Monday, December 04, 2006

Week Nine Newsletter

The leader might not be changing from week to week, but the people in the money positions seem to be changing every time we come back to the Newsletter. We have two new teams in the money this week, both Marcus and Derek W. have moved themselves in. What's most remarkable is that both teams were in the 30's early on in the year at some point and slowly climbed their way into the money. Granted, it'll be a lot harder to close the gap if you're in the 30's now, but there is still many weeks to go and all you need is some hot players or a change in personnel for some hot players.

If you've noticed this week, there can be a big difference in weekly points, even within the money leaders in the pool. Before Sunday's games, there was a 19 point difference between Marcus and Trevor this week... and they're both in line for money, if the season ended today. Where could a 19 point difference get you?? (All numbers are written before the two Sunday games)

1st to 2nd - 22 points... 2nd to 7th - 18 points... 7th to 15th - 17 points... 15th to 20th - 17 points... 20th to 26th - 17 points... and then it gets a little skewed past 26th. In one month, with the hottest pool team, you could be in the money (theoretically) starting from the 20's. Hey... it's possible!

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

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I had this part already written out earlier on Sunday morning, but ohhhh no... Viktor Kozlov had to have four goals to beat the Rangers on Sunday afternoon and now I have to write the Player of the Week award all over again. What a gip! Anyways... Viktor Kozlov... you know the one. Viktor... spelled with a 'k'. Right, Fred?

In four games this week, Kozlov scored seven goals and notched a pair of assists for a pool-high nine points. Not a bad showing... and guess how many teams have him. One. That's how many. More teams took the other Kozlov... Viacheslav (or Slava) Kozlov in Atlanta. Probably for good reason too... he's on a higher scoring team. But Week Nine was the week that Viktor rubbed Slava's face in it.

It was a pretty tight week for the Mover & Shaker Award... four teams were vying for the honour coming into Sunday and nothing was really solved in the end. Four teams cracked the 60 point plateau this week (a low scoring week) and all of them moved at least four places up the Standings, but one moved up five places and they were the biggest mover.

Josh, a previous Basement Dweller, has now earned both the honour and dishonour of the pool. Josh's team racked up 63 points, which saved him from his nose dive out of the Top 20 and moved him from 19th to 14th and in good shape to re-join the Top 10 at any given time in the next few weeks.

Josh took full advantage of the Anaheim Ducks this week as 18 of his 63 points came from his five Ducks. He also schemed 12 points from his four Flames. When you find yourself with players from a hot team, you're very likely to make it into this spot as well.

Much like the M&S for this week, the Basement Dweller had a few candidates that made very good arguments to bring the logo onto their webpage. In the end, it was a former money place holder, who has fallen off the pace a bit in the last week.

A slow week for the Sharks was a contributing factor for Dan W. to have an off week and keep him from being in the Top 10 by the end of Week Nine. Dan's 45 points wasn't necessarily the worst point total of the week, but he did drop a whopping six spots, dropping from the money (6th place) to out of the Top 10 (12th). It's not to say the 18 points he lost on 6th place can't be made up... because it certainly can. That's what I was writing about earlier in the Newsletter.

Long-term Injuries and Pool Trades
This week had it's fair share of injuries. Monday had the Yashin injury and the not-so devastating broken finger of J-S Giguere... there were a few more longer term injuries in the pool this week.

Well, in case you were looking to the Flyers for new pick-ups (yeah, right)... you wouldn't want to look towards Robert Esche after he underwent groin surgery. He'll be out for about a month. If you were looking for a big & slow defenseman to highlight your defense corps, don't look to Mike Rathje as his back has given him lots of problems... so much so that there are rumours of an impending retirement.

A team that actually has picks suffered some losses this week. On Thursday, Ales Hemsky was diagnosed with a separated shoulder and it will keep him out of the line-up for at least a couple weeks. On Saturday night, not only did the Oilers lose to the lowly Blue Jackets, but they also lost Ryan Smyth to a broken thumb. It doesn't look too rosy in Edmonton at the moment.

With Marian Gaborik inching closer to returning, defenseman and slightly-popular pick-up, Kurtis Foster, suffered a throat injury and is listed as out indefinitely. Foster, a low-level defenseman in the pool, was scoring at a good rate when the Wild were in their hot streak, cooled down, much like the team itself.

Have you dropped Wade Redden yet? He has been dropped five times so far this season, but he's still out there about eight times in the pool. Redden, who has been unlucky with his health this year, got mashed into the boards by Florida's Jay Bouwmeester and will now be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Bryan McCabe is the favourite to take Redden's spot in a line-up, but Brian Campbell is making a case to be a pick-up as well. Campbell is yet to be picked this season and the Sabres are scoring more.

Taken once, Nick Boynton suffered a foot injury that will keep him out of the line-up indefinitely. The Coyotes have been having an up & down season so far and the loss of Boynton may almost be counted as a blessing... Boynton has only registered two points and it could be a good chance for another player to step up and do the business in his absence.

Goaltender Curtis Sanford, who still remains on one pool team, will be out of the line-up for 6 to 8 weeks with a pulled groin. Sanford, who was really battling with Manny Legace for the number one job in St. Louis, was going to be used for a lot of minutes, but the Blues have not been giving their goaltenders much help for wins and points for the pool.

Hockey Night In Canada this week...

An Original Six battle highlights the early game, while the Northwest Division is the basis of the nightcap on Hockey Night In Canada this Saturday.

Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe will travel across the lakes to get to the Motor City to face Nicklas Lidstrom and his Detroit Red Wings. It isn't a marquee pool match-up, but it should be a pretty good game, depending on which Toronto Maple Leafs team shows up for the evening.

And as if you didn't know the importance of this game in regards to the division, but the Canucks travel here to Calgary to face-off for a second time (of eight meetings). Roberto Luongo and the Canucks will try and avenge their home loss in November and Miikka Kiprusoff will do his best to shut up shop for the evening at the 'dome.

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