Who is the best multi-category player to own in Roto hockey? Influence the result!
Welcome back to my first Cage Match tournament! We’re going to crown the best multi-cat player in the NHL (based on Hits, Blocked Shots, PIMs, and Shots), and your votes will decide the winner! If you haven’t read last week’s column, be sure to check it out before voting to see what brought us here and to give you some useful background.
Actual voting will take place within the Black Aces area of the Forums, and for each match I’ve included a link to vote - just click on “VOTE HERE” to be taken to the voting area for that particular match. Voting closes on Sunday December 8th to give me time to tally the results before next week’s column. This week we’ll go from the initial 32 players (eight in each of four brackets) down to 16. Next week, we narrow the field from 16 to eight, and the week after that from eight to four – one winner in each bracket. From there, we’ll get the finalists who’ll battle to determine the champion.
As with last week, after the brackets I’ve included a bonus “real life” Cage Match, where instead of comparing two hockey players I’ll tackle a different side-by-side debate. This week it’s craps versus roulette in a battle to determine the better non-blackjack casino game.
Bracket #1 – The Young Guns (all 25 years old or younger)
This is a stacked bracket, including a number of players with several hundred NHL games under their belts despite their relatively young ages. I struggled most with seeding Gudas, before deciding that his jaw dropping numbers should trump his lack of experience. I figured Lucic would be a better seed until I realized how much his PIM numbers have slipped; but of course much of that is a testament to other players no longer being as willing to drop the gloves with him (he picked up his first fighting major just this past weekend), plus increased discipline.
Bracket #2 – The Old Guard (all at least 30 years old)
Those of you in keeper leagues might not be too keyed into these veterans at this point in their careers, but truth be told they can still give you great stats in these categories. I think this might be the most wide open bracket, but the winner still should be tried and tested enough to compete against the others who make up the final four.
Bracket #3 – Best of the Rest Part A (Defensemen ages 26-29)
Most of the names on this list should be long familiar to fantasy hockey enthusiasts whose leagues count any of these four categories. Only Grossmann and Franson have really emerged over the past several years, and we’ll have to see if they can translate their momentum into a first round upset.
Bracket #4 – Best of the Rest Part B (Forwards ages 26-29)
Like the Bracket #3 defensemen group, there are a number of well-known names among these eight, and I’m guessing the final match-up in this bracket might end up being the closest of all. But first we have to get through round one to see if any upsets are brewing!
Bonus Real Life Cage Match
I’m guessing that blackjack is the casino game of choice for most people, what with its favorable odds, fairly easy to understand rules, and popularity in TV and movies. So I decided to have a Cage Match to determine the best “other” casino game between craps and roulette.
Roulette has an advantage in that easy to quickly learn how to play. Craps has more complicated rules; but once you get over the initial hurdle it’s not too difficult to follow along. Both games give you a wide variety of different bets to make; and while roulette offers gamblers more long shot bets that pay up to 35 to 1, craps has the one and only bet in the entire casino (odds behind the pass line) where there is no “house edge”.
Roulette allows you to sit down while you’re playing, which can be nice. But craps has a convenient place to put your drink under the rail, while roulette has nothing of the sort. Craps allows you not only to handle chips when putting out your bet (as roulette does), but also lets you actually roll the dice to literally put winning or losing in your very own hands.
Roulette is nice in that there’s always a way to make a winning bet. And technically that’s not 100% the case with craps (a 12 on the come out roll when betting don’t pass is a push).
In roulette, you either win or lose your bet with each spin of the wheel, which can be great when you’re running hot but can eat up your bankroll if you’re not. It’s also nice in that if you want to make a quick “hit and run” bet you can plop down your chips and get a resolution within a minute or two at most. Craps also has bets that win or lose based on a single roll of the dice to give you a quick fix, but in addition offers a number of bets where you often don’t get an outcome until five, ten, or even more rolls of the dice, allowing you to try to stretch out your money longer if you so choose.
Craps players can be quite superstitious, which can be intimidating. But the “dealers” in craps also can be very amusing, calling out “yo eleven” and other interesting and humorous phrases. Plus, there really is no match for the excitement and enjoyment of a hot craps table, while at roulette tables the dealers and other players are pretty much all business. Craps players also tend to have similar rooting interests (except for those who play the “dark side” of Don’t Pass), which helps make the table more social and fun, while at a roulette table players are usually crossing their fingers for different numbers, setting up more competing interests.
In the end, I have to give the edge to craps as it’s a more unique and social game, which also allows you roll the dice yourself and to stretch your bankroll longer if desired.
Recent Cage Matches
|Kevin Shattenkirk vs. Ryan McDonagh|
|Matt Duchene vs. Kyle Turris|
|Kyle Okposo vs. Bryan Little|
|Jeff Skinner vs. Nazem Kadri|
|David Desharnais vs. Tyler Ennis|