Sequeira: The secret to your NHL hockey pool picks

How do you pick your team? The all-beard roster, trusting your pets foresight, or good-old fashioned research

Emanuel Sequeira is the sports editor for the Penticton Western News. Follow him on Twitter: @Pentictonsports

Emanuel Sequeira is the sports editor for the Penticton Western News. Follow him on Twitter: @Pentictonsports

The puck dropped on the NHL’s centennial season Wednesday.

That also means if you love hockey pools, it’s time for you to sign up for the Penticton Western News pool if you haven’t already. That raises one question. Why haven’t you signed up yet? Our hockey pool, entry expires on Oct. 18, offers the chance to win more than $4,500 in prizes and a chance to beat me, the “expert” as I have been dubbed, for an additional prize. I want to make one thing clear. It wasn’t my idea to refer to myself as an “expert.”

Read more here: $4,500 up for grabs in Penticton Western News hockey pool

I’m certain I shocked many when I rose from the ashes of being near the basement last year to finishing third overall. I did say to be prepared to battle me.

I’m grinning right now because I didn’t anticipate either of those things happening. I’m glad I managed to finish at least in the top 30 because I was being bugged by a few people about the performance of my team. Helping me rise to near the top were some key changes. It also doesn’t hurt when some of your injury ravaged players return to health. Thank you Connor McDavid. Instead of dumping him during the trading window at the NHL All-Star break, I hung onto him and the move paid off.

Being successful in hockey pools comes down to two things: doing your homework researching players and a little bit of luck. I wonder how many people will select Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews who became the first rookie in the NHL’s modern era (starting in 1943-44) to bag four goals in his NHL debut? If you haven’t seen it, find the highlights on the Internet. Some of his goals were impressive.

Anyways, back to player selections. I have heard of some interesting methods. With beards back to being popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if in some draft pools, people were to build their own all-beard roster.

Of course, if you have your pet well trained to use their paws to point at things, and you have enough trust in your lovable fur ball, then you can lean on them. Hey, look at TSN. They rely on Maggie the monkey to predict playoff outcomes.

I prefer doing a bit of homework. This year I didn’t spend the amount of time preparing for my keeper league and a one-year pool I entered. Spending less time scouring my hockey guides or different websites was likely a good thing for my personal life. In the past I would get unimpressed looks from my lovely wife, who would have preferred me spending that time with her. Hey, I just want to do well and win some cash.

Picking a team isn’t the only thing hard about a hockey pool, how about a team name? I did a search and here are some I found: Bjugstad Bites, Baby’s Got Backlund, I Hertl Myself Today, Lazar Bomba (for Armstrong’s Curtis Lazar, a former Okanagan Hockey Academy player), Pardy Like a Rock Star, Erixon Valdez, Doughy Little Secret, and Staal Tactics. There are some other good ones, though not suitable for print. Having a clever team name sparks up good conversation or will give your opponents reason to trash talk you.

I’d like to come up with something clever about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but I’m stumped. Perhaps the team that finishes last should be given the T-Rump Trophy, though.

Hockey pools are meant to be fun, whether you are wiping the floor with your opponents, dishing out great verbal jabs, or most importantly, at the end coming out on top. The only way you can beat me in the Western News pool is by signing up. You can do that by following this link and selecting the Penticton Western News Online Hockey Pool. For those of you who haven’t signed up, I repeat, what are you waiting for?

Emanuel Sequeira is the sports editor for the Penticton Western News. Twitter: @Pentictonsports