Monday, January 18, 2016

Week Fifteen Newsletter





After the audit was completed, the race was down to two players, which brought the competition for the Player of the Week down to the tie-breakers.  In the end, it was Patrick Kane taking the title over the recently re-signed Anze Kopitar, thanks to a 4-2 goal difference between the two superstars.

So, in four games this week, Kane finished with 4 goals and 3 assists for a 7-point week, as the current points leader in the league and the pool, takes his third Player of the Week nod this season.

His week consisted of an assist against the Predators, shutout against the Canadiens, 4 points, including a hat-trick, against Toronto and then another goal and assist against the Habs on Sunday.

After Week Fifteen, Kane now has 29 goals and 69 points in 48 games played this season, which puts him 4 points better than his goalie/teammate Corey Crawford, who is also having one hell of a season this year.

Unfortunately for John S., his team has been a one-trick pony ever since Carey Price went down with injury and Kane was left to carry his pool team through the year.  John finished the week in 20th place in the standings, despite Kane's help.

As we get closer and closer to the Waiver Draft, Eric's team is set to tease its owner again with the hopes and dreams of a money finish, when the team may be better suited for the PIM pool.  I jest, of course, but it does kind of have that feeling, as his bunch of goon-esque players do a good job of hitting the scoresheet as well, case and point, this week.

A 33-point week was the best one in the pool in Week Fifteen and his team did some real moving in the standings, boosting up from 15th to 7th place, now only 19 points out of the money spots.  With the standings so tight from 7th to 17th, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that a good week can boost a team up that much.

Eric's big players in Week Fifteen were Ryan Johansen of the Predators and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Coyotes, each coming away with 5-point weeks.  Milan Lucic of the Bruins and Jakob Silfverberg of the Ducks each got some honourable mentions as well for his side, finishing with 4 points each as well.

It was such a good week for his side, as he only had two zeroes in the points column in the week and one of them was due to Oscar Klefbom on the Injured Reserve.

Eric's team couldn't quite keep up in the PIM pool after the Waiver Draft, as he has dropped down to 9th in the pool and is 112 minutes back of top spot, which could be a tough sell in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, so he'll likely try to push for the points before it is all said and done.

To the credit of Eric's team, they do rank 6th in points in the second segment of the season, which started in Week Ten, so his team has been keeping pace and certainly has a shot at some money with a great third segment as well.

Ouch!  Back-to-back Basement Dweller nods for Stacey M., both 11-point weeks and now her team has dropped down to 19th place in the standings and now at risk of dropping even further.

6 points this week came from the blueline for Stacey, making up more than half of her team's production, thanks to Shea Weber of the Predators, who had 3 points.

There is a real lack of help from her goaltending, as Jimmy Howard in Detroit and Antti Niemi in Dallas are getting starts, but having trouble keeping time in the net with losses.  Her tandem managed to register 120 minutes of ice-time, two games, but no wins for no points.

It has been quite the cold streak for Stacey's team, as it was as high as 8th place back at the end of Week Twelve, but has fallen considerably since.  On the plus side, her team is 58 points better than last place, so there shouldn't be much worry there.

The top three teams in the pool didn't quite have the best week, allowing a good number of teams make up some ground on them, which is sure nice of them, but the top two still have a good buffer to work with down the stretch.

The top three remained the same, in the same spots, as Jeremy, Brenda & Seward and John P. remained in the 1, 2 & 3 spots, but it is still pretty interesting outside the money spots.  Stuart moved up to the 4th spot, overtaking Neil, whose team dropped to 5th, they are in striking distance of 3rd place, if John's team isn't too careful.  Troy is still in the hunt, but is still 7 points back of 5th, so he has a couple gaps to make up yet.

Ryan's rookies posted another 7 points in Week Fifteen, further pushing this race out of reach for both Clayton and Troy, who posted 1 point and 4 points, respectively, in the week.

Grant's rookies posted 7 points as well in the week, as Sam Bennett of the Flames led his team in the week with 6 points by himself.

It makes me wonder if any team is even going to push the envelope, trying to catch Ryan in this race.

Our two surviving teams continue to keep their heads above the water and it is expected that they will do much of the same again in Week Sixteen, as it will be another busy week for them, with a full 48-game schedule in the week.  Allan's team of goalies has six projected games to be played, while Jeremy's also has six projected games.

Which team is going to blink first?  Will they survive this week, before the All-Star break?

John R. was the goon team of the week, as they picked up 33 minutes in Week Fifteen, pushing their total up to 271 minutes, now 114 minutes back of 1st place.

Wes' 385 minutes is going to be hard to beat, especially when the Waiver Drafted players haven't really provided the spark that the teams chasing him have needed, but that's why there is another one to go and only in a couple weeks time.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

After that dismal Week Fourteen, the scoring returned a reasonable point of normalcy, climbing back over 12 points per NHL game on the schedule.  The Player of the Week nor the Mover & Shaker were all that impressive though, so the wealth was spread out fairly well in the week.

Participation between the skaters and the goalies were about equal from Fourteen to Fifteen, which meant everyone was finding the net a little bit more than the week before and there was even a slight increase in the penalties as well, which is good for some.

The week before the All-Star break is going to be a little bit more fun, with one more game on the schedule.

NEWS AND NOTES

An upper-body injury was to blame for the absence of Frederik Andersen from the Ducks' lineup on Sunday night, as they took on the Kings. There was no real indication that the injury kept him from a start, per say, but he wasn't able to provide any back-up services, at the very least. The injury isn't considered to be major, but there is no timetable for a return to the lineup.

Andersen will be day-to-day for now, something that won't help Benson's cause of moving up the standings, rather it will likely help his Waiver Draft pick location.

It sounds like Kevin Klein's right thumb was bothering him enough to keep him out of the Rangers' lineup on Sunday, when they took on the Capitals in Washington in an afternoon match-up.  His injury is considered to be day-to-day and it is likely that he'll draw back in this week, but in which game is still up in the air.

Dale C. is right in the thick of the good group still looking at money spots in the standings, as his team ranks 8th after the week, only 23 points back of John P. for 3rd place.  A couple good weeks and some healthy players can make that up, no problem.

The injury prone defenseman Kris Letang took another night off on Sunday, with the Penguins hosting the Hurricanes, as a nagging wrist issue is to blame for his absence.  The Penguins are set to go again on Monday night, where Letang is listed as a game-time decision for the match-up against the Blues in St. Louis.  His status is still day-to-day, if he doesn't play, unless there is something terribly wrong and the team opts to have him take some time off to get back to 100%.

Jeremy has Brenda & Seward hot on his heels at the top of the table and he could use his most prolific defender in the lineup for these key weeks, since his lead is only 3 points, heading into Week Sixteen.  Despite missing time, Letang has still figured in significantly and would be a big loss, if he misses much more time.

Getting hit from behind will generally do a bit of damage to a player, just ask Henrik Sedin, who found his way awkwardly into the boards, thanks to a crushing blow from Long Island's Mikhail Grabovski.  Sedin suffered a chest injury and his availability for the upcoming week is now in question, but the player nor the team think it is a significant injury, so he'll just be listed as day-to-day until he gets back.

Week Fifteen was a good one for Clayton, as his team climbed back into the fold of the big group in the middle, still vying for a chance to jump back up into the money spots.  His team finished the week in 17th, only 10 points back of 8th.

Even a little bout of dehydration wasn't enough to keep Braden Holtby from registering a win on Sunday night, as he left the game with the lead against the Rangers and the Capitals did a good job keeping that lead through the remainder of the game, preserving the win and the 2 points for Holtby.  It's unlikely that this situation goes past that game, but with the Capitals opening up the week in Columbus on Tuesday, it wouldn't be a big surprise if the team opted to rest him, since he has worked really hard to this point.

This draws even more concern for Jeremy's team, as this is his number one goalie and his concern is two-fold... both being in 1st overall in the pool and some extra bonus money from the goalie survivor pool.  If Holtby has to sit out for an extended period of time, there may only be one start for Al Montoya in Florida and could really put his chances in jeopardy.  Stay tuned!

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