Monday, January 04, 2016

Week Thirteen Newsletter





It has taken four weeks to get to our first player from the Waiver Draft as Player of the Week and it is John Gibson of the Ducks, who finished with a week-high 11 points in Week Thirteen, taking the crown.  It was a pretty close race in the end, as there was another goalie in California, who was also having a pretty good run in the week, but a last minute assist was the difference between the two keepers.

Gibson finished the week with a 3-0-0 record, with a pair of shutouts and that helper for his 11-point week.  He swept through Alberta, just before New Year's, shutting out both Edmonton and Calgary in 1-0 games and then on Sunday, he picked up another win against the Jets at home and that's where he added an assist to his totals.

Since his mid-season recall, Gibson has shot up the overall scoring rankings, already with 25 points this season and he has only appeared in 15 games for the Ducks.  In the pool, however, he was a Waiver Draft pick by Clayton, his only pick in the 1st round, and he now leads all picks in the draft with 13 points since the start of Week Ten.

Back-to-back weeks, three out of the last five weeks... it looks like the domination from Brenda & Seward has now begun and they could very well be the team to beat, as very few teams have had an answer for their run of late.  There was one team right behind them and to the pool's credit, there were five teams over the 30-point barrier in the week, but the pool's second duo topped out at 37 points and took the throne, as best in the pool... again.

Brenda & Seward had the week's runner-up for the Player of the Week nod, Jonathan Quick, who finished the week with 10 points, leading the way for their side.  Quick and the Kings have been the team to beat in the Pacific Division and their run continued through to the New Year.

They also enjoyed a big week from Long Island's Frans Nielsen, who had a 5-point week and then there were 4-point weeks from Marcus Johansson in Washington, Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota and Karri Ramo in Calgary.

The production from some of these guys was so great, that they probably didn't even notice that four of their active skaters on their team didn't even register a point in the week.  That's just how good the big scorers were.

With the huge run of weeks, they have now usurped top spot in the pool standings, six weeks from them sitting in 9th place, as they have shown quite a rise through the standings in those weeks.  Their team currently ranks 2nd in skater games played this year and 2nd in goalie minutes registered, which means their team has been healthy all year and now the scoring rates are starting to catch up to their health, which would be the number one reason why they have been doing so well.

Can this streak continue?

For the third time this season, we find Grant down in the weekly basement, as his 11 points in the week was destined to be good enough for the Basement Dweller.

Only six of his active 14 players picked up points for his side in the week, led by Alex Tanguay of the Avalanche and Dmitry Kulikov of the Panthers, each picking up 3 points and making up more than half of his weekly total.

Grant's goaltending may be one of the biggest issues, as he lost a couple of gambles on goalies, as they were both in situations where the goaltending situation wasn't quite concrete in both cities and they both worked against him.  He was getting minutes to start the year, now he has two goalies that are barely getting back-up minutes.

If things were to hold out for him, he would be the first team to be able to make a swap in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, as his side now ranks 27th, last place, in the standings and is falling behind quite quickly, already 15 points back of 26th.

John P.'s streak of weeks finishing in 1st place are over, as Brenda & Seward have taken over, as mentioned in the Mover & Shaker nod above.  They have even managed to open up an 8-point gap on the lead, which is the largest gap we've seen since Week Five.  It's not impossible to close, but their team has been running very hot of late.

Jeremy's team moved up from 3rd to 2nd, while John P. was jumped by both teams, dropping down to 3rd place this past week.  The three money teams are the only ones above 300 points this week and the gap to 4th & 5th place is now 11 points, as Troy and Neil fell a bit further behind.  We're now starting to see a little bit of separation in the standings and we're still a month away from the next Waiver Draft.

The rookie pool is still pretty boring, as Ryan's team picked up 4 points in the week, while Troy's team only picked up 2 points, so the gap expanded a little bit further.  Ryan's 61 points is probably going to cruise to the finish, unless Troy can luck out and find a couple more rookies in the next Waiver Draft, that pick up points like they're going out of style.

Cindy's team was actually the top rookie scoring team in the week, as Jack Eichel had another good week in Buffalo, picking up 5 points.  Cindy's rookie is now only 4 points back of Troy's rookie, so there could be a couple of teams wishing they could catch Ryan's four rookies.

Between Craig Anderson in Ottawa and Chad Johnson in Buffalo, John P.'s team was not able to register a win in Week Thirteen, despite five starts and now there are only two teams left to go in the survivor pool.

It is only Allan and Jeremy left in the pool and these two could be trading punches for the rest of the season.  Allan has Ben Bishop of the Lightning and Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets, while Jeremy has Braden Holtby of the Capitals and Al Montoya of the Panthers.  Each has a bonafide starter, playing for some pretty good teams in the East, while they each have some quality back-up.

It's hard to pick between the two teams, but the All-Star break could be the killer in this one, which is only a month away.

Well, thankfully, even though Brenda & Seward owned the week in the PIM pool, picking up 47 minutes in the sin bin, they don't really have a shot at the overall title.  Don't want to be giving a ton of money to one team, that's not what these pools are about.

Wes still owns a 30-minute lead after Week Thirteen, as his side managed to open up the gap between themselves and Dale B. in the week, but Derek & Dan clawed back a tiny bit of ground, bettering Wes' team by 4 minutes and moved into 3rd place.

Finally, we saw a record number of minutes in the pool this week, as all the teams combined for a season-high, 536 minutes in penalties, which means we're finally getting into the nitty-gritty and/or crunch time in the schedule.  Let's hope for even more minutes!

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

We were a fraction of a point per game off the season-high this season, as the pool was hitting on all cylinders in Week Thirteen.  We saw 641 points in 48 NHL games, which was almost a season-high total, despite being three games short of the busiest week in the year.  More points and more PIM make this pool more interesting, it only stands to reason.

Week Fourteen will have 47 games on the schedule, but that's no reason why this pool couldn't hit some big numbers again.  Keep cheering on your side, you just never know what could happen, if your team goes on a big run.

NEWS AND NOTES

The San Jose Sharks have had a pretty lenient schedule of their own, which has meant that their number two goalie, Alex Stalock, hasn't seen a great deal of action. On Sunday night, they opted to send him on a conditioning stint to the minors, in order to get some quality minutes and stay fresh for when they'll need him again.  At most, he'll be away for a couple of weeks, but it would seem more likely, that he would be back after a start, maybe two, just to get his legs underneath him.

This shouldn't be a big concern for Derek & Dan, who have him in the pool, as he won't likely be missing any scheduled starts, while he is away.  At worst, he'll miss some possible relief appearances behind Martin Jones, but that would be about it.

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