Monday, April 12, 2010

Week Twenty-Six Newsletter - Season's Officially Over!



Wow! What an awesome year both pools had. I would say that was easily the most exciting bit of finishes we've seen in the few years that the pools have been ramped up to OpiatedSherpa.com. There were races right down to the wire and some record numbers in terms of points in the last week of the season. I mean, it was completely crazy! But now we're all finished in the regular season and it is high time we start giving out some prizes, eh?

In the Draft, Leon's 32-point lead turned out to be just enough to keep him in 1st place, winning the $500 prize for the season. Leon held onto that lead for the better part of the season, picking it up in Week Five and continuing on with it for the rest of the season. It's the record for longest time in 1st place among the last three seasons, to which I was keeping track, finishing off 21-straight weeks in top spot. He can credit a very healthy team for his success, being in the top five of both skater games played and minutes played by his goaltending tandem. He wasn't 1st in either category, but he was also in the top five in scoring paces for both skaters and goalies. That's a pretty awesome year for him.

His 779 points was not a record among the last three seasons, but it does look pretty good. I would definitely attribute that to how competitive the Draft has become in just a few short years, so that means a lot to me, frankly.

Leon held off a massive charge from Wayne, who finished 2nd after a record week in the Draft, picking up 52 points, which is the first 50 plus-point week in pool history. He took that 32-point lead down to 6 points in the end, which was incredible, to say the least. It was much like Sidney Crosby's 5 points on Sunday evening, trying to catch Henrik Sedin for the Art Ross Trophy, but just falling short of the goal. Wayne picks up a cool $125 for his good team this year and a nice pat on the back.

Finally, in 3rd place, it was Dale B., who managed to pull away a little bit from Larry to get his money back. Dale had a really good run after Week Eight, the first Waiver Draft of the season. It was about that time when Daniel Sedin returned from injury and Dale managed to pick up some good talent, being stuck a ways down in 15th position at the time. Dale now becomes the new poster boy for the Waiver Draft, going from down near the basement to the money, thanks to some help from his Waiver Draft picks and his team getting healthy.

It was such a great year in the Draft and by the sounds of things, we might finally increase our participation levels in the 2011 season!

In the Sheet pool, this is the second season we've had the 32 boxes, so there is only one bit of comparing that I can do for this year and comparing 2010 to 2009, we have ourselves a new record for points in a season and we've set a new record for scoring in a week as well. That's a pretty good finish to the season in this pool as well, if you ask me.

The previous year's record was 1,784 points by Dale C., but it was eclipsed by Paul W. with 1,796 points and he collects the $550 1st prize for the efforts. Paul made excellent use of his trades this season, but he was arguably in the mix for the entire season. He really had the right stuff when it came down to his team, as he was never below 10th place, where he finished Week One, which is a crap shoot week of only a couple days. His next low point was 7th in Week Six, but from there, he was always in a money position and when John P. finally slid out of the top spot, Paul was ready to make that leap into 1st place, where he hung on for the last three weeks of the season.

The rest of the race came down to the last couple weeks, but as close as the teams were, there wasn't a great deal of movement through 2nd to 4th. Clayton, Wes and John P. were all in the top four since Week Fifteen, when Clayton came in out of 5th spot to jump into the bigger money. Those three finished 2nd through 4th respectively, so that's your line-up right there... using trades was a big benefit to the three teams.

There was a great race for 5th place, between three teams, and it was a big week from Carl D. that propelled him into the spot from 7th place two weeks before. Carl's team did some great things to jump into that last money spot, earning his money back for the year and a big congratulations to him in his first appearance in the pool this year. Well done, sir.

There will be an e-mail to all of you regarding your winnings and how I will get them to you, so hold tight!

Thanks again to everyone who played in the regular season. I hope it was as fun for you to keep tabs on as it was for me to keep track of again. If you have any suggestions for how the pool could possibly be improved, do feel free to drop me an e-mail, I'm interested on hearing from you. I'm hoping to really streamline the Sheet pool a little bit more, making the team pages easier to read, but otherwise it should be all good for 2011.

Also, there is a growing few in the community that wish for a Keeper Pool... if you have some interest in playing in one of those, also let me know. I'm really trying to get that off the ground and the more interest, the harder I'll work on it!

The MVP of the season is the player with the most pool points among all players in the NHL and the race was actually a lot closer than the scoring race would lead you to believe, because we also have to include goaltenders. In the end, however, Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, did manage to outscore all takers in the hockey pool scoring, thanks to his 112 points (29 goals and 83 assists) this season. He joins Alex Ovechkin (2008) and Evgeni Malkin (2009) as the MVPs in the pools over the past few years.

Believe it or not, I do believe that this is the first season (out of three) that the pool's MVP had never actually picked up a Player of the Week award in the season. It was definitely a season of consistency over peaks and valleys for Sedin, even when he was without his twin brother, Daniel Sedin, for 18 games this season. I actually find it quite hard to believe, personally, but there it is on the Draft standings page... Henrik is nowhere to be found under Players of the Week.

Henrik ended up beating Martin Brodeur for the title this year, who actually takes top goalie honours again, after picking up 111 points. Brodeur had a bounce back year from injuries in 2009 to take back top goalie honours and even challenge Sedin for top spot in pool scoring this year. He was 2 points better than both Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, who each finished with 109 points, while Ilya Bryzgalov was the second-best goalie with 101 points on the season.

In total, the hockey pools saw six players finish with more than 100 points this year, which bodes well for the growth of the pool scoring. I'm hoping there are one or two more in 2011, especially if the Draft is going to grow in size.

Thanks again to everyone who played and I hope you all jump into the Playoff Pool this year, which also has plenty of promise to be an exciting one. Stay tuned for more blog posts regarding the playoffs, they are a little slow in coming, but they'll get there, I promise!

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