Monday, October 23, 2006

Week Three Newsletter

We're quickly finding out what the good weeks and what the bad weeks are looking like in the pool. If you're reaching the 50-point plateau, you're having a good week... granted, there were a couple 60-point teams in Week Two, but none this time around. A 40-point or less kind of week will probably drop you a little bit in the pool, unless you're already at the bottom.

With a lot of the trades already happening here in the first month of the season, there is a lot of hope that some of the basement dwelling teams can get those 60-point weeks, granted their teams don't find themselves on the injury list for the rest of the year.

We didn't have a change in leader this week... Dale was actually pulling away a little bit this past week, but was reeled in a tad. A lead of 7 points on Jeff, who had himself a decent week as well. Let's see if we can reel in these two guys, eh?

Let's see what happened in Week Three...

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In Box 15, it could have been one of the toughest calls on the pool sheet. The first line right-winger in the East was dominated by that Russian kid in Washington or the Czech veteran in the Big Apple. Well, Maxim Afinogenov, wasn't taken at all and is making you think that maybe... just maybe... you'll drop your other superstar and picking up the high scoring Sabre.

Afinogenov's scoring touch this week were a big reason why the Sabres continued winning. He was credited with 3 goals and 7 assists for a whopping 10 points. There were 3 Sabres that cleared 8 points this week, but Afinogenov had to take it. Remember, if you want this scoring machine to get you to climb the Standings, you gotta e-mail me before puck drop on Monday night. Week Four's line-up will be set by then.

This week's Mover & Shaker moved up 10 places in the Standings after a big 56-point week. Sean made his move out of the lower levels of the pool to climb into the middle of the pack. Sean rode on the backs of Alexei Yashin and Marc-Andre Fleury to shake his way up to 22nd in the pool. These are the kind of "unique" picks that make the biggest difference in climbing over your opponents. Sure, there are a few picks on his team that are relatively the same as everyone else... but Yashin and Fleury, who had 13 points this week between the two of them were the ones who made the difference. All he needs is another few big weeks from these two and he'll be amongst the elite in the pool.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The 14 place drop in Week Three took Chris Marta out of the Top 10 and places him in 23rd. It was a pretty quiet week for a lot of Chris's players, some not having many games during the week. Some of the players that Chris has that had good weeks... those were the same players that a lot of other people picked on their selection sheet. You know you want to see your more "unique" players playing well. This wasn't the case for Chris. The panic button was pushed though... he used trades number two and number three this past weekend to upgrade his goaltenders. He is now down to only two trades left for the entire year.

Long-term Injuries and Pool Trades
Defenseman Bryan Berard underwent back surgery this week and won't be in the Jackets' line-up until January. Berard, who was taken once, will more than likely need to be dropped in the next day (or week), because Box 4 is a highly competitive box of number one defensemen in the West and you're gonna need those points to compete.

This past weekend, high-scoring forward Martin Havlat sprained his ankle and it this injury will sideline him for a few weeks. This was always the knock on Havlat and will miss quite a few games before he's all better. Does this make him trade worthy?? For Box 3 players... a few weeks means big points. It might be an idea to upgrade to a more durable winger... as three weeks could add up to 12 games.

But then... just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... it does. Michal Handzus has now been lost to the Hawks for the entire season. No one has him, but if you did... this would be what you'd save your trade for. Since no one has him... I won't make a big deal about it.

Somebody does however has Nikolai Khabibulin... who broke a finger on his catching hand, which will keep him out of the line-up for at least a couple weeks. Just a heads up.

The curse of Box 22 continued this past week... Brad Stuart broke his finger on Saturday night. Stuart, taken five times, will miss some time, although it is still unclear how much time. I would assume you would be looking at 15 to 20 games to be missed by Stuart. Since Box 22 is Injury Row, the need to drop him may not be so severe. Who else is gonna get anyone points in the coming month if they are all injured.

Pavel Kubina's knee injury will keep him out of the Leafs line-up for up to six weeks. Kubina was picked up once during Week 2 in a trade... but fears may lead to him being dropped a few more times. If you are a player in Box 22... your number could be up soon.

Another defenseman also fell this week. Jay McKee, who was out for the bulk of the start so far with a knee injury. His first game back this week... he broke his hand. No, McKee isn't in Box 22... but you kind of think he might have been. This Box 10 defenseman, who was the league leader in blocked shots last year will not be blocking anything for another month or so.

TSN will have a doubleheader on Wednesday night and some of our popular players will feature in these games. Joe Thornton and Jonathon Cheechoo will go into Detroit in the first half of the doubleheader to face Nicklas Lidstrom and the Red Wings. Just between those three players, there is 45 selections. It should be a popular game to watch. In the second half, Joffrey Lupul and Chris Pronger will face their former clubs for the first time this season. This game has quite a few unique players and both teams will change the face of the pool every time they step on the ice.

The Hockey Night In Canada doubleheader will have an old rivalry and a look at a new superstar. The Leafs and Habs will renew their acquaintances for the first half of the doubleheader. Darcy Tucker's big run so far this year is going to be met by the less-popular Canadiens. David Aebischer may have won the number one job in Montreal and will more likely be in net when the Leafs come to town. In the second half of the bill, Alexander Ovechkin will come to Edmonton for the first time in his career to face Dwayne Roloson and the Western Conference champs. The Capitals will have faced the Canucks the previous night, so it could be a slow night for the new Russian Rocket. Just a heads up.

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