It was a pretty good week for top performing players in the hockey pool this past week, but it was another Week Nine Waiver Draft stand out that came up big and came up big, he did.
The Minnesota Wild are riding their new number one goalie, Devan Dubnyk, until he's ragged, in an attempt to secure their position in the 2015 playoff race. The Wild, on the shoulders of Dubnyk, have now made it into the last wild card spot in the West, thanks to a 3-1-0 record from their keeper, who also picked up a shutout and an assist for a 9-point week.
The only blemish on his week came early on, when he lost a decision to the Canucks on Monday, but afterwards, he picked up wins against the Flames, Oilers and Stars. The game against the Flames is where he picked up his assist and the game against the Oilers was his shutout.
There was a well-documented change in his game after his year of being dealt around the league in 2014 and it has paid off in spades for him and now the Wild, who acquired him from the Coyotes earlier on in the year.
Dubnyk has made 36 appearances between Arizona and Minnesota this year, winning 22 games, picking up 6 shutouts and adding 2 assists, which has given him 58 points this season. That is good for 24th overall in pool scoring.
Brian has enjoyed the success that Dubnyk has seen, investing in him at the right time, even with a bunch of question marks surrounding him. Since Week Nine, Brian has picked up 46 of his 58 points this season and has taken them and ran, as you will see below.
There is mentioning there is a chance at moving into the top 10 and then there is watching a team race right up the standings and actually do it. Now with back-to-back Mover & Shaker nods, Brian is into 7th place and he is gunning for those who are in the money race and he means business.
Brian's team set another season-high in points in the week, picking up 42 points, which I think the 40-point barrier has only been broken by one other team this year and they are currently well in the lead. With those 42 points, Brian jumped from 11th to 7th and he is now 35 points out of the money. In the last couple weeks, he has made up 21 points already on Wes, who sits in 3rd place, so at this pace, he should be in the money in no time.
Of course, Brian has the Player of the Week, Devan Dubnyk, to thank for his big week, a 9-point effort will help your team along nicely, while John Tavares was no slouch, with 7 points in Week Twenty. Tyler Johnson in Tampa and Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado also chipped in with 5 points and a few other players were on the board for him as well. In contrast, there were three players on his active roster, who were not able to pick up points, but he has likely forgiven them for the time being.
Brian has had one of the healthiest teams all year long, but it wasn't until recently, that all of his skaters were starting to pick up a consistent point or two with the games they were playing. His real coup has been the goalies he has picked up, as his minutes played were really bad at the start of the year, but picking up Dubnyk in Week Nine and now Cam Talbot in Week Eighteen, he has grown closer and closer to the average number of minutes collected in the pool and with leading the pool in minutes collected in Week Twenty, it is really coming around for him.
He's my team to watch now in this third segment and he'll get plenty of coverage, I'm sure, in the Trophy Talk section, as he has a lead in the third segment already.
It wasn't a good week for Tony, who hasn't seen many good weeks lately, thanks to some terrible luck. Tony's team was only good for 12 points in Week Twenty and that saw him drop from 8th down to 15th, a significant loss overall.
Three big injuries to Boone Jenner, Tanner Pearson and Kevin Shattenkirk have devastated his side in recent weeks, as he can't seem to get any traction with games played. The prognosis doesn't seem all that positive either, as they don't appear to be ready to go any time soon or so the last few reports have said.
His bigger players in the week were on the blueline, Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman and Calgary's Dennis Wideman, each picking up 3 points.
Tony was in a money position, sitting in 3rd last in Week Thirteen, but he has now dropped down to 15th and has no chance of making any sort of recovery, now sitting 54 points out of the money with seven weeks left to play.
This is the third straight week where Kristy & Don have had a 70+ point lead, now sitting at 72 points and with seven weeks to go, that would mean that Grant S. would have to make up 10 or 11 points each week for the remainder of the year.
Grant has his own problems to deal with though, as his place in 2nd is in trouble, as Wes took another chunk out of that gap, which now sits at 23 points. That is a margin that could be taken down in only a few weeks now.
Wes opened up a bit of lead of his own over 4th place, now sitting 14 points better than Clayton, but all that will take is a cold week to come back down to Earth.
The third segment has been all Brian, through two weeks, as his 79 points is already 13 points better than Benson and 16 points better than Stuart, but at least we have three different names in the Trophy Talk section.
Wyllie goes for back-to-back weeks in the lead for the Olli, the first time that has happened since Week Fifteen. He sits 4 points back of Allan at the moment and is alone at the bottom of the pool for goals scored with only 103 to his team's name.
The Jordan bobblehead still belongs to Allan right now, but the team really falling into contention, literally, is Tony, who is still 37 games up on Allan for last, but Allan made up 6 games this week and would only need about six out of the seven weeks left to catch him, assuming Allan's team gets healthier before Tony's.
WINNING EVERY WEEK
It was the minimum amount that got both pool duos through Week Twenty in the goalie survivor competition. Pekka Rinne won one game for Kristy & Don, while Ben Scrivens came back from a hamstring injury to win a game for Brenda & Seward.
Brenda & Seward are in a boatload of trouble this week, as the Oilers only play twice, away to Minnesota on Tuesday and home to St. Louis on Saturday, which likely means that Scrivens will get both games, but that will be the only chances he gets and they are not easy games. Remember, they are without Henrik Lundqvist, who is dealing with a vascular concern.
As expected, Dale B. continues to reel in Wilton and Mike and thanks to an 8-point week from his freshmen, Dale has dropped the gap to 1st place to only 5 points. Mike Hoffman in Ottawa, Anders Lee on Long Island and John Klingberg in Dallas have been up to the task of earning Dale some honours this season.
LIGHTING THE LAMP
It was a busy week in the NHL, which gave every pool team still in the goal-scoring streak pool to keep going and that they did. The two teams with 4 goals a week streaks, Kristy & Don and Stacey M., each posted more than enough goals, while the other four teams on 3 goals a week streaks are still good to go as well.
Week Twenty-One will still be busy, 41 games on the schedule, so I would imagine that there should be little problems for these teams again.
CHRIS STEWART VS ERIK COLE
Week Twenty was the week where Erik Cole did the business on Chris Stewart, as the Stars forward outscored the future ex-Sabres forward, 4-0, opening up a 5-point lead, which means a clean, crisp $5 bill on its way from Stuart's hand from Clayton's hand. That's alright, eh?
ROUND 6 IN THE DRAFT
|117||6||Dale Corley||Vladimir Tarasenko||STL||F||59|
|136||6||Grant Kanwischer||Rick Nash||NYR||F||58|
|137||6||Cam Wagner||Bryan Little||WPG||F||49|
|121||6||Benson Greenley||Pavel Datsyuk||DET||F||47|
|131||6||Clayton Corley||Jaden Schwartz||STL||F||46|
|134||6||Troy Berkley||Jeff Carter||LOS||F||46|
|133||6||Ryan Miller||Bobby Ryan||OTT||F||43|
|118||6||Derek Wilton||Gustav Nyquist||DET||F||42|
|119||6||Brenda Farrell||Wayne Simmonds||PHI||F||42|
|125||6||Grant Saskiw||David Backes||STL||F||40|
|129||6||Tony Dourado||Dustin Byfuglien||WPG||F||40|
|127||6||Dale Bradley||Mikko Koivu||MIN||F||38|
|124||6||Stacey McDonald||Andrei Markov||MTL||D||34|
|135||6||Brian Towers||Nazem Kadri||TOR||F||34|
|123||6||Wes Moroz||Adam Henrique||NJD||F||31|
|116||6||Scott Gilmore||Ryan Suter||MIN||D||30|
|128||6||Leo Macht||Mike Cammalleri||NJD||F||28|
|130||6||Kristy & Don||Alex Goligoski||DAL||D||26|
|126||6||Stacey Campbell||Justin Schultz||EDM||D||22|
|122||6||Mike Somerville||Tyler Myers||WPG||D||18|
|132||6||Derek Wyllie||Martin Jones||LOS||G||14|
|138||6||Stuart Greenley||Eddie Lack||VAN||G||6|
|120||6||Allan Scott||Jeff Skinner||CAR||F||0|
We're getting into the rounds on the weekly recap, where the number of players being dropped gets less and less. Only two players were dropped in the end here and maybe one of them could have been saved, since Eddie Lack had been okay after the Week Nine Waiver Draft.
Week Twenty fell short of Week Thirteen's 54-game total in points, but with 645 points collected in the week, it was one of the busiest weeks on the scoreboard. The pool averaged just under 12 points per NHL game on the calendar, which is still mighty impressive, but the biggest drop-off came from the crease, where the pool didn't collect nearly the same amount of minutes as it has been doing after Waiver Drafts.
In comparison, there were 10 games worth of minutes different between Week Twenty and Thirteen and the pool was 23 points back of the record high, which works out, assuming a few of those games would possibly been shutouts.
Weeks Twenty-One and Twenty-Two go back down to 47-game weeks, which should still provide plenty of scoring, so we're hoping that some bodies get healthy and the points go back up through the roof for the home stretch.
NEWS AND NOTES
The trade deadline is only a week away and a new log was thrown on the fire, as James Wisniewski was made into a healthy scratch, just before the game before the New York Rangers, as the Columbus Blue Jackets may have resigned themselves into being sellers at the deadline, already quite a ways out of the playoff picture.
Scott could use a little bit of a refresher for Wisniewski, as his team could use just a little bit more of a push to join the money race down the stretch. Scott had a decent week, but still trails by over 30 points, so if Wisniewski could find his way to a contender, there could be some gap-closing scoring from there.
A collision with his own teammate on Sunday night saw Ryan Miller leave the Canucks crease against the Islanders with a lower-body injury and the reports were not positive on Monday morning. The Canucks have sent their number one keeper back home for tests and as much as they won't know the prognosis for a day or two, they have openly came out and said that they are preparing for the worst. An update will drop on the blog when it happens publicly.
Grant S. was still able to pick up the 2 points from Miller, as he was the goalie of record in the 4-0 win, but since the shutout was split, there wasn't any more points to be had, as it wasn't an official shutout. 2 points is still better than none, which could have happened, if the Islanders could have just registered one goal.
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