Is Steve Mason really the top goalie in the NHL? I’m going to take my shot (shot, get it?) at this question, building upon existing methods. But before I go into that, let me break down why this is worth looking into.
For sports fans, March Madness is an event like no other. It’s where the top 64+ teams in college basketball get together to play a win-or-go-home single elimination tournament. Every year I wonder why the NBA doesn’t get in on the action.
So let's talk a little bit about another drafter child, the simul_drafter (or “Sim” for short), and how I designed her. Sim can, at each pick, simulate the rest of the draft. Then Sim calculates how far ahead or behind our resulting team is, by our team-level metric, versus the best other team (I could compare against average, but really I want to be able to beat the next best team). If I do this across a selection of players, I can figure out which one resulted in the best overall pick.
My season turned around when I figured out that I really wasn't playing the game. I wasn't taking advantage of simple tactical moves that would help me win categories, at no cost. When I awoke to this and started playing, along with making a couple of trades to balance out my roster, things started looking up.
I'd never been in a hockey pool before. Not a real one. I had done a couple of simple ones, with René and other classmates, but those were pick-em-and-leave-em. That was by design. We all wanted to focus on grad school (and drinking – two non-mutually exclusive concepts) and didn't want the winner to be the person who slacked off on studying the most. Most of my effort then was drafting. I played with no bench, no lineup changes, no trades. Now I was invited to a real pool. How was that going to work out?