Sunday, April 11, 2010

Capitals Coming playoff pick-em contest, round 1

The annoying thing I have about most ways to do a playoff picking game is that however close you are, if you pick the wrong team, no reward. For example, team A vs team B. You say team A in 7, the other guy says team B in 4, and when team B wins in 7, the other guy gets more points than you despite being farther off.

Last year I devised a new system with my friends, and I think it works. So it works like this:
  • You get points off for each game you miss the final result by. For example, if you say Ottawa in 5 for round 1 and the result is Pittsburgh in 7, that's (OTT in 5 --> OTT in 6 --> OTT in 7 --> PIT in 7) 3 steps away, 3 points.
  • Each round increases point penalties. The Conference Quarterfinals are one point/game off, Conference Semifinals two, Conference Finals three, and Stanley Cup Finals four. I don't want to reward the easier picks in earlier rounds the same as tougher ones in later rounds.
  • At the beginning (i.e. now), pick your Stanley Cup finalists, champ, number of games, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP. Each is worth -2 points (for -10 possible; the "games missed" rule does not apply). 
  • For each round, pick either the round's a) goals leader (player or team), b) points leader, c) shutouts leader, or d) goals-against leader (goalie or team). Each is worth -2 points. If you pick a tie and get it right, -4 points.
  • Golf rules: low score wins.
For example: Team A in 4, Team B in 6, and so on (8 winners in first round). Team A wins Cup over Team X in 6 with Player Z winning the Smythe. Player X leads NHL in goals in 1st round.

Tonight we'll know who-plays-who. Between tonight's final game and whenever the playoffs start (Wednesday I believe) put your picks in the comments. Identify yourself with a unique ID or name so I can keep track. Each time a round finishes I'll publish the standings, the correct answers to the trivia, and the next round matchups. Comment with your next predictions there. I'll add mine in as well, so you can see that I don't cheat.

Final winner gets some sort of non-monetary prize. I'll work something out.

Update: matchups are in.

1 Washington vs 8 Montreal
2 New Jersey vs 7 Philadelphia
3 Buffalo vs 6 Boston
4 Pittsburgh vs 5 Ottawa

1 San Jose vs 8 Colorado
2 Chicago vs 7 Nashville
3 Vancouver vs 6 Los Angeles
4 Phoenix vs 5 Detroit

I got: Caps in 5, Devils in 5, Sabres in 6, Pens in 7, Sharks in 6, Hawks in 7, Canucks in 4, and Red Wings in 4. For the SCF, I got Caps over Hawks in 7, Backstrom gets the Smythe. Leading goal scorer for this round: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh).

Leave yours in the comments (please!).

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