A crazy late newsletter this week, as I was pretty busy today at work... go figure, right? Nevertheless, we're still rolling and getting ourselves primed up for the Waiver Draft.
Yes, it's Week Eight and we're looking to roll through this Waiver Draft... hell, we've already got one pick down and it should come as no surprise that our last place team, Chris, will take the best player available, Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche. Let me tell you, he's going to need it.
Of course, these players don't actually become active on anyone's team until next Monday, we have to collect all the Draft picks, which has been known to take all week.
If you want to keep up with the Draft, the links are on the Draft Standings Page. The available players page will be updated as the week progresses, so keep up, because you can't have the same player as anyone else.
Last week's poll question picked up a few more votes than in Week Six, so I'm kind of happy about that. With nine votes this past week, seven of them said that their teams were certainly hit by injuries, in this injury-plagued year, but they still think they are far from being out of it when it comes to winning. That's great news... got to keep that optimism in place or else there really isn't much left to go on, right? I know I have had my share of injuries, but I'm right in the thick of things, so that's good. Only one team has counted themselves out of it, but I know there are a few more, just in chatting.
This week's question will surround the jersey prizes... which one would you choose if you were in first place at the end of this week? The 2010 Canada jersey with Sidney Crosby, the 2010 Winter Classic Bruins jersey with Milan Lucic or the 2010 Winter Classic Flyers jersey with Simon Gagne. That's what one lucky team will get to choose from a week from today!
It was a very close race for the Mover & Shaker award for the week, but it finished up on Sunday with a decisive conclusion, seeing Dale C. take the title at the end of the week, which netted him 34 points and 2nd spot in the standings, moving up from 4th place. This is the second straight week that the M&S moved into second place in the standings.
Being Waiver Draft week, Dale has just been knocked down a couple more positions in the actual draft itself, while a couple of teams have moved up for a better spot. This was actually a very good week to be in the Basement, if you were still fairly close to some of the money spots.
Anchoring Dale's team through Week Seven was his goaltending, which came through with 14 of his 34 points this week, thanks to Cristobel Huet's 8 points and Martin Brodeur's 6 points. His goaltending duo has the best points to 60 minutes ratio in the pool, picking up 1.5 points for every 60 minutes played this season. That is incredibly high. His highest ranking forward in the week was Andy McDonald of the Blues, who finished with 4 points, which isn't terribly high, but he only had two players with zero points in the week, so there was some consistency through his line-up.
This is Dale's second M&S mention of the season, after picking his first up during Week Three, where he had 36 points.
We are now down to the final week of the first jersey draw and Leon continues to lead the pool, but his lead has shrunk down from 16 points down to 10 points, where Dale C. is sitting. There is a 19-point gap from 3rd through 5th, which is a super longshot to pull out a jersey, but I'd hate to say its impossible, rather that it is improbable. Not to worry though, once we give this one away, we'll be done the Waiver Draft, then we'll have a couple new faces on your team to help win the second of three jerseys this season in another 8-week period of the year.
Well, we haven't seen a single-digit point total in the week since Week One, where there were only three days worth of games to be played, but John B. and his team showed us how to do it in a 7-day week. John only managed to have five of his players score for him and two of them picked up 3 points a piece (Rene Bourque of the Flames and Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers). He was hit by injuries pretty hard and had Valtteri Filppula, Marian Hossa, Saku Koivu and Alex Ovechkin on the shelf in the week, so that wasn't going to help his cause at all. In Week Eight, he should be getting Koivu and Ovechkin back, which will help him, but the big drop in the standings (from 11th to 14th), should earn him a better pick in the Waiver Draft this week.
The Player of the Week nod was also a very tight race through the week, especially through the weekend, which had a fair bit of scoring between a few guys. Finally, in the end, it was Henrik Zetterberg who came out on top with a Draft-best, 9 points in 3 games for the Red Wings. That should have made his Draft team owner, Trevor, very proud.
The week started off on the Wednesday in Columbus, where he picked up a pair of assists in the 9-1 thrashing of the Jackets. Then on Thursday night, at home to Vancouver, he had a goal and an assist in the 3-1 win over the Canucks. Saturday, he ran wild over the Ducks, picking up a hat-trick and a pair of assists in the 7-4 win. Zetterberg really made a big push this week and Trevor did move up three spots in the standings because of the good week.
It was a tough week for one of the Flyers' top lines in Week Seven. Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux had two points in two games (where the Flyers went 1-1-0) between the three of them this week. It might not have been many games to be cold in, but it was somewhat noticeable in the games of theirs that I had watched in the week.
It's now three weeks in a row that John P. has stayed atop of the standings in the Sheet pool, where he now holds onto a 35-point lead, gaining a whopping 30 points on second place in Week Seven. He has set himself up for a pretty good run already, so it will be awfully tough to beat him for a while, unless you have some pretty amazing weeks here soon.
Taking top spot in weekly scoring was Caterina, who finished with 78 points in the week. She can thank Henrik Zetterberg (9 points), Jimmy Howard (7), Martin Brodeur (6), John Tavares (5) and Mike Green (5) for all the help in getting her to the top of the heap in the week. With her big week, she jumped up from 11th to 8th, now sitting 12 points out of the money positions.
The biggest move in the pool was Dieter's, as he moved up 10 spots from 38th to 28th, which is getting him up to the top half of the draw, thanks to a few key trades a couple of weeks ago.
Trades have been coming in quite well this year, so be sure to keep your team up-to-date with trades, as they do help you in the long-term.
Other News and Notes
Well, the Thrashers have kept on rolling with Bryan Little already out of the line-up with a groin injury, but their game against the Oilers also saw the absence of Pavel Kubina, who was out due to lower-body soreness. Neither player has a timetable for a return to the line-up, but with Ilya Kovalchuk back in, the Thrashers will manage just fine.
The Sabres had Drew Stafford scratched from their line-up on Saturday night, thanks to a hip flexor injury, which he suffered earlier in the week versus the Flames. Stafford is listed as out day-to-day with the injury, so it doesn't sound like it's serious. I would imagine that he'll see another game on the shelf, but unless he hits the Injured Reserve, he should be good to return soon.
The Blackhawks had a couple of scratches against the Sharks on Sunday night, as both Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ebbett were held out of the line-up. Versteeg didn't take the pre-game warm-up, as there was no question that he would be held out of the game for some rest, while Ebbett did take the skate, but was scratched before the game got started.
After having a stint on the forward lines for the Panthers, Ville Koistinen was moved back to the blueline for a game, but ended up being a healthy scratch on Saturday night against the Islanders. Koistinen has not had the best starts to the year, scoring only one goal and three assists in 15 games.
The Kings lost the services of their top shutdown defenseman, Rob Scuderi, on Saturday night to an apparent lower-body injury. Scuderi was injured in the first period of the Kings' game against the Lightning in Tampa and didn't return to see any action. There hasn't been much for updates since the game on Saturday night, but the Kings do play on Monday in Miami, so there should be an update before that game.
The Canadiens had a surprise scratch on Saturday night versus the Predators in Nashville, as Brian Gionta was held out of the line-up with a lower-body injury. There have been no immediate details about the injury to Gionta, so you can only speculate that the injury isn't too major at the moment and that he should be considered day-to-day.
The Flyers were without their star rookie, James Van Riemsdyk, for their game against the Sabres on Saturday night. Van Riemsdyk has come down with a bout of the flu and he was not healthy enough to take to the ice. He is also playing with a broken finger, so a night off could be what he was looking for. He'll be a top pick in this week's waiver draft for sure.
Click here to see an updated injury page.
Hockey Night in Canada
Well, we're back to the ol' doubleheader in the Week Eight edition of Hockey Night in Canada, with three games during the early game coverage and then just the single late game. There is an afternoon game on another network, but we won't worry about that. It's only CBC stuff here. I don't know why, I'm not sponsored by them or anything.
In the early game across the country, we should be seeing Alex Ovechkin back in the line-up for the Capitals, as they take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto. If you thought that the Maple Leafs were having trouble with some of these regular teams, you can only imagine what the goaltending for the Leafs will have to play against on Saturday.
On other feeds for the early game, the Senators will play host to the Sabres in a Northeast Division match-up, while the Canadiens will play the Red Wings at home for the Quebec feed.
In the late game, the Oilers are going to be in tough with the high-flying Blackhawks in town. Nikolai Khabibulin will get a shot at trying to stop those young guns that he was a teammate of last season, in what should be a fast-paced game.