Monday, October 12, 2009

Week Two Newsletter


The holiday weekend really set my schedule a-tizzy, so this is a little late to come around, but it's done now. The Sheet pool is finally up and running at it's full capacity, so we can all be happy about that now. There are still some projects on the go to enhance the year's worth of fun, including knowing what the prizes will be for the money winners at the end of the year. That is for both the Draft and the Sheet. That should be posted either on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am also looking into a Trash Talk page, but it may be a while before that's sorted, thanks to some software issues. I am looking into Windows 7 to help me out of that jam, so keep your fingers crossed.

If I go to Windows 7 for all of my software needs, there may be some downtime involved, but I'm not 100% sure at the moment.

Things are starting to pick-up here at OpiatedSherpa.com... stay tuned!

Poll Question
You know, I'm pretty happy with 12 votes to start off the season on the poll. That's a leg up on the start of most seasons. During Week Two, I had the question, "Do you like your pool team this year?" posted on the page and the generalized question got some good responses. Four participants said that they loved their pool team and expecting to win their pool. Seven more said that they felt that their team would do alright, while only one said that they could have done better. Now, those results are not indicative of this pool, as anyone can read the blog, but if it was, we should have some good banter going on... if only a Trash Talk page would be setup, already.

Our Week Three poll lists five players that weren't taken in the Draft that have shown up with some early-season production. Have a look and make your vote.

It was a pretty big week for Wes in the Draft, as he rode a couple players to some immediate success in the second week. Wes picked up a pool-high 37 points to take over the lead in the pool, but his potential games played in Week Three may bring him back down to the rest of the standings.

His lead was in large part attributed to the big start by Dany Heatley in San Jose, who finished off the week with 8 points, while Jonathan Quick and the Kings earned a few early wins for 6 points in their good start to the season. The big bonus to Wes' team this week, was that he only had one player, Chris Campoli of the Sens, that didn't finish with a point. Consistent production is really what you're after at the beginning of the season, helps when it all falls to pieces midway.

Just for statistical reference, in 2009, the team leading at Week Two finished 7th in the pool, while the team that won, was tied for third. In 2008, the team leading at Week Two finished out of the money in fourth, while the team that won was a ways down in 11th. Don't stop believing yet.

Jersey PrizeThe race for the jersey is on... after two weeks, our leader is... well... it's Wes. He is the leader after Week Two, as we all know. This little bit will be a little bit more exciting when we're onto our second jersey, then we'll at least have something that isn't quite as obvious. Wes currently holds a 3-point lead over Stacey for first place, while both John B. and Stuart are only 4 points back of our prize leader. It's still quite the close race and still have six weeks of hockey to go.

Fortunately, I have heard that the jerseys have been shipped and we'll have some cool new pics when they arrive.

This week's Basement Dweller in the Draft is actually our Mover & Shaker from the first week of the season, John P.. John didn't actually earn enough points to match his 3-day total of Week One (20 points), to end up with the Dweller nod. John's team only managed 16 points in Week Two, which has really hurt his chances at the first jersey of the season. John fell down to 15th place from 1st, thanks to four players not registering a point in the week and Rob Blake being his best player, with only 3 points. That really isn't what he was after, I'm sure.

Well, it was another tie for Player of the Week honours, but I will be using the same methodology that I used last week, saying that the player that wasn't part of a previous honour will win. So, it turns out that Joe Thornton, Peter's first round pick this year, will take the second PoW award of the season, thanks to a quality 8-point week.

In only three games this week, Thornton and his partner in crime, Dany Heatley, tore up the scoresheets. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, Thornton had himself a 3-point night, all of them assists in the Sharks' loss. Thursday, the Sharks were home to the Blue Jackets and he one-upped himself with a 4-assist night to help his team to the win. Finally, on Saturday, Thornton had one more assist against the Wild at home in the team's second win of the week. An all-assist honour, which is what they want Thornton to do with snipers like Heatley and Devin Setoguchi on his line.

Thornton is also a Box 1 forward on the Sheet and was fairly popular throughout the pool.

You know who is surprisingly chilly in the league so far, is some of the Blues' top young talent. Both David Backes and David Perron, both players are taken in the Draft, are both without a point in four games this season. Both of these players are coming into the 2010 season with some high expectations and it's been a slow start to redeeming those coupons. They both lead the way in the cold department this week.

Stat Pack
Well, instead of drawing through the same honours for the Sheet that I do for the Draft, I thought I would do a quick outline of what happened in the Sheet instead, really trying to sell the Draft more. Come out and Draft, guys... it's way more fun than the Sheet!

Nevertheless, the Sheet is going on and we'll quickly go over some of the best stats of the week. The best team of the week on the Sheet came from Jamie S., who worked his way up the ranks to 5th place, thanks to a huge 74-point week. On the other end of the spectrum, both Leon and Gerald finished the week with only 42 points, which keeps them near the bottom of the Standings. Both Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley each finished off with 8 points a piece, so you may want to consider using your trades for these guys.

This week, I'll be working out what the prizes are going to look like and see how many we'll pay. Since we're down a couple guys, we'll be revamping it a little bit.

Other News and Notes

The Ducks are rotating some players in and out of the line-up, trying to find some of that good depth chemistry. On the ins and outs throughout the week were Nick Boynton, Andrew Ebbett and Erik Christensen. All three players were either in or out of the line-up throughout the week. It may be sometime before they are settled into their spots on a full-time basis.

The Bruins will be going into Week Three without one of their top offensive defenders in Dennis Wideman, as he is now nursing a shoulder injury and it will keep him out of the line-up for a little while. Wideman is one of those key players on the Bruins' powerplay and is a key defender in many fantasy circles. He is considered day-to-day at the moment.

It appears that David Moss was a healthy scratch for the Flames against the Stars, as he wasn't listed on any injury reports, nor in the recap of the Flames/Stars game. This likely is a one game demotion, as he should be back in the line-up on Monday night in Chicago.

The Blackhawks are battling some of their salary cap woes with the sending down and calling up of forward, Jack Skille. Skille is on a two-way deal and is still young enough to not have to clear waivers before getting sent down to the minors. Skille will continue to yo-yo on the transactions page for quite some time, hopefully this post here will explain that all season.

Depth on the blueline wasn't my immediate thought about the Stars, especially when Sergei Zubov headed home to Russia to play hockey this season. Jeff Woywitka has been a casualty of the depth in Dallas, being the extra defenseman on their current roster and ending up being the healthy scratch over the past couple weeks. He is a Sheet defenseman that likely should be avoided.

The Red Wings are keeping some good depth on their blueline as well, as Brett Lebda has found his way up to the press box in the early part of the season, thanks to the emergence of Jonathan Ericsson and Derek Meech, who has seen good time this year. Lebda will have to bring some more of his veteran presence to earn a spot on the team nowadays.

The Devils thought they had a good deal signed up with defenseman Cory Murphy in the off-season, but already Murphy has found himself up in the press box as a healthy scratch. Sure, he didn't cost as much as some defenseman and yes, he does have some offensive upside, but I really wonder what it is about him that coaches don't seem to like.

The Islanders will now be without forward Trent Hunter for the next couple of weeks. He has a torn pectoral muscle and he won't be lacing it up anytime soon. Hunter has had a good start, despite the injury, having two points in the first two games of the year. New Islanders captain, Doug Weight, was a healthy scratch on the weekend, likely not fully recovered from his groin injury and was getting an extra few days of rest.

Weight did return to the Islanders line-up on Saturday afternoon, so it was likely rest that he needed.

In what was thought to just be a healthy scratch situation, it turns out that Senators defenseman, Filip Kuba, is actually suffering from a lower body injury, which is keeping him out of the start of the season. Kuba has yet to dress for the Sens, but is thought to be one of the good offensive defenders when he's in the line-up.

The Blues have Patrik Berglund in their doghouse at the moment. The young Swede found himself in the press box over the weekend, after a slow start to the season. Berglund has only one goal in the opening three games of the season, which hasn't been up to snuff with the coaching staff, it seems. I would expect to see him back in the line-up soon.

The Canucks are counting down the days until both Pavol Demitra and Mathieu Schneider can come off the Long-Term Injured Reserve. They only have five games remaining on their minimum stay on the list, both feeling the after-effects of shoulder surgeries in the off-season. They still have another few weeks to wait, but they shoudl both be ready to go for November.

The Capitals are also waiting for the return of Tomas Fleischmann to their line-up. Fleischmann had a blood clot found in his leg, just before the season started and the clot will keep him out of the line-up for an indefinite period of time. He was ready to turn it up this coming season, but it's all on hold for the time being.

Link to Injury Page
Click here to see an updated injury page.

Hockey Night in Canada

Only a regular doubleheader on Saturday, as the Hockey Night In Canada coverage begins at its normal 5pm MT. Out West here, we'll likely be seeing the New York Rangers invade the Air Canada Centre, as they the host Maple Leafs in the early game. The Rangers have been a fun team to watch this season, while the Leafs are looking for some sort of traction this year.

In the late game, it's a Northwest Division battle, as the Wild are in Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Wild haven't fared very well to start the season, starting Week Three in last place in the Western Conference, but the Canucks are only one spot ahead of them in the standings, a full two points up. This game should have plenty of desperation to fuel the fire.
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