Monday, November 16, 2015

Week Six Newsletter





Trade rumours?  What trade rumours?

If Matt Duchene is going to score a weekly high in points amidst all of these rumours, the Avalanche would be wise to keep him under these rumours for the rest of the season, as they are running fairly hot, finally.

In Week Six, Duchene was good for 4 goals and 4 assists in three games during the week, taking top spot in the conversation from Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, who wasn't able to score any goals from the crease.

Duchene opened the week with 2 goals and an assist against Philadelphia on Tuesday, added a goal and an assist against Boston on Thursday and then a goal and 2 assists in Montreal on Saturday.  That's a pretty solid output on the week.

His 8-point week lifted his season total to 14 points in 17 games, situating him 51st overall in pool scoring, making him a solid 2nd round pick, according to the number of teams in the pool.  That's a bit closer to the expectation levels that Duchene had going into the year, although Jeremy picked him 102nd overall in the 4th round, so there wasn't nearly those kind of expectations among the 27 of us.

So, onto the Mover & Shaker nod, where we have a couple of teams vying for the title, as both Troy and Eric finished the week with 33 points, so we'll move on to the tie-breakers.

By an 11-10 margin, Eric takes the goal scoring tie-breaker and earns his first Mover & Shaker nod of his new pool career.

On the shoulders of the biggest & best bargain pick of the draft, Eric's team of goons is making its way up the standings. Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers, taken with the 374th overall pick, finished with 6 points in the week, leading Eric's team in the week, now ranks 75th overall in pool scoring, bumping him up 299 places in value.  That doesn't seem to be where that ends either, as he continues to play well for the flailing Oilers.

Eric also saw 4-point contributions from Ryan Johansen in Columbus, Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Arizona and Thomas Greiss on Long Island, followed by John Tavares' 3 points as well.

For squad that was leading the pool in PIM for a few weeks, it's now scoring at a pretty good click and now begs the question at the Waiver Draft, who will Eric take and in which direction will he want to go in?  Of course, the big money is where he should be going, but being the new guy... who really knows?

At the end of the week, Eric's team sits in 14th place in the standings, making him the lowest-ranked Mover & Shaker of the season, to date, but his team moved up from 17th, so that's a good indication that things are now falling into place for him, making his potential Waiver Draft pick, that much worse.

10 points appears to be the magic number for the Basement Dweller this season... or at least for the last three weeks it has been.  Benson's team found its way down to the lower level of the pool with a pretty poor result, barely scraping together double digits in scoring this week, down to the wire on Sunday night.

Rick Nash finished with 4 points and Antti Raanta finished with 2 points, so his Rangers were at least doing something for him, but they accounted for 60% of his scoring in the week.  In total, Benson had nine players with zeroes in the week, one due to injury in Zach Parise, but the rest were just naught.

This poor result dropped his team down to 25th overall in the standings, now good for the 3rd pick in the Waiver Draft, if it were to start today (it doesn't).  In terms of mini-games, his team was eliminated from the survivor pool off the hop, he doesn't have any rookies and his team is mediocre for time in the penalty box.  Either his team will have to bounce back with a vengeance or he'll really have to goon it up in a couple weeks, for any chance at money this year.

For the fourth week in a row, the top three teams remain the same, as Neil, Dale B. and John S. all hold the money positions in the pool.  Week Six did bring them all together though, as the gap between 1st and 3rd is now 10 points and there are teams now knocking on the door, trying to get into the money conversation.

Ryan, Troy and Jeremy are all within 3 points of 3rd place and their teams have all been running hot over the last couple of weeks, so Week Seven may be the time for change, if trends continue to unravel.

Ryan's group of rookies are keeping him close, as they picked up another 4 points this past week.  Sure, there are four rookies on his team, but one is injured and the other isn't getting starts, so really, there are only two worth mentioning for points nowadays.

Troy is also trying to keep pace in his mini-game as well, as his rookie, Max Domi, was good for 4 points all on his own.

After a week off from eliminations, Week Six comes back with a couple of teams befallen by a lack of results, as both Mike and Stacey M. couldn't register a win from their two goalies.

For Mike, neither Michael Hutchinson in Winnipeg or Andrei Vasilevskiy in Tampa Bay could get enough minutes to help pick up a win, let alone get the win itself.  When Hutchinson stepped in for his last gasp on Saturday night, he was yanked early, after giving up four goals to the Nashville Predators.

Stacey didn't get much luck from Jimmy Howard in Detroit and didn't get many starts from Antti Niemi in Dallas, who has fallen behind Kari Lehtonen in recent days, as they both vie for the number one job.

We're now left with eight teams in the pool now, as we draw closer to the Waiver Draft, some of these teams may need a little bit of help and some of them might not even know it yet.  Scott, Derek W., Stuart, Dale B., Jeremy, John P., Ryan and Allan, in order of goalie wins, are the teams now remaining in the pool.

After Thursday night, the PIM pool was very unofficial, as I had lost my grip on all of the minutes being up-to-date.  Nevertheless, through the miracle of the weekly audit, we're back in business.

What a week it was!  The pool collected a season-high 498 PIM in Week Six, Brian's team saw a spike of 31 PIM to lead the charge and jump into the top five in the pool.  His team's 130 PIMs ranks him 3rd in the pool, but he's a minor and two misconducts away from top spot, where Wes, the preseason favourite, sits on his lonesome.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

This week was a good week for the numbers.  The pool averaged 13 points per NHL game this week, we saw a few more goalie minutes, even though the skaters didn't play as much and the pool also averaged 10 PIM per NHL game as well, a new high for the year.  A big thumbs up to our teams this week, they really nailed it.

Weeks Seven, Eight and Nine are going to ramp up a little bit, as we head into the first Waiver Draft at the end of the month.  Now is a good time to have a healthy team, because Week Nine will have 50 NHL games on the schedule, so be sure to call up your players and tell them how important it is to be in their team's lineups in these weeks.  You should be able to find their cell phone numbers around here somewhere.

NEWS AND NOTES

On Sunday afternoon, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they had retroactively placed their number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov, on the Injured Reserve, because of his groin injury, likely to open up a roster spot.  The placement was retroactive to November 10th, which means he'll be eligible to come off tomorrow, if needed, but there was no indication that he is ready to go any time soon.

Kristy & Don finished the week in 21st place, now 34 points out of the money.  Losing their best goaltender for an uncertain amount of time is not what the doctor ordered for their recovery, so they'll be leaning heavily on Roberto Luongo, until Varlamov is healthy.

More goaltending news, this time in Ottawa, as the Senators had to make an emergency recall of Matt O'Connor on Sunday, as Andrew Hammond was hurt in practice earlier in the day. There was no immediate update on the nature of the injury to Hammond, but with their next game on Monday night, home to the Red Wings, the team needed to make that move right away.  It was unlikely that Hammond was going to get the start against Detroit, but it is interesting news going forward.

Wes' wins leader on his team is Hammond, but he only has 2 wins and 4 points, outlining how poor of a start his team has had in the crease.  His team sits in 23rd and would have the 5th pick in the Waiver Draft, so you'll know where he'll be looking first.

It was somewhat of a scheduled night off for defenseman Dan Boyle, who was a healthy scratch for the Rangers, when they took on the Leafs on Sunday night.  With a big stretch of games through a short amount of time, Boyle's veteran body was given a quick rest in between, something that might be a regular occurrence this season.  He's day-to-day and expected back for the Rangers' next game, Thursday night in Tampa Bay.

Scott's team has been getting along okay this year, finishing the week in 10th place, 11 points out of the money.  I'm thinking that Boyle won't have a huge effect on whether he hits the money or not, if the Rangers are going to rest him from time to time.  Even with only 3 points, Scott may have some more pressing concerns in his lineup to address at the Waiver Draft, more so than Boyle.

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