Monday, November 09, 2015

Week Five Newsletter





It was another no-doubter week in the Player of the Week race in Week Five, as Patrick Kane secured his second nod of the season, working his way into top spot of the pool scoring race.

Insert your 'don't implicate him of rape charges' joke here.  The more tasteless, the better.

It was a pretty big week for Kane, as he finished Week Five with 4 goals and 5 assists in four games played in the week, as he is currently riding a 10-game point streak in the process.  The guy is white hot these days.  In total this season, Kane has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 15 games, tied for tops in points, but takes the number one spot with the goal scoring tie-breaker.

In all four games, Kane scored a goal, adding an assist against the Kings on Monday, the Blues on Wednesday and then a trio of assists, Sunday against the Oilers.  He was held assist-less against the Devils on Friday, but that really doesn't matter a great deal.

All of the hesitation about his legal situation forced him to drop down to being the opening pick of the 3rd round, as John S. really came out with a huge scoop in the draft.

It's good to see we're spreading out the mentions this week, as the Mover & Shaker didn't have the Player of the Week, but still, the Mover & Shaker holds the number one position in the pool, so I suppose that's something too.  Neil, who finished the week in 1st place, already for the 3rd straight time this season, had yet to get a Mover & Shaker nod, so now he's officially got the biggest, baddest team in the pool.

There's one thing that can be said about Neil's team, he has seen some fairly consistent scoring across the board and he's had some good scoring and some bargain picks this year.

One of those bargain picks has turned out to be one of his goalies, as Michal Neuvirth of the Philadelphia Flyers has almost completely usurped the number one job with the Flyers.  He finished the week as his top player, picking up 5 points and has shown some real potential for the rest of the season.

Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins finished the week with 4 points, while Sven Baertschi of the Canucks, Mike Cammalleri of the Devils and Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals each had 3 points a piece.  Five players also finished with 2 points each, so like I said, there was a lot of consistent scoring throughout his lineup.

This is Neil's second season in the pool, last playing back in the 2011 season, so it's a little less of a surprise that this is his first nod as Mover & Shaker, but with the team he has, it certainly won't be his last.

It does seem like the goal will be to hit 30 points, in order to get to the Mover & Shaker award this year, as the number teams have increased and the quality of players at the bottom of the draft really dropped off.

Just barely making it to double-digit points in the week is likely the formula to becoming the Basement Dweller in the week, as Grant made it back-to-back weeks, where the Basement Dweller finished with 10 points.  It was a rough week for Grant, who was saved by a couple of players, Sam Bennett of the Flames (4 points) and Ryan O'Reilly of the Sabres (3 points), who accounted for 70% of his points.

That made for a lot of active zeroes on his team, but it says more about his scoring rates in the week, as his skaters were still among the pool leaders in games played, but not so much with the goalie minutes played, as his two goalies saw 17 minutes between them.

His rough week cost him seven spots in the standings, as his team dropped down from 17th to 24th spot, now sitting only 6 points from the bottom of the table.  All three teams below him made up some definite ground, so he'll be hoping for a huge bounce back week in the scoring column.

We were very close to finishing the week with a new team in the money, but John S. had a decent Sunday, overstepping Brian to take 3rd place back, while both teams continued to watch Neil and Dale B. excel ahead of them.

Neil finished the week with his biggest lead of the season, so far.  His 8-point lead over Dale was a gain of 6 points in the week.  Dale now has a 6-point lead over 3rd place, so it is really starting to draw some comparisons to last season, where Kristy & Don and Grant started to pull away early.

It would have been really decent of Ryan to leave Artemi Panarin for someone else, that way we would have ourselves a bit of a race for the rookie points.  Ryan should be pretty pleased with himself, in fact, I know that he is, that he has a whole bunch of rookie options, now that Connor McDavid is now hurt.  So, after the end of Week Five, the lead between Ryan and Troy is now 19 points, a tough margin to overcome, even with a couple Waiver Drafts to get through.

If you were following the Goalie Announcement blog posts in the week, you'd know that all of our goalie survivor pool competitors made it through Week Five unscathed.  That means we still have ten teams vying for the title and the $60 at the end of the year.

Scott, Stuart and Derek W. are the three favourites, as they lead the survivors in total wins with 12, 11 and 10, respectively.  Derek was the last team to qualify this week, leaving it to Saturday to get done.  Check back to the blog this afternoon for the new updates and see who gets the week started.

Finally, to the goon squads of the pool.  Brian's team had a massive week in the penalty box, as his team racked up 31 PIM and jumped a few teams to take top spot in the competition.  Brian, the 4th place team in the overall standings, is doing it in two competitions, but once the Waiver Draft comes around, you know which one he'll be concentrating on... cha-ching!

Our former pool leader, Eric, had a paltry 20 PIM in the week, but only sits a minor penalty behind Brian, so, he's definitely within range.  Wes, on the other hand, will need a 10-minute misconduct to take 1st place, but he has a team that is more likely to go after the PIM title at the Waiver Draft.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

Average participation in NHL games from our skaters went up, but we've been seeing a downturn in goalie minutes, as we've been missing a few key starters to injury this past week.  This has affected scoring in the pool, but on the plus side, the skaters have picked up their game, so we were picking up 19.5 points per NHL game on the schedule, on average.

The goons also had a good upturn in the pool, as we were a shade under 9 PIM per game from our selected players.

Looking at the news page, we've seen a number of players return from injury/suspension/healthy scratches, so we'll hopefully see another upturn in Week Six.  Time to cash in on this opportunity... as if you guys had the choice.  Ha ha.

NEWS AND NOTES

Injury note heading into Sunday's game between the Canucks & Devils, as Vancouver defenseman Christopher Tanev was unable to go in the game, due to an upper-body injury.  Tanev is currently on the list as out day-to-day, since there wasn't a great deal of detail surrounding his injury, but he was just unable to play against the Devils and we'll probably find out more about whether or not he can continue on this road trip at a later time.

Tanev hasn't been overly productive for Brian in the pool, so far this year, only 4 points in 14 games.  Brian isn't too fussed, seeing as though he's still in the hunt for the money, but one would hope their player isn't on the shelf for very long, period.

The Islanders coaching staff has moved their sights from one young player to another, trying to boost the team's results by putting some of their young potential under the microscope. On Sunday afternoon, it was forward Josh Bailey heading up to the press box as a healthy scratch.  It is quickly becoming somewhat of a trend in Brooklyn and they have yet to see much for results.

Stacey M., among the pool leaders in goals scored this season, has to think it was a curious move to see Bailey up to the press box, but 6 points in 14 games obviously isn't good enough, so off to the box he went.

The Detroit Red Wings may or may not have their goaltending woes solved, but not in the way they likely wanted. Jimmy Howard had to leave Sunday's game against the Stars after taking a knee to the head, while on the ice making a play.  We'll await more word about the injury this week, but it's a head injury, so they will be extra cautious.

Stacey M. isn't having much luck in the notes of this Newsletter, as this is one of her goalies going down with injury.  Her spot in 13th place would seriously be in jeopardy, as her team has really benefited from Howard's play this year and is among the pool leaders in wins as well.

On Monday morning, the Nashville Predators announced that they needed an emergency recall for goalie Marek Mazanec, as Carter Hutton is dealing with an undisclosed injury, to which more details will likely be made available later on in the day. The Predators will play host to the Senators on Tuesday, so we expect Hutton to be away from the back-up role for that game.

Hutton belongs to John R. this season and was going to struggle to find minutes behind Pekka Rinne, as it was, so this injury certainly doesn't help.  It's hard to say whether or not Hutton will be missing any starts, but if Mazanec gets a start during his recall, you can assume safely that Hutton missed that start.

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