Monday, October 12, 2015

Week One Newsletter



Welcome to the Newsletter, the 216th edition, where we'll recap the week that was.  For those new to the pool, the Newsletter gets published each week on Monday, usually in the morning, shortly after the weekly statistical audit is completed.  After each week, I go team by team through all the stats on NHL.com and make sure everything is right on the money.  There are some scoring changes after games have been completed, so it's good to make sure everything is on the up and up each week.



Again, for the uninitiated, the Player of the Week nod works much like the standings, as players are decided upon through the same tie-breaking fashion... points, goals and then wins.  Unless a skater registers a big week through the method of assists, then they'll usually beat a goalie most weeks.

The week started on a Wednesday, so we lost out on a couple of days in the week, but we still had some pretty good scoring numbers.  Five players finished up with 6 points in the week and four of them were goalies.  The other, you guessed it... Patrick Kane.

Kane was the only skater to finish with 6 points in the week, scoring 3 goals and 3 assists in the first three games of the season.  An assist against the Rangers on opening night, followed by a couple of goals against the Islanders on Friday and then finished off with a 3-point night, again against the Islanders.

That's a good start for John S., who picked the embattled forward in the 3rd round!  Kane remarkably fell down to the 55th overall pick, the opening pick of the round.  John's team wasn't one of the top end teams in the opening week, however, finishing 19th, but only 8 points out of top spot.

What an excellent race for the Mover & Shaker this week, as the teams were tight in the opening week, just the way we like it in the pool.  13 teams were within 5 points of top spot, no one walking away with the first few days of the season.  Sure enough, with that being said, we had a tie atop of the standings and Ryan comes away with the mention, 1 goal ahead of Neil for the distinction and he comes away with his 8th career mention as the Mover & Shaker.

Ryan can thank his 1st round pick, goalie Pekka Rinne, for a good chunk of his 21 points in the week, as the Nashville netminder finished the week with 2 wins and a shutout for 6 points.

Also posting numbers to help guide Ryan through Week One includes rookie Artemi Panarin, who opened up his season with 2 goals and 2 assists in three games with the Blackhawks, while Alexander Barkov of the Panthers and Mika Zibanejad of the Senators each had 2-point weeks.

Ryan's team was pretty well-balanced, in terms of positional scoring in Week One, as his team found 11 points from his forwards, 4 points from his defense and another 6 points from the crease.

The last team to finish Week One in the lead was able to win the pool last season, so that bodes well for Ryan, but that was the first time in the first eight seasons on the website that it ever happened that way.  In years previous, the leader after the first week was finishing in the middle of the standings, topping out at 5th place.  The curse was broken though, so all hope is restored.

Being in the basement has not condemned a team to finish there by the end of the year, by any means, a couple teams have finished in the money after being in last after Week One, so Cindy shouldn't feel too bad at the moment.

Her team's 8 points isn't exactly ideal, but her team didn't exactly have the most games played, nor the most minutes played by her goalies, so there is a real upside.

Cindy did have one bright spot, Ottawa's Mike Hoffman, who finished with 3 points in the week.  That was her only multiple point player.  The real story will be how her team bounces back in Week Two, especially given that the schedule increases dramatically.

Well, the rookie pool wasn't supposed carry over into the money conversation, but it is only Week One. Ryan, with his four freshmen on his team, had a great week, finishing up with 5 points. Artemi Panarin led the way with 4 points with the Blackhawks, while Robby Fabbri had a goal for the Blues and he didn't even get anything from the most anticipated rookie in the league.

2 points from Arizona's Max Domi is keeping Troy's team in the conversation, as his team finished the week in 2nd place in the race.  Remember, there's only 10 teams in the race today, so it is a small one.

I have been giving the survivor pool a lot of coverage in this first week of the season, mostly because it does have a lot of fun elements to it. You know, for those teams that are still in the pool. Of course, we are going to have eliminations in the first week, some teams were just not fortunate enough to grab the right starters, healthy goalies or some goalies ended up in the minors before the season starts. Everyone had their chance, but some opted for more scoring, which is definitely one way to go about your strategy.

So, let's start with who's out.  The eliminations are way more fun.

Benson, Brenda & Seward, Brian, Cindy, Dale C., John R., Neil, Stacey C., Troy and Wes all failed to pick up wins from their two goalies, all for various reasons.  This means 17 teams still remain in the pool

Going by last year's minutes, Wes, our favourite to win this pool in the year, his team finished with a combined 614 PIM, which worked out to be close to 23 PIM per week. We were on a shortened week, but without a lot of those rivalries getting the taste of blood in their mouths, we didn't see a great deal of egregious penalties to start the year.

With a whopping 28 PIM in Week One, newcomer Eric got off to a great start to starting to win his money back.  Eric's team finished in 15th in the standings, 6 points back of 1st place, so it isn't like his team is out of the race, by any means, but thanks to a guy that is supposed to guide him to the big money, he's seven minutes ahead in the PIMs race.  John Tavares had a 14 PIM game this weekend, which helped guide his team.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

Last season, the statistically speaking portion of the newsletter was for the overall take for the pool and I don't know about anyone else, but I thought it was interesting through the year.

In the 2015 season, the 23 teams that joined collected a grand total of 13,885 points out of 1,230 NHL games on the schedule, which worked out to be 11.3 points per game.  We saw a weekly high of 13.2 points per game (Week One) and a weekly low of 9.65 points per game (Week Twenty-Three).

With the pool participation going to 27 teams, we should be expecting higher numbers this year... well, until one team decides to throw in the towel and pick a whole bunch of goons for the PIM Pool.

Week One got us off to a decent start, as the 31 games to kick off the season produced 413 points between all of our teams.  That only works out to 13.3 points per game, only a shade higher than last season's weekly high and now that we've also seen some injuries in the opening week, it's probably not going to improve a great deal.

Still, we collected lots of skater games, lots of minutes played from the goalies, but scoring doesn't appear to be necessarily up, quite yet.

NEWS AND NOTES

There was an update on the status of Robin Lehner... and it's not good. The new number one for the Buffalo Sabres won't be the number one guy for anywhere between 6-to-10 weeks, as he's now dealing with a high ankle sprain. This possibly some of the worst news possible for the Sabres, not to mention for Stacey C., who was relying upon him, as his number one goalie as well.  There have been some big injuries to start the year and this just gets added to the list.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website
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