There are many risk/reward elements when playing ‘Star Selector’ along with Hockey Night in Canada broadcast games. Let’s break down some basic tips for playing along:
A successful Star Selector has to be cognizant of the strengths of the teams competing. For example, if two low scoring teams are matching up there is a better than average chance that there will not be a lot of goals. So in that scenario it makes more sense to start the goalies. Using this logic if there is a miss match, like the high scoring Vancouver Canucks playing a team that gives up a lot of goals, then it is the perfect time to load up your team with point producing players while placing the opposing goalie firmly on your bench. A battle between two evenly matched teams is a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the Star Selector scoring system (the third tab marked scoring under the Crown Royal Ad box) and pick a couple of players that block shots, throws body checks and wins some face offs; as these additional points will move you up the leaderboard.
With the playoffs starting April 13th it is important to consider the shift in intensity and the reduction in scoring when picking your captain. Goal production drops by just over 2 goals per game and there is an added premium on special team players. Do your research and lean toward captaining a player that plays on either the power play or penalty killing units. The increased focus on defensive responsibilities and subsequent reduction in scoring make a goalie captain a far less risky proposition than in the regular season.
There are a couple of different ways to approach a starting five lineup. For the advanced Star Selector with some time to research, take a quick look at how the competing teams start the games. For example the Toronto Maple Leafs have been shut out 38 times in the first period this year, so it would make sense to start the opposing teams goalie and put Phil Kessel on your bench. I always like picking a balanced lineup until the ebb and flow of the game is established, but to help you with your selections follow this link to see the top performing players by periods for each team: http://hnic.starselector.cbc.ca/athletes.
At this point in the game it should be pretty clear what players have some jump to their game and who are skating in quicksand. Do not be scared to drop a player that has been relatively non-existent or if you feel that their team isn’t competing. I also like to use the second period to substitute one or two players that I suspect are not in too many of my fellow Star Selector lineups. Going with some less popular players opens the door to a quicker ride up the standings. Incremental points from players not picked by a majority of Star Selectors will propel me up in the standings.
The score at the end of the second period will play directly into your third period roster changes. If one team is up by a couple of goals (especially in the playoffs) it is safe to say that they will be playing a more conservative defensive minded style to protect their lead. Putting a more defensive player in your lineup will lead to you gaining some valuable hit and block shot points, not to mention increase your odds of sneaking in a potential empty net goal. Conversely, this is a great opportunity to load up on offensive specialists from the trailing team, as they will be doubling up on their ice time in an attempt to get back into the game. Either way this strategy will be influenced by the direction in which you think the game is headed. Just don’t hold it against us if goes in the opposite way!
Good luck with your picks and we look forward to seeing you during every Hockey Night in Canada Broadcast Game! http://hnic.starselector.cbc.ca.