Nov 052010

NBA Draft LogoThe last third of the burgeoning Nöykkiö sports dynasty was cemented with the arrival of the virtual NBA team.

Nöykkiö Lagniappe plays in Yahoo! public league 118280. Lagniappe, the team name, obviously plays homage to the New Orleans roots of my favorite NBA team, and means “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure”, at least according to wikipedia.

Hadn’t paid much attention to the comings and goings of the players and teams in the last couple of years, and went into the draft with minimal ordering of the top players. Uprated Deron Williams seriously, and got him in the first round (at #10, pretty much his natural slot). Second round pick fell on Atlanta’s Josh Smith, who was a reliable producer a couple of seasons ago. Manu Ginobili and Carlos Boozer were the other big names of the first rounds. Too bad Boozer starts the season on IR, nursing a broken arm.

Let the pounding of hardwood begin!

Apr 142010

The virtual basketball team did not fare too well either. A seventh place finish is just one off the playoffs.

An appropriate result in a season that was plagued with managerial neglect. As with the hockey team, weeks on end went without any updates. In a sport with up to four games a team per week, that’s nothing but recipe for disaster.

No top ten performances, but three players among the top twenty. Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams were prolific with their recurring double-doubles, but in the end it was Spurs’ Manu Ginobili who provided the most bang for the buck (especially considering that I picked him off the waivers).

May 022009

The 2008 season turned out not to be a shining one for Hakkapeliitat. From last years’s 1-2-3 combo, the triplet turned out to be 4-7-8 in the public leagues and a sixth place in the Finland for Thought’s football league.

Quite a rapid descent.

Unlike a proper dynasty owner’s actions, this is not the time to start rebuilding by drafting youngsters – it’s a whole new season in the fall. Though drafting rookies did turn out to be a good tactic – they were the cornerstone for success in the FFT-league.

The gravest disappointment this season was the back to back losses in hockey at the very worst time. Following a total domination in the regular season (#1 spot all the way from the very first week onwards), the playoffs just didn’t play out very well.

Mar 212009

The regular seasons of Hakkapeliitat on ice and hardwood turned out quite different from each other. In one, great success, in the other, barely sticking to the .500 mark.

Indeed, the virtual hockey team never let go of the #1 position in the league. Even though there was a significant dip around the halfway point, the team rallied and held on to being the top seed. The keys to the victory were the goalkeepers. At some point the situation was desperate – with all starters (Brodeur, Luongo and Legace) injured. Stood by the Devils’ veteran, and it paid off. Since Brodeur’s return the team has gone from strength to strength, and the goalie has racked up impressive records. Dropped Legace – he never got his stride back, and picked up Pekka Rinne on a hunch. Turned out to be a very valuable hunch, as the Predator-rookie has put up seven shutouts and all in all been a wall in front of the goal. The offense has been surprisingly good – with Flyers Mike Richards outclassing the rest of the centers and Rick Nash overcoming is early season slump.

The hakkapeliitat have got a bye for this week, the semifinals begin on monday, and that’s a whole new hockey game indeed.

In the virtual NBA the fortunes of the team have not been that great. Consolation is very probable, since I’m below the cutoff, and the last week’s game is against the inevitable winner of the whole league. A couple of concurrent injuries to key players (Danny Granger and Kevin Garnett) cannot be blamed on derailing the season, the orange ball just didn’t bounce in favour of Hakkapeliitat this season.

Nov 182008

The virtual ice hockey team put in another convincing victory. On a few previous weeks goals have been a rare commodity, but this time the team pulled the proverbial plug and kept on scoring. The goalkeeping elements were elevated by the opponent’s lack of played games.

The basketball team, on the other hand, continued its losing ways. Apart from Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnston no heroics, and the lowest inputs are easily explained by being either away from the team or hurt.

Nov 102008

Lost the first week of virtual NBA, and kept winning in the fifth week on virtual NHL.

The first week of basketball was settled on minimal margins: nine in points and two in rebounds, blocks and steals. All but one of them falling the opponent’s way guided in a loss.

Despite the goalies being severely hurt, the goalkeeping actually kept the Hakkapeliitat afloat this week. Roberto Luongo’s three shutouts was nothing short of a stellar performance in the Canucks crease. Neither team scored much – five goals apiece in a week is rather pitiful.

Nov 052008

Missed the first week of virtual NBA, and the Hakkapeliitat team got going this monday.

Draft was far from optimal, lottery gave the eleventh pick, and that meant that the biggest guns were long gone by the time of the first pick. Which landed on Celtics’ Kevin Garnett. Landed a few faces familiar from previous seasons, such as Richard Hamilton and Corey Maggette. And Monta Ellis, who got dropped immediately – a thirty game ban is not a good way to start the season.

No jazzmen this year either.

Oct 052008

The start of the NHL season sneaked up on me once again, and I was late putting together a team on Yahoo!’s fantasy league.

Hakkapeliitat will take to the ice on the second week, due to the very late draft.

A draft that didn’t go exactly as planned.

I drafted sixth, and while the pick of Martin Brodeur on the first round is not to be scoffed at, the automagic machinery surprisingly picked a goalie (Roberto Luongo) on the second round as well. Which means that the team is short on offensive sharks. Mike Richards and Alexander Semin, while respectable scorers, simply do not instill the same kind of fear that the likes of Ovechkin and Crosby. Defenders-wise the team ought to be adequately stocked: Chris Pronger and Joni Pitkänen have serviced well in previous campaigns, and Marek Zidlicky adds some much needed sniping capabilities to the power-play opportunities.

Well, the season is young, and there’s plenty of waiver-wire chances to act on.

Even though the NBA season is still weeks away, set up the Hakkapeliitat on the hardfloor campaign as well. After all, last year’s bronze trophy needs brightening up.

Apr 172008

Hakkapeliitat won the bronze game in Yahoo! public 159358 virtual NBA league.

The margin was seemingly large at 5-3, but the differences in a lot of the individual categories (including points) were in single points.

The key player of the final game was Bulls’ Luol Deng – with very much appreciated output also from John Salmons subbing for the hurt Sacramento Kings stars. I don’t know what’s the status of his contract, but anyone that can adequately run the game instead of Ron Artest or Kevin Martin ought to have a more significant place than the sixth man.

Definitely the best season ever for the Hakkapeliitat, one that’s hard to repeat next year: won the bowl in football, took silver in hockey and now this bronze in the basketball. Hard to repeat next season, but I’ll give it a shot.

Apr 072008

Hakkapeliitat is not a candidate for a triple play this year – the basketball team failed to make it through the semifinals, and is now bound to fight for the third spot.

I don’t blame any single player for the loss, the margin was comfortably wide (7-2) – but losing Shawn Marion four weeks before the end of the season was definitely not planned. Neither were precision injuries to the point machines known as Vince Carter and Corey Maggette. The former seems to have healed after one missed game, the other is still pending.

Apr 012008

Haagan Hakkapeliitat made it to the basketball semifinals of Yahoo! Public 159358.

The quarterfinal was a tight battle, but on the very last day the 6th seed pulled off an upset over the highest placed team in the quarters, Hakkapeliitat managed to inflict a serious increase in free throw percentage on sunday, and that turned the tables: 5-4.

Semifinals are not going to be pretty – Shawn Marion, my first round draft choice, is still hurt, and anyway languishing in the lottery bound Miami Heat. I have full confidence in Kevin Martin and Vince Carter racking in points during the final weeks of the regular season, but the other categories are a cause for worry. Erick Dampier has been a shadow of himself lately, and the number of blocks per game is uncomfortably low.

I’ll keep the audience informed.

Feb 252008

The warm glow of the bowl victory in the Yahoo’s fantasy football has now faded, and it’s time to take a look how the other instances of Haagan Hakkapeliitat are doing.

NHL LogoThe hockey team is doing all right (5th out of 12 teams). The season has been uneven, with a lot of stars falling by the wayside in various teams. Hence, it’s less of a surprise to see that Ryan Getzlaf is actually #5 in the whole league. Daniel Alfredsson has been hurt a couple of short stints, and that clearly downgrades his position in the statistics (though ninth in the entire NHL is nothing to scoff at).

Apart from the ever-reliable Marty Turco, the goalies have been a headache (neither Tim Thomas nor Peter Budaj have exactly carried their teams this season). And speaking of headaches, Simon Gagne didn’t recover from his concussion to allow any subsequent games this season, which was quite a loss. Gambled on Teemu Selänne, when the news of his return broke, and have been happy with the choice since – a 3+2 game would be a big break from anybody, but for a 37-year old veteran in his tenth game is unexpected indeed.

And the idea of having fewer defensemen as opposed to too many right wingers was obviously dead on arrival to anybody but me. I took third of a season to figure out that this is an unworkable tactic.

NBA LogoThe basketball team is not doing as well (6 or 12, but worrisomely below .500). Shawn Marion, the top draft choice has been in good form, though the new team in Miami certainly doesn’t have the backing talent he used to have in the Suns.

The team is very heavy on shooting guards / small forwards – with frequent crowding issues. But with the likes of Ray Allen, Kevin Martin, Vince Carter and Corey Maggette, I don’t mind too much. Though John Salmons seems to be an extra now that the Sacramento team is on the healthy side – his output during the shorthanded period were much much appreciated.

What the team lacks is a credible center, but then again, so do most of the teams in the real NBA.

Don’t worry, I won’t be as obsessively reporting about these teams as I did for the football team. Until the playoffs, that is.

Apr 202007

Silver trophy in Yahoo's fantasy basketball

Ended up second in the Yahoo’s fantasy basketball league 186942.

The final game was tight at 4-5, but the margin in any of the categories lost was comfortable enough to prevent second guessing. And anyway, a lot of the teams rested their biggest guns, meaning that a lot of the players had rows of zeroes in the last few games.

Apr 132007

The final game is underway.

And while the game thus far has been even, the news are not uniformly good: Mike Miller is out for the season (with the Grizzlies out of the playoffs, it’s time to start healing), the consistently over-achieving Josh Smith got suspended for two games for arguing with his coach and Jamaal Tinsley’s hurt again.

Apr 102007

basketballSqueaked into the final of the Fantasy NBA on Yahoo!. Bit of a consolation after the less-than-optimal football and hockey seasons. Of which the football was a lot more painful loss, the hockey started going downhill pretty much from the draft.

The man of the hour was Dwyane Wade from Miami Heat. He returned from a six-week injury leave and scored the necessary eight points I needed to qualify from the semifinals. May small children and even smaller birds sing his glory in Miami forevermore.

Not all is well in the team after the return of the prodigal guard – Mike Miller the 3-point machine is ailing, and pretty much half the team (the more productive half, sadly) has paid extended visits to the infirmary recently.

I’m really glad that the final game is against a proper team – the losing team in the other semifinal pulled a dirty trade on the deadline. In a rare bout of poetic justice, the deities of basketball deemed the act unsavory and despite acquiring a trio of triple-A players for an equal number of deadweights, he failed to qualify.

Game on!

Feb 232007

Haagan Hakkapeliitat, the reigning champion of fantasy basketball just had a major setback, the proportions of which are currently unknown.

Dwyane Wade, the team’s lead scorer (and cornerstone of slumping champions Miami Heat) dislocated his shoulder in Houston yesterday, and no official estimate of the rehabilitation period has been given.

If Wade’s absence is as extended as the pessimistic estimates indicate, it’s time to pick up a new point guard. The team’s position at the head of the fantasy league looks comfortable, but the playoffs are a completely different story. And it obviously goes without saying that players of this caliber do not roam the wilderness of the waiver-list.

In other news, the NBA trade deadline passes, without any major moves.

Apr 212006

Won the final in the Yahoo-hosted virtual basketball league. And thus the league championship is mine, all mine.

As the final tallies for the regular season and the playoffs show, the Hakkapeliitat team was formidably strong. Behind Shawn Marion, the number one all-around player of the league, there were lots of good later round draft picks – some intentional (Chauncey Billups), some just a matter of serendipity (rookie of the year Chris Paul, Luol Deng).

In the NHL equivalent ended up receiving the bronze. Some key players (Forsberg, foremost) had injuries in some key moments, but the two finalists’ teams were head and shoulders above the rest.

Apr 032006

Despite a seriously good effort from mr. Selänne (3+3 this last week, 9+16 in the last four), my virtual NHL team lost the semifinal. It was a tight game, and a single goal would have been sufficient to draw the last week’s match – won four categories, lost six. That’s plenty enough for a clean loss.

In other news, seems that my joy of Amare Stoudamire’s return was a bit premature. After a few games he’s back out of the game. Acted accordingly and picked up an extra power forward for the playoffs. Too bad.

Mar 252006

Thanks for asking, the virtual sports teams are doing quite swell.

On hockey front, the team placed third in the regular season, and is now fighting for a semifinal spot. The season’s been rather easy thus far, and the team’s been in the top four for a long time. Picking up Eric Staal in the draft was a stroke of luck, he’s been one of the major producers. Peter Forsberg’s injuries have not depleted the roster as bad as a few previous years, but his output has not been steady lately. Teemu Selänne (nine points in the last week alone) has staged a magnificent return to greatness. Of the goalies Miikka Kiprusoff has been his trusty self, while Antero Niittymäki has not consistently exhibited the Great Wall of Broad Street-tendencies so evident in Turin olympics.

On the hardwood court, the game’s been going even better. The Hakkapeliitat lead the league with a comfortable margin. That, of course, means nothing once the playoffs commence. The team’s been far better than anticipated, Shawn Marion leads the entire NBA in combined points (across nine categories), and messrs. Bibby and Billups have given excellent support from the guard position. Chris Paul was a late round rookie pick who has turned out to be an excellent steals-expert. Took Amare Stoudamire as my second pick in the draft – this appeared to be less than a shiny deal, as he underwent knee microfracture surgery just before the season started. For a long time his return to the game looked questionable and I was about to drop him before the playoffs. However, he took to the floor in a win against the hapless Blazers last thursday and knocked off 20 points and nine rebounds. Case closed. Am playing without any Jazz players this year, missed Kirilenko in the draft (took Marion instead), and most of the others apart from Carlos Boozer (who went early as well) have been way too inconsistent to matter.

So, from a dynasty point of view, definitely looking good.

Nov 302004

Two weeks in a blur. Not too busy. Not too pissed off. Just distracted and bored out of my skull. Hence the lack of updates. However, here’s a kaleidoscope of memories from the unwritten period:

Saw Rammstein in Hjallis-arena. Was good. Kewl had scored good seats. Lots of pyro. There’s bound to be a setlist somewhere in the web. Proof is left as an exercise to the reader. And any pointers towards the kiddie-choir version of Engel played after the lights came on after the show are gleefully accepted.

Survived office christmas party. Missed most of the band. And the whole stand-up comic session. Former was said to have been not bad, and the latter truly excellent. Too bad. La Tour turned out not to
be an utter hellhole, but ain’t going to turn into a regular haunt either.

Missed Jonna at Tavastia mainly due to the above but also the fact that it seems to have been sold out.

Bought Paranoia XP, which finally turned up in Finland.

Probably had my first ever packet loss in eBay. Not too bad, the item was a whole three and a half quid worth, with about the same amount of postage. The seller has positive karma up the wazoo, so foul play is pretty much ruled out.

Ate decent, and very reasonably priced, tapas at Bar Celona on Mikonkatu. A return is guaranteed, and the buffet lunch seems to be an even better deal.

Watched Scarface on dvd, and was surprised how much more sense it makes without cuts. Or when you’re no longer 15 year old and have more of an attention span.

Got snowed on, and lately rained on, multiple times.

Noted that Aaro has
evolved (or devolved) into pix-blogging and that Allan is back in business.

Experienced joy over the dadaistic expressivity in lehti. This is better than real news.

AK-47 got hurt, which probably also hurts the hopes of gloriously begun season of Haagan Hakkapeliitat. Time to go PF-shopping for the while.

Saw no movies.

Played some more San Andreas. San Fierro is open, after a grievous battle with an oversteering sportscar in a twisting mountain trail.

Apr 122004

Indeed, what a lazy easter it’s been. Been chilling the whole weekend. Eating well, sleeping a lot and recharging batteries for the upcoming week. Finished Barabasi’s “Linked”-book. Started the new Pratchett, seems decent. Played around with taking digital macro-pictures (things closer than 20 centimeters), seems that a tripod, even a small one, would come in very useful in this. Saw the lost chopper-cops from Tampere circling around downtown (supposedly sizable drug bust in Kallio on friday).

Virus killer’s been dying out on me for the last couple of hours. It insists that it’s indeed the most “up-to-date” version. Not very promising, not promising at all. Got it cheap with the computer, so no big economical damage is incurred, if replacement is needed.

Chelsea lost and drew this weekend. Fortunately the Champions League does not continue next week, so they’ll have a decent shot of finding their mojo again.

Signed up for hattrick. Yet another sports franchise simulator where Haagan Hakkapeliitat can face insurmountable odds. This is purely a game, and not based on real players like the ones available at Yahoo. Tried quite a few this season: football (2nd – lost the bowl game), ice hockey (8th – thought that nabbing Kariya, Selänne and Lehtinen in the draft was a good thing), basketball (in progress – AK-47 produced, Kidd and Dampier also until they got hurt).