Waiver Draft Order is Set!
It was a pretty interesting week, as there was a little bit of shuffling done throughout the standings, as we come to our final resting spot for the Waiver Draft. Doug has the first pick in the draft (see the draft here), where he is expected to snag Steven Stamkos and try and make that push for some respectability in his finish.
Ryan V., Stuart and Leo round out the top four, all of which hold spots in the bottom group in the pool, as Leo is 27 points behind 20th place, Tony, which could be a tough gap to close. I'm not saying its impossible, but getting back into the top 20 might be all they can aspire to do.
The real intrigue will come from what happens at the top of the standings, as we've got all kinds of teams in the hunt for all four prize spots in the standings. A couple top end picks could take you from 7th to 1st by the end of the final 10-week segment.
The Lead Shrunk Again
If you thought Grant was going to run away with the lead after Week Fourteen, if you were mistaken. Grant had an 18-point lead going into Week Fifteen, but that was quickly closed up and his lead (over Chris) had fizzled down to 3 points after Sunday night. Everyone in the top 10 made up points on Grant, who nearly finished in the Basement for the week, which again, makes this pool all the more interesting.
Grant finished with 372 points, followed by Chris (-3), Stacey C. (-10) and Derek Wilton & Stacey M. (-11). The tighter this pool runs, the more exciting it is going to get.
One More Week for the Second Jersey
As we run through the second Waiver Draft of the season, we wind down the second segment of the year, which means we're almost ready to give away another prize.
Derek Wilton currently holds the top spot in the second segment, as he has 195 points through Week Fifteen, followed by Cindy (-4), Clayton (-10), Chris & Ryan M. (-12). Derek has had a hot team of late, so he might be tough to catch, but as we've seen with Grant above, a hot team can fizzle out and be caught in the blink of an eye.
Ups and Downs in the Segments
How has the second segment stacked up against the first with a week to go? Eight teams have already eclipsed their first segment total, while a couple of teams have already equaled that total. Three teams are more than 30 points away from their first segment total, which likely means they'll fall short, while most should make it close in the end.
It has been quite some time since we've seen this name up in lights as the Player of the Week, but John Tavares has returned to the pinnacle of the hockey pool world, as he took his first honour since Week Two of the 2012 season, thanks to a 10-point effort in Week Fifteen.
This is only the second 10-point effort of the year, the other belonging to Ben Scrivens, who did it in Week Seven.
Tavares played in four games in Week Fifteen, registering 4 goals and 6 assists and helped his Islanders to a 4-0-0 record in the week.
On Monday, Tavares broke out with a hat-trick and a pair of assists in a 7-3 win over Dallas, followed up by a 3-assist effort against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday in a 5-3 win. On Friday, Tavares was shut out on Friday against the Avalanche, but his team was still able to post a 2-1 overtime win. There was a little concern that Tavares may lose out on the Player of the Week nod, but he cemented it with a 2-assist game against the Stars again on Sunday in a 4-2 win.
With the 10-point effort, this has lifted Tavares up to 4th in overall pool scoring, having 21 goals and 35 assists in 46 games for the Islanders. He is currently scoring at a 1.22 points per game pace, which has to excite Derek Wyllie, who could see a big lift in the standings in the third segment.
It has been a ridiculous streak that Derek Wilton is on at the moment, as his team continues to be scorching hot in this middle portion of the season. Wilton has now picked up back-to-back Mover & Shaker awards and has now moved himself into a prize position, jumping up from 7th to 4th, thanks to a 32-point week in Week Fifteen.
Wilton's team has now registered 100 points in the last three weeks, 17 points better than anyone else in that same time frame and has forced his way into the prize conversation with both elbows, shoving other teams over in the process.
The big week was stacked up from super efforts from Ryan Getzlaf (5 points), Cam Atkinson (4), Andre Benoit (4) and three players had 3 points each. Two players on his active roster finished with donuts in the week and one of them was injured, the other is a back-up goalie, so he has some reasons for those donuts, at least.
Also during this monster stretch, Wilton's team has moved into the conversation for the top team in the goal scoring department, as they now sit in 2nd place, only 4 goals behind Brenda for the overall lead, not that there is a prize for it, but maybe one year there will be.
On the bright side for everyone else, Wilton did lessen his Waiver Draft picks with another huge week, dropping three spots and giving some of the teams that he has passed, a chance to pass him right back, starting in Week Seventeen.
In the Basement this week, it was a return to the Newsletter for Benson, who had not been seen on here for a few weeks. Benson wanted to make sure he gets a good run at the top half of the pool, so his team took a dive, only picking up 14 points in the week and his Waiver Draft pick went from 13th to 11th, as he dropped from 12th to 14th overall.
Seven players on his active roster finished with donuts, thanks in large part to injuries to Pascal Dupuis, Tomas Hertl, Drew Stafford and Cam Ward. The first two are likely going to be his drops in the second Waiver Draft this week, as they are not expected back any time soon to their NHL rosters.
Benson's team was last in skater games played in the week and as you can see by the injuries above, that shouldn't come as a surprise. Benson's team was among the pool elite in health around Week Eleven, but since then, the injuries kicked in and now his team is only slightly above-average in the statistic.
NEWS AND NOTES
On Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes made defenseman Ryan Murphy into a healthy scratch again this season, which may lead to a possible drop in this week's Waiver Draft. Allan has some decisions to make, as he goes into Week Sixteen in the hunt for the prizes after a sub-par second segment. With 10 weeks left in the season, defense might be a good way to get those extra couple points down the stretch.
A shoulder injury forced Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche line-up on Saturday night, something a little different from the usual healthy scratch that he has been this season. Barrie belongs to Stuart in the pool, but Stuart does have some bigger problems to deal with in the Waiver Draft, which may mean that Barrie might be sticking around through the week. Barrie is listed as out day-to-day, so maybe it won't be too bad.
Back spasms were the cause for Daniel Alfredsson to be on the shelf for Detroit's back-to-back games on the weekend. Alfredsson is listed as out day-to-day with the ailment, joining Pavel Datsyuk, who is already on the shelf with a lower-body injury. The Red Wings are having their fair share of injury problems this season, but neither look to be drop candidates this week. Alfredsson belongs to Dale C. and Datsyuk belongs to Ryan V., both teams could use some help, but I would imagine both are going to wait these injuries out.
It has been a rough season for Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets and his latest setback is a hand injury, which kept him out of the line-up for Saturday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It doesn't sound like the injury is too serious, as he is listed as out day-to-day, but I suppose there is a good chance that Kane could miss a little bit more time, as he waits for the injury to heal. The Jets play again tonight, home to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The hottest team in the pool may have run into a wee bit of an injury concern, as Ryan Getzlaf suffered a foot injury on the weekend, blocking a shot, but X-rays did come back negative, so it is likely that he is dealing with a bruise of some kind. Getzlaf is listed as out day-to-day, but missed Sunday's game against the Detroit Red Wings and might be on the shelf for another game or two. Anaheim doesn't play again until Wednesday, which may also provide for ample time to recover.
Finally, it was a return to the news page for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival, who was a healthy scratch again for the Western Conference powerhouse. Rozsival has been on and off the list all season, playing in only 25 games in the first half of the year. Ryan V., with the second pick in the Waiver Draft, may have some other holes to fill before he considers Rozsival as a drop, but I would wager that he would like to be rid of him as well.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
It may have snuck up on us, as we read up on all of the Olympic hype, but Hockey Day In Canada is here! All seven Canadian teams are in action, although we may not be able to see every game, but CBC will have a triple-header on television for us and it should serve to be a great day of hockey. Hockey Day In Canada will also serve as a good finish to Week Sixteen and the second segment of the season and with all these teams playing, there will be plenty of players active in the pool here.
The only American team in the Hockey Day's coverage is the New York Rangers, as they head to Ottawa to play the Senators in one of the two early games, while the other will be the Edmonton Oilers visiting the Winnipeg Jets in some basement Western Conference action. The 5pm MT game will see the Montreal Canadiens play their long-time rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The late game, 8pm MT, will see the Calgary Flames head to the West Coast for a division rivalry game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Eight teams are being highlighted from this weekend, which means lots of players, 98 picks, in fact. Of those 98 picks, we have one in the minors, seven players currently injured, but some may be back by Saturday. We've got all sorts of goalies, so there will be some on the bench, for sure. We also have 30 picks here that have been selected to go to the Olympics, as well.
Leading the group of players in scoring are Carey Price of the Canadiens (48 points), Taylor Hall of the Oilers (42) and Erik Karlsson of the Senators (41). Leading the group of available players for the Waiver Draft playing this weekend, Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers (32), Christopher Higgins of the Canucks (25) and Cam Talbot of the Rangers (22).
Enjoy the day, hopefully we'll be done the Waiver Draft by then and I can enjoy it as well.