroth
Frank J Selke Award: Brandon Dubinsky, Shawn Thorton
Jhonas Enroth was our only winner, getting the Vezina and Jennings trophies.
I forgot to mention, despite being almost 10+ points ahead of everyone in the league when the All Star game happened, we were only represented at the game by Enroth. And in Islander fashion, Enroth didn’t even get any icetime in the game.
Well this was a fun little experiment, but I’m probably going to stop here. Unless someone is interested in seeing where it goes.