Monday, November 14, 2016
Week Five Newsletter
This condensed schedule is certainly good for some things, like number one goalies that the team can trust for back-to-back nights. Tuukka Rask is certainly one of those goalies and he had a whale of a week, posting another 12-point week this season. It had been quite some time since we had seen a 12-point week, now we've seen two of them in quick succession this season, which is pretty exciting, one would think.
In the week, Rask went 4-0-0 with a pair of shutouts, locking up the honour in fine fashion. Lying in his wake were the Sabres, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Avalanche and thanks to this week, he is now the top ranked player in pool scoring, now with 28 points on the season.
For Troy, the season for his proxy team hasn't exactly been going to plan, especially since Rask accounted for half of his weekly points in Week Five. If the rest of his team can start making up the difference, only then will his team make it out of the dregs of the standings.
We had ourselves a tie atop the Mover & Shaker standings this week, as a pair of teams finished off with 32 points, so the decision had to come down to goals scored and by a 10-6 margin, Brian come away with the Week Five title.
Brian's can thank Tyler Seguin for being the biggest contributor in the week, as the Dallas Stars forward finished with 7 points. Seguin moved into a tie for the league lead in scoring, among skaters, in Week Five, as the Stars offense continues to roll along. The same can't be said about their defense, but that's only a problem for their goalies.
Blake Wheeler of the Jets also kicked in with 4 points in the week, followed closely by David Backes of the Bruins and Charlie Coyle of the Wild, as they both had 3 points. Six more of his players each potted a pair of points and there was only one zero on his team, some of which was due to injury.
With the big week, Brian's team moved up from 5th to 2nd place, quickly escalating its way up into the money, when his team was 14th in Week Three. The early part of the regular season can see those big jumps and there is his team, doing just that. Unfortunately, his team didn't make up any ground on 1st place, as Benson's team, was the team that his was tied with for the Mover & Shaker. They will open Week Six with a 7-point gap between their teams, a total that won't be very hard to make up.
It was a horribly rough week for Marcie, as her team did not show up in these last seven days. A poor 9-point week is now a season-low and her team dropped from 4th place, down to 11th. The gap between where her team is now and where it was is 17 points and it's 18 points to get into the money again. It's certainly not out of the question, we have lots of time left in the season, with two Waiver Drafts still to do, but these Basement Dweller mentions are hard to shake off.
Brent Burns of the Sharks accounted for one-third of her weekly total, finishing with 3 points in the week, her best player, while Ryan Kesler of the Ducks had 2 points, not leaving much for credit to the rest of her team.
This is likely just a blip on the screen, but there are some fall back options for her team, if it continues to slide, so there is some silver linings out there somewhere.
It's the 4th-straight week for Benson atop the standings, but we did have that little shake-up in the money in Week Six. Marcin was ousted from 2nd place, dropping down to 4th and taking his spot was Brian, who leap-frogged into the money, thanks to his Mover & Shaker nod, and staying put in 3rd was Scott, also having a pretty good week.
2nd, 3rd and 4th are forming their own little group, separated by only 3 points, but 7 points behind 1st and 10 points ahead of 5th.
The goon team of the week belonged to Eric, as his squad led the pool with 27 PIM in Week Six. It was a down week in overall goonage, as the pool had a season-low 340 minutes combined, worse than Week One, which was only half a week.
The PIM pool overall standings are still being led by Kristy & Don, now 19 minutes better than Marcie in this race. The rumblings on the block are that they might be considering this mini-game to be their main focus, as soon as the first Waiver Draft, coming up in a few weeks.
The hits continued to happen for Marcie in the week, as her goalies were unable to produce a win in Week Six, making her team the only elimination from the mini-game. Cam Talbot had one last chance on Sunday night against the Rangers, but fell short of the mark, losing 3-1.
Nine teams now remain in the mini-game, with Troy leading the qualified teams with 13 wins overall, thanks in large part to our current Player of the Week.
The numbers keep sliding across the board, as scoring continues to shrink, thanks to injuries in the ranks, condensed schedules forcing more non-pool backup goalies to get minutes and as noted above, the penalty minutes aren't there either. The scoring is down, only marginally, dropping from 11.2 points per NHL game on the schedule to 11.06, a difference of 7 points between Week Four and Week Five, which had the same amount of games on the docket.
Week Six is scheduled to have 47 games, easing up on the schedule a bit, so possibly some more rest and rejuvenated players in there?
NEWS AND NOTES
One of the biggest whoopsies in the draft was Nick Bjugstad, who hasn't played a game yet this season, thanks to a broken hand, but he appears to be nearing a return, finally, possibly by the end of this new week. The Florida Panthers should be better than a non-playoff team this season and the return of the power forward, should help their cause.
Getting Bjugstad into the Panthers' lineup will be like a Waiver Draft pick-up for Tony, who really needs him to start scoring as soon as he hits the ice. Injuries and AHL demotions have really hurt his team and if some of these can come back, he can move up the standings.
The Arizona Coyotes don't play until Wednesday night in Calgary, but they appear to be getting a big lift in their crease, as Mike Smith appears to be ready to return from this lower-body injury. Smith has been out since the middle of October, nearly a month, and the Coyotes are trying to compete for a spot in the playoffs this year, but sit last in the West, thanks to some questionable goaltending in Smith's absence.
This comes one week too late for Marcie's team, which really could have used a second healthy goalie. The good news does help her outlook though, getting a starting goalie back in the fold will certainly help her team jump back up in the standings.
Chris Kreider has already spent some time on the shelf with some neck spasms and it sounds like he was sidelined on Sunday with another upper-body concern, which might be related. Kreider was unable to go for the Rangers against the Oilers, but they plugged away without him, winning the game and all. He is currently listed as out day-to-day, we'll hopefully know more soon.
For Brenda & Seward, they really need Kreider to be in the mix and scoring, as their team is struggling in 18th place. They are 11 points clear of the bottom, but they will need some production soon, if they are going to make the charge up towards the money before the end of the year.
The lower-body injury that Michal Neuvirth suffered this weekend is indeed serious and the Flyers announced on Sunday night that he will be out of commission for the next 4-to-6 weeks. This will give the Flyers net to Steve Mason, without question, as Anthony Stolarz is now up to be his backup and the Czech keeper will have to remain patient in his recovery.
Horrible news for Tony, because this will take him right through to the Waiver Draft without a second goalie, but this will also likely put him at the front of the line for Peter Budaj in Los Angeles, who is taking all the reps for the Kings these days.
Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Kyle Connor was checked head first into the boards in their game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon and on Monday, the Jets placed him on the Injured Reserve, due to the upper-body injury that he suffered. This will keep him out of the lineup for at least a week, maybe more, as we await the full diagnosis.
Another injury on Eric's team, something he can ill-afford to have. This brings his IR total up to three and his team, 4 points ahead of last place, has to keep checking it's rear view mirror to make sure there are still teams behind his.