Monday, October 29, 2007

Week Five Newsletter

The poll still hasn't been utilized to it's full potential, but I'll still write about it. I mean, what more do I have to do?!? It sure looks like there's a little bit of concern about everyone's team about who they're going drop and possibly who they are going to pick-up. 80% of 5 votes are patiently awaiting to see who's available, while the other 20% are desperately awaiting Week Ten to arrive.

This week's question will revolve around who you would consider to pick up in the Draft. Pascal Leclaire, Nikolai Antropov, Matt Cullen, Chris Osgood and Mike Comrie head the list of available players in the Draft and they'll be the one's up for consideration.

Well, there was a lead change in the Draft this past week, but I think the real Mover & Shaker was Dennis. His 33 points moved him up 5 spots, from 16th to 11th. There is still quite a bit of flexibility in the Standings through five weeks, so a good week could make all the difference in the world for your position, if you find yourself in a bit of a pickle.

Dennis got his remarkable run this past week from 12 of his 14 players, having two down with injuries all week wasn't enough to keep the guy down. Paul Kariya led his team with 6 points, while Shawn Horcoff did his part with 5 and Ales Hemsky & Marc-Andre Fleury each contributed 4. Dennis also has 33 man games, minus his day-to-day players, to be played this week and his goalies (which are not included in any game count) are both healthy and ready to go.

Moving and Shaking in the Selection Sheet pool were two teams who had the same amount of points and moved up the same amount of positions in the pool. Both Ryan and Derek each had 43-point weeks and each moved up 8 positions in the pool. Ryan moved up to 19th position and Derek moved up to 25th in Week Five. We'll see if these guys remain hot and make a push for the Top 10 soon.

Well, it's a really unlucky start to the season for Dale C.. Already last in the Draft, the team has yet to blossom into the team that was expected of it and it really showed in Week Five. Only four players managed to get points and Dale only ended up with a Draft-low 14 points. Only Brad Richards (6) and Cory Stillman (5) showed up for Dale's team throughout the week, while Wojtek Wolski (2) and Brian Campbell (1) through their two cents into his team.

On the Sheet, it was an 8 spot drop for John P.. It was a Sheet-low 24 points for John that dropped him from 22nd to 30th. A big drop when it comes to 39 teams. John didn't get point from 14 players, which is the biggest reason for the Basement award.

The Carolina Hurricanes are the biggest scoring team in the NHL so far this season and they really flexed their scoring muscles in Week Five. They had a few candidates for the storied Player of the Week award, but it was Rod Brind'Amour (Marcus) who stepped up to the forefront to take the business.

Brind'Amour finished the week with a great big 9 points. He earned a couple assists on Monday against the Canucks; a goal and an assist against the Sabres on Wednesday; a goal against Montreal in a losing effort on Friday; and finally, a hat-trick plus an assist on Saturday against the Islanders. It was a big week for the veteran winger and he kept Marcus' head above last place.

Patrice Bergeron (Clayton) should be out of the line-up for a little while after suffering a concussion and a broken nose on Saturday when his head was driven into the boards by Flyers' defenseman, Randy Jones.

Simon Gagne (Peter) has been missing time with a possible concussion, as he's been suffering from dizziness over the last couple games. Gagne has somewhat been missed already, but he should be back barring any bad news in any follow-up medical news.

Chris Clark (Box 19) took a shot from Alexander Ovechkin in the head over the weekend and had a piece of his ear severed off. He has had reconstructive surgery to repair his ear, but will miss some more time as he may have suffered a concussion as well.

Dominik Hasek (John B.) will be out of the Red Wings' line-up indefinitely as his hip has been bothering him and will receive some rest over the next couple weeks. The guy certainly isn't young anymore.

Jordan Leopold (Aaron) underwent some surgery on his wrist and will miss another 2 months worth of ice-time for the Avalanche. Leopold missed a considerable amount of time last season and it doesn't look too promising this season for the blueliner.

Bryan McCabe (Benson) has been missing some time with a nagging groin injury. He'll be out of the Leafs' line-up on a day-to-day basis. He's already sorely missed for his offensive ability on the power play.

Marian Gaborik (Clayton) and Niklas Backstrom (Peter) are both suffering from groin injuries as well, which doesn't bode well for the Wild, as they are now missing their three best players, including Pavol Demitra (Ryan) with a hip injury.

Well, unless you're on satellite or digital here in Calgary, you won't really get a chance to see the Senators host the Bruins, but it'll be the game I'm watching, I'll tell ya that for sure. The Sens haven't been playing all that often in the last couple weeks and frankly, they're probably chomping at the bit to keep their offense going. There are plenty of players chosen from the Senators, both in the Draft and off of the Selection Sheet... it's a real shame that the pool players can't watch their players... instead having to watch the Habs and Leafs go at it once again.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aebsicher Sent Down

With only one start under his belt this season, it looks as though David Aebischer (Marcus) has now officially lost the goaltending battle in Phoenix. The Coyotes waived Aebischer on Tuesday, which he cleared on Wednesday and afterwards was sent down to the AHL, which you can see by the new graphic beside the Coyotes logo. Now the Coyotes are going to run with Mikael Tellqvist (Box 12) and Alex Auld. This is a pretty fair-sized blow to Marcus' hopes for the next five weeks, unless there are injuries or a really lack of production from the two keepers who have stayed up with the club.

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Canucks Should Be Okay

The news heading into Detroit is a tad up-and-down. Between injuries and personal situations, the Canucks could very well be dressing a patchwork line-up on Wednesday night against the Red Wings.

Taylor Pyatt (Box 8) should be back in the line-up after leaving the game on Monday with an eye injury. Also on the mend, Sami Salo (John B.) should be back in the line-up and on the power play on Wednesday night. Matt Cooke (Box 9) is a game-time decision for the Canucks with a knee injury. Kevin Bieksa (Peter) may miss Wednesday's game as he went back to Vancouver on Tuesday to be with his wife, who is delivering their first child.

Like I said, it could very well be a patchwork line-up...

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Pitkanen Gone For 4

The news in Edmonton continues to get worse. With no Sheldon Souray (Marcus) there was a lot of belief that Joni Pitkanen (Dennis) would have to pick up the slack. Then yesterday, the Sherpa writes that he's out for 2 weeks with a possible leg injury. Well, it turns out it's a knee injury and it's much worse that first expected. Pitkanen will have to undergo surgery on his knee and will be out of the line-up for 4 weeks. A month out of the season should cost Pitkanen 11 games, not including the Avalanche game last night.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Injury Updates

Already without Sheldon Souray (Marcus), the Edmonton Oilers have now lost Joni Pitkanen (Dennis) for about 2 weeks as well. has reported that he hasn't skated in a couple days, but it hasnt' been divulged what the injury actually is as of yet. Since he hasn't been skating, I have written it down as a leg injury, but that isn't necessarily correct. I do begin to wonder if the time away is actually correct as well. This may just open the door for Ladislav Smid (Box 11) to jump into the line-up from the minors.

Erik Cole (Ryan) was missing from the Hurricanes line-up for the past couple games after sustaining a foot injury while playing soccer in the hallway before Saturday's game. He'll just remain listed as out day-to-day for the time being. There really hasn't been any indication as to when Cole will return.

Troubles in Leafland continue... Darcy Tucker (Dale B.) will be out indefinitely, possibly 4 to 6 weeks, with a knee injury. It sounds like there are some sprained ligaments in his knee, which should keep him out of the line-up for the long-term. It could be a harder time to score some goals in Toronto now, so the onus will be on newcomer Jason Blake (Clayton) to score a bunch more.

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Injury Updates

It appears much worse for Martin Straka (Don) than I had previously assumed. The Rangers are saying that the hand injury that Straka suffered will now keep him out of the line-up for 4 to 5 weeks. This is a pretty big blow to the Rangers and to a few pool teams with the New York scorers on them.

Winger Pavol Demitra (Ryan) left Sunday's game against the Avalanche with a hip muscle injury. He is supposed to be accompanying the team on the road, but it's rather unclear whether or not he'll actually play for the Wild in the next game or two. Stay tuned!

Taylor Pyatt (Box 8) left Monday night's game in Carolina with what is believed to be an eye injury after he was struck in the face by a teammate's stick in the first period. He had left the ice and didn't return. Reports indicate that the injury isn't too serious, but probably should be considered as out day-to-day.

It hasn't been the best of seasons for Mike Van Ryn (Dale C.). He's had a knock or two and he's been scratched once or twice. Well, now he's listed as out day-to-day with a sprained knee and that may land him on the injured reserve if the injury is worse than initially diagnosed.

On the mend is Dan Boyle (Dale C.). He's now started to practice with the team and is almost ready to ease the burden of injuries on Dale's team. This should also help a few of the offensive players in Tampa and possibly help them earn a few more wins.

Also finishing up his injury time, Sami Salo (John B.) is expected to be back in the line-up on Wednesday against the Red Wings. He'll be a welcome addition to a blueline, which hasn't quite gelled and has let up a few too many weak opportunities. His powerplay presence will also be a boost.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Week Four Newsletter

Okay... only 3 votes! C'mon... is anyone actually reading this thing? Well, out of the 3 votes, it was from people who did know that they had 5 trades in the Selection Sheet pool. By the looks of the amount of trades this week, there are quite of few people who know that they have trades. You know, if someone doesn't know... just hold out for about a week or two after you benefit from your trades and then tell those who don't know.

Are you already looking towards dropping players in the pool? I mean, I know there's quite a few people trading guys, but even in the Draft... are you anxiously awaiting the Waiver Draft? The first one is coming in November... the 10th week of the season. I know it a little ways away, but I'm sure there are quite a few of you who are anxious to drop one or two guys.

Well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't see this before, because I have. Aaron went from being the Basement Dweller in Week Three to the Mover & Shaker in Week Four. Aaron literally moved out of the basement in 17th position to 10th place with his 37 points this week.

Aaron had some great weeks from Jarome Iginla (8 points), Ryan Getzlaf (5), Ryan Kesler (5) and Dustin Brown (3). All players except one, Jordan Leopold, had points for Aaron in the week and he also had points from the return of Ray Emery (2). Aaron did suffer with some injuries and some scratches, but if his players are having weeks like this, he should be in good shape going down the early part of the stretch.

The Mover & Shaker is the Selection Sheet was Ernest, he moved up 11 spots to 19th with a 62 point week, only second in points for the week to our current leader. It was the move up the standings that earned him the Mover & Shaker this week. Of note, Ernest had 10 players who had 4 or more points in the week, with his best players being Jarome Iginla (8) and Sidney Crosby (5). It was an incredible hot streak that could very well continue for the next couple weeks with some of the players he has.

The life of being in last place. It was a week-low 16 points for Dale C. thanks to a good number of zeros on his team sheet. With Igor Grigorenko still in the minors, Alexander Semin on the shelf with an ankle injury, Dan Boyle also out with an injury, Mike Van Ryn not seeing much confidence from the coaching staff and Marc Denis playing as the back-up in Tampa; Dale is having a tough time making any headway to start the year. On the bright side, Dale will get Semin and Boyle back from injury, supposedly this week. Things should be looking up for the basement dweller.

Dropping down spots in the Selection Sheet pool was Lorne. He dropped a whole 10 spots, mostly due to the amount of teams around him that just outscored him. Lorne finished up with 41 points in the week, 10 points better than the worst week, but like I had mentioned, there were 10 teams who were better than Lorne that came up from behind him to pass him in Week Four. His team only featured five players that didn't have any points, which isn't awful by any means, but it was just enough to have him drop down significantly.

Well, there isn't much doubt about this week's honouree in the Player of the Week column. It's a big testament to how well the Flyers are doing or you can say it's one of the major factors of why they're doing so well.

Martin Biron (Chris) had back-to-back shutouts during the week and earned another win on Saturday to take his week-long total to 10 points.

Biron had shutout the Thrashers on Tuesday for his first 4 points and then he shut down the Devils on Thursday. And if you know Chris, you heard about both of those results during the week, as he gloats on top of the Draft standings. Then on Saturday, he outlasted the Hurricanes as he had to last into overtime for that result. Biron will also have a chance at another 10 points with another 3 games this week.

On the cold list, Jarret Stoll (Dennis) hasn't done too much this season, which has been rather disappointing for the Oiler faithful and Dennis, who was probably looking for big things after picking him in the 10th round. Stoll has only managed 1 point in the 8 games he's featured in.

Also not producing at a reasonable click, Barret Jackman (Dieter) still hasn't registered a point for the Blues in 6 games. He only managed 27 points last season, which I suppose should mean he would have something by now, but he is somewhat of a slow starter most seasons anyways.

Other News and Notes
Well, as if getting to a poor start to the season was bad enough, the Thrashers fired coach, Bob Hartley, and lost Kari Lehtonen (Jeff) indefinitely after re-aggravating an older groin injury. Until Lehtonen's groin has stopped with the swelling, only then can he get an MRI on it to know what the extent of the damage is.

In Saturday afternoon's game between the Rangers and Bruins, Martin Straka (Don) took a slap shot to the hand, which left him with a broken finger. A broken finger has generally only cost a player about 2 or 3 weeks worth of time missed. The next 3 weeks for the Rangers would cost Straka about 10 games.

A scary moment in Pittsburgh when Scott Walker (Box 21) was taken to hospital with a torso injury in which he couldn't breathe when he left the ice. Despite being taken to hospital, he was on the plane headed for Philadelphia for Sunday's game, but it doesn't seem likely that he'll see much ice-time in the next week or more.

The Calgary Flames have now lost forward David Moss (Aaron) to a concussion after Saturday's win against Edmonton. Moss has had a pair of assists in 6 games and hasn't necessarily been a great start for the young forward, but time lost is very detrimental to any pool team.

Selection Sheet Trades
Well, Week Five will see quite a few new trades to help teams upgrade their standing in the pool. Scott and Riley went to the West and East, respectively, in their deals. Scott picked up Chris Osgood (Box 12) and Wojtek Wolski (Box 9), while Riley picked up Cam Ward (Box 18) and Andrej Meszaros (Box 22).

The Rangers will host the Leafs as the marquee match-up on Hockey Night in Canada this coming Saturday. There are 8 Rangers chosen in the Draft and they'll all take on the 8 Leafs that were taken, saying that Kyle Wellwood (John P.) and Carlo Colaiacovo (John P.) have returned to the Leafs line-up. The other 6 Leafs have played all 9 games on the schedule so far, while the Rangers have missed out on games from Sean Avery (Chris) and Paul Mara (Ryan). Avery isn't likely to have returned from the injured reserve by then and there is a small chance that Mara could be a healthy scratch again if his numbers don't pick up. Despite those losses, there are quite a few players playing, which means it could be a big night for points in the pool.

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