By now, word has spread throughout the Red Wing blogosphere that Team WIIM emerged victorious in the first ever TPL/WIIM All Star Game Showdown. The three of us (Casey, JJ and myself) celebrated in typical WIIM fashion: we got up early, had a cup of coffee, and went to our respective workplaces where we attempted to stay focused despite the giddiness we still felt.
To call yesterday's win an upset is probably fairly accurate: I've gone over the rosters again, and I have to admit that despite the confidence I attempted to project, I was pretty nervous for most of the weekend. My anxiety stemmed from the fact that we did not consider the skills competition until Petrella picked Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber with back-to-back picks (more on that in a second). I truly believed that if the Indubitables could get out of Saturday down by 3 or less, we had a shot. Thankfully, we actually took the lead into Sunday, and held on for the victory.
However, amid all the celebrations, we realized that a request made at the outset of this competition was not granted: the draft results. Therefore, for the first time, we are going to present the TPL/WIIM draft in its entirety. You will see which blogger picked a specific player, and when that player was selected. As a bonus, the bloggers have provided a little insight into the reasoning for the choice they made. Follow me after the jump and get your second-guessing caps on, because it's time to hindsight it up in here.I'll be completely honest here: I can not remember how we decided that TPL would have the first pick. Whatever the reason, Petrella went first, and we alternated from there. The draft "snaked", in that the person with the last pick in one round would get the first pick in the subsequent round, and the draft continued that way. Round 4 was the goalie round, and the last 2 rounds were reserved for the 12 rookies. We'll break the draft down round-by-round, with each person's pick in order. Here we go:
1. Petrella - Steven Stamkos - "This pick is a no-brainer. No one loves Nicklas Lidstrom like I do, but Stamkos scores at will and it's not like Nick is going to go +7 in an All-Star Game or something, amiright?!"
2. J.J. - Nicklas Lidstrom - "We gameplanned a bit and decided that our first pick would be either Stamkos or Lidstrom, depending on the guy Petrella took with the first overall. I knew the possible fantasy implications of taking a defender first in an offense-only game, but decided that the ability to call ourselves the Red Wings loyalists was that important."
3. Hollis - Eric Staal - "Hometown guy, who's legitimately talented in his own right... this pick made itself."
4. Casey - Rick Nash - "Yeah, I took him before Alex Ovechkin and that was probably dumb but the guy's a beast for the BLUE JACKETS. Have to get them skillz."
5. Discher - Alex Ovechkin - "Duh. When you have the chance to draft one of the most explosive scoring forwards of all time, you take that chance. The All-Star Game is built for players like AO."
6. Graham - Ryan Kesler - "Uh, I wish I knew what this pick was about. But he's having a monster year, he's fast, and it's a game where he can focus entirely on offense."
7. Graham - Danny Briere - "He's a former MVP of this game who has put up some points. He's small and quick (which will be a theme in my picks). Plus, when he grows a mustache, he reminds me of Paul McCartney, and I really like the Beatles."
8. Discher - Dustin Byfuglien - "While he may not be a deserving Norris Trophy candidate, no one can deny dude scores. A lot. And since we need six defensemen for this game, might as well have some that contribute to the offense."
9. Casey - Loui Eriksson - "The Eriksson/Ericsson not nicknamed "Shitbox". One of the better shooters in the league in my opinion and I wanted to get him before it was too late."
10. Hollis - Henrik Sedin - "Without Z playing, we felt we needed a Henrik... so we took the pretty twin."
11. J.J. - Phil Kessel (*Ed. note: this is not a joke) - "This pick will always haunt me and I damn well deserve it. At the time, it seemed like such a no-brainer. Take a guy with a wicked wrist shot who uses it all the time and never plays defense. The All-Star game would be perfect for him. Unfortunately, I couldn't foresee the emotional damage going last would do to this idiot buttercup."
12. Petrella - Zdeno Chara - "Since the Skills Competition counts in our little tete a tete, I figured the 12th selection isn't too early to take the surefire Hardest Shot winner."
13. Petrella - Shea Weber - "Just in case... the only other guy in the conversation about the Hardest Shot. Lockin' up three points with these two picks. Also, I covet Shea Weber."
14. J.J. - Daniel Sedin - "Henrik went first and I wanted shooters, not passers. I opted for the ugly twin and ended up with the better all-star performing twin. Go me."
15. Hollis - Patrick Kane - "Yeah, I said it! What of it?"
16. Casey - Kris Letang - "Realizing that we're falling behind in the defenseman battle after having one to TPL's three, time for WIM to pick up the best remaining D-man."
17. Discher - Brad Richards - "Something about Brad Richards... he's the exact kind of player that becomes the ASG MVP, exploding for five goals out of nowhere."
18. Graham - Patrick Sharp - "He's the only Blackhawk I even remotely like, and I think he's also extremely underrated. Plus, we were going for the female vote, and Sharp is attractive (if you like men). I'll be honest in that he stole the MVP from Weber."
Round 4 (Goalies):
19. Graham - Cam Ward - "At the time of this pick, I was thinking that he's in front of the home crowd and is a very good goalie. We had not yet established the points for first or last overall pick yet, so that did not factor in."
20. Discher - Tim Thomas - "We had the second pick in the goalie round, and were praying Graham did something ill-advised like pick Cam Ward. We fell ass backwards into the best goalie in the league."
21. Casey - Jonas Hiller - "If Hiller has put up that many wins for that crappy of an Anaheim team, he has to be doing something right. I'll gladly take him before the remaining three in a game like this."
22. Hollis - Marc-Andre Fleury - "Jonas Hiller, Casey? Jesus, we're going to find a way to steal all three of the top three goaltenders, aren't we?"
23. J.J. - Henrik Lundqvist - "My pick was second-to-last in the goalie round. Lundqvist or Price was a toss-up."
24. Petrella - Carey Price - "I didn't have a choice... I went last in the goalie round, and he was the one left. Here's hoping he plays out of his mind, and allows three or fewer goals."
25. Petrella - Martin St. Louis - "We have the Hardest Shot competition wrapped up... and since we need a few forwards, who better to take than a veteran that has a quick lap time? The optimist in me thinks we may have an inside track on two skills."
26. J.J. - Tobias Enstrom (later replaced by Keith Yandle) - "Before Enstrom broke his finger, he was very high on the list for defensive scoring and, unlike Byfuglien, not a defensive liability. Getting Yandle instead is like asking for an Optimus Prime for Christmas and getting a Go-Bot."
27. Hollis - Ales Hemsky (later replaced by Martin Havlat)- "He was the darkhorse "this type of guy ALWAYS wins the MVP" dude. Then five minutes later, he got hurt. "
28. Casey - Anze Kopitar - "This guy's still available? Yoink. Originally, Disch thought it was his turn and selected Kopitar in my spot. Seeing that I had Kopitar already ready to go on my pick, I just claimed him."
29. Discher - Dan Boyle - "Running out of guys -- particularly defensemen -- available, so you pull the trigger on one that isn't a Blackhawk or drives a Vespa."
30. Graham - Matt Duchene - "He played for my hometown junior team (the Battalion), and I've seen him destroy the Wings this year. He has an enthusiasm for the game that seems to be contagious. I just hope that if he gets a golden opportunity, he's not too hungover to take advantage."
31. Graham - Claude Giroux - "Another under-sized forward with no ASG history but a boatload of potential to do some damage? Check. My whole plan in this draft was to take a few risks."
32. Discher - Jonathan Toews - "Despite all of the Hawk Hate that's strong with Red Wings Nation, Toews seems like a good enough dude, despite all his puss-facin' at the real Draft. Frankly, we were surprised he was still around at 32."
33. Casey - Mike Green - "Considering that he pretty much plays offense first in the regular season, he should be good for some points in the All-Star Game."
34. Hollis - Duncan Keith - "I promise Hollis isn't really a Blackhawks fan..." (Ed. note: this was written by Petrella, and I'm pretty sure Hollis doesn't refer to himself in third person. Now that we got that out of the way, Graham is going to get back to the post.)
35. J.J. - Erik Karlsson - "If I've taken one lesson from this entire process it's to never draft a defenseman who wears his hair like a love child between Jonathan Ericsson and Gordon Gekko."
36 - Petrella - David Backes - "Slim pickins this late in the Draft, so I go with a guy that legitimately MIGHT get a penalty (which is worth two points in our game). "
37. Petrella - Brent Burns - "This selection was more about who WASN'T taken than who was. All I knew is that I wanted no part of Marc Staal in this game, and we needed one more defenseman. It was Burns or Staal."
38. J.J. - Patrick Elias - "It was either him, unknown replacements for Crosby & Malkin, or Corey Perry. I'm happy with that pick."
39. Hollis - Sidney Crosby's Replacement (Paul Statsny) - "There wasn't really a choice here... it was Crosby's replacement, Malkin's replacement, Marc Staal or Corey Perry. No brainer."
40. Casey - Mark Staal - "Because I had to."
41. Discher - Evgeni Malkin's Replacement (Jeff Skinner) - "It was an empty void or Corey Perry. Empty void wins every time."
42. Graham - Corey Perry - "He was literally the last player left, and I was searching online to see if he was injured and had to miss the game. Unfortunately, he was healthy, and I had no choice but to pick him. However: HAHAHAHA that he was the last pick."
43. Graham - Jeff Skinner (replaced by Jamie McBain) - "He's the hometown hero who apparently looks like Justin Bieber. However, I didn't let that dissuade me. I thought he'd be good in the skills competition."
44. Discher - Taylor Hall - "Top pick in the Entry Draft, and talented enough to elevate himself over the other rookies in the field."
45. Casey - Derek Stepan - "Kid scored a hat trick in his first NHL game, why the hell not?"
46. Hollis - Logan Couture - "Juicy is the top rookie in the game this year, taking advantage of his 300 games played last season."
47. J.J. - Tyler Seguin - "I literally had no idea what he would bring to the skills comp, but I recognized the name."
48. Petrella - Kevin Shattenkirk - "I won't lie, I drafted this kid's name."
49. Petrella - Jordan Eberle's Replacement (P.K. Subban) - "I'm not sold on any of the remaining rookies, and I was dying to select the real Eberle. I assume whoever they pick to replace Eberle will be more valuable than, say, Michael Grabner."
50 - J.J. - Michael Grabner - "I don't deserve credit for picking the eventual winner of the fastest skater. I was all set to pick Tyler Ennis when Casey jumped me in line and took Grabner. After we took Kopitar under similar circumstances when Discher line-jumped, I changed my pick to Grabner and made Casey take Ennis with his pick."
51. Hollis - Oliver Ekman-Larsson - "We should have considered a "best name" category for a point or two..."
52. Casey - Tyler Ennis - "I jumped the gun thinking that it was my turn when it was actually JJ's and squealed GRABNER! So JJ took him while I took his pick, which was Ennis."
53. Discher - Cam Fowler - "Who the hell is Evgeny Dadonov?"
54. Graham - Evgeny Dadonov - "What Disch said."