Monday, October 15, 2007

Week Three Newsletter

You know, I'm loving it now! We're now into the full swing of things in the league... the weird schedule is feeling like a roller coaster... the rivalries are heating up... and the points are now coming fast & furiously.

A new feature for the newsletter in Week Three is the poll question answer. Over Week Three, I had asked who you thought would be the Sens number one when Emery came back. Well, even with Martin Gerber's (Chris) big start to the season, he didn't win in any landslide. With seven votes, Gerber only took four. With Emery coming back to the Senators line-up this week, the controversy will heat-up. It's amazing the difference between the two teams that have Senator goalies in the pool. Gerber is a Chris pick, who's in first... and Emery is Aaron's pick, who's in last. If Emery starts, does Aaron move up to the top?

This week's poll question for your consideration is... Did you know you had 5 trades in the Selection Sheet Pool? Well, ya do... so, I suggest you keep your eye on your team through the year, especially when there is a player sent to the minors or kept on the injury reserve list for a long period of time.

There isn't much question who the Mover & Shaker in the Draft was in Week Three. Chris had himself a week above & beyond the rest of the standings and took a pretty solid lead into Week Four. Chris finished up his week on Saturday, as he had no players playing on Sunday, with 43 points. In an Opiated Sherpa hockey pool, under the same team and point structure, the record amount of points in a week is 50, scored in 2002-2003. That record was set with 20 teams as well, so don't be surprised if we crack that with a shallow draft pool.

With 43 points, Chris had opened up a 6-point lead on Dale B. heading into Sunday, but Dale had 2 games on the final day of the week. Dale only managed 2 points to leave Chris only 4 points up going into next week.

Chris had a lot of big weeks from players, but not all of his players were active. Chris was only missing Sean Avery to a shoulder injury and should still be out for at least another couple weeks. In Avery's place, Chris got big points from Jason Spezza (7 points), Henrik Sedin (6), Tim Connolly (4), Martin Biron (4) and Martin Gerber (4). The rest of his players, except Avery, all had points as well. That's big news for a draft team.

In the Selection Sheet Pool, the Mover & Shaker was Stuart. His 59 points moved him up 11 spots and into 7th spot. Stuart took big points from Spezza (7), Ryan Miller (6), Roberto Luongo (4), Pascal Leclaire (4), Daniel Alfredsson (4), Derek Roy (4) and Phil Kessel (4). Now, he's in striking range for the money in this early part of the season.

Well, our Basement Dweller in the Draft fell down to the bottom of the pack in Week Three, but things are looking up. Aaron had back-to-back weeks of 15-point weeks, but that was far from enough to keep himself afloat. Like I said though, there is some silver lining to this awful cloud. Aaron will be getting Ray Emery back from injury this week. He finished his conditioning stint in Binghampton and the Sens have already sent down Martin Gerber's (Chris) back-up, Brian Elliot. If Emery gets to jump back into the line-up, then Aaron will have a goaltender to rely upon to add to Tomas Vokoun, who he already has.

In the Selection Sheet Pool, it was Ernest who fell the furthest with the second-lowest point total in the week. Ernest fell from 19th to 30th, an 11 spot drop, and he can blame it on the five zeros and six players who had 1 point in the week. It's a good thing it's still early.

We're going back to Ottawa for our Player of the Week for Week Three. Amazingly, our Player of the Week, despite the honour, doesn't have a goal or a win yet in the season, but he's still drumming up enough points. In 6 games, so far this season, Jason Spezza (Chris) has 11 assists... 7 of them coming in Week Three.

The Senators and Spezza played the Devils on Monday, where Spezza had 3 assists in a 4-2 win; on Wednesday in the 3-1 win over Atlanta, Spezza only had 1 assist; on Thursday, Ottawa suffered their first loss, 5-3 to Carolina, where Spezza still had 2 assists; and finally, the Sens beat the Rangers on Saturday and Spezza finished his week (and continued his streak) with another assist.

Other News and Notes
Well, still without being reported, Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Jordan Leopold (Aaron) has been sidelined all week with a hip injury. He has been listed as day-to-day, but I have yet to see when the injury occured or when he is actually expected back into the line-up. Leopold has 1 assist in 3 games for the Avs and Aaron has been hit with quite a few man games lost, but now everyone looks to be coming back now.

I managed to watch most of the Wild/Ducks game on Sunday night and found that Todd Bertuzzi (John P.) left the game with an injury they didn't disclose. The Wild's Derek Boogaard hit Bertuzzi on the blind side and there was no real indication what the injury could be. Stay tuned.

Red Wings winger Mikael Samuelsson (Box 8) will miss Monday's game, just like he missed the last couple Detroit games, with a groin injury. He's currently listed as day-to-day. There is still no word on whether or not Igor Grigorenko (Dale C.) will be called up to fill the gap.

Here's a new one... the COLD player. Well, if it's going to be anyone, it'll be a player that a bottom team is relying on for points.

Jordan Staal (Dale C.) has only 1 assist in 4 games for the Penguins. That's a fair distance away from the expectations put onto him by Dale at the draft. I'm sure there are a lot of pool teams that expected a lot more from the younger Staal, but he really didn't have a great deal of points last season... just a lot of shorthanded goals. He is riding on a line with either Crosby or Malkin, so there can't be many excuses.

Well, I'm pretty sure I would have picked him at a reasonable time, but Jay Bouwmeester (Aaron) has played 5 games and has yet to register a point. It could be understandable if the DUI in Edmonton had something to do with it... those sort of things have been known to weigh heavily on some minds, but after a breakout year last season, there was some more high expectations that Bouwmeester would become the guy who registers points on a regular basis.

If you were sitting on the shelf as a healthy scratch, you'd get awfully cold as well. Just ask David Aebischer (Marcus). In Phoenix, he has lost a lot of time being dressed to Alex Auld and Mikael Tellqvist, neither of which were taken in the Draft. Aebischer must not be doing the business for the team in practice and only has one start to his name this season. That is hardly a good showing.

There's only 1 assist in Brendan Shanahan's (Marcus) 2007/08 season numbers so far. The Rangers are getting some scoring here and there, but it's a pretty cold start for Shanny to start the season. It really doesn't look like there has been a lot of chemistry between the new blood and the old blood in the Rangers dressing room, but eventually those players should come together for a big hot streak.

Selection Sheet Trades
Well, it had to happen eventually. You all know you have 5 trades if you are part of the Selection Sheet pool, right? Well, if you don't... you should now. But who's to say you even read the newsletter anyways?

If you want to check out who's trading what, you can click on this link here or keep your eyes peeled to the newsletter.

Our first trade had Jonny Chicorli, sitting in 9th place heading into Week Four, switching up Wade Dubleiewicz (Box 24) for Martin Gerber. A questionable move with Ray Emery (Box 18) coming back right away, but if the poll was any suggestion, Emery might not get those starts immediately.

Jonathan Toews (Chris) and Patrick Kane (Marcus) will make their Hockey Night in Canada debuts this coming Saturday as the Blackhawks and the Leafs will renew some Original Six magic in Toronto. If there was ever a time to make a point of watching a Leafs game, if you don't already, it will be this one to see the Developing (into Dynamic) Duo of the Blackhawks. Both Toews and Kane are first round picks, 2006 and 2007, respectively. Both players have started to get their NHL legs underneath them in Week Three. Toews debuted on Wednesday, while Kane has played every game for Chicago this season. Kane has 4 points in 5 games, while Toews has 3 points in 3 games. This has all the indications for some big years for both players and a 1-2 race for the Calder Trophy.

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