So here’s the deal: Mr. Scott McLaughlin and I arrived at the TD Garden a few hours early today to exercise our inner general managers and decide, once and for all (at least until we do this again), whose Sports IQ is the highest.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Jake, didn’t you already destroy Scott in fantasy baseball this year?” To which I say, “Yes, but why are you tracking my fantasy sports teams? What’s that? You want an autograph. Well, okay, just this once…”
(Editor’s note: Scott’s fantasy football team had a much better season than Jake’s, but Scott chooses to exercise some humility rather than be obnoxiously arrogant about it.)
(Editor’s note 2: Scott is the Editor.)
Anyway, we flipped a coin, and I earned the top selection. Below is the butt-whooping which followed.
Jake 1 – Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks – Tough choice between Toews and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux. Giroux’s a bit better offensively, but I love Toews’ two-way game, and love his faceoff dependability. I think his total package makes him the best healthy player in the NHL right now.
Scott 1 – Claude Giroux, Flyers – He’d be my MVP if the season ended today. Easy pick.
J2 – Daniel Sedin, Canucks – The plan initially was to stick Daniel Sedin on Toews’ left wing. That changed as things unfolded…
S2 – Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings – It was between Datsyuk and Malkin here. Datsyuk won out because of his defensive play and reliability on faceoffs, and because he’s one of my personal favorite players.
J3 – Marian Hossa, Blackhawks – Me: “Are we factoring defense into this or just building all-O All Star teams.” Scott: “Let’s factor in defense.” Me: “Hossa.”
S3 – Evgeni Malkin, Penguins – I was pleased to see Malkin still left here. He’s second only to Giroux in points per game.
J4 – Zdeno Chara, Bruins – Knowing I’d pick Henrik Sedin next, I need an on-ice protector for those two. You know, in case Brad Marchand earns an alternate spot.
S4 – Shea Weber, Predators – Chara and Weber are clearly the top two defensemen in the game right now. I couldn’t risk letting Jake end up with both of them. Also, does Jake really think Chara is going to protect the Sedins with those two teams’ history?
J5 – Henrik Sedin, Canucks – Having one Sedin made me dangerous. Having two Sedins is just stupid awesome.
S5 – Steven Stamkos, Lightning – He’s the best goal scorer in the league. Put him on a line with one or two of the playmakers I already have, and that’s going to be lethal.
J6 – Kimmo Timonen, Flyers – Philly GM Paul Holmgren called Timonen his team’s “anchor.” Flyers are pretty good. I’ll take that in the sixth round.
S6 – Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers – It felt like a good time to take a goalie. Lundqvist vs. Thomas was a tough call, but Lundqvist has had a slightly better season and would be my Vezina winner as of today.
J7 – Tim Thomas, Bruins – I would’ve rather had Lundqvyst, but no complaints about this consolation. Plan was always to let Scott bite on a goalie first. Trap set.
S7 – Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs – He’s second in the NHL in both goals and points. Even if he isn’t great defensively, I’m thrilled to get him in the seventh round.
J8 – Patrick Kane, Blackhawks – Good player. Gives me an all-Chicago line of Hossa-Toews-Kane. Ensures fun times for all (sans Ottawa cabbies) at post-game party.
S8 – Joffrey Lupul, Maple Leafs – Lupul and Kessel have been great together all season. They’ll be great on this team, too.
J9 – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – McLaughlin and I should both have our credentials revoked for letting Ovie fall to the ninth round.
S9 – Ryan Suter, Predators – Actually, I would’ve been happy to let Ovechkin fall further given his disappointing season. Anyway, I feel pretty confident matching up Weber and Suter against any of Jake’s lines.
J10 – Tyler Seguin, Bruins – Managed to steal Seguin, Thomas and Chara from Billerica-based McLaughlin. “Scott hates the Bruins” emails can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
S10 – Jason Spezza, Senators – He’s putting up points, he’s good on faceoffs, and he’s playing in front of his home crowd.
J11 – Marian Gaborik, Rangers – Having Seguin and Gaborik sniping from the same third line made me smile.
S11 – Jamie Benn, Stars – Benn was recently named one of the most underrated players in the NHL in a Sports Illustrated players poll. I agree.
J12 – Alex Edler, Canucks – Love the two-way game, and needed a little skill on the blue line.
S12 – Dan Girardi, Rangers – He leads the league in minutes played and is a rock defensively.
J13 – Brian Campbell, Panthers – See Edler.
S13 – Erik Karlsson, Senators – He’s running away with the defenseman scoring race. I’ll gladly take his offense from the blue line, especially on the power play.
J14 – Jarome Iginla, Flames – Seguin and Gaborik shooting at the same net made my smile. Them shooting through Iginla’s screens is even better.
S14 – John Tavares, Islanders – He’s one of the best young centers in the game, and he’s another guy who’s good on faceoffs.
J15 – Logan Couture, Sharks – No qualms about the San Jose Sensation centering my fourth line.
S15 – Jason Pominville, Sabres – He’s having a breakout season. I’d feel more confident if I could take linemate Thomas Vanek, too, but Pominville should still make good things happen no matter who he’s with.
J16 – Danny Alfredsson, Senators – Feared Scott might try to take the hometown Alfredsson-Spezza-Michalek unit. Plus, Alfredsson fits my two-way gameplan.
S16 – Milan Michalek, Senators – I was hoping to get Spezza, Alfredsson and Michalek, but Jake stole Alfredsson. Having Spezza and Michalek together should still be beneficial, though.
J17 – Keith Yandle, Coyotes – Gonna burn Scott like a candle, peeps will think it a scandal, ain’t no way he can handle, my team with Keith Yandle. – DJ J-Slizzle
S17 – Dion Phaneuf, Maple Leafs – What do you mean there’s not supposed to be hitting in an all-star game?
J18 – Brian Elliot, Blues – What rhymes with Elliot? – Jake “White Chocolate” Seiner
S18 – Jonathan Quick, Kings – Quick’s been a workhorse this year and is the primary reason the Kings are still in playoff contention. Glad to have him.
J19 – Jimmy Howard, Red Wings – We decided to clear out the goalies to ensure a position player earned “Mr. Irrelevant” honors. Had choice between Howard and Price. Gotta rep Hockey East.
S19 – Carey Price, Canadiens – We agreed to get the goalies off the board so none of them would be Mr. Irrelevant. I’m fine with Price as my third-stringer.
J20 – Corey Perry, Ducks – Would trade him for Patrice Bergeron in a heartbeat.
S20 – Mikko Koivu, Wild – As the last forward on the board, Koivu was mine no matter what at this point. I decided to save him the fate of being Mr. Irrelevant as a reward to the Wild for having a good first half and having to deal with so many injuries.
J21 – Dennis Wideman, Capitals – As long as Claude Julien isn’t my coach, Wideman should enjoy his view from the end of the bench just fine.
S21 – Dustin Byfuglien, Jets – As a Bostonian, I was really hoping Wideman would be Mr. Irrelevant just for the comedy factor. But alas, the dubious tag goes to Byfuglien, who will give me some more offense from the blue line.
Kane – Toews – Hossa
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Ovechkin
Iginla – Seguin – Gaborik
Perry – Couture – Alfredsson
Chara – Timonen
Edler – Campbell
Yandle – Wideman
Malkin – Giroux – Stamkos
Kessel – Datsyuk – Lupul
Michalek – Spezza – Benn
Koivu – Tavares – Pominville
Suter – Weber
Karlsson – Girardi
Phaneuf – Byfuglien
So Scott got all the goal scorers, and I got all the Canucks, Blackhawks and Bruins. My team will win, but also likely suffer from some serious multiple-personality issues. It happens. Anyway, feel free to feed us back with who you think would win here or on Twitter. At least as long as you’re confirming the whooping my team would put on Scott’s.
(Scott’s response: I went into this planning to take more two-way players, but Jake took a lot of them a round or two ahead of where I had them penciled in. That left me with a lot of the game’s most dangerous scorers, something I’m perfectly fine with. I think my team has enough skill to score against anyone. All-Star games tend to turn into shootouts, and trying to keep up with my team will be near impossible.)