Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 25)

It was the night before US Thanksgiving and all through the league, most players were skating, even Kris Versteeg.  There are 13 games on the schedule tonight, which will open up the door for a lot of teams to pick up some wins for the pool, both overall and the survivor pool.  Of course, we'll concentrate on the latter.

We'll start off with an all-survivor pool match-up, as we focus on the game in Brooklyn, where the Flyers and Islanders will meet, Steve Mason (Derek W.) against Jaroslav Halak (Dale B.), where one team will move on to next week, guaranteed, and the other will look to another game tonight for some help.  And yes, they both have another goalie going, which is why they're still in the pool at this point in the season.

Derek will have Devan Dubnyk going for the Wild tonight, as they play host to Ryan Miller (Clayton) and the Canucks, while Dale B. will see Mike Smith return from a small injury, as the Coyotes will play the Ducks, who should have Frederik Andersen (Benson) back in the net after a small bout of the flu.

In Tampa, Allan will see Ben Bishop back in the Lightning net, as they will welcome Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward) and the Kings into their house tonight.  The Bolts have been reeling from some injuries, while the Kings are starting to pick up their socks a bit.  This could be a tough one for Allan's keeper tonight.

The Blackhawks are in San Jose tonight and Corey Crawford will get the call for the visitors, while it is expected that Martin Jones (Scott) will get another call to arms in the team's defense.  This has some real potential for a good game as well, a tough one for Stuart's goalie to get him through to next week.

Outside of the survivor pool, we have one game, Columbus in New Jersey, where Troy will have both of his goalies starting in the game.  Sergei Bobrovsky versus Cory Schneider... Troy should get at least 2 points tonight from the crease, in theory.

And for a notable start, how about Carter Hutton getting a rare start for the Nashville Predators, giving John R. a quick appearance, likely before getting cut next week.  Hutton is scheduled to take on a possible replacement in Linus Ullmark, who gets the call for Buffalo tonight.

Mock Draft of the Week Nine Waiver Draft

Round Pick Team Dropped Player NHL Position Picked Player NHL
1 1 John Robertson Carter Hutton NAS G Anders Nilsson EDM
1 2 Grant Saskiw Viktor Tikhonov CHI F Dylan Larkin DET
1 3 Wes Moroz Matthew Carle TAM D Nathan Beaulieu MTL
1 4 Cindy Saskiw Ben Scrivens EDM G Mike Condon MTL
1 5 Mike Somerville Matt Read PHI F Lee Stempniak NJD
1 6 Kristy & Don Jiri Tlusty NJD F Tomas Fleischmann MTL
1 7 Derek & Dan Evander Kane BUF F Antoine Roussel DAL
1 8 Tony Dourado Darcy Kuemper MIN G Reto Berra COL
1 9 Benson Greenley Brad Boyes TOR F Cody McLeod COL
1 10 Allan Scott Jeff Zatkoff PIT G Linus Ullmark BUF
1 11 Stacey Campbell Robin Lehner BUF G Jonas Gustavsson BOS
1 12 Dale Corley Olli Maatta PIT D Colton Parayko STL
1 13 Derek Wilton Lance Bouma CAL F Oscar Lindberg NYR
1 14 Stacey McDonald Nathan Gerbe CAR F Dale Weise MTL
1 15 Eric Wheeler Jakob Silfverberg ANA F Derek Dorsett VAN
1 16 Clayton Corley Dustin Tokarski MTL G Anders Lindback ARI
1 17 Scott Gilmore Zemgus Girgensons BUF F Anthony Duclair ARI
1 18 Brenda & Seward Ian Cole PIT D Mattias Ekholm NAS
1 19 Stuart Greenley Ondrej Pavelec WPG G Al Montoya FLA
1 20 Brian Towers Michael Raffl PHI F Teemu Pulkkinen DET
1 21 Ryan Miller Chris Stewart ANA F Jared McCann VAN
1 22 Troy Berkley Marko Dano CHI F Mattias Janmark DAL
1 23 John Swan Mike Fisher NAS F Torrey Mitchell MTL
1 24 Jeremy Dieser PASS
1 25 John Preston Yannick Weber VAN D Dan Girardi NYR
1 26 Neil Buysman Antoine Vermette ARI F Travis Zajac NJD
1 27 Dale Bradley Patrick Maroon ANA F Jannik Hansen VAN
2 28 John Robertson James Wisniewski CAR D Ben Hutton VAN
2 29 Grant Saskiw Michael Del Zotto PHI D Nick Holden COL
2 30 Wes Moroz Marco Scandella MIN D Kevin Bieksa ANA
2 31 Cindy Saskiw Riley Sheahan DET F Leo Komarov TOR
2 32 Mike Somerville Mikael Backlund CAL F Jason Chimera WAS
2 33 Kristy & Don Nick Bonino PIT F Tobias Rieder ARI
2 34 Derek & Dan Marian Gaborik LOS F Brandon Bollig CAL
2 35 Tony Dourado Derrick Pouliot PIT D Colin Miller BOS
2 36 Benson Greenley Brian Gionta BUF F Brett Connolly BOS
2 37 Allan Scott Jonathan Drouin TAM F Mikhail Grigorenko COL
2 38 Stacey Campbell PASS
2 39 Dale Corley Alexander Semin MTL F Ales Hemsky DAL
2 40 Derek Wilton Andre Burakovsky WAS F Vladislav Namestnikov TAM
2 41 Stacey McDonald Jordan Staal CAR F Mikhail Grabovski NYI
2 42 Eric Wheeler David Pastrnak BOS F Chris Neil OTT
2 43 Clayton Corley Ryan Strome NYI F Brandon Prust VAN
2 44 Scott Gilmore Dan Boyle NYR D Paul Martin SAN
2 45 Brenda & Seward PASS
2 46 Stuart Greenley Clarke MacArthur OTT F Chris Stewart ANA
2 47 Brian Towers Christopher Tanev VAN D Trevor Van Riemsdyk CHI
2 48 Ryan Miller Patrick Weircioch OTT D Shayne Gostisbehere PHI
2 49 Troy Berkley Simon Despres PIT D Jakub Kindl DET
2 50 John Swan Nikita Zadorov COL D David Schlemko NJD
2 51 Jeremy Dieser PASS
2 52 John Preston PASS
2 53 Neil Buysman PASS
2 54 Dale Bradley PASS

This will give you a brief look about how the Waiver Draft may or most likely may not go next week, but I always like to have my hand at this, providing a good guess for the process.  The standings were based on Monday night's movements, taken from Tuesday morning... I just hadn't had the time to publish them yesterday.

Still, as you can see, the depth in this draft isn't very good, so you're going to have to be sure that you're taking players that can serve you a purpose, more than the player that you're dropping.  For some teams, it will be easy, because injuries and demotions to the AHL will make for quick drops, but for other teams, will the players available be any better than what you have on your roster at the moment?

If you have more than one easy drops, how are you going to prioritize your drops?  Do you want the biggest points from the available players or do you go down the list to find the best defender or goalie, before you take a forward?  Looking for rookies or goons?  Are you going to make a move at all?

These questions and possibly a few others will start on Monday (maybe sooner), as we move towards activating our new players on December 7th.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 25)

On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they had activated forward Brandon Dubinsky from the Injured Reserve, expected to play tonight, when Columbus heads to New Jersey to take on the Devils.  Dubinsky has been out for a couple weeks, dealing with an elbow injury.

This is a good boost to Dale C.'s team, just ahead of the determination of the Waiver Draft order, which is both good and bad, in theory.  Dale's team currently sits in 16th place, 10 points out of the top 10.

The Vancouver Canucks start a 4-game road trip on Wednesday night, taking on the Minnesota Wild, and they'll have one lineup change of note, as Sven Baertschi will come out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, making room for Jake Virtanen coming back in.  Baertschi has been very up-and-down this year, picking up 7 points in 19 games this year.

This becomes another skater game lost for Neil, who picked up Baertschi at the draft this year, taking him in the 9th round.  The early returns haven't been great, but Neil has been making do, keeping pace with the money teams and going into a busy Wednesday night in 4th place, 1 point out of 1st place in a very tight race.

Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen wasn't on the ice for practice on Wednesday, after being pulled on Tuesday night, due to an upper-body injury, as he came in relief for Antti Niemi in the 7-4 blowout loss to the Senators. The Stars are not scheduled to play again until Friday, so there will be a couple days worth of rest for the keeper and whether or not he will be available for their next game.  After a loss to Ottawa on Tuesday, Lehtonen would be the expected starter, if he can go.

There was no indication about the severity of the injury, but his next start would be in question, if the injury is more serious than needing a few days rest.  This could be what Dale C. needs to get that better pick in the Waiver Draft, with Dubinsky coming back tonight.  A bit of give and take this week.

The Calgary Flames appear to have their goaltending situation thought out, as Jonas Hiller appears to be ready for a return, they have placed Joni Ortio on waivers, with the intention of sending him down to the AHL for more starts.  The Flames managed to sneak Karri Ramo through waivers earlier this year and with the way the goaltending has been in Calgary, I couldn't see an issue with sending another one through without issue, but who knows what team is waiting in the weeds for a goalie.

Ryan is sure hoping that Ortio gets picked up through waivers and for that team to give him starts, but the number of teams looking for a new starting goalie does seem to be rather thin at the moment.  If a team does pick him up, they would have to be convinced he could put up the minutes, which is also arguable.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 24)

How is there only two games on the NHL schedule tonight? That's ludicrous.

Out of the four possible starting goalies tonight, only one of them has the chance to qualify their team for next week in the survivor pool.

Craig Anderson will start for the Sens and for John P. tonight, as Ottawa heads into Dallas to take on Antti Niemi (Stacey M.) and the Stars.  That could prove to be a tough one for the Sens, but Anderson was in the mix for Player of the Week last week, so he must be running hot.

In the late game, Karri Ramo (Brenda & Seward) will make his 11th straight start for the Flames, taking on Anton Khudobin (Stacey C.) and the Anaheim Ducks on the pond.

Hammond Dealing With Concussion

The undisclosed injury that Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond is suffering from is apparently a concussion, one that was suffered by taking a puck to the mask in practice last week and the reports out there today are suggesting that things are not going so well with it.

With these new revelations, he has been downgraded from day-to-day with his undisclosed injury to out indefinitely with the concussion.  I don't believe Hammond has been placed on the Injured Reserve quite yet, but if the symptoms are not going away any time soon, the Sens may want that sort of roster flexibility for their skaters, instead of hanging on to three goalies.

Hammond has only appeared in four games for the Senators this season, winning in two of those games, picking up 4 points for his side.  The Hamburglar has been anything like his previous self a season before, but the thought process did seem to be Craig Anderson would redeem his number one spot at the beginning of the season and he had been playing well enough not to let it go.

As a 10th round pick, the draft had a pretty good feeling that Hammond would be playing second fiddle, so when Wes took him down a little ways in the process, it didn't really come as too much of a surprise.  Nevertheless, Wes hasn't been getting value for his pick, since Hammond was taken with the 247th pick and he now ranks 458th overall.

Once the Waiver Draft gets started, Wes will have some decisions to make... does he move a goalie to try and earn some more points with his 1st round pick or does he go with a big goon, solidifying his spot as the pool's rough & tumble team?

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 24)

Philadelphia Flyers forward Sam Gagner was forced from Monday night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes after suffering a good gash to the face in the 1st period.  Gagner wasn't able to return to the game, but there hasn't been much of an update to his condition quite yet.  It's hard to imagine that the injury would be too serious, but that is just speculation on this end.

Gagner has been one of many disappointments in John R.'s lineup in the first segment of the season, only having 5 points in 18 games, also having been a healthy scratch on a couple of occasions.  It will be interesting to see what direction he takes at the Waiver Draft.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that they have recalled goalie John Gibson, just in case Frederik Andersen cannot dress tonight, thanks a bout of the flu. Andersen is currently listed as questionable for tonight's game against the visiting Flames.  If Andersen isn't able to go, it will be interesting to see whether or not Gibson gets the start or they just go with Anton Khudobin.  I would imagine that if Andersen can't dress, Gibson will be given the start, as a game with the big club would be good for the kid.  We shall see.

For Benson, he's waiting to see if his goalie can go and if he can't it will be Stacey C.'s goalie that may or may not get the start tonight.  I'm sure Stacey would sure appreciate a few extra minutes in the crease for his number two guy.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Gerbe Out 6 Weeks

The lower-body injury that has sidelined Carolina Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe, will reportedly now keep him out for 4-to-6 weeks, according to the beat reporters for the team.  He was placed on the Injured Reserve on Tuesday, but none of the reports out there disclosed the exact nature of the injury.

The diminutive forward hasn't exactly been a catalyst for offense in the Hurricanes lineup this season, only able to pick up 1 goals and 3 points in 20 games this season.  He is currently ranked 491st in pool scoring after Monday night's action.

Stacey M. should be looking in his direction for a drop at the Waiver Draft next week, as the return on his pick hasn't been very good... and he was taken in the last round of the draft.

Stacey's team will likely be looking to jump back into the money conversation next week, as her team has no real shot at the three mini-games; already ousted from the survivor pool, no rookies and the current Lady Byng team in the pool.  It will be all about scoring for her side in Week Nine.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week Nine Waiver Draft Next Week... What Do You Need To Know?

Well, everyone... we're almost there!  I know some of you have been waiting for a while to offload a few of your bums and rightfully so.  I know there are a few new teams to the pool, who are really curious to know what this draft is all about... and are possibly furious that they didn't have a consistent chance to drop and add players through the week.

Well, we're there.  Almost.  Time to do your homework in preparation for your strategy at this draft and this year is so much different, because there are mini-games that you can also consider.  That's awesome, right?  You've had a shitty start to the season and you still get a chance to win your money back?  Okay, that might not be the case for everyone, but that's why we're doing the homework.

First thing you should know... there are two rounds in this draft.  We will operate both rounds in the last-to-first format, where 27th place will pick first in both rounds and 1st place will pick last in both rounds.  The order will be determined by the standings at the end of Week Eight.  That's the second thing you should know.  Your team could get a leg up on a team that you're close to, if you just happen to lose a few extra points, just to get a better pick.  Just saying.

Next... this is all done by e-mail, text, phone calls or possibly in person, if we were to meet up during the week.  It would have be really coordinated to happen, right when your pick happens, but I've seen crazier things happen.  No one is really on the clock, but I do like to give a soft 24 hours to get your pick done.  I've got 7 days to do 54 picks this year and everyone isn't by their communication device or their homework device at all times.  Please be patient.

How could you do some homework?  Well, that's easy.  If you haven't noticed on the standings, I have provided two pages... one, the rankings of available players by scoring. You're going to want someone to score for you, right?  You want to know who's hot, right?  Well, click here and your wishes are my command.  I will keep this up-to-date during the draft, it will be constantly updated, there are 200 players on this page.

Wait... your team really sucks?  You want to seriously goon it up and go after Wes, who is already gooned it up to this point?  Well, okay... click here and you get the top 200 goons, sorted by penalty minutes.  Spoiler alert... Wes' team is worse than yours and he'll get a pretty good goon, if he has truly given up on the big money.

You may have rookies or you might have a lame goalie in the goalie survivor pool... I'm sure you are picking up what I'm putting down here, so I am not going to hold your hand through this entire process.  You know your team, I would assume... you know what you need.  Remember, I am playing against you and you must be very weary about my advice, if you so choose to ask for it.  Especially you money guys... don't ask for my advice, I'm chasing you down.

What kind of potential do you have in this draft?  Well, that's got a lot to do about what you need, who you think is good and what Lady Luck has to say about your whole situation.  Last year, Devan Dubnyk was taken with the 7th overall pick in the Week Nine Waiver Draft... he finished with 74 points AFTER he was taken in the draft.  Brian, our buddy from Down Under, did very well and nearly climbed his way back into... the top 10.  Okay, last year was a tough year, because there were huge gaps by the Waiver Draft, something I'm not seeing this year.  A 74-point player, if at all possible, would be huge.

Goalies are going to be thin in skill and they might go fast.  Rookies, they're in abundance, so you'll be good to get one, maybe two and you can hope that Ryan's four (plus whatever he adds) rookies falls off a cliff and doesn't get any more points, maybe add a couple more in Week Eighteen and be happy.  Goons... they're the bread and butter, I'm thinking.  Any of these guys will be good for fighting majors, misconducts, instigator penalties... 17 PIM a night could go a long way to tracking down Wes.  You just have to find the most pissed off guy on the list.  Cody McLeod of the Avalanche is turning into a solid option.

These are the things you need to know, I'm probably going to try and offer a mock draft, I'm going to guess what all you people are going to try and do.  Boy, I failed miserably at it last year, but that's the fun of these pools... no one rates you on your absolute, plane crash failures.

You'll be hearing from me... soon.  Be ready.  I have always toyed with the idea that if everyone played ball and I was done the first two rounds before the weekend, I would offer a third round to those who need it the most.  So, be ready... it's so easy.

Goalie Announcements (Nov 23)

It's a busy Monday night in the NHL, kicking off a pretty busy week. We have seven games on the docket and we still have eight teams in the survivor pool. Let's see what we can expect from tonight's games and who should expect their goalies to play.

Out of seven games and 14 goalies, there were six chances at survivor goalies to play, but only four of them have scheduled starts, giving only three teams a shot at qualification.

Jeremy is the only team with two entries into tonight's competition, as he'll have Eddie Lack in net for the Hurricanes, as they head into Philadelphia and take on Michal Neuvirth (Neil), who is coming back from injury officially tonight.  In the other game, Jeremy will see Braden Holtby and the Capitals entertain the Edmonton Oilers, who are throwing non-pool goalie, Anders Nilsson, at the high-powered offense to see whether or not he swims.

In what could be the marquee game of the night, the Nashville Predators head into the Big Apple to take on the Rangers and it is a top end goalie battle, as Pekka Rinne (Ryan) will take on Henrik Lundqvist (Derek & Dan).  This will be a tough test for Ryan's number one goalie, but one that could go either way, I'm thinking.  Well worth the watch, if you can.

Finally, the St. Louis Blues will be taking on the Buffalo Sabres and Jake Allen (Scott) will also have a non-pool test, as Linus Ullmark will get the start for the home side.  You would think that this would be a tap in for birdie for the Blues, but it will still be an interesting game, I'm thinking.

Pavelec Out Until 2016

The Winnipeg Jets provided an update to goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on Monday, as he was injured on Saturday night against the Coyotes after a collision in the 2nd period.

As it turns out, the injury is a severe knee sprain and the team does not expect him to dress all the way through December and they'll likely provide an update in the new year.  On Monday, they placed the goaltender on the Injured Reserve and likely, if needed, the Long Term Injured Reserve for some cap relief.

Pavelec appeared in 15 games for the Jets, to this point in the season, picking up 5 wins and 10 points, ranking him 211th overall in pool scoring.  It wasn't a great start for the Czech keeper, given the number of chances he had to get his game together.

Stuart took Pavelec in the 2nd round, 39th overall, and couldn't be too happy with this bust of a pick, despite still being in the goalie survivor pool through Week Seven.  Stuart will now have to rely upon Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks to not only keep him in the survivor pool, but also try and keep pace with John S. in their positional side bet.

At the beginning of Week Eight, Stuart has 157 points, 16 points back of 3rd place in 8th, but a drop in the standings may ensure that he gets a decent pick in Week Nine's Waiver Draft, which could net him a decent back-up goalie, helping his chances of staying in the survivor pool, starting in Week Ten.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Surgery for Gallagher

Shot blocking continues to take its toll on those who make a good living at it, as the scrappy Brendan Gallagher was the latest victim of an opposing player's blast from the point, taking a shot to the hand, fracturing a couple of fingers. The damage was so bad, that the announcement was made on Sunday night, shortly after the game, that he would be booked in for surgery this morning and that he would be out indefinitely.

It has been suggested that a broken/fractured finger injury would be roughly 4-to-6 weeks in duration and that would seem very likely, given that it was a couple fingers that were damaged.

This injury comes at a poor time, as Gallagher was having an excellent start to the season, already picking up 9 goals and 19 points in 22 games for the Habs, ranking 37th overall in pool scoring, as of Monday morning.  It would be a bold-faced lie to say anyone was expecting these kinds of numbers, but there they are.

By far, Gallagher was the bright spot on Derek & Dan's team, being the 2nd-highest scoring player on their team with the 19 points, one of only four players on their side into double-digits.  The pool's latest duo had an okay week in Week Seven, moving up to 24th place with a 20-point week, but with their top scorer out for a month or more, they could be in for another spill.

What will they do in one week's time?

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Week Seven Newsletter

One skater and two goalies each finished the week with 8 points in Week Seven, which makes the tie-breaking process extra easy this week, especially since our skater did score at least one goal in the week. Henrik Sedin, on the back of one massive game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, earned the nod as Player of the Week, clipping Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators and Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks from the weekly mention.

In total, Sedin finished with 2 goals and 6 assists in four games played this week, picking up points in every game in the week, starting a 4-game point streak of his own in the process.  An assist against Montreal on Monday, followed by another apple against Winnipeg on Wednesday, just before the goal and 4 assists against Chicago on Saturday and then finally, another goal against New Jersey on Sunday night.

This brings his season total up to 7 goals and 14 assists in 22 games this season, just a point shy of a point-per-game average.  This has him ranked 24th overall in pool scoring, hardly showing any signs of slowing down at 35 years old.

Clayton snagged Henrik with the 77th overall pick in the draft, down in the 3rd round, and has seen a pretty good bargain come out of this pick.  By virtue of his ranking, he could have been a 1st round pick this year, finding somewhat of a bounce back year under his belt.

There was some considerable moving and shaking going on in the standings, as John P. had a monster week, amassing a season-high for the pool of 38 points.  When teams are hovering in the 20-point range, John nearly doubled that and his team shot up the table, putting his team in the money conversation.

John had a couple of players in and around the Player of the Week conversation, having one of the two goalies in the mix, Craig Anderson's 8 points, while he also had Daniel Sedin, who finished with 7 points with the Canucks.

Five more of his players finished with 3 points a piece, which by my count, already has his total up to 30 points through seven players and then he got some nickels and dimes through the rest of his lineup, making good use of that spare change.

Only two of his players failed to get points in the week, neither were by injury, as his team is working at a fairly healthy pace.  His team ranks 4th in skater games played, only four games back of top spot and 6th in goalie minutes played, a few games off the pace there.

So, how good was that week?  John's team jumped up from 7th to 2nd place, giving hope to many teams that are in the top 10, dreaming of money spots.  There isn't a great deal of separation, which is good news for those teams looking to be competitive through the Waiver Draft and this huge jump is possible, with a lot of teams having quite a bit of unrealized potential in their lineups yet.

I don't think we'll be talking about too much unrealized potential in Grant's lineup, as it kind of bottomed out in Week Seven, picking up 9 points, falling short of double digits for the Basement Dweller for the first time since Week One.

This is Grant's second time in the Basement, the first time coming in Week Five, where he dropped down to 24th place and this time, a couple weeks later, his team now sits in 26th spot.

Injuries and a bad gamble are to blame for his drop-off in the standings, as his side has three injuries, an illness and a consistent healthy scratch on his team at the end of the week, the injury to his goalie has lasted much longer than expected, another injury on the Injured Reserve for a while yet.  Obviously, the Waiver Draft can't come too quickly, but what is he going to do?

Rookie scoring.  That's what he's going to do.  Spoiler alert.

As you've probably noticed already, we had ourselves a change in the climate of the trophy talk, as Dale B. has a new team to worry about below him.  John P. is coming for him and coming fast!

Both John and Neil, tied with 173 points, are only 5 points behind Dale, as the race for the bobblehead trophy is staying relatively hot, unlike last year.  John S. and Jeremy are 6 points out of the money talk, but one good week and they could be right in the thick of it, as John P. showed us this past week.

Ryan's rookies picked up 3 points in the week, extending their lead to 21 points, but Ryan's team is well up in the standings, meaning that there will be a good number of teams looking to improve their teams with rookies and picking out of the good crop, while Ryan, only 14 points back of 3rd place, might be left no choice, but to choose some veteran players, since getting his money back may not be as big of a priority.  We'll soon find out, since the Week Nine Waiver Draft is only a week away from getting started.

Troy, who sits in 2nd place in this pool, is 6 points better than Ryan overall, so it will be interesting to see how the week plays out, who gets the better pick next week to improve their standing here.

As you may have noticed, if you have been following along on the blog this week, we kept all eight remaining participants in the survivor pool, but it was down to the wire for Derek W., as he needed a last-ditch effort from Devan Dubnyk to keep his team in this race.

It's going to be another busy week, with 47 NHL games on the docket, so these eight teams will likely have ample opportunity to stay in this pool.  It will be the All-Star weekend, when teams will really sweat it out, which isn't too far away... Week Twelve, I do believe.

The post-draft favourite for the PIM pool, Wes' team, flexed their ass muscles a bit, spending 44 PIM in the box this past week and opening up an incredible lead of 40 PIM on 2nd place in this pool.  Eric's team dropped off the map with the equivalent of six minor penalties in Week Seven, while Dale B.'s team, which not only leads the overall pool, jumped into 5th place, after a 37-minute week.

Wes' side will likely be looking for some big minutes at the Waiver Draft, sitting in 25th spot after Week Seven, so this could be a runaway pool before it's all said and done.


It was a great week for scoring, as we hit a season-high in overall points collected with 614 in total, just a shade better than 13 points per NHL game on the schedule.  Remarkably, we were down in participation from both our skaters and goalies, so the scoring rates were much better than per NHL game played at each position.  That's good news, right?  Let's hope that the trend continues upwards.

Likely thanks to Wes' goon squad, the time spent in the box was up over 500 minutes as a group, picking up 511 PIM in total in Week Seven.  That number is expected to increase as the weeks go on, specifically when we add the goons from the Waiver Draft in Week Ten.


A lower-body injury forced Carolina forward Nathan Gerbe from Sunday's game against the Kings and he wasn't able to return.  As of Monday morning, there was still nothing out there about how bad the injury was, so we'll play wait and see.  If it's a day-to-day injury, we probably won't have too much more on it, but if it is a longer-term issue, I'm sure we'll have an update for you.

Gerbe is a candidate for a drop for Stacey M.'s team, as he has only produced 3 points in 20 games this season, not a great start to the year.  Stacey's team is in the middle of the pack, so a good Waiver Draft pick could still boost her team into the conversation.

Finally, a healthy scratch nod to Jiri Tlusty, as the Devils opted to sit the veteran Czech forward against the Canucks on Sunday night.  Tlusty is another player who hasn't had much in the way of production, picking up 3 points in 16 games, a leading factor towards his scratch, I'm sure.

Kristy & Don are sitting in limbo, down in 23rd place in the standings.  Their team isn't really in the mix for any of the mini-games and they're well off the pace for the big money, but if I had to guess, they'll make the most out of their two picks, trying to get back into the race.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 22)

All eight teams have indeed qualified for Week Seven, so we have no nail biting left or any eliminations to speak of, but we have four games on the schedule. It looks like all eight starting goalies will be pool-worthy.

Cam Ward (Neil) and Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward) are already underway in Carolina this morning/afternoon, followed by Martin Jones (Scott) and Sergei Bobrovsky (Troy) are expected to go in the Sharks & Blue Jackets game, and then both Thomas Greiss (Eric) and Carey Price (John S.) are confirmed for the Islanders and Canadiens and the late game tonight will see Cory Schneider (Troy) return to Vancouver, likely taking on Jakob Markstrom (Wes) and the Canucks.

It's been a rough week for goalies in the pool, as the keepers haven't racked up a lot of minutes in a busier week, so a full slate of eight goalies should help those numbers.

Sutter to Miss Two More Weeks

Just ahead of the late game last night, between Vancouver and Chicago, the Canucks announced that forward Brandon Sutter, who has already been out since November 10th, has an abdominal strain injury and he will be re-evaluated in two weeks time.

Sutter was one of the Canucks' bigger off-season moves, trying to solidify the centre position heading into the 2016 season and he has been decent at both ends of the ice to start the year.  In his first 16 games this season, he has 4 goals and 8 points.  After a couple of weeks on the shelf already, his scoring ranking has fallen down to 249th after Saturday night.

Even after those two weeks on the shelf, he was still a bargain pick for Dale B., who picked him with the 311th overall pick in the 12th round, which is one of the big reasons why his team still sits atop of the standings, even if it is just by a thread now.

Heading into Sunday, Dale has a 3-point lead over John P. and six projected games in hand.

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Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 22)

A lower-body injury forced Dallas defenseman Jason Demers out of the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night and the initial thought about the injury isn't terribly positive. The coaching staff indicated that this injury could keep out the 27-year old defender out of the lineup for a while.

Demers has been a good defender for Brenda & Seward to start this season, picking up 4 goals and 10 points in his first 19 games this year, ranking him 193rd overall in pool scoring.  He's definitely considered a bargain pick for the 12th round.  It's these kind of bargain picks that have pushed the pool's second duo to the top 10 at the start of the year.

We're waiting to hear what the exact nature of the lower-body injury that Ondrej Pavelec suffered is and how long he'll be out for, but with reports that he was seen leaving the building after the game against the Coyotes on crutches, optimism is running at an all-time low.  Pavelec wasn't able to register a decision in the game, handing off the reins to Michael Hutchinson after the 1st period and it looks like that will be the case going forward.

Stuart's team finished Saturday night in 10th place, 14 points out of the money and Pavelec was contributing to the early successes, albeit marginally, having only 10 points in the first seven weeks of the season.  Stuart's team is still alive in the goalie survivor pool, having Corey Crawford also in tow, but this could be a big blow to his chances next week, if Chicago has a limited schedule.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Nov 21)

There is only one team left trying to work its way into Week Seven and that team didn't have any players going yesterday, so I didn't pop a post up about the goalies, but Derek W. potentially has a couple of shots at it tonight.

In one of the early games this evening, Steve Mason gets the nod for the Flyers, as they head into Ottawa to take on Craig Anderson (John P.) and the Senators.  This will be a pretty tough game for the Flyers, as the Sens have been playing some pretty quick hockey of late.

The last chance for Derek's qualification belongs on the shoulders of Devan Dubnyk, who will play host to Pekka Rinne (Ryan) and the Nashville Predators.  This is a pretty good goaltender match-up, one that could go either way.

That's it for Derek... if he doesn't get anything out of these two games, he'll get no help on Sunday and his run in the goalie survivor pool comes to an end and we'll be down to seven teams.

The pool will get a look at Anders Lindback, who is available for the Week Nine Waiver Draft, as Mike Smith (Dale B.) is unavailable for tonight's game against the Jets in Winnipeg.  Smith's lower-body injury was enough to keep him out.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 21)

Before last night's game, it was announced that forward Jiri Hudler would not participate for the Flames against the Blackhawks, citing the flu. Hudler had missed a couple practices leading up to the game, so he was scratched from the game as well. He is considered day-to-day for right now, they Flames don't play again until Tuesday, where he'll be expected back.

Grant really could have used the help last night, since his team is in line for the Basement Dweller this week.  His team has only seen 5 points through the first five nights of the week, so he'll need a huge weekend, if he wants to avoid the shame.

Already down Hudler, the Flames also lost the services of Kris Russell in last night's game against the Blackhawks, suffering an upper-body injury, believed to be a hand injury.  Russell left the game in the 1st period, after registering an assist on the opening goal of the game, but didn't return afterwards.  The Flames did manage a 2-1 overtime win, but we'll await to see what the overall cost is.

Since the Flames don't play again until next week, there likely won't be a big rush to announce any roster call-ups or injury statuses, so we'll have to be patient there.  Troy is in the thick of the money hunt, only 2 points out of 3rd place, down in 6th.

The flu bug also hit the Blackhawks dressing room, as Marko Dano was held out of the lineup, due to the illness.  Dano hasn't been quite as effective to start the season, as some of the projections may have indicated and his time spent in the AHL was definitely an indicator about how he was fitting into the lineup.  He has 1 goal and 1 assist in eight games with the Hawks, but they need budget bodies for their own salary cap issues.

This was an entirely lost skater game for Troy last night, but it's hard to say whether or not Dano would have made a difference in a tight-checking game against the Flames.  The Blackhawks go again tonight in Vancouver and Dano's availability will be determined later on.

Well, that flu bug really made the rounds, as Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera was also hit by it, just before their game against the New Jersey Devils.  Sekera has been decent for the Oilers, since becoming a top free agent signing for them in the off-season, picking up 1 goal and 8 points in 19 games for the club.  Sekera is day-to-day for right now, but the Oilers are also done for the weekend, so they won't need to rush him back into the lineup any time soon.

Sekera has been a bargain 12th round pick for Stacey C. and boy, does he ever need them.  Taken with the 310th pick, the scoring defender currently ranks 255th, moving up a couple rounds in value. Stacey enters Saturday night in 17th place, 28 points out of the money.

In a morning announcement, the Anahem Ducks are not expecting to have defenseman Hampus Lindholm in their lineup tonight, when they face off against the Lightning in Tampa.  Lindholm has reportedly suffered an upper-body injury on their trip through the Florida panhandle, but he is considered day-to-day for right now.

This appears to be a skater game lost for our fearless leader, Dale B., who actually wasn't getting the production out of Lindholm that he would have liked, having only 6 points for his 9th round pick.  He's only a few points out of getting decent value out of the young Swede, but missing a game won't help.

Finally, Arizona number one, Mike Smith, appears to be questionable for tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets, as he is dealing with a lower-body injury.  It hasn't been made official that he will miss the game, but we're keeping an eye on him for tonight.

This is also a big concern for Dale B., who was getting some good production out of his second goalie taken in the pool.  Smith was his 2nd round pick, who has been a good 2nd rounder, with 19 points.  This does have the makings of a missed start, so his 5-point lead over John S. will be in jeopardy.

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