Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Nineteen Newsletter



Where did that weekend go? Well, at least there is a Monday off for me to sit down and recap all of that weekend that I missed.

Did John get his win?  I don't think my team did very well, the Canucks certainly got the most important win out of the weekend.  I suppose there were some ups and downs, like any regular weekend, eh?  Let's have a look and see how the last few days affected the pool.



It was down to two players again for the head of the table this week, but the tie-breaker was exceptionally easy, as it was a goalie against a natural goal scorer.  Indeed, it was Winnipeg's Patrik Laine taking the banner position in Week Nineteen, thanks to his 8-point week, but he falls short of becoming the first rookie to earn the nod, as Auston Matthews has already had the nod, back in Week Twelve.

The 18-year old Finn opened the week with a hat-trick against the Stars on Valentine's Day, which was followed up with a goal against the Penguins on Thursday, a goal and an assist against the Canadiens on Hockey Day in Canada and then his week concluded with a pair of assists against the Senators on Sunday night.  It was a busy week, but his less-than-idle hands did a lot of damage.

The Winnipeg phenom now leads all rookies in scoring with 28 goals and 52 points in 54 games with the Jets, which is good enough for 27th overall in pool scoring, vaulting past Matt Murray, Mitch Marner and Matthews for the lead.

The rookie sensation hasn't exactly improved Scott's standing though, as his team, besides his rookies, haven't been too productive of late and his team currently sits in 11th place overall.

It's another week and another Mover & Shaker has taken their place in the money spots, keeping the race for that last dash of cash very interesting.  Marcie's team is the latest to make the leap, as her team, which is entrenched in many of the money conversations, gets back into the big one, thanks to her team's 35-point effort in Week Nineteen, which has even opened up a bit of a gap between her team and 4th place as well.

This was the second time in four weeks that Marcie's team has climbed up to the top of the weekly standings and back in Week Sixteen, her team was back in 6th place and now it sits in the money, making the most of a good run of late.  Her team currently leads the third segment, picking up 65 points over the last two weeks and I don't think we've heard the last of her team... in this Newsletter, at the very least.

Goaltending was tops on her team this week, as both her goalies, Cam Talbot of the Oilers and Mike Smith of the Coyotes, finished with 6 points, nearly accounting for one-third of her team's points in two players.  Marcie also had a monster week from Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, who was good for another 5 points and is by far the best defenseman in the pool this season.  Five more players were good for 3 points a piece, really rounding out an even display of offense this week from her team.

Now, heading into Week Twenty, Marcie is only 12 points behind 2nd place, 14 points behind 1st and did make up ground on both teams over the last couple of weeks.  It all starts from the back end for her team, as she owns the pool's best defensemen and the 4th-best goaltending combo in the pool, it almost doesn't matter that her forwards rank 22nd.

How much more does her team have left in the tank?

Troy saw a decent challenge this week for the Basement Dweller, as there was six teams all within 5 points of his goon squad, but in the end, Troy's team did hold out for back-to-back Basement Dweller nods.  Those six teams can still hang their heads in shame, as that was just too close.

Troy is obviously in it for the goon money, so it makes no difference that his team is 45 points back of 24th place, which Tony's unlucky band of fellows occupies.

Is there any real point in going over how bad it still is?  Probably not.

Let's move on to the money race.  We have a new leader!

Dale B. has returned to the pinnacle of the standings, thanks to another good week, which was actually comparable to Marcie's Mover & Shaker week with 31 points.  He zipped past Brian in the standings and opened up a quick 2-point gap in the process.  And then, as it was highlighted above, Marcie sits 12 points back of Brian and is now 10 points ahead of Stacey C. for that last money place.  Brenda & Seward dropped out of 3rd place to fall down to 5th and is 11 points back of Marcie's team, but does have Mover & Shaker potential, as do most of the top 10 teams.

Is it too much to think that the Mover & Shaker team of the week can also be the goon team of the week too?  It was a piss-poor week for penalty minutes and Marcie's team continues to rack up the minutes, as they had 35 minutes to go with their 35 points, almost like they were scoring goals while serving time.  How crazy is this?

Her team was 10 minutes better than Stacey C.'s, whose team isn't even in the race.  All the supposed goon teams are taking an absolute licking and there might be little to no chance at catching this our leader.

Finally, a paragraph that doesn't involve our goonish Mover & Shaker!  Both Stacey M. and John S. did qualify for Week Twenty, as John did get his win in the weekend, thanks to Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild.

Week Twenty does appear to be a speed bump week, as there are only 39 game scheduled in the NHL, but there should be more than enough starts for each of these two to make it through.  It's going to take quite the cold spell to lose out on this and they might even split the pot, if they can both hold out with wins for the next seven weeks.

Next weekend!  We'll finally polish off the outdoor games pool.  The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins will go head-to-head and we'll conclude this mini-game.  There will be a pretty reasonable preview coming up this week, as Marcie's team looks to hold on with a 3-point lead, with a number of contending teams coming for hers.

NEWS AND NOTES

The rampant illness that is sweeping the NHL starts on Friday, with the scratching of Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and it cost him both Friday and Saturday's games for the Sabres.  He's still listed as day-to-day, which leads into Buffalo's mandated break, so he'll have ample time to recover for a return on Saturday in Colorado.

Reinhart's absence says more to the Basement Dweller nod than the goon pool for Troy, so it's not much of a talking point here.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz has officially suffered a concussion, which happened on Thursday night and currently, there is no timetable for his return.  He would officially be able to return, as per the concussion protocol on Saturday with the Stadium Series game, but right now, it doesn't sound very likely.

Schultz has been Jeremy's best defenseman this season with 39 points, so this comes as a pretty big hit to his team, which currently sits in 9th place.  Jeremy also has an outside shot at the outdoor games pool with Schultz in the lineup, so he will keep his fingers crossed.

Mike Green is back on the injury page?  No!  It's true.  The oft-injured defenseman has come down with that awful flu bug and he was decommissioned for the weekend, missing both Saturday and Sunday's game for Detroit.  He's day-to-day and the Wings play again on Tuesday night, home to the Islanders, so he'll likely be questionable right now.

Stacey C.'s 4th place team has had some success with Green, when he has been healthy, picking up 26 points in 49 games this year.  Chasing down the last money spot will need everyone healthy, so here's hoping that Green can get back.

More flu bug fun!  Drew Stafford of the Jets was held out of the lineup for Saturday's contest against the Canadiens, because of the bug and he is listed as day-to-day.  Following suit, Stafford also missed the Sunday back half over the weekend, so this flu bug has been rather devastating this season.  Jets are in Toronto on Tuesday, so we'll see if he's ready for that one.

Benson's team has fallen hard, now sitting in 13th place in the standings and the absence of Stafford was a helping cause to only 13 points in the week.  His team is 47 points out of the money and going in the wrong direction.

This weekend was costly to the Ottawa Senators, in the most extreme sense.  Bobby Ryan suffered a hand injury in the game against Toronto on Saturday night and he is expected to miss upwards of six weeks.  Then on Sunday, they lost both Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone to injury, Hoffman a lower-body injury and Stone a head injury, both leaving the game and not returning.  There's no immediate word on Hoffman or Stone on Monday morning, but it doesn't sound great, as the Senators have made a couple of recalls and roster moves will have to be made.

Ryan belongs to Wes, who has been riding a hot streak, but could face a bit of a cold snap with a major injury like this.  This goes double for Derek B., who has both Hoffman and Stone, as his team has been trying to climb into the top 20, but likely won't, if either/or/both are long-term injuries.
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