Sunday, October 08, 2006

Week One Newsletter

Welcome to the Week One Newsletter everyone and thanks again for joining the Hockey Pool this year. Well, it looks like we're finishing with 40 teams in the pool, there is a small chance that a 41st team, which is chosen, but timing and schedules haven't allowed the sheet to be entered. I'm trying not to promise much, but just so everyone knows, it may happen.

40 or 41 teams, we have a fair sized base for competition and prizes this season. The race for money will be fast and fierce as 6th will get a little bit more than their money back, so there is lots of incentive to make your trades and play the game all year. Check out the prize breakdown here.

All the information you may need should be on the Standings page and if you can think of anything else that would be helpful or handy, drop me an e-mail.

Good luck to you all and let's get to the news!

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The season only started on Wednesday, so the Player of the Week numbers might be a little low... we'll probably see some better numbers in the weeks to come. We did see some great opening week performances, but there was one that stood out above the rest in Week One.

Martin Havlat of the Blackhawks has made the best of his $6 million contract he signed in the off-season. His six points (three goals and three assists) were the best in the pool and was actually taken once in the pool as well (Caterina). Havlat was a big point-getter in Ottawa during his tenure there and there isn't any reason why he shouldn't be again... okay, maybe one. He's in Chicago. The Blackhawks may take a cue from this though and start producing some wins and the trickle down effect may see some player switches to guys in the Windy City before too long.

The Mover & Shaker award goes to the biggest week in the pool. Not necessarily who had the most points in the week, the most points in the pool, but the team that moved the most in the Standings. But since we don't have a really good point of reference to compare where teams were... we're gonna choose the best team in the pool after Week One.

Week One's leader, Caterina, takes first place on goals scored this week. Caterina's crew outscored Russell's team by one goal and that's all it would take to claim first place after the first week of the season. Caterina's goal scoring came from some familiar faces in the pool (Daniel Sedin and Alexander Ovechkin) and a couple unique picks (Martin Havlat and Milan Michalek). If everyone keeps up their pace for Caterina, there isn't any reason why she couldn't take the crown at the end of the season, but remember... it's still early.

The Basement Dweller of the Week is more an infamous distinction more than anything. When teams are hit by injuries or scoring slumps or winless streaks, you might find that they will be displayed under this header. This is usually reserved for the worst week in the pool and in the first week of the pool... you immediately look at the last place team.

For Week One, Derek & Nicole had a little bit of a weak week, if you will. Still only two points behind 39th place, there is lots of time in the season and they do have players to get them out of the basement. Dealing with a couple of injuries and a few more scoring slumps, Derek & Nicole shouldn't be down there for too long when Ilya Kovalchuk and Simon Gagne get going.

You will also notice that every team that gets a distinction on the Newsletter this season, the header will appear on their team page for everyone to see.

Long-term Injuries and Pool Trades
Week One saw one injury that may be somewhat long-term. Mike Rathje has been sidelined with a herniated disc in his back and will be out of the line-up indefinitely. Two teams, Benson Greenley and Rob Andersen will take some time to consider trading Rathje for another defenseman.

Trades have already occurred for Week 2 and you can catch them all on the Player Movement page off the Standings page. Don't forget... if you want to make a move on your team, be sure to e-mail me with your change. Use your five changes wisely!

On Monday, the marquee match-up of the week will see three of the most popular players in the pool showcase their talents. Joe Thornton and the Sharks will meet Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and the Flames at the Dome. If you're not going to make it to the game yourself, the game will be on Sportsnet West at 7pm. It should be a great game and there will be a lot of points on the line.

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