Nov 142011

This start of the season, I’ve been mostly sucking.

One draw, four losses.

The only thing where Nöykkiö Freeze excels is penalty minutes. Those, for some curious reason, are a positive thing in the virtual NHL. My 62 minutes on week 1 remain unbroken thus far.

Of the scoring I take quite a bit of blame, since I haven’t been the most diligent of coaches.

Then again, Corey Perry’s been like the rest of the Ducks – not that swell this year. Jonathan Toews hasn’t been on fire either. And Kris Letang hasn’t been as phenomenally productive as he was on the first weeks. That leaves my sole trade as the lone positive aspect: Joffrey Lupul has been nothing short of great in Toronto this season. Of the goalies Cam Ward’s been mostly disappointing, and Mike Smith suprisingly effective in Phoenix.

Oct 202011

The first week and a half wasn’t the greatest start of the season for Nöykkiö Freeze, as the head-to-head game ended in a 3-7 loss.

Without Kris Letang’s five assists the game would have been an even more severe loss. He’s by far the brightest offensive star of Freeze thus far, the likes of Toews, Richards and Perry were not very productive in the first week.

Only one change in the team, replaced Nikolai Kulemin with unexpectedly undrafted Joffrey Lupul.

Oct 072011

NHL Draft 2011Drafted this year’s Nöykkiö Freeze team for Yahoo Public 80034 without much preparations.

Scored Corey Perry on the first round (drafted fifth) and Tim Thomas on the second, not bad for such a mediocre position. Jonathan Toews, Brad Richards and Cam Ward ought to prove useful as well. Only one finn, Kimmo Timonen on the twelfth round.

Tim Thomas was the only player picked whom I had shuffled with in the board, I just figured the lead goalie of the reigning champion is worth more than the default position. Downgraded Sidney Crosby slightly – I have a bad feeling about his prolonged absence on account of a concussion.

The first games have already been played (Ducks losing to Sabres in Helsinki), and I figure the first week will actually be a week and a half for scoring purposes.

Oct 162010

NHL draft logoManaged to set up a virtual ice hockey team on the very eve of the NHL season. While I don’t treat this noweher near as seriously as the twin fantasy football teams, reports will be coming in every now and then.

Drafted (autopicked) at #2, and took two centers on the first two rounds: Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton. The next two players were goalies, and the two following ones defensemen. So it took a long while to pick up any wingers. A lot of the players are utterly unfamiliar, and I’m sure the waiver-wire will be busy in the league as last year’s comets will be traded for players that actually are productive this season. Marc Savard is still suffering post-concussion symptoms and lands immediately on the injury reserve.

No finns taken in the sixteen draft rounds. No swedes either.

Apr 142010

A disappointing season to say the least. A ninth place in the regular season meant exclusion from the playoffs.

But that’s what you get with a neglected team. Weeks upon weeks went without any updates to the men on ice.

The top dogs of the team were Corey Perry, Antti Niemi and Mikko Koivu. But all in all the draft and waiver-picks did not go well at all, with just two players in the league’s top 50.

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 302009

Not to be.

A place in the virtual NHL finals, that is.

Lost the semifinal 3-7 to the fourth seed.

No single factor doomed Hakkapeliitat.

Goalies could have been a little more sure-handed. I could have played Slava Kozlov when he scored 2+1 for Thrashers. Dustin Brown could have actually been productive.

But such is the game, a great regular season comes to naught when the playoffs begin.

On to the bronze game. After all, the third place in this league is won, not lost.

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.

Dec 172008

Three goalies on injury reserveDespite a far from optimal goalkeeper situation, Hakkapeliitat has been doing all right, pulling in a 4-4 draw last week.

Right now the team’s running with three goalies on injury reserve, and Vancouver’s first replacement for Luongo, Curtis Sanford. But with him supposedly not playing optimally, it might be the time for an even deeper dip into the Canucks’ pool.

Dec 012008

My virtual NHL team suffered its first defeat last week – at 6-2-2, it wasn’t as bad as losses come, but a loss nonetheless.

The Hakkapeliitat team has lately suffered mightily from lack of a commanding presence in front of the goal.

First Manny Legace suffered a mysterious fall at the hands of Sarah Palin’s security entourage. He’s back, but far from being consistent.

Martin Brodeur’s injury has notoriously hurt the Devils, they’re 6-5 after the veteran goalie tore his biceps tendon.

The newest kid on the injury reserve is Vancouver Canucks’ Roberto Luongo – whose groin injury has alternately been dubbed minor and week-to-week.

As to the other players, it’s not a good sign when the highest “started”-percentage on the team falls onto a defender. But when the defenseman is Chris Pronger, the faith is more or less well-justified.

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 082008

Been one of those weeks again.

  • Despite two dishes containing the mushroom, I did not get any kind of morel-overdose.
  • Martin Brodeur is out for up to four months, seriously screwing up the Hakkapeliitat team.
  • A tapas cooking school can be arranged in an irish-themed restaurant without any ill effects.
  • Haven’t yet figured an optimal route from Haaga to Ruoholahti.
  • Coral’s single collection is out. Haven’t been a big fan of their recent records, but the “eight previously unreleased songs”-sales pitch had me sold from the beginning.
Oct 142008

The first week of hockey turned out to be a nova-bright start for Hakkapeliitat.

The opponent was swept off his feet – 10-0, a solid victory in all categories, propelling the team to the very top of the standings.

The groundwork for victory was laid by the duo of goalies, behind the five victories, one shutout and an excellent stopping percentage, the first three points were pretty much lowest-hanging fruit in a good while. Offensively, the greatest damage was done by Coyotes’ Shane Doan, but the week was a low-scoring affair on both sides.

Bring on week two, and inevitable fall from grace.

Oct 142008

The brightest scoring prospect of the Hakkapeliitat defensive line, Marek Židlický seems to be suffering from a mysterious ankle ailment. Considering that the entire scoring power rests on rather meek shoulders right now, I’d certainly want him back on the bench and on the ice, subsequently, as soon as possible.

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

The first Stanley Cup appearance by Haagan Hakkapeliitat ended in a loss.

6-4 isn’t too bad, considering that Daniel Alfredsson was hurt midway in the two week final, and Marty Turco put up a pretty decent Hoover imitation a couple of times. Apart from the save percentage, the margins in all categories were decent, and the only exception is explained by Ty Conklin having one massively bad game in the Penguins goal.

Key picks: Ryan Getzlaf (mr. Surprise), Daniel Alfredsson (mr. Consistency), Sergei Gonchar (mr. Consistency, part 2), Teemu Selänne (mr. Daring selection of the year).

Not so good picks: Left wings (all of them), goalies (no consistency).

I never thought I’d go this far, and definitely aim to be back next year.

Mar 242008

After the second upset in the playoffs, Haagan Hakkapeliitat made it to the final in Yahoo! 76191.

Apart from negligible output from goalies (Tim Thomas is having a really bad stretch in Boston), the team played in solid fashion, and most of the categories had very comfortable margins.

But it’s a whole new game (two weeks in length) in the finals. Hakkapeliitat will face the #4 seed, who went an upset the regular season winners in the semis. The biggest worry in the home camp is Ryan Getzlaf’s ability to play, he’s been the most prolific player of the season.

Mar 182008

Where we equals the Hockey instance of the Haagan Hakkapeliitat fantasy team.

Indeed. Made it to the semis against all odds by beating the #3 seed in the first round of playoffs. This was the only upset on the first round in Yahoo! Public 76191.

No individual heroics, just good quality hockey, and a serious elimination of the goal drought that plagued the team for the last weeks of regular season.

Marian Hossa seems to be recovered from his injury (1+1 for his first points in Pittsburgh), which is good. And the second longest shot of the season, Joffrey Lupul, is back also, though still on IR in the team. The longest shot, Simon Gagne, didn’t pan out, the concussion sadly beat the goalmeister.

The output of the whole team is needed next week, when we meet the #2 seed. The two regular season games were split, and the virtual bye last week obviously did not benefit the team in any way.

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.