Monday, January 23, 2017

Week Fifteen Newsletter



It's a big week upcoming and I am hoping to make sure that the blog reflects that, as much as possible.  Week Sixteen is the All-Star shortened week, where we will be limited in games, but on the plus side, the Week Seventeen Waiver Draft could get a bit of a head start.  We'll go over the Week Fifteen numbers and news first, but there will be an e-mail going out this week to alert everyone of the upcoming Waiver Draft, hoping that we don't have the same stalls that we did the first time around.



That was quite the race in Week Fifteen for the top individual honours, as it came right down to the wire on Sunday for the decision. In the end, there were two players with 9 points each and even another three players with 8 points, some coming in with 8 points and a game to play on Sunday. That's just how close it was. In the end, it was Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary edging out Long Island's Thomas Greiss for the honour, thanks to the goal scoring tie-breaker.

And who is this Sheary fella?  You don't remember him in the Penguins' run in the playoffs last year?  He was there, contributing 10 points in 23 games for their Cup run.  This season, the 24-year old has found a regular spot in the Penguins roster, because he has been able to put pucks in the net and dish it out from time to time as well.  On such a high-powered Penguins roster, this shouldn't come as that big of a surprise.

In the week, Sheary finished with 6 goals and 3 assists in four games, picking up at least a point in each game.  2 goals and an assist against Washington on Monday, an assist against the Canadiens on Wednesday, 2 goals against the Hurricanes on Friday and then another 2 goals and an assist against the Bruins on Sunday.  An evenly played week, if you ask me.

Sheary was taken with the 19th pick in the Week Eight Waiver Draft by Wilton, as his team was right in the thick of the money race... before his team's collapse.  Since being picked up in the Waiver Draft, Sheary has 22 points in 21 games and is Derek's 5th best forward this season, which says a lot about how bad his team has tanked since.

It was a great Mover & Shaker race this week, as the number of games ramped up to 52 on the NHL schedule in Week Fifteen, leaving lots of action to decide this one.  Stacey C. and Dale B. were tied at a record week of 40 points, heading into Sunday's action, where Stacey had the edge in games to be played and that was what separated the two teams in the end, as his team finished with a new record in the 2017 season, with 45 points.

Remarkably, this is the first time since the 2015 season where we had a Mover & Shaker over 40 points and there were two teams this week that did the feat.  The last team to do it belonged to Brian in Week Twenty of the 2015 season.

It was another Waiver Draft pick-up that was key to a pool team's success in the week, as Mike Condon, the fill-in starter for the Ottawa Senators had found a bit of a hot streak, picking up 8 points in the week, leading the way on Stacey's team.

Connor McDavid of the Oilers also had himself a pretty good week for the proxy team, finishing with 6 points, while Andre Burakovsky of the Capitals, Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks and Nino Niederreiter of the Wild each finished with 5 points a piece.  Also worthy of a mention was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Oilers, the only player on his team to finish with 4 points.  Stacey's team had a couple of naughts on the blueline, but for the most part, his team saw production from the better part of his team.

The big week in the points department did translate in the standings, as Stacey's team moved up from 13th place up to 7th and is only 18 points back of 3rd place, after gaining 20 points on that position already.  With another Waiver Draft upcoming, there is lots to play for on Stacey's team and there could be a couple of places in need of improvement when Week Seventeen rolls around.

Injuries got the better of Stacey M. in Week Fifteen, as her team may have to look to a mini-game to keep her money hopes alive and there is one in particular that she is likely keeping her eye on.

14 points was all that her team could muster in the week, but with three key players on the Injured Reserve, it should come as no surprise that the points were not going to be there.  Thankfully, her team has a guys like Pekka Rinne, who has been very solid this season and he led her team with 4 points in the week, also keeping her team in the goalie survivor pool, which there will be more on that a bit later on in the post.

Injuries to Aleksander Barkov of the Panthers, Max Domi of the Coyotes and Antti Raanta of the Rangers were certainly playing a role, but that wasn't an excuse for the three other players who were healthy in the week and failed to register a point.

Stacey's team was never really in the overall money mix this season, posting a peak position of 9th place at the end of Week One, 11th in Week Two and had only seen as high as 13th in Week Eleven after that.  She has climbed on Rinne and is going to ride this pony as far as he will take her in the survivor pool, it would seem.

We have a new leader!  Dale B., one of the two 40+ point teams in the week, made the jump from 4th place, all the way to 1st, jumping Brenda & Seward, Cam and Brian, in that order, to take the lead and made this race even more interesting!

Everyone from last week was just bumped down one spot with the big move and the difference from 1st to 4th is only 8 points, which as we just saw, means a good week can put a team in the pole position.

Our reigning champ and trophy holder, Jeremy, has also seen his team make some moves this week,  jumping from 11th to 5th and is now 11 points back of the money pack.  Ryan is only 2 points back of Jeremy to start the week, followed by Stacey C. and Scott, behind Ryan by 1 point.  Oh boy, the Waiver Draft is really going to mean something.

Troy, who put a lot of eggs into the PIM pool, takes another goon team of the week honour, but only with 30 minutes, narrowly edging our current mini-game leader, Marcie, by a single minute.

It wasn't a very good week for penalty minutes, as the pool, combined, failed to hit the 400-minute mark between 25 teams, which isn't uncommon, but the teams could do so much better.

Marcie's team picked up 8 minutes on her overall lead, which now stands at 14 minutes over Kristy & Don, while Wilton's team is 50 minutes back and holds a much better spot for the Waiver Draft than Marcie or the duo.

Troy's team was too focused on their goonage and Tuukka Rask was not able to get the job done in Week Fifteen, which means his team was eliminated from the goalie survivor pool, leaving John S. and Stacey M. to play for their money back this season.

That's right!  We're down to two teams and the All-Star shortened week is now upon us!  How exciting!  The week will play Monday through Thursday, leaving very few chances to earn that win.  John S. has five projected games from his goalies, Chad Johnson with three and Devan Dubnyk with two, while Stacey M. only has one healthy goalie at the moment and Pekka Rinne has two projected games this week.

This may be worth while of getting some smaller goalie announcement posts this week, trying to watch the finish of this mini-game... or its potential, at least.

We're still weeks away from any more updates on the outdoor games pool, but have you had a look at the available players?  The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will be playing in the last outdoor game of the season... are there any left to help you lift your team over Marcie's for the $60 win?

NEWS AND NOTES

Just when Troy needed him most, but down 2-0, Tuukka Rask had to leave Sunday's game against the Penguins, as he was feeling under the weather.  This solidified Troy's elimination, not like the Penguins were going to relent on their scoring, as they finished up on the Bruins with a 5-1 win, getting the best of Zane McIntyre for another three goals.  The Bruins have yet to do anything about their goaltending situation on Monday morning, so there is some indication that Rask might be okay to either play or back-up on Tuesday night, with the Red Wings in town.

The Detroit Red Wings lost the services of Thomas Vanek on Sunday afternoon, as the scoring Austrian suffered a lower-body injury, believed to be in the groin area, in the 1st period against the Rangers. The word on Monday morning is that Vanek is not traveling with the team to Boston and will sit out at least that game, for sure.  More news came from the Red Wings camp as well, as Dylan Larkin was also hurt on the weekend, suffering an upper-body injury and he is now expected to miss the team's next two games as well.  That's two solid losses for the Red Wings forward group, as they struggle to find offense as it is.

The loss of Larkin has more potential for money lost, as he belongs to John S.'s 10th place team, while Vanek belongs to the goon squad of Kristy & Don.  Vanek hasn't exactly spent much time in the box, so there's that as well.

The dreaded illness that is sweeping the illness got the best of Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu on Sunday night, keeping him out of Sunday's late game against the Predators.  He's considered to be day-to-day, but as we've seen already this year, this illness can knock out a player for 2-to-3 games without blinking.

Ryan's team wasn't able to keep up as much as he would have liked in the points department, but his proxy team is still in the mix.  His team will open the week 17 points back of 3rd place.

We're still waiting to hear more on the injury that Kevin Hayes had suffered in Sunday afternoon's game against the Red Wings.  Hayes suffered the injury in the 2nd period and was not able to return to the game and the Rangers are turning around for a quick one on Monday night, with the Kings on Broadway.  As of the time of this post, there was no updates, but it would seem doubtful that he is going to play.

Rough news for Mike's team, which doesn't have a great deal to play for in the remainder of the season.  Mike's team is now 47 points back of the money, which would take a miracle pick or two in the Waiver Draft to get back, but I suppose it isn't impossible.

The Philadelphia Flyers currently occupy the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and they are still trying to prod their blueline for more consistency.  On Sunday, Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch, like some of his other qualified blueline mates, they have all found their way upstairs in a game or two this season.  I would imagine that Del Zotto would be back in the lineup on Wednesday night in New York.

Wes' team has started to find a scoring touch, but likely a little too late.  His team's 33 points in the week has now lifted him up to 19th place in the standings and it would seem very likely that his team will look for more scoring at the Waiver Draft next week.
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