Browsed by
Category: NHL

where else can average dudes waste their time? : matt’s week 8 fantasy

where else can average dudes waste their time? : matt’s week 8 fantasy

I hate Fantasy. Last week, I dropped over 130 points in a ½ PPR league and I still lost. My opponent put up 150 and his team scored ten total TDs. Shoot me now, God. But, in the words of Lil Bow Wow: “I’m back at it like a crack addict out of rehab.” Here’s my line up for this week.

 

QB: Lucky Luck                                             Flex: Will Fuller House

RB: Best in the league (DJ)                             Flex: Michael Thomas

RB: Best on his tea (Gio)                                TE: The guy on the Texans with the long name

WR: Dez “Welcome Back” Bryant                  D: Titans

WR: D. Thomas

 

Some major changes. Dez is back and I am playing him. If Dak can make Cole Beasley a star…Will Fuller makes an appearance. I hate the Brock Lobster but, this game against Detroit should be a shootout. Michael Thomas is arguable the best receiver on his team. The Seahawks secondary has been awful lately and they are missing some pieces. I like Brees as home as well. I switched Zach Miller for anyone else because Miller takes on the Vikings. The Titans D was a steal for about 50 minutes.

 

Waive Wire Gems:

 

Need a player for upcoming bye weeks? I got them for you. Is your team set and you are looking for that one stash that will get you through the playoffs? I got you.

 

Chris Thompson:

Love CT as the season rolls on. Matt Jones is a fumble away from losing some serious touches. The Redskins will be an RRBC before the season is over. The one to own is Chris Thompson. He has an excellent YPC and is the pass catching back. Games against Dallas, Green Bay, Philly, Carolina and Arizona could all see a script in which Thompson has a lot of involvement. Expect both his carries and targets to go up.

 

Thomas Rawls:

Forgot about him? Most of us did. Do yourself a favor and look at his numbers last year. When healthy, this guy was a major talent. He will split carries with Christine Michael, sure. But, Rawls has a track record of success. Stash him on your bench. There is a scenario in which Pete Carroll returns to Rawls towards the season’s end.

 

Kennith Dixon:

This draft and stash candidate has been a bust so far. Fortunately, it has been reported that the Ravens want him to get more involved. West has been dominant so far however, this will be the most work he has ever seen in a season. We saw Mark Ingram get injured last year because he faced an unprecedented workload. Dixon is a great handcuff. Also along the lines of handcuffs: Robert Kelly, Kapri Bibbs and Tim Hightower.

 

Mohamed Sanu:

After the week one explosion, Sanu has come back down to Earth. He is not owned in over 50% of leagues. Julio Jones is perpetually questionable and could miss a game later on in the season as the Falcons look towards the playoffs. Sanu will be a guy who wins you a game and could push you into your own Fantasy playoffs.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
What I’m Listening to — Scoring Position

What I’m Listening to — Scoring Position

After a much needed long weekend and trip to New Hampshire, it was back to work on the 5th which for me meant heading into Cambridge, MA. As a quick backstory, for the past two years I had been working in ticket sales for an AHL hockey team. I knew that I did not want to do sales for the rest of my life so when the team was sold in April I made the decision to further my education and get my master’s degree while I had the opportunity. So for now, I am working at a school in Boston full-time and will start working towards my master’s in the fall.

Getting to Cambridge is not an easy commute and for those who take public transportation as part of their commute know how crucial it is to have something that passes the time. For me, that something is podcasts. For those who don’t know what they are, podcasts are basically radio talk shows that are made in episode form so that you can listen to them when you would like. While I have subscribed to many different podcasts, there is one I have recently started that is a hidden gem: Scoring Position.

Scoring Position falls under the KFC Radio umbrella of podcasts but isn’t as well known due to the hosts not being Barstool Sports personalities. That doesn’t stop hosts Amanda and Alyssa from being just as comical and ridiculous with some of their responses. The basic premise of the show is that they talk about sports and dating whether it’s their own dating lives or giving advice to others. And before you start saying women can’t talk sports, I’d have no problem betting on Alyssa against any guy I know in sports knowledge (Amanda not so much).

While Amanda does not contribute much to the sports discussion, she does bring a lot of humor with stories of her dating life. Even when they start talking about what athletes are good-looking, I can’t take her opinions seriously as she thinks Johnny Damon is the best looking athlete. Has she seen Tom Brady? Another quick fact about her is that she is Alyssa’s best friend which is her sole reason for doing the podcast.

Now for Alyssa Rose, the star of the podcast and daughter of Islanders play-by-play announcer Howie Rose. Besides knowing an incredible amount about sports especially hockey, her personality is also top-notch. She has the whole self-deprecating schtick but in reality her one flaw is she got catfished (this story alone is worth the download). It is also apparent that she loves guys who eat steak or any meat for that matter as it comes up once an episode. Alyssa is essentially a dream woman for most men. So Alyssa, if you read this, there is an open invitation to an Islanders/Bruins game in Boston with a reservation to Ruth’s Chris Steak House included.

As for the show itself, some highlights include the Three Stars of the Week, the 53-man roster and surprise guests. The stars of the week are three athletes who excelled that week who Alyssa and Amanda think all women should be able to discuss with guys at the bar. The 53-man roster is constantly changing with athletes being added and dropped each week. The additions usually include charitable donations, saying something funny or a new good-looking athlete they have found. Arrests, suspensions or just being stupid typically lead to drops like Tavaris Jackson and Johnny Manziel.

I don’t want to give too much more detail on the podcast so that you have some surprises to listen to. Hopefully my recommendations of Peaky Blinders and this have not disappointed.

IMG_2878

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
So You Think Hockey is Done? Guess Again, I’m Going to the NHL Draft

So You Think Hockey is Done? Guess Again, I’m Going to the NHL Draft

 

(Editor’s Note: Completely unplanned, but I am very excited for Eric. He will be at the NHL Draft, as he explains later on in this article. I am looking forward to the content he brings from that, and also for him to get the chance to meet some of these next-gen stars. )


The Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally over and congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on an incredible run this season especially with a coaching change mid-season. I also want to say I am actually happy Phil Kessel won a Stanley Cup even though it was not with Boston. He did not want to be in Boston when he was traded and they return they got for him turned out to be Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. Although they didn’t turn out well, the Bruins got their cup in 2011.

Phil Kessel is also a great American role model for young kids who may be on the heavier side but still want to succeed in sports. Kessel was one of the best players this playoffs and he looks like he could have gone to Camp Hope to learn from Tony Perkis.

HSBC_Arena_Sabres

 

 

While you may think you have a couple months off from hockey, think again. Hockey season never ends. Next weekend is when stars are made, the NHL Draft. This year the draft will be held in Buffalo and you will get an inside look at what goes on there as I will be heading out there a week from today. For four days, I will be in Buffalo at an NHL networking conference and also get to attend the draft. When I get back I hope to have some unique stories about meeting players, coaches and some general managers. If I do not come back and write about my experiences then just know it is because a first round pick has decided to make me his agent.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
Previewing Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Previewing Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals

As a hockey fan, Thursday night was a great night for me. A San Jose Sharks win means that there is still some more NHL hockey to watch. This Sunday, the Sharks will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at home and look to force a game 7 for the Stanley Cup. After how Thursday night’s game ended I’m sure Sunday will be an exciting one and is a great way to end your night.

The three players from the Penguins who are going to really control the outcome of the game are the ones that have been talked about all playoffs. Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby, and Matt Murray. If the Penguins win the Stanley Cup then I think Kessel gets the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP. He has been controlling the pace of the game and leading the Pens in the playoffs getting just under a point a game. If he continues his play and gets the match ups he likes, Kessel will be hoisting the Cup on Sunday. All this from a guy who will definitely use the Cup for eating in it rather than partying.

Kessel

As for the other two, Crosby and Murray will always have the attention focused on them as one is a league superstar and the other is the goalie. No matter what part of the season it is, Sidney Crosby always has eyes on him as he was “The Next One” and has to live up to those expectations. It is moments like these where a superstar has to just take over and show why they are elite. Obviously Matt Murray is another reason for the Penguins success as you cannot win without a hot goalie. Murray hasn’t looked like a rookie thus far but now this is when the pressure really comes along when you just have to win one final game.

Shark tank

The biggest advantage the Sharks have is that they are back on home ice for game 6. It is well-known that the Shark Tank is one of the hardest places to play in hockey as their fans get loud. Look for the Sharks to jump ahead quick on some early emotions and adrenaline. Even though Pittsburgh already won there once this series, I don’t think the Sharks let it happen again.

Burns thornton

The two players I will be watching the closest on Sunday for the Sharks are the Bearded Boys, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns. Thornton, age 36, is appearing in his first Stanley Cup Finals of his career since he entered in 1997. After he was stripped of his captaincy a couple seasons ago, people started to question if his career was winding down. Well Jumbo proved them wrong as he is fifth in scoring these playoffs and second in assists with 18. Let’s hope he keeps going with assists rather than goals. If you don’t know what I’m talking about search “Joe Thornton four goals”.

Finally my favorite player in the series, Brent Burns. He is the epitome of a two-way player as throughout his NHL career he has played both forward and defense for the team’s he has played for. Burns is a true gamechanger as he can block a shot or lay a big hit in the defensive zone and then take the puck coast to coast and score a goal. If Burns is as fired up as he was the other night then look for big hits and a lot of energy from him.

Sharks win game 6 and force the most exciting thing in sports, a Stanley Cup Finals game 7.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
Previewing the IIHF Quarterfinals

Previewing the IIHF Quarterfinals

The final eight teams are set for the 2016 IIHF World Championships and the match ups should not disappoint. Between hockey powerhouses facing off and draft-eligible players looking to increase their stock, it should make for some must watch hockey.


Czech Republic vs. USA

While I would love to sit here and say the United States is going to beat the Czechs, I just don’t see it happening. The US team does not have its usual stars like Patrick Kane or Jonathan Quick to lead them to victory but rather a team with younger players looking to become the next big stars including Dylan Larkin, Noah Hanifan and Auston Matthews (see previous blog about NHL Draft Lottery). Even with these exceptional players the US will be out matched by a Czech team who has a high-powered offense and two hot goalies, all with only three NHL players.


Finland vs. Denmark

The game I’m most excited for but not because of the matchup. Finland should cruise through Denmark as they are the only remaining team that scored less goals than they gave up. Finland, on the other hand, gave up only six goals in seven games and scored the third most with 29. The reason I’m excited for this game, Patrik Laine. In my first blog, I said how this year is the Auston Matthews Lottery and I think that might have pissed off Laine, the second ranked draft prospect. Boy, has he been putting on a show this World Championship. The 18-year-old is third overall in points for the tournament and now that he is going to play only the best teams we will see if he is the real deal deserving of going first overall in June.


ger-fin-players

Russia vs. Germany

You may think this one will be a blowout just like the Finland/Denmark game but I see an upset in the making. Sure Russia has the second best scoring offense this tournament but since NY Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss took over between the pipes for Germany they haven’t lost. Russia has been playing at a different level as they are the home team and do not want to disappoint that crowd. Vadim Shipachyov and Artemi Panarin are the top two scorers this tournament and only look to build on those stats. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but with a large group of lesser known players and a goalie coming off some great performances, I’ve seen this situation before for Russia. Do you believe in miracles?


Canada vs. Sweden

While I wish this matchup could have come a little bit later I’m not going to complain about seeing them play each other first round. Last year’s World Championships were won by Canada and Sweden won in 2013. The 2014 Sochi Olympics were won by Canada with Sweden getting silver. Needless to say, these two teams have been on top of the hockey world recently. Unlike the Olympics both teams are without their superstars like Sidney Crosby and Henrik Lundqvist. Canada, however, always has more upcoming stars at every level. Look for Connor McDavid to prove why last year’s hype was all real as Canada shows its superiority over Sweden.

 

by Eric

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
Breaking Down the Upcoming NHL Draft Lottery

Breaking Down the Upcoming NHL Draft Lottery

(Editor’s Note: Eric, a reader of the site and a friend, inquired about contributing to The Open Field. He knows so much about hockey and the NHL, and wanted to provide insight on the upcoming draft. If you ever want to contribute an article or even write for us on a regular basis, visit the contact us page for information. Based on this article’s quality, I would expect more from Eric in the future here at The Open Field….)


 

With the NHL playoffs already underway and full of excitement, many people do not realize another hockey event is taking place this Saturday that has fans excited.

The NHL Draft Lottery.

Now before you think I’m joking trying to compare playoff hockey to 14 non-playoff teams finding out their draft order, hear me out. First off, not one Canadian team made the playoffs this season which means every single one of them has a chance of getting the first overall pick. In fact, there is a 68.5 percent chance that a Canadian team gets it. It’s well known that hockey has the smallest following of the Big Four sports in the United States until playoffs come around. Compare that with a country where some people consider hockey a religion and people riot in the street after losing in the Stanley Cup finals. It wouldn’t surprise me if the lottery has more viewers than Game 2 of an Eastern Conference Semifinals series. So why is this draft lottery so special?

 

Auston Matthews.

 

Last year we had the McEichel sweepstakes with two franchise players being talked about leading up to the draft. This time, there has been a consensus number one overall pick since last year’s draft, Auston Matthews. Matthews looks to be only the seventh American drafted first overall since 1963 and the first since Patrick Kane in 2007; which is fitting seeing as he broke Kane’s National Development Team record for points in a season during his last season with the team. What really sets him apart is the decision he made last summer to skip playing juniors or college hockey to play professionally overseas and I loved it. Here is a 17-year-old kid who knew he was ready to play with the big boys and THAT HE DID, finishing tenth in scoring in the Swiss top league. His coach has made it clear that Matthews is ready to be a first line center in the NHL.

 

With all this being said about him being an elite player, this lottery will have an effect on what his career will be, depending on who wins. Below are each team’s odds of winning and the places I’d like to see Matthews end up.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs – 20%

Edmonton Oilers – 13.5%

Vancouver Canucks – 11.5%

Columbus Blue Jackets – 9.5%

Calgary Flames – 8.5%

Winnipeg Jets – 7.5%

Arizona Coyotes – 6.5%

Buffalo Sabres – 6%

Montreal Canadiens – 5%

Colorado Avalanche – 3.5%

New Jersey Devils – 3%

Ottawa Senators – 2.5%

Carolina Hurricanes – 2%

Boston Bruins – 1%


nhl-2014-nhl-draft

Where I want him to end up

Maple Leafs

With the rumors of Steven Stamkos coming to Toronto this offseason, the potential of those two on the top two lines would be fun to watch. As a Bruins fan, even I wouldn’t mind seeing Bergeron and Krejci battle against Stamkos and Matthews for the next couple seasons.

 

Arizona Coyotes

This would be the feel good story of the draft. The Coyotes recently purchased their AHL affiliate in order to relocate them to Tucson and rebuild the brand of hockey in the desert. What better way to help that then by drafting a franchise player who grew up in Arizona watching the team that drafts him. Add in the young talent already on their roster with Max Domi and Anthony Duclair and Auston Matthews gets to grow the game he loves in the city he loves.

 

Buffalo Sabres

If the Sabres go back to back years drafting Jack Eichel and then Auston Matthews then that might be a more interesting combo than Stamkos and Matthews. An 18-year-old and 19-year-old starting their careers together should get hockey fans excited to watch them develop as teammates in Buffalo, as well as for Team USA.

 

Bonus Section- Edmonton, please don’t win the lottery

 

The Oilers have had four first overall picks in the last six years including last year and they are still at the bottom of the standings. I would hate to see Matthews end up there and not play for successful teams because they do not have top tier defensemen. Connor McDavid was supposed to be a savior this year and even he could not help them granted he was injured for part of the season. The only shining hope if Edmonton wins is that they might be open to trading the pick to get other players and lower draft picks.

 

For all hockey fans, diehards or casual, I would highly suggest tuning into the draft lottery this Saturday whether it’s for your team getting the first pick or just to see where Auston Matthews ends up.

 

by Eric

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter