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Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, right, of Sweden, celebrates with teammate Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, after scoring a goal against the Atlanta Thrashers during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 9, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez) (Luis Alvarez)
Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, right, of Sweden, celebrates with teammate Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, after scoring a goal against the Atlanta Thrashers during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 9, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez) (Luis Alvarez)

The most popular playoff pool picks Add to ...

Bit of a light-hearted post for a Friday morning.

Playoff season is also pool season if you're a hockey fan, and I was looking over the rosters in a few fantasy pools I'm in last night just to see who the top picks are this year.

The main pool I entered is like a lot of others out there: You select 20 players -- which can include as many as two goalies -- and get one point for goals and assists and two for a win. It's really straightforward (a good thing given the number of hockey writers in it).

Here are the 25 most popular picks in my pool, one that I think reflects who people are picking generally (with the percentage of teams which picked them listed):

..........

Player

Team

%

1

Crosby

PIT

93%

2

Backstrom

WAS

93%

3

Green

WAS

93%

4

Ovechkin

WAS

93%

5

Semin

WAS

93%

6

Malkin

PIT

86%

7

Datsyuk

DET

79%

8

Zetterberg

DET

79%

9

Kane

CHI

71%

10

Toews

CHI

71%

11

Hossa

CHI

64%

12

Keith

CHI

57%

13

H.Sedin

VAN

57%

14

Franzen

DET

50%

15

Laich

WAS

50%

16

Lidstrom

DET

43%

17

Parise

NJ

43%

18

D. Sedin

VAN

43%

19

Sharp

CHI

36%

20

Howard

DET

36%

21

Kovalchuk

NJ

36%

22

Gonchar

PIT

36%

23

Heatley

SJ

36%

24

Marleau

SJ

36%

25

Thornton

SJ

36%

A lot of Capitals -- no surprise given how many goals Washington scored this year. Even Brooks Laich was a popular choice, and he's not really a household name outside of D.C.

The "art" -- if you can call it that -- in these things is getting as many players who advance deep into the playoffs as possible. The more games played, the better -- and especially so for goalies.

I picked the Blackhawks and Sabres to go the distance this year, so both Ryan Miller and Antti Niemi are on my team. Here's the rest of the gang: Roy, Hossa, Kane, Keith, Toews, Datsyuk, Franzen, Zetterberg, Crosby, Malkin, Heatley, Marleau, Thornton, Backstrom, Green, Laich, Ovechkin, Semin.

Yes, fell for the Sharks...

It's going to be mighty interesting in fantasy hockey this year if there ends up being a lot of upsets because from the looks of draft lists across a lot of pools, very few went with underdogs. Buffalo was as close as I came, and they won their division.

Follow on Twitter: @mirtle

 

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