Monday, December 19, 2016

Week Ten Newsletter





We haven't even turned over the calendar to 2017 quite yet and the 2017 season has already seen five nods of the Player of the Week in double-digit point totals, but in Week Ten, it wasn't a goalie that got there.  We had ourselves a big week from a skater.

Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks had himself a week, finishing up with 10 points in four games, tacking on to what is now a 5-game scoring streak for himself.

The Blackhawks played three of their four games on the road this week and their budding Russian superstar carried them through the week.  2 assists against the Rangers on Tuesday, 2 goals and an assist in Brooklyn on Thursday, a goal and 2 assists in St. Louis on Saturday and then another 2 assists on Sunday at home versus the Sharks.  There was just no stopping him.

A good week like this is going to do wonders for his overall totals, as he jumped up to 11th overall in pool scoring, as he is riding at a point per game pace, 14 goals and 34 points in 34 games for the Blackhawks, really keeping the offense chugging along.

For Dale C., Panarin has been one of the few bright spots on his team, which sits in 22nd place in the standings and his best player accounted for more than one-third of his weekly total of 25 points in the week.  Dale's team did lift up one spot, from 23rd, in the week, but Panarin would have to keep this pace going for a shot at the money and it would be a one-man show.

Our reigning champion, Jeremy, has finally shown some championship colours in Week Ten, as his team was the pool's best, finishing with 33 points and his team has moved up to 10th place, jumping up six places in the week and eight places since the activation of Waiver Draft players.  His team is moving forward quickly and is only 19 points out of the money to start Week Eleven.

It's pretty rare to see a defenseman finish up as a Mover & Shaker's top player, unless it was like an Erik Karlsson or a Brent Burns, but Justin Schultz of the Penguins?  Well, believe it, because it's true.  Schultz was Jeremy's best player in the week, finishing with 5 points and having a top player with that many points will mean that the offense was really spread around.

Valtteri Filppula in Tampa, Victor Rask in Carolina and Robin Lehner in Buffalo were all 4-point players in the week, while Jordie Benn in Dallas and Brent Seabrook in Chicago each had 3 points.  On his team, there were only two players that finished with zeroes, one was due more to some cold play and the other was a healthy scratch for the better part of the week and no one is going to get points that way.

His defense was one of his team's best elements, obviously, finishing with 12 points in total.  In the grand scheme of things, his defense is now ranked 6th overall in the pool, 10 points behind the leader in the category.

Jeremy's team, with a Mover & Shaker to their credit, now ranks tied for 3rd overall since the players were activated from the Waiver Draft, now with 61 points, only 5 points back of the leader in the same time frame, which is a good sign for his team.  His team has a lot of work still to do and he might need some more help from his forwards and goalies, since the defense won't hold up as your leading point getters.

Three teams were not very happy with their weeks, as they all finished with 17 points in Week Ten and they were all qualified for the Basement Dweller nod.  In order in the standings, it was Cam, Ryan and Clayton, all vying for the title, but we had to go to the tie-breakers to figure it out and the least amount of goals for between the three would be the first decider.  This tie-breaker would be enough, as Cam and Clayton each had 7 goals in the week, while Ryan's team fell a goal short, finishing with 6 tallies and he gets the pillow and blanket for a week in the basement.

Ryan's team becomes the third in the pool to have registered both a Mover & Shaker and a Basement Dweller this season and on the plus side, 17 points is now the highest total for a Basement Dweller this season, which is an okay distinction, because it meant that your team didn't fall too far behind.

The forwards on Ryan's team were all contributing in the week, but no one really had an amazing week.  It was his goaltending and defense that kind of let him down, as they only had 2 points between the six players and only one defenseman had those 2 points.

So, the damage done was only a drop of four spots, from 11th to 15th, but the real damage was done in the gap to the money, as his team is now 26 points behind 3rd place.  His team is certainly not out of it, but they need to get hot to have a shot.

The money race continued to be interesting this week, as Benson's team wasn't able to maintain their buffer zone to 2nd place, as the lead shrank from 15 points down to 8.

Brian and Scott still occupy 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, thanks to the goals scored tie-breaker, as both teams finished the week at 247 points, but the goals are currently sitting at 76-72 for the man down under.

John S. dropped a few points in the week, now sits 6 points out of the money, but that can turn around with a good week, while Dale B. had a decent week and is only 8 points out and then Brenda & Seward are 10 points out.  If we saw a big scoring week, we'd all be in for a treat, as this race is really fun to watch.

The goon team of the week belonged to Derek B., as his team finished with a week-high of 38 minutes in the sin bin.  It wasn't a runaway week, but lots of teams were picking up minutes here and there.

Kristy & Don still lead the overall race at 260 minutes, but Ryan is up to 213 and Derek B. is up to 211, Grant is at 210 and so on.  Teams are starting to get wise to this game and the duo's lead is all, but safe.

All four teams that remain in the survivor pool were all clear and into Week Eleven by Tuesday, which made the goalie posts a little bit boring in the week.  That makes two straight weeks we were without an elimination.

The Christmas holiday week does bring the schedule down to 41 total games, only six games less than Week Ten, but it is enough to possibly raise an eyebrow or two.  The week will conclude on Friday, as there will be no games on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  The schedule will resume on Boxing Day.

How interesting will the week be now?

We're counting down the days now to two more outdoor games, as the Centennial Classic and the Winter Classic are not too far away.  January 1st and January 2nd will be two big days in this mini-game.

I'm sure Marcie can't wait to see if her lead will hold up here.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

The second week after the Waiver Draft was always going to see a bit of a downturn from the first week out, but it also didn't help a great deal that the schedule was pretty poor, dropping down to 47 games from the 50's.  The average take from each NHL game was down by half a point, but participation did stay fairly close to regular.

On the plus side, the penalty minutes turned in the right direction, up from 9.9 minutes per game to 10.3 minutes.  We're hoping for more from those goons,

NEWS AND NOTES

An upper-body injury was to blame for the absence of Dustin Brown from the Los Angeles Kings' lineup on Sunday, when they took on the Bruins in the afternoon. There was no real description of the injury or a timetable for how long they expect him to be out, but he is listed as day-to-day. Brown was riding a good ironman streak of 207 straight games, but that now comes to an end.

Another tough injury for Tony, as Brown was one of his Waiver Draft picks and the bad luck just seems to follow him around in this pool.  Brown has 3 assists in the first five games since being activated, but this injury is a bit of a speed bump in the road.

I was meaning to do a individual post for Trevor Daley and his upper-body injury, but I just didn't find the time for it.  Daley was held out of this weekend's action, due to the injury and the Penguins have announced that he is listed as week-to-week with the injury and that could mean just about anything these days.  Of course, the hope is that it isn't a concussion, but the way teams dance around some of these announcements, it wouldn't surprise me.

This is a tough break for Dale B., who has enjoyed 11 points out of 31 games from Daley this season, including 2 points this past week, before the injury.  With Dale's team in the money conversation, this isn't the time for an injury like this, even if it is to a lesser defenseman.

Another missed scratch this week came from San Jose, when they made Joonas Donskoi a healthy scratch mid-week, due to his poor play.  The scratch seemed to help, as Donskoi hit the scoresheet over the weekend and really did well with that kick to the back side.  Before I take his name off the news page, I just thought I would add that he was scratched this past week.

The long-term gain for missing one game is something that Stacey C. should be okay with, especially since he wasn't scoring much before the scratching.  Stacey's team isn't too far away from Dale's team and is certainly staying relevant.
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