Monday, April 12, 2010

Tips for winning your office playoff pool

It's the day after the end of the NHL's regular season, and that means that millions of hockey fans around the world will soon be drafting teams for their annual playoff pool.

Some people claim that playoff pools are all luck. Nonsense. Not only can you win your office pool, but you can dominate. But you need to go into your draft with a strategy.

Are you tired of being the Marian Hossa of your office pool? If so, change your luck this year by following the tips below:

  • When faced with a choice between two players with similar talent levels and statistical output, it's generally a good idea to lean towards the one whose team qualified for the post-season.

  • Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley would all make for excellent first-round selections in playoff pools that don't count stats such as goals and assists.

  • You should absolutely feel free to draft players from the Eastern Conference once all the players from the good teams are gone.

  • The Phoenix Coyotes finished with 107 points. It might be a good idea to Google them to see if you can figure out the names of some of their players.

  • If there are fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs taking part in your draft, remember to build in some extra time at the start for explaining what "playoffs" means.

  • Before picking Chris Phillips, double-check your rules to make sure your pool doesn't only count playoff goals scored against the other team.

  • Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson probably won't get you many wins or shutouts. But if your pool has a category for "Having the same haircut as Friar Tuck from Rocket Robin Hood"... well then, ka-ching!

  • Wherever possible, load up on players from the two highest scoring teams: The Washington Capitals, and whoever is playing against the Washington Capitals.

  • Yes, it will be tempting to pick Ryan Miller based on his MVP-calibre season. But don't forget that he plays in Buffalo, so something horrible is going to happen to him.

  • Many "experts" will tell you to avoid Russian players, since as Europeans they don't care about the Stanley Cup as much as North Americans and won't be willing to do the hard work it takes to win one. This is nonsense. Russia is technically part of Asia.

  • Office pools with coworkers are lots of fun. But remember, if you work in the newspaper industry be sure to get everyone's money in advance in case your paper goes out of business before June.

  • When doing projections for Philadelphia Flyers forwards, remember to factor in the fact that they'll all probably be forced to play goalie at some point.

  • Wherever possible, focus on players that appear to be well-rested. For example, savvy veteran Matt Cooke recently took a refreshing ten-minute nap in the middle of a game.


  1. Entertaining as usual.

    But, the Matt Cooke reference made me really laugh out loud.

  2. DGB,

    Love the shot at the Flyers. Thought it could be worse, they could be dressing Vesa Toskala instead.

  3. LOL - Loved the Washington Capitals defense jab...and Matt Cooke's nap looked very refreshing.


  4. Brilliant as always! Loved the Matt Cooke comment.

  5. Matt, all of the Flyers goalies are UFA if I'm not mistaken so their commitment to winning in spite of their goaltending could be reinforced by Vesa the Sieve.

  6. Loved the shots against the Eastern Conference and the Caps. Hoping beyond reason you're right about the Sharks choking on their sticks, while Anderson proves you wrong.

  7. Great post to start the playoffs, I look forward to more.

    Here's a great quote I found from Chris Chelios.

    ”It takes brains. It's not like a forward, where you can get away with scoring and not play defense. On defense you have to be thinking.” - Chris Chelios

    Zombies always bring up brains in conversation.

  8. As a Flyers fan, I applaud your wit, sir. And the Matt Cooke comment made me laugh out loud as well.

  9. Too bad no Leafs are available... AGAIN!!!!!

  10. @Kyle

    According to

    Boucher is on for one more year
    Leighton, Emery, Backlund are UFAs
    Duchesne is RFA

    I think the Flyers are gonna sign Marty Turco or bring back Biron for one more year

    anyway, in a perfect world, the Flyers would send Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere to the Habs for Jaroslav Halak, then they'd sign Ilya Kovalchuk...but this world aint perfect

  11. Hahaha Matt Cooke is one savvy guy, indeed

  12. LMAO

    DGB strikes again


    do u like mma

  13. One day after you posted on the PPP site about Damien Cox's ineffective use of MSM "Access," James Mirtle goes and does the same thing. See below:

    "And while at least one of those traded has quietly told friends around the league that the Leafs coach had “lost the room,” it’s now crystal clear Burke came down on the side of Wilson, shuttling out nearly 40 per cent of his roster in a span of five weeks in a bid to clear out the malcontents."

    Like to hear your opinion.


  14. Ugh, I work in the newspaper industry and am a Devils fan. June could be a rough month...

  15. This was pretty funny, too bad you were wrong about Craig Anderson getting wins/ shutouts. Seems he has 2 of the former and 1 of the latter so far.