Ben Schimidt is a former Faceoff Factor writer. He has joined the “Beat The Experts” fantasy hockey league and will chronicle his rookie season as a fantasy hockey GM.

In case it hasn’t been obvious before now, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Let’s find out how much evidence I’ve got for that!

The first lesson for this part:

Lesson #8 – I was wrong about goalie stats. It turns out it was because I didn’t have enough starts among my goalies, so none of my goalie stats counted. The real lesson here, though, is know how the scoring works. It can make a big difference.

Now to cover the numerous moves and changes I’ve made over the past two weeks, and the results I got. I’ll try to cover all of my team’s transactions in chronological order:

Oct 17: Dropped Antti Niemi, added Joey MacDonald – This move was a direct result of lesson #8. Niemi doesn’t look to be making it onto the NHL roster any time soon, and at the time, DiPietro was injured, meaning MacDonald was going to be the starting goalie for a while. I figured MacDonald wasn’t likely to win too many games for me, but at least he’d insure that my stats were counted. Then I got lucky, and he won a couple games.

The next thing I did was make another offer for a goaltender. After the discussion from my last entry, I realized I had to aim a bit lower, and offer someone I didn’t want to give up. So I made the offer of Jonathan Toews for Tim Thomas. I hate giving up Toews, but I can replace his production on my roster, and while Thomas isn’t the best goaltender out there, he was the #3 on the team I was offering the trade to, and the Bruins look like they’ll be winning a decent number of games.

The offer was accepted, but would not take effect for another day. I scouted out free agents, and found out that there was a more than suitable replacement for Toews still out there. That leads to my next move:

Oct 17th: Dropped Alex Auld, added Saku Koivu. – How was Saku Koivu still out there? This has probably been one of my best moves to date. Auld wasn’t getting starts at the time, and Koivu has only helped my team.

Oct 18th: Trade – Jonathan Toews for Tim Thomas – I still think Toews is going to break out later in the season, but with Koivu being available at the time, and Thomas providing stats I desperately needed, I think this was the right move to make at the time.

My second week ended as follows:

G: 10 A: 17 +/-: 9 PIM: 56 PPP: 13 GWG: 2 W: 3 L: 2 GAA: 3.12 Sv%: .888 SHO: 0

G: 11 A: 10 +/-: 8 PIM: 28 PPP: 6 GWG: 2 W: 3 L: 1 GAA: 2.44 Sv%: .921 SHO: 1

Which resulted in a 4-5-2 record for the week for me. Which was a significant improvement over the week before.

The pick up of Koivu and the trade probably should have been my last roster moves, but I can’t seem to quit fiddling with my roster. When finding Koivu, I noticed a few other decent players sitting out there, and while I was doing this, I was remembering my thoughts about making sure the roster is more diverse. Especially since it seemed like my entire roster would play one night, and then nobody would the next night.

So I made a few more moves over the following week.

Oct 21: Dropped Joey MacDonald, Added Ray Whitney – At the time, Milan Lucic wasn’t doing much for me, DiPietro was coming back from injury, Brian Rolston was injured, and I now had Tim Thomas to help out on the goaltending front. So I decided to sacrifice an extra goaltender to shore up my Left Wing. Ray Whitney was doing well, and had generally been a good scorer the last few seasons, so he seemed like a reasonable pick-up.

Oct 26: Dropped R.J. Umberger, added Patrick O’Sullivan – Umberger was doing nothing, and O’Sullivan could be used at either Center or Left Wing, and was also heating up right about then, so this seemed like a good swap.

Oct 26: Dropped Milan Lucic, Added Mikael Samuelsson – Yeah, this was a mistake. I’d had him benched when he had his big night, I managed to not notice that he’d had a big night, so I was still thinking he wasn’t doing much. Meanwhile, Samuelsson is on a good team, and doing reasonably well. This is the move I’ll probably regret the most for the rest of the season.

But at least I got another lesson out of it!

Lesson #9 – Be aware of which of your players are on hot or cold streaks.

I made this mistake earlier as well, since I had benched Kessel in favor of St. Louis… and missed having Kessel in my lineup when he had a 2 goal, 3 point night.

After all the moves from last week, here are my results from Week 3:

G: 7 A: 6 +/-: 1 PIM: 24 PPP: 5 GWG: 0 W: 1 L: 2 GAA: 2.96 Sv%: .903 SHO: 0

Dead Babies:
G: 5 A: 7 +/-: -4 PIM: 8 PPP: 6 GWG: 0 W: 5 L: 1 GAA: 3.98 Sv%: .876 SHO: 0

I came away with a 5-4-2 record for that week, which was still an improvement, overall. My current record is 11-17-5, which puts me at 10th out of 12 in the league.

All in all, I think I have improved my team, though I do regret a couple of the moves I’ve made. I’ll try to be more cautious in the future, but I suspect I’ll make more moves as the season moves along.

For the record, here is my current roster:

C: Evgeni Malkin
C: Saku Koivu
LW: Ray Whitney
LW: Patrick O’Sullivan (C,LW)
RW: Jason Pominville
RW: Phil Kessel
D: Nicklas Lidstrom
D: Jay Bouwmeester
D: Brent Seabrook
D: Alex Goligoski
G: Dan Ellis
G: Tim Thomas
G: Josh Harding
BN: Jordan Staal (C, LW)
BN: Brian Rolston (LW)
BN: Mikael Samuelsson (RW)
BN: Martin St. Louis (RW)
BN: Mike Komisarek (D)