Hang in there, Hank, we know exactly how you feel.
We joined The Price is Right in 2018. It was our second hockey team in the Yahoo Fantasy Hockey system. One of our best friends was the league manager, and after several years of asking, we finally gained entry into the league.
Thankfully this blog wasn’t around last season to document one of the worse seasons of fantasy hockey ever recorded. We started out as Tre Kronor, only to change our name to the ’74-75 Capitals, who are considered the worse single-season team in NHL history. Sadly we both went down similar paths, so it was only fitting to share the spotlight together.
Fast forward to 2019 and a clean slate. As the last-place team in the league, we could only go up from there, right? Now that we had a full understanding of the rules (set your lineups on Monday), we were better prepared for battle.
As the draft approached, we laid out some basic guidelines. We wanted to win specific categories and draft players who can be in the lineup every week and not leave us second-guessing in regards to their playing time.
Despite our best intentions, we were projected to be an bad team, one that would finish this season right where we finished last season, 12th place. The only bright spot of the entire season, besides the mid-season fire sale, was that we were pretty good in specific categories.
Below you find the season recap of Top of the Rock, The Price is Right back-to-back last-place champions!
Let’s start with our overall production numbers. Our league had 10 categories in every matchup. They were goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, power-play points, and shots on goals. For the goalies, wins, goals-against average, save percentage, and shutouts.
As our final numbers would indicate, we were an up and down team and did not deserve to finish in the last place again. We were the sixth-ranked team in goals (185), which was 27 goals out of first place. As a team, we only had 273 assists (last place), which equalled to be 131 out of first. The assists category was by far our worse since we sat in 12th place for 21 out of 22 weeks.
After spending a good chunk of the season as a minus team, we put together some solid runs down the stretch to bring us to a +36 rating, which was still a whopping +51 out of the top spot.
Our best category was penalty minutes, where we finished as the league leader with 427. We still managed to rack up the infractions despite trading away our two best players (Tom Wilson and Evander Kane) at the deadline.
The other Achilles heel of the season was power-play points, where we only collected 105, good enough for the last place, 116 points behind the leader of the pack (221). We contended in the shots on goals category all year before stumbling a bit towards the end. Our 1841 total was only 52 away from first place, which landed us in the third spot.
When the draft ended, we had probably the league-best goalie tandem in Tuuka Rask and Marc-Andre Fleury. By the trade deadline, we were treading water with the two as Fleury had a down year, and Rask couldn’t hold the fort down by himself. We decided to part with Rask and put Fleury on the shelf.
For the majority of the season, our goalies lead the league in all four categories. Even on off weeks, our numbers didn’t suffer enough to have us drop out of the top five. But as the season wore on and the losses piled up, our goalies began to flutter, and our final numbers showcase how bad things got.
We finished with 46 wins, ninth-most in the league, 14 behind the leader. Surprisingly we left 18 wins on the bench, so imagine the final numbers if everyone had a chance to play! With only eight shutouts, we finished in third place. Our 2.34 goals-against average was 0.07 points out of first place, while our 0.920 save percentage (7th place) was just 0.035 behind the leader.
Categories & Projections
As we continue to break down the numbers, here’s a recap of every matchup. The orange colours were categories we won, grey colours were ties, and of course, white colours were losses.
We will spare you all the details about how many points we averaged every week, but if you were curious, the numbers are right there at the bottom of the spreadsheet. The numbers we do want to talk about are projections and the final outcomes. They were not pretty.
We failed to reach our potential in almost all 12 categories. In regards to goals, we missed the mark by 76. After that, we were off by 109 assists, which meant we underperformed for a total of 185 points! We were supposed to be +67 and finished a respectable 31 points behind that projection with a +36 rating (our best differential in the offensive categories). Despite being the worse power-play unit in the league, we only missed our forecasts by 59 points (164-105), which was third best. Even with the best guys in the league racking up penalty minutes, we still missed our projection by 391 minutes! After that, we landed at our worse differential, shots on goal. We were supposed to fire 2507 pucks at goalies but only managed to get 1841, though, a difference of 666.
Even though we drafted two elite goalies, we also failed in those categories too. Somehow we missed our win total by 38, which meant we still missed it by 20 if you factor in the 18 wins left on the bench. The projected GAA was tough to figure out, but the projections equalled some crazy number like 6.84. We finished at 2.81, which meant an improvement of 4.03. It was the only category we exceeded projections in. Our save percentage didn’t share the same fate as we lost that category by 0.094 points (0.917 to 0.823). Yahoo projected nine shutouts for us, and we only managed eight, which meant we failed to meet or exceed projections in nine of the ten categories.
If you look at the chart on the right, you’ll see we failed at meeting many other projections. The numbers break down like this. We were projected to finish the season in 7th place, yet when the lights went out in April, we were 12th overall. We defied the odds for some time, sitting in second place for four weeks (our highest position in the standings). We hung around the top 10 for the first half of the season before our downfall was complete by week 12.
We will spare you all the details regarding every category projections and final spots. Still, you will see we actually finished higher in a handful of categories that we were supposed to be terrible at.
Studs and Duds
There were a total of 23 studs during our 22 week season. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took home the crown with a total of five. His closet competition was a pair of New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin (4) and Ryan Strome (3), who accounted for seven awards. If you throw in Jacob Trouba’s single title, the Rangers secured eight crowns, which was 36% of the prizes.
You will be as surprised as we were to see that our leading scorer this past season was also the same player who secured the most Dud Awards. Jeff Petry tallied up three bad weeks, while only appearing on the Stud list once. He was joined in the shameful club by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who also had three. After those two players, there was a handful that spent time on the Dud list a couple of times. They included Shea Theodore, Ryan Graves, Matt Borowiecki, Clayton Keller, Anders Lee, and Trouba.
Some of those players appeared on both lists. Those were Theodore, Graves, Petry, Trouba, Keller, and Reilly Smith. Our best single week performance belonged to Anthony Mantha, who scored 45 points in week one. While four players managed to score zero points in weeks, they appeared on the dud list.
When we break down the overall leading scores of our team, six of the top ten scorers were drafted at the beginning of the year. The other four were split evenly between trades and free-agent signings. Only Ovechkin managed to score over 20 goals, while Panarin collected a team-best 38 assists. Only three players finished in double digits with plus/minus with Panarin and Graves leading the way with +21 ratings. Trouba frequented the penalty box the most, racking up 53 minutes. Tony DeAngelo and Petry were our power play specialists with only 12 points. Ovechkin claimed his second category win with 160 shots on goal, just two ahead of Petry.
Only two players (Petry and Ovechkin) managed to score 200 points for us. Twelve of their teammates compiled totals over 100 points, which meant that 16 out of the 30 who donned a jersey finished with triple digits.
Our best goalie (although it is tough to calculate each guy’s performances) had to be Las Vegas Golden Knight Marc-Andre Fleury. He led the way with 25 wins and four shutouts. New York Rangers rookie sensation Igor Shesterkin had the best goals-against average (2.00) despite only playing in one game. His teammate Alexander Georgiev had the best save percentage (0.943) with six games played.
Daily Winning Percentages & Bench Players
The following chart will show you that the best day of the week was the first day of the week. We were ahead (winning) in the matchup about 52% of the time. Thursday proved to be our worse day (23%), while Friday and Sunday hovered in the 30s. Tuesday and Wednesday tied with a 43% winning percentage, while Saturday clocked in at 40%.
Since we started to compile fantasy statistics during the 2018 baseball season, we have always been fascinated with the number of points we didn’t score. In our weekly recaps, we always talk about how many points we didn’t score and whether or not it could have affected the final outcome of the matchup. For recap purposes, we listed every week in the spreadsheet on the right. Since we are not able to substitute players into the lineup during the week, these bench numbers would have a significant impact on the matchups and our final numbers.
Head to Head Results
There were 12 teams in our league this season, which meant we had 11 opponents. Out of all those matchups, we posted a winning record against two of them, Dropping Klefboms (2-0-0) and Cyberbullying HWAG (2-0-1). After that, we played two teams and split the season series 1-1, HANDZUS JOB and No Ice in Iceland. We also split a series with B Galli 1-1-1.
We were swept (0-2-0) by three teams, Money in Leblanc, Hanz&Franz, and Donkey Kong Country. Do I Love Horcoff??? and The Real Deal both claimed the only matchups we had (0-1-0), while we managed to take a point from Gloveside (0-1-1) despite losing the first matchup.
When it comes to matchup scores, we played our best against Cyberbullying HWAG (17-9-4) and our worse against Do I Love Horcoff??? (2-7-1). We produced winning matchup scores against Dropping Klefboms and Cyberbullying HWAG. In regards to the other nine teams, we were severely outscored when the final numbers came in.
We were on a mission at the start of the 2019-20 fantasy season. We wanted to produce a winner after a miserable first season in a new league. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for the second straight year. Despite our ambitions going into the draft, we failed to produce a winner on the ice. It seems that even after learning the structure of this league and setting ourselves up to succeed in it, we didn’t really learn anything.
Lucky for us, the future is bright, just like it is in The Big Apple.