Monday, December 08, 2008

Week Ten Newsletter

Week Ten was a pretty good week for scoring, not a record week, but a pretty good week. In the Draft, the total points earned was 467, the third highest week of the year so far. It was a pretty spread out distribution of points throughout the Draft pool, where the average team earned 27.5 points, and the highest and lowest teams were only 8 points away from the average. That isn't half bad.

In the Draft statistic pack, you'll notice some interesting trends. One of the best fantasy stats for players is the points-per-game statistic, which pretty much speaks for itself. For skaters, forwards and defensemen, points-per-game are pretty straight-forward. At the top of the list in the Draft, Derek has the best points-per-game ratio at .722, but unfortunately for him, injuries have ravaged his skaters and he has the fourth-worst amount of games played, which reduces the effectiveness of his good production per game. For goalies, John B. has the best pair of goalies per minutes played, somewhat in the likes of the Goals Against Average. John B. gets 1.43 points per 60 minutes played in net and gets an average amount of minutes according to the Draft numbers. This speaks volumes for his lead in the Draft.

At the bottom of both categories, sees Don only getting .608 points-per-game out of his skaters, while Clayton only gets .795 points per 60 minutes played by his goalies. If Don had a better points-per-game average, he would be finding himself in better position, rather than 51 points behind. Clayton would likely find himself closer to the top of the pool, rather than fourth place, if he could capitalize on the number of minutes he's getting from his goaltending tandem.

Having played the most games played by skaters is John B., who is benefiting from a very healthy team this season. John has edged Marcus out for the lead in games played after ten weeks by one, but John does have a better points-per-game ratio, hence the lead. The most active goaltending tandem in minutes played is found on Dale C.'s team, who has 119 minutes more than Larry for the lead after ten weeks. John does have a better points ratio per 60 minutes, which means he's taking more advantage of his goaltending starts or appearances.

Having a healthy team is one thing, a good thing, but also having a productive team is what you are looking for when it comes to accumulating the most points possible. You can have the best points ratio or the most games played, but you will have to have healthy players to play a reasonable amount of games to make it all worth while.

Poll Question
I thought I would check and see if the Waiver Draft was enough for the pool teams with only two drops and picks and the poll suggests that yes, it is enough. Six of eight votes said that two is good enough, while there was a voice for another pick or as many picks as needed for teams. With the two picks taking the entire week, I'm sort of glad the majority said that two is enough. The next waiver draft, with two drops and picks, will start to take place on January 27th, during Week Eighteen. Those last Waiver Draft picks will become active on Week Nineteen and will have ten weeks to help out their new teams.

For the coming week, I want to know where you think Brendan Shanahan is going to end up. Shanahan has been on the outside looking in on the NHL, some would say waiting for Mats Sundin to make up his mind so teams who don't win the Sundin Sweepstakes can take part in the Shanahan Sweepstakes. We're all hoping that Sundin's decision is coming sooner rather than later and so is Shanahan. Listed in the poll are the teams he's rumoured to be heading to.

Well, it's been a pretty good ride for Derek over the past couple weeks. It finally looks like his team is waking up from their slumber and noticing that the hockey season has already started. Long mired in the basement, Derek's team was the brunt of much ridicule. In the Waiver Draft, he was fortunate enough to pick up Devin Setoguchi and Dwayne Roloson, each putting up points in their first week on his team. In actual fact, his team was quite productive... enough so to earn him the Mover & Shaker for Week Ten, which also comes with a prize... a Phil Kessel insert card from Upper Deck, which is numbered for rarity. That's what a solid week of 35 points will earn you!

Only two active players on his team were not able to register points, Mathieu Schneider and Pascal Leclaire, but he did manage to have good weeks from Jonathan Toews (6 points), Dan Cleary (5) and Evgeni Malkin (4).

With two weeks of 30+ points, Derek has moved himself into a position where he can climb the standings and put himself in a pretty good position for bragging rights. He is now only 5 points out of 11th place and only 13 points out of the Top Ten. There is still plenty of hockey left to be played and another Waiver Draft to help improve his team.

On the Sheet in Week Ten, it was Tony C., who made the biggest move with the biggest week in the pool. Tony moved up seven spots to 22nd spot in the Sheet pool after a 78-point effort in the week. Tony took plenty of consistency from his players, as nine of his players had 4 points a piece and all but four of his active players had points in total. Leading the way for Tony this past week was Dan Cleary (5 points) and Alexander Ovechkin (5). With weeks like that, you can climb a lot of positions and come pretty close to the top of the table.

We have ourselves a three-way tie for the Basement in Week Ten. Don, Larry and Peter all finished the week with 19 points each, the highest Basement Dwelling total of the season, thus far, which all earns them the distinguished title of Basement Dwellers for Week Ten. For Don, it was a combination of injuries and cold teams that kept him down low this week. He had six players on his squad with zero points, as three of them suffered through injuries in the week. For Larry, he also had six players with zero points and three of them were due to injuries. Finally, Peter was very much in the same boat with six zeros, but only two of them were due to injuries. It was a tough week for these teams, but they do have the talent to turn it around in a hurry.

In the Basement this past week was Wendy C., who fell down six positions to 21st, after a 49-point week in the pool. It was a pretty tough week as there were quite a few active zeros on players that should normally pick up points on a regular basis. It's just one of those unlucky weeks in the pool where not all of the cylinders are firing at the same time. It should be better right away there.

Maybe the Sherpa has a little bit of pull around here. After calling out the Colorado Avalanche for their lack of offense due to the loss of Joe Sakic, the same players named in the Cold Player of the Week paragraph come back in Week Ten to have themselves a huge week, including the Player of the Week designation for Paul Statsny.

Statsny, a Draft pick of Dale B.'s, finished the week with 2 goals and 5 assists for a pool-high 7 points. It was a tough week for big scoring in the league. His week helped lead the Avalanche to a 2-1-1 record in Week Ten and helped guide Dale up the standings by three positions in the week.

On Monday, Statsny had a pair of goals and an assist in week opener in Minnesota. In Nashville on Thursday, Statsny was kept off the score sheet, while in Dallas on Friday, he finishd the game with an assist. Finally on Sunday, Statsny had a 3-assist effort against the Canucks, including one on the game-tying goal that sent the game to extra time. Now it looks like there is some fire in the young players of the Avalanche.

I can't really say I saw this one coming, but the Panthers have been riding the hot hand in net and it isn't Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun has seemingly lost his number one job in Florida to Craig Anderson, who has done a pretty good job taking charge of the Panthers' crease. Vokoun, a Draft pick of Don's, was thought to be the unparalleled number one for the Panthers, but his inconsistency has given a number of shots to Anderson and Anderson has done well with them. It will be interesting to see how long this plays out for, as Vokoun is a very good goalie and should be a number one on his team.

Other News and Notes
The Sabres were receiving some good news as Craig Rivet returned to the line-up after missing two games, so Nathan Paetsch had to return to the press box as a healthy scratch. Paetsch still hasn't earned himself a full-time on the blueline with the Sabres and didn't do much in his time in the line-up this week to do so either.

The Hurricanes have been having troubles with injuries this season and that continued on Saturday with the injury to Frank Kaberle. Kaberle is on the shelf again with a lower body injury, also missing the 'Canes game on Sunday against the Capitals. There is no indication when he'll return to the line-up.

Newly dropped from the Draft, Christian Backman, was also dropped by the Columbus Blue Jackets coaching staff on Sunday, as he was scratched for their game against the Anaheim Ducks. Backman, not necessarily known as an offensive defenseman, only has 4 points in 25 games for the Jackets this season.

The injury woes are also continuing for the Florida Panthers, as Rostislav Olesz is back on the shelf with a groin injury. Olesz has been on the shelf a couple times this season and hasn't figured to be a great fantasy player this season. The Panthers will need to get a lot healthier before they become a better fantasy team in the NHL.

The Predators scratched Box 13 defenseman, Ville Koistinen, on Saturday night, keeping his fantasy value low this season. Koistinen has 7 points in 18 games for the Predators, but is being overshadowed by his teammates on the blueline that have been almost scoring at will.

The Rangers spent a game without one of their top free agent pick-ups in the summer, Wade Redden, who sat out against the Flames with an apparent groin injury. Redden, a Draft pick of Marcus', missed his first game of the season and will likely miss another game or two, just to make sure he is 100% when he returns to the line-up.

The Coyotes are sharing ice-time between both Ken Klee and David Hale these days. Hale sat out on Saturday night for Phoenix and on Sunday, Klee got to look down on his team from the press box. Unless there are injuries in Phoenix, I would imagine that this will be the way things will go for these two defenders for the time being.

The Lightning have lost Ryan Malone to another injury this year, this time an upper body injury. Malone, a Draft pick of Grant's, already missed four games due to injury this season, before missing his fifth on Saturday night with his new ailment. In 21 games this season, Malone only has 12 points.

It's an amazing thing that the Washington Capitals are a top the Southeast Division with all the injuries they have suffered this year. The Capitals suffered another injury setback as Eric Fehr suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs and was out of action against the Hurricanes on Sunday. Fehr joins a long list of starting players who are on the shelf with injuries this season.

Click here to see an updated injury page.

Hockey Night in Canada

Week Eleven's installment of Hockey Night in Canada could be very entertaining. In the early game, the Washington Capitals are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. The injury-riddled Caps will have their hands full against the Habs, who are playing some pretty good hockey of late. Fortunately, they still have Alexander Ovechkin in their line-up to provide some sort of offense. In the second half of the doubleheader, the Canucks will be finishing their seven game road trip in Edmonton to take on the Oilers. The Canucks and Oilers are staying close in the Northwest Division standings and this game will likely be a key one for both teams when it comes to those same standings. The Canucks hope to have Roberto Luongo close to being ready by the time they make it to Edmonton, while the Oilers hope they continue to get good goaltending from Dwayne Roloson.

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