Saturday, 7 April 2012

HBIC Housekeeping

With the final day of NHL regular season action upon us, seedings and playoff match-ups are being decided as I write this. Everyone, even those who aren't the biggest of hockey fans, loves the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of the drama and intrigue that goes into every series. What makes it special for fans here on HBIC is the annual Playoff Pool, and I'm proud to say that the Fifth Annual HBIC Playoff Pool spreadsheet is posted below! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your co-workers, and tell your fiercest rivals that the ALWAYS-FREE HBIC Playoff Pool officially opens for business tonight!

I do have a little clean-up to do, though. First, I will be updating the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament tomorrow. The Frozen Four Final was played tonight between the heavily-favored Boston College Eagles and the Underdog-of-the-Year Ferris State Bulldogs. In a one-game winner-takes-all Final, anything can happen, and there was a part of me rooting for the Ferris State Bulldogs as they tried to end Boston College's 18-game winning streak. I'll have the updates on this tournament tomorrow, though.

Secondly, I have all of the HBIC Exams that were submitted marked, and there were some incredible efforts put forth by a few readers. I'll be contacting the winner tomorrow to alert him or her of the prizes that will be coming his or her way, but I'll post the answer key and the marks on Monday since all of the NHL hockey is over.

Thirdly, Tuesday will be KHL day on HBIC as the finalists have been named for the Gagarin Cup. There were some key upsets and some amazing performances in the KHL Playoffs this year, and the two finalists have certainly earned their spots in the Gagarin Cup Final. I'll have all that information on Tuesday for your reading.

Today, however, we get to the highly-anticipated HBIC Playoff Pool. MAKE SURE YOU READ TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS ENTRY FOR DETAILS! Every year since the founding of HBIC, I have offered an absolutely-free hockey pool for my readers. There are prizes for those who perform well, and I am happy to do this for those of you who stop by here when you can. This year will be no exception as the pool will be free again, and there will be some great prizing available for those that rise above the rest.

Straight from the previous years' Playoff Pool rules, here is the format for the 2012 Hockey Blog In Canada Playoff Pool.
  • Entrants will be required to pick the winner of each game for each series. In doing so, one will also choose the number of games played by the two teams in each series.
  • Entrants will be required to pick the game-winning goal scorer for each game.
Sounds pretty easy, right? No real strategy as to which team will go further, who is playing whom, and all that jazz. Points will be based upon your predictions.
  • For each correctly-predicted team that wins the game, one point will be awarded. For correctly predicting the series length, two points will be awarded. For correctly predicting the series length AND winning team, five points will be awarded. If one correctly predicts the series length and winning team, the two-point option is overridden by the higher-scoring option.
  • For predicting the player who scores the game-winning goal per game, that entrant will receive an additional two points per game per correctly-chosen player.
The following example should help you weed through the rules:
  • For the Pittsburgh-Philly series, I predict that Pittsburgh will win Games 1, 2, 4, and 6. Philly will win Games 3 and 5. I also predict that Chris Kunitz will score the game-winner in Game 1; Paul Martin in Game 2; Jordan Staal in Game 4; and, Tyler Kennedy in Game 6. Claude Giroux will score Philly's winner in Game 3 while Jaromir Jagr will score in Game 5.
  • If I correctly predicted the entire series (highly improbable with my record of prognostications) of Pittsburgh winning in six games with all my game-winner scoring choices being right, I would earn 23 points (6 for each correct game + 5 for correctly predicting length and series winner + 12 for each game-winning goal scorer).
The catch to this whole thing is that no one will be eliminated until the Stanley Cup is handed out. With each new round beginning, each entrant will be required to send in their picks just as they did in the previous round. This way, everyone has a chance at some free shwag. And everyone loves free shwag.

I would hazard a guess at there possibly being a tie between two or more people, so your tie-breaker, required at the start of the first round, is to name the team who will accumulate the most penalty minutes throughout the playoffs. Those who are tied will have their answers reviewed, and the entrant who picked the team with the higher PIM total for the playoffs will be crowned as the winner. Secondary tie-breaker, in case two entrants pick the same team for PIMs, will be number of series correctly predicted in length of games. For example, if Entrant A picks Boston and Entrant B picks Detroit, and Boston has the higher PIM total, Entrant A would be the winner. If tied, the entrant who had the most series wins would be the winner.

The best part of the HBIC Playoff Pool? It's FREE! That's right, kids. You can enter at no cost, and the shwag is up for grabs. The only thing I ask, to be fair, is that you only enter once, please. Also, if you happen to miss a round, that's fine. Things happen, people get busy, no big deal. Just remember that you may find yourself in a very difficult spot if you miss any of the rounds because the point totals available in each round decrease with the lower total number of series being played. I won't be babysitting, so it's your job to enter as the Playoff Pool continues.

There has been a MAJOR CHANGE in terms of entering. I will continue to use the email account specifically for the HBIC Playoff Pool simply because my normal email is ridiculously cluttered and I need some time to go through it. That being said, you MUST send all picks to this new email address: hbicplayoffpool-at-gmail-dot-com. Entries sent to any other email address that you have for me will be categorically deleted so that I can keep all of the HBIC Playoff Pool entries in one place. Clear? Nod your head. You don't want your Poolie Picks to go missing in my disorganized mailbox, do you?

Now to expedite the marking, I have created a pretty little Excel document that can be opened in both Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc. Fill this out and send it back to me WITH YOUR NAME AS THE NAME OF THE EXCEL DOCUMENT (ie. Teebz.xls).

And I think that about does it. If you have any questions, fire me an email here. DO NOT SEND YOUR PICKS TO THAT EMAIL! Follow the directions above to do so. Get your picks in by the puck drop in Game One of the first series on Wednesday to enter the pool! If you have some sort of issue with this deadline, please email ASAP so we can make arrangements!

And may the best prognosticator win!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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