Monday, December 15, 2014

Week Ten Newsletter

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It really has been the year of the goaltender, so far this year. Including this week, we have now had seven out of ten weeks with a goalie as the Player of the Week and seven out of the top ten in pool scoring are goalies as well.

Week Ten also saw a tie-breaking situation for the Player of the Week nod and obviously, it was between a couple of goalies.  One likely, the one rather unlikely, as Henrik Lundqvist took on Jhonas Enroth in the tie-breaking showdown, with both goalies finishing the week with 8 points.  Both goalies went 3-0-0 with a shutout, so it came down to minutes played and with a few more minutes played in overtime, Lundqvist comes away as our Week Ten Player of the Week.

Boy, that was a tight race, but tie-breakers are tie-breakers and of course, it would have been a bit more fun to have the unlikely player take the title.  Instead, Lundqvist takes his 4th nod since the 2009 season, as he has been one of the steadiest hockey pool goalies in recent memory.

The week started off with an overtime win against the Penguins, the one that earned the tie-breaker in the end.  Next, a win against the Canucks on Saturday night and then he followed it up with a shutout on back-to-back nights against the Oilers for his perfect record and 8 points.

With the big week, Lundqvist raised his overall total to 34 points on the season, which has him ranked 14th overall in pool scoring, 8th among all goalies this season.  His rank among his goaltending peers shows you just how good the crease monkeys have been this season.

At the draft, Lundqvist was taken with the 20th overall pick by Brenda & Seward, a late 1st round pick this year.  The big week definitely helped the duo to move up the standings recently, as their opening round pick has taken a little bit to really warm up, but has now got a share of the NHL-lead in shutouts and now the wins are coming fast and furiously.

PhotobucketCan these two be stopped?

Kristy & Don are now rocking back-to-back weeks of Moving and Shaking in the pool and they have now opened up a 24-point lead, one of the biggest leads we've seen in the draft in a number of years.

The pool duo had a 35-point week to start the second segment and as much as they were chased by a couple of teams - a couple of teams finishing with 34 points - the duo just continued to roll along.

The root of their points is in the crease, as they are still rocking one of the best goaltending duos, as Frederik Andersen of the Ducks finished with 7 points and Pekka Rinne of the Predators had 6 points in the week.  Alex Ovechkin was the best skater, finishing with 4 points, while four other players had 3 points each.

With all of their other players rolling quite along, they didn't even seem to notice that three of their players didn't have any points at all.  That is a shocking state of affairs there.

Currently, the duo ranks 7th in skater games played (staying relatively healthy), clearly tops in goalie minutes (almost 300 minutes better than 2nd place), tops in defenseman points, tops in goalie points and just barely above average in forward points.  Their team is hitting all the right buttons this season and that's why they are running away with the standings now.

PhotobucketWeek Ten is now the first week that we've seen a team in the top 10 finish as the Basement Dweller, as Dale C. had an awfully rough week, finishing with only 13 points and dropping down from 3rd place to 5th place.

The drop hasn't made things too bad for him, except that he has fallen behind the top two teams a little bit more, but his side is only 8 points out of 3rd place, so it isn't like he's dropped out of the picture completely.  His team should be careful, however, there are five teams within 10 points of his and another bad week could really do a number on his standing.

Dale's team has been subject to the mumps, which has been taking its toll around the league, as his top pick, Corey Perry, has been sidelined with the illness for a week and a bit already.  Another major injury to his number one goalie, Corey Crawford, has also done a number on his team and missing out on his top two picks in the draft will definitely do that to him.

Both Perry and Crawford should be back soon, but when exactly, is still up in the air.  Unfortunately, his other top end picks haven't been pulling their weight in the week or else he'd be in much better shape.

TROPHY TALK

Alright, well... the top two teams remain the same in the overall standings.  Kristy & Don continue to extend their lead, Grant S. remains afloat in 2nd place and still carries a 30-point cushion over 3rd place, but the bronze medal position has a new occupant, as Tony had a great 27-point week and lifted himself over top of both Dale C. and Clayton for a money nod.

For the Olli, Benson didn't see any improvement in his standing to avoid the last place trophy, as he now stands 10 points back of 22nd and lost ground on Wyllie in Week Ten.

Benson also didn't relinquish any of his grip on the Jordan either, as his team was still below-average in skater games played in the week and still has a 19-game advantage on Wyllie and a 29-game lead on Dale C..

The second segment starts just like the first segment finishes... with Kristy & Don in the lead.  The two teams chasing them down are Brenda & Seward and Wilton, each team finishing with 34 points in the week, each seeing some benefit from the Waiver Draft, indeed.  Tony and Wes finished in a tie for 4th, each team having 27 points, a little ways back to start the segment.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

There were definitely some conflicting forces in Week Ten, as the mumps outbreak took some of our best and brightest stars from their respective lineups, while we replaced some other players that haven't played a game or wasn't going to play many more games with players in the Waiver Draft.

In 45 NHL games in Week Ten, we did see an increase of skater games played on average, nearly an extra player game played in each contest, which is a pretty good jump, considering the mumps and the new bodies.  Scoring took a little bit of a hit on average, dropping from 11.7 points to 11.5 points, but it still looked good.

Goalie minutes stayed pretty well on par, as it is much more difficult to get those extra minutes, given that there are only so many spots to be used in the week and some of the back-up goalies were not taken in the Waiver Draft, which was somewhat surprising.  Nevertheless, we're going the right way there too.  I think with a couple injuries coming back, the pool will be in better shape before too long.

WINNING EVERY WEEK

There were two more eliminations from this pseudo-contest, as Dale B. and Leo each failed to see wins on their roster in Week Ten, which now leaves us with six teams remaining in the mention in the Newsletter.  Allan, Brenda & Seward, Clayton, Grant S., Kristy & Don and Scott now remain as the only teams that have picked up a win in each of the ten weeks this season.

NEWS AND NOTES

The New York Rangers have already been subject to the mumps with a couple of other bodies already this season, but forward Derick Brassard was the latest victim of the illness, as he was sent home after the game against the Vancouver Canucks, after showing signs of the illness. Brassard did not play in Sunday night's game against the Oilers and will now likely be out for a couple of weeks, maybe more.

Bad news for Scott, who was seeing some pretty good production from Brassard this season, 24 points in 27 games, to this point in the season.  Scott's team is in 14th spot, but could see a bit of a drop, if Brassard is out for too long with the mumps.

The only update from the New Jersey Devils is to now say that the lower-body injury that Mike Cammalleri suffered over the weekend was not a recurrence of the previous injury and it is something new. There was no update to his timetable, however. He is still thought to be day-to-day at the moment.

It might be a good thing that Cammalleri is still day-to-day, but Leo was probably hoping that he wasn't injured at all.  Leo has enjoyed Cammalleri's return to some reasonable scoring totals this season.  We're still not sure when he'll be back though, which won't help his 16th place standing.

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