Monday, February 22, 2016

Week Twenty Newsletter





Three players were at the top of the weekly list, finishing the week with 7 points a piece. It was a pair of twin brothers and a goalie, making their mark in the week and in the end, it was Henrik Sedin taking his second Player of the Week nod, but only barely.

Henrik's week was 1 goal and 6 assists, narrowly edging his brother, Daniel, who didn't actually register a goal, just 7 assists.  Henrik's only goal came on Monday against the Maple Leafs, while he recorded an assist in that game as well, another helper against the Ducks on Wednesday, shutout against the Flames on Friday, but had a 4-assist night against the Avalanche on Sunday.

In total, Henrik's big week brought him up to 10 goals and 46 points in 53 games this year, well off the pace that him and his brother were on at the beginning of the season, but still some respectable numbers.  Heading into Week Twenty-One, Henrik's numbers were good enough for 51st overall in pool scoring, bringing his value up to a late 2nd round pick.

These good numbers were close to giving Clayton a Mover & Shaker nod this week, but his team fell short, by a point in the end.  Nevertheless, his team was moving up the standings, jumping up from 15th to 12th in the week.

The Mover & Shaker in the end belongs to our pool leader, Jeremy, who popped 32 points in the week, beating out four teams that had 31 points in the week as well.  His team was also extending the lead from breaking a tie to 5 points up, his team finding the right time to put up some big numbers, hoping to start putting this out of reach.

It was a pretty balanced attach from the pool leader's side, as Mikko Koivu of the Wild and Kris Letang of the Penguins were tops in the week, each picking up 5 points to lead the way.  That was followed closely by Matt Duchene of the Avalanche and Braden Holtby of the Capitals, each picking up 4 points each.

There was only one active player on Jeremy's team that failed to register a point in the week, so most of his players were contributing in one fashion or another.

Jeremy's team has been fairly consistent this season, as his team never slipped below 7th place from the start of the season and has been a money team for the last 11 weeks, when he finished Week Ten in 3rd place.  Week Twenty is the second time his team has finished in 1st in back-to-back weeks, so he has been hovering around the trophy for a while now.

Being healthy is the majority of the battle, as all three money teams are in the top three in skaters games played, as Jeremy's team is tied for 2nd with 676 skater games played and 12th in goalie minutes collected in the pool.  As long as his team can remain healthy, Jeremy has a great chance to collect the money and have the trophy for the Summer.

It was a pretty close race at the bottom of the weekly standings as well this past week, as a few teams were only a point within each other to try and occupy the basement.  With vacancy rates going up and rental prices going down, who wouldn't want to move into somewhere new?

With 15 points on the week and only 3 goals scored, Benson takes the Basement Dweller in the tie-breaking format, edging out Troy by a couple of goals and Cindy by a point, earning him his third Basement Dweller nod this season.

Benson's team wasn't without its bright spots this week, as Frederik Andersen had 5 points in Anaheim, Zach Parise had 4 points for Minnesota and Claude Giroux had 3 points for Philly this week, but that's already 12 of his 15 points right there.  There were a few more singles, but that meant that eight of his active players didn't figure into the scoring.

After a Basement Dweller week like this, his team has some real concern.  Benson's team now ranks 24th and is only 17 points clear of last place in the standings and those teams in the bottom have improved at the last Waiver Draft, which improves their chances at passing Benson's team.

The top three teams remain the same and the order hasn't changed either.  Jeremy has a 5-point lead over Brenda & Seward after the week, while the duo has a 19-point lead over John P. to stay safe in 2nd place.  John P. increased his buffer zone, which is now 18 points over Neil, who had a pretty good week, but not a great week.

We might be getting to that portion of the season, where teams rarely move up at the top and it will take something big to happen to one of these teams for them to fall off.

Ryan's team continues to dominate here in the rookie pool, winning the weekly scoring again with 10 points, followed by Troy with 9 points and Clayton with 8 points.  Ryan's total points is now up to 112 on the season and his team is pretty healthy, so there's no sign of stopping this freshman juggernaut.

Derek & Dan and Dale B. each took runs at Wes' lead, as each team finished with 37 minutes in penalties in Week Twenty, but the pool's third duo is much closer to the lead than Dale B., as Derek & Dan are now only 13 minutes back of Wes.

We're only two weeks into the third segment and Derek & Dan's team are already better than halfway to their second segment total of minutes, having already packed 108 minutes into two weeks of action.  At this rate, they could be in the lead before the end of this coming week.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

It was a pretty good week for the pool, picking up points and PIM, as totals did slip a little bit from Week Nineteen, but not enough to panic.  In 49 NHL games on the schedule, the pool picked up 650 points and 550 PIM, so there was lots to go around.

This has been three straight weeks that the pool has been averaging more than 13 points per game on the schedule, so there should be no complaints about not seeing much scoring in the league.  It is certainly there for us.

NEWS AND NOTES

There are lots of news and notes from the last couple of days, I sort of dropped the ball on the scoring in the pool, not to mention the blog site.  There will be some independent posts coming later on in the day, so we won't see all the notes here right away.

The Arizona Coyotes got an injury scare from one of their best players over the weekend, as Oliver Ekman-Larsson left Saturday's game against the Blues with a lower-body injury.  The injury isn't considered to be too serious and the number one defender will travel with the team, as they embark on a road trip this week, but it may not be out of the question that he misses some action going forward.

Eric's team has been hovering around the money conversation in recent weeks, sitting in 5th place after Week Twenty and Ekman-Larsson has been a good reason why that has been the case.  He won't want his best defenseman to miss too much time at this crucial time in the season.

It's time for the spring illnesses to hit and in Boston, forward Ryan Spooner was held out of some weekend action, thanks to feeling under the weather.  On Monday morning, the Bruins coaching staff say that he's feeling much better and should be good to go, when they resume their schedule, tonight, home to the Blue Jackets.

John S.'s team has really taken a nose dive in the standings, having remained in 19th place in Week Twenty, a third straight week in that spot.  I don't expect Spooner to help that recovery effort much at all.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Cody Franson reportedly suffered an upper-body injury, believed to be in the neck area, when he was hit by Columbus forward Scott Hartnell this weekend and this injury kept him out of Sunday's game against the Penguins. He is considered to be day-to-day right now, unsure of what his status is for the long-term.

John P. currently owns the 3rd place spot and is now without his 4th defenseman, as Franson hasn't exactly been lighting it up this season.  I'm sure money teams don't want injuries, but I think John can manage without Franson for a few games, if that's what it takes to become healthy.

The Detroit Red Wings played both on Saturday and Sunday, but rookie forward Dylan Larkin was only able to play one of those games, missing out on Saturday's contest in Ottawa, but returned for Sunday's game on Broadway.  The Red Wings offense is relying heavily on his their youngster and he has hit somewhat of a rookie wall, as the team has dropped four straight games.

Grant's team missed out on only one skater game from Larkin's illness, but now that he's back, there isn't any concern moving forward.  Grant is only 10 points back of Benson for 24th spot in the standings and 15 points back of Stacey M. for 23rd.

It sounds like Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau is suffering from a little bit of whiplash, suffering an upper-body injury on Saturday against the Jets. Huberdeau left the game after falling awkwardly into the boards, hitting the back of his head on the wall and wasn't feeling good enough to continue.  He's day-to-day right now, but is likely questionable for Thursday's game, home to the Coyotes.

Tony's team had a good week in Week Twenty, one of those four teams with 31 points, so he's likely seriously considering a top 20 finish this season.  His team still has some work to do, as they are still a few points back of Stacey C., who currently resides in 20th.

It's a bit of a mystery, Claude Giroux's upper-body injury, but what we know right now is that he missed out on Saturday's game in Toronto and Monday's practice and has already been ruled out of Tuesday's game in Carolina.  The Flyers are not offering up much for updates, but if he's already being ruled out of games, it is probably a little more serious than not.

Very bad news for our current Basement Dweller, Benson, who was enjoying points from Giroux, one of his few players that actually scored for his team last week.  Missing out on those points could be devastating for his team.

A lower-body issue was to blame for Nikita Kucherov's absence on Sunday, as he wasn't able to dress for the Lightning playing the Hurricanes.  There hasn't been very many updates on his status moving forward and they will be playing host to the Coyotes on Tuesday night, so we'll see if Kucherov is only going to miss a little bit of time.  He's currently on the list as being out day-to-day.

Ryan's team is slowly fading away in the money race, now sitting in 9th place, now 34 points out of 3rd place.  He would have definitely needed a big week to really remain in talks for a prize that isn't the rookie race, but he may have to settle now.

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