For the past few years, a cousin in BC has run a just-for-fun hockey pool for family members across the country, both regular season and playoffs.
I usually enter a few teams each time the pool comes up – a team or two for myself, a team for Shea using the strategy of picking either the funniest and/or longest name in each box (she used this strategy while picking for a guy who didn’t show for one of our local hockey pools when we lived in Calgary and ended up picking a team that came in second! Who knew Miroslav Satan was going to have a banner year that year? Plus that was a hockey pool with cash sums involved so I think the second place guy ended up giving her half his winnings as a thank-you! Those were fun pools because instead of a set entry fee, you drafted based on the player’s salary. So if a player made $10 million a year, it cost you $10 to draft him. So that meant that instead of the usual suspects being picked in the usual order, you were trying to find under-priced diamonds in the rough to minimize your cash outlay and maximize your potential points production. Tangent over.)
For Pace in the fun family pool, I use the fairly random strategy of just picking whichever name is listed first in each of the selection boxes.
This strategy is usually a disaster as the secret to winning a hockey pool is picking two teams you think will go all the way and the more players you have who go further into the playoffs, the more you maximize your potential for gaining points with each round that goes by. (That’s why all the BC cousins did so well last year when the Canucks made the finals and sucked a puck this year when Luongo crapped the bed in the first round!)
But this year, the random names Pace “picked” included a few guys – like Claude Giroux – that a) put up a shit-ton of points and b) (another winning strategy) were guys that were off the radar which meant Pace was getting points from players that few other people picked.
Anyhow, Pace has been in the top spot for pretty much the entire Stanley Cup playoffs but without that concentration of players on the same team or two like some other top participants have, it looks like he’ll finally lose his top spot – maybe even tonight since the third place person has a lot of Kings in their pool (as does my dad who’s in spot #4 and who I think may end up taking the whole thing once the Kings put the Yotes out of their misery.)
As for me, I’d picked the Predators and Capitals to go all the way which is why I’m sitting in the middle of the pack.
Maybe next year!