Monday, October 31, 2016
Week Three Newsletter
It's a very spoooooooky edition of the Newsletter this week... and that's about as scary as it gets. Frankly, it was far scarier last week, when we had two Greenleys at the top of the standings and there was nothing that we could do about it... but just wait. The Hockey Gods fixed that problem for us and now we just have one to worry about still. Scary, but not worst-case scenario scary.
It has been two and a half years since we had a 12-point player in the hockey pool, as the last time we saw one was Week Seventeen of the 2014 season, when Kari Lehtonen had his second week of that nature in his hockey pool career, but that was when Dale B. cashed in big. Before this week, since the 2007 season, there was only nine times that we have had a 12-point player and now Devan Dubnyk is the 10th.
Dubnyk went 3-0-0 in the week for the Minnesota Wild, all three games were shutouts, hence the 12-point total in the week. The Wild keeper blanked the Bruins, Sabres and Stars in the week, not relinquishing the net to his counterpart in the process.
The 12 points now gives Dubnyk 16 on the season, which now has him ranked 2nd in pool scoring, so far this season, which is big news for John and you will be able to see why in the next section.
Yeah, you can't have a Player of the Week that good without having a team around him to earn the Mover & Shaker nod in the week as well. John finished the week with 36 points and his team moved up to 3rd place in the process. That's not too bad for a guy who was "too busy" with Thanksgiving festivities to actually show up to the bar for the draft... but I digress!
Also contributing to the big week for our Mover & Shaker were Claude Giroux of the Flyers, who finished with 6 points, Ryan Suter of the Wild with 5 points and Taylor Hall of the Devils with 4 points. Remarkably, John finished as the Mover & Shaker with five players on his roster that didn't pick up any points.
You have to love the early part of the season, especially when the Mover & Shaker can move up the standings so easily. John started off Week Three in 19th place, after a slow start to the season, but a huge week from all but five of his players really gave him a big boost to 3rd place. Now, his team has to stay hot to stay up near the top.
John's team also led the pool in the week in the goals department, finishing with 13 and that moved him into a 3-way tie for 4th place in the standings with 24. His team trails Scott's by a hat-trick after this week. His team is also tied for 6th in wins with 6, thanks to Dubnyk, 3 wins back of Cam for the lead in that department as well.
This is John's second time in his pool career, where he finished a week as the Mover & Shaker, the first time coming last season, back in Week Two, where he also finished in 3rd in the standings. It didn't do his team much good last season, finishing 17th overall, but this year will be different, right? Right?
Three teams finished at the bottom of the weekly standing, all vying for the Basement Dweller position, down with 16 points. The first tie-breaker is goals scored and there were far more goals scored by the three teams than I expected, as Eric finished with 8 markers, Troy had 7 goals and Clayton, our Basement Dweller for Week Three, had 6 tallies.
Clayton's team was led by Eric Staal of the Wild and James Van Riemsdyk in Toronto, each picking up 3 points, but there were far too many zeroes, to the tune of six, which didn't help his cause at all.
His team was a combined -9 in the plus/minus rating in Week Three, which was ranked 24th in the pool, which says that they were pulling more pucks out of their own nets than putting them in. But with the pool's best skater games total and shots for total, it shouldn't be long before Clayton's team gets a little bit of traction and has a huge gain like John's team. Starting from 17th place now isn't nearly as bad, but it is a increasingly large hill to climb.
The final numbers are almost ready to be announced, but I can confirm, we will be paying the first three in the standings, plus the mini-games and that announcement will either come later on Monday or on Tuesday. That's just how close we are.
Benson continues to lead after three weeks and his team was able to open a 10-point lead, Scott and his band of rookies are currently sitting in 2nd place and then there are three teams tied at 72 points, but John gets the nod, due to tie-breakers, followed by Dale B. and Marcie. It's a 10-point difference between 1st and 2nd, but 2nd down to 13th is also 10 points, so a hot week can do teams a lot of good right away.
Our goon team of the week belongs to Cam, one of our favourites for the overall title after the draft had occurred. Cam's team finished atop the PIM totals in Week Three, thanks to a 30-minute week, his most prolific week in the penalty box.
His big week moved him into 2nd overall in the mini-game, but Marcie's team didn't really let up, finishing with 28 minutes of their own and they now have 98 PIM and a 32-minute lead after Week Three. If her team wasn't also in the mix for the big money at this point, I'd say she would have a team that could go all the way, but the Waiver Draft will likely see to that.
Three teams fell in the survivor pool in Week Three, as Clayton, Kristy & Don and Scott all couldn't muster up any wins and that drops are participation down to 13 teams already, just about halfway through the standings already. Coincidentally, after Week Three in last year's survivor pool, we were also down to 13 of 27 teams in it, so we're just about on pace. Last season, we lost three more teams in Week Four, so are there three teams ready to take the plunge this week?
Well, the honeymoon is starting to end for the hockey pool, as it normally does. Injuries and scratches start to happen, the number of games collected marginally shrink and the points and penalty minutes go with it. Week Three saw a decrease in scoring by a point-per-game on the NHL schedule, down from 12.3 to 11.3, which doesn't seem like much, but the more points we get, the more competitive it would be.
The penalty minutes really took a kicking though, down from 11.1 minutes in Week Two to 7.5 minutes in Week Three... where did all the goons go?
It's a 49-game week this week and here's hoping we have a few more of those rivalry games to get the blood boiling. There was a little too much fraternizing between the players this week... we need that hate!
NEWS AND NOTES
The Detroit Red Wings offered up an update on forward Thomas Vanek before their game against the Florida Panthers on Sunday and it wasn't pleasant. Vanek and his groin injury has been downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week and with the Wings' cap issues this year, they would need some LTIR help to make any recalls.
Vanek has been one of the better players for Kristy & Don this year and not having him for the next week is certainly going to hurt. They open Week Four in 15th place, now 21 off the pace of 1st place.
On Sunday, the Jets decided to scratch defenseman Tyler Myers for a lower-body injury, which was suffered earlier in the week. Myers has 2 goals in his first eight games this season, plus 6 PIM to start, which isn't exactly great numbers, but he's still an asset in the lineup. His departure was felt, as they dropped the game against the Sabres on Sunday, 3-1, defense being a big hole again for them.
Ryan still had a decent Week Three, despite not having the towering defender in the last game of the week, as his team finished with 26 points in the week, moving up to 12th from 15th the week before.