Monday, November 15, 2010

Week Six Newsletter

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It was great to see scoring back up in Week Six, after a little bit of a lull among the draft teams and the NHL teams for that matter. In the draft, we had our highest weekly average among all the teams, picking up an average of 27.2 points per team in Week Six, topping our previous weekly best of only 15 points in Week Three. A total of 544 points was collected among the 20 teams, taking an average of 12.1 points from every one of the 45 NHL games on the schedule in the week, which was also a season-high.

Week Seven is poised to be a massive week on the schedule, as 50 games are on tap, the biggest week of the season thus far and if we're going to pick up 12 points per game, I'm hoping we hit the 600-point level as a whole and really knock this week out of the park.  Here's hoping we also see some injuries return, so we can have more players collect more points, especially in a huge week like this one.

Every team in the draft has eclipsed the 100-point barrier, which is the same time for every team in 2010 as well, so we're right on schedule there. In 2010, Leon had already repeated as pool leader in points before taking the crown 20 weeks later. We have a new leader in Week Six this season in Chris M. and he now has a 5-point lead, so he'll be under the microscope at about this time.

Now that we're going to be starting Week Seven, we only have three more week of action to determine our first winner of the available hockey jersey prizes, which also means we're only a couple of weeks away from our first waiver draft as well, so be sure that if you're a part of the draft, you'll be ready for the e-mail/phone/instant messaging draft this year, especially now that we have 20 teams in the draft, it may take some time to achieve.  I'll likely be sending out an e-mail, trying to organize everyone here soon, so keep an eye out for it.

PhotobucketDamn, it's a 3-player dead heat for the Player of the Week nod in Week Six, so I'll have to work out the tie-breaker as I go here. Three players finished the week with 8 points, two players belong to the same draft team, so it's kind of hard to argue with that kind of luck, isn't it? Nevertheless, let's do a quick peek... two forwards and one goalie... goalie becomes eliminated because of the goal scoring first tie-breaker... and the tie-breaker ends up going to Alexander Semin, who finished the week with 4 goals and 4 assists.

Semin has definitely caught fire with the Washington Capitals of late, finding his way on to the scoresheet on a more consistent basis.  Semin and the Capitals played in four games in Week Six, opening up against the Rangers on Tuesday night, where Semin picked up an assist in the 5-3 win.  Thursday was his marquee night, scoring a hat-trick and adding a pair of assists for a 5-point night in a 6-3 win over the Lightning.  Saturday, the Caps fell flat out of the gate and was beaten 3-2 in overtime by the Sabres, but Semin did manage to pick up an assist in that game.  Finally, against the Thrashers on Sunday, Semin helped propel the team to a 6-4 win by scoring a goal in the effort.

Semin was the biggest bright spot for Derek W. in the draft in Week Six, who is mired in one of the closer races in the pool... in the bottom-third of the standings.  If it wasn't for Semin, he would probably be in much bigger trouble.

With 23 points in 18 games to his name, Semin has bumped his way up a little further to the top of the overall pool scoring standings, now sitting in 6th spot overall after six weeks of the season.  Semin finished 20th overall in 2010, so improvements look like they have been made.

Just for argument's sake, the runners up for the Player of the Week nod were Sidney Crosby and Carey Price, but this is why we have tie-breakers.

PhotobucketIt was a pretty good race for the Mover and Shaker award for Week Six as well, but thankfully, we didn't have to break any silly ties with goal scoring statistics this week.  No, Chris M. had a clear 1-point victory in the week, scoring his season-best 38 points in Week Six and has also moved up to the top of the heap, now holding a 5-point lead atop the draft standings.

This is Chris' 1st Mover and Shaker nod of the season, but he has also had a mention in the Basement Dweller, but that was in the first week of the season, one which is the least detrimental to his overall season.

Chris can owe his pretty good week to a generally consistent team, which only had two zeros in the week, one due to injury and the other due to being fairly cold.  Leading the way for Chris was Tomas Plekanec, who finished Week Six with 7 points to his name, Martin St. Louis had 5 points and Alex Frolov, Roberto Luongo and Tomas Vokoun each had 4 points.  Also having good weeks were three other players that finished up with 3 points a piece, so there was plenty to be happy about.

Statistically, Chris isn't blowing anyone away in any one category at the moment, ranking 3rd in forwards points with 100, 9th in defense with 29 and 7th in goalie points with 33, but being in the top ten in all three of those categories is certainly doing enough to bump him up to the lead so far.  In every week since being in last place after Week One, Chris has moved up in the standings and has now reached the pinnacle, now at a point where some teams can start hanging on for long periods of time.  Can Chris' team now hang on?

PhotobucketIt is somewhat strange to see the team that was in the Basement in Week One was the Mover and Shaker in Week Six, while the Mover and Shaker of the opening week has now moved down into the Basement of Week Six.

Yes, Jani K. has felt the curse of the opening week lead fall upon his team, as he only managed to pick up 14 points this past week and has now dropped down to 17th place in the standings, now 35 points out of the money positions and only 13 points better than last place.  Jani was cursed with seven players on his team, failing to pick up points in Week Six, one due to injury, another due to becoming a regular healthy scratch and the others were just cold for the last seven days.

David Perron is still dealing with headaches and concussion symptoms, while James Van Riemsdyk has seemingly fallen out of favour with the Flyers coaching staff, in the middle of a sophomore slump.  Jani does have the players to bounce back and I think he should be able to before too long.

PhotobucketLooking at the top twelve teams in the standings this year, they have all made trades to help improve their standing and make their way to the top and I think I'll be preaching these facts for some time, as there are a number of teams that have already sort of fallen off the map, not taking advantage of these small, yet important, changes for your pool team.  I know I have a stack of trades to work on before puck drop tonight, so be sure to add to my workload and improve your team greatly!

Scoring returned to somewhat of it's normalcy in Week Six, as our weekly (and now pool) leader Wes M. took the top spot with 89 points.  Wes has already made four moves on his team and as much as they haven't really panned out to huge points, there have been some extra points picked up already, so that's the biggest win right there.  Leading the way for Wes in Week Six were Alex Semin (8 points), Alex Ovechkin (7), Nicklas Backstrom (6), Ryane Clowe (5) and six players with 4 points a piece.  The Washington Capitals have found their scoring stride and the top three boxes in the East are good ones to have populated by those same Capitals players.

Moving up the most spots in the standings this week was Jeff E., as he climbed back into the top 10 with an 80-point week, moving up from 14th spot into 7th spot.  Jeff has already made five of his seven trades this season, trying to get ahead early, keeping a couple of trades for the stretch run, by the looks of things.  A better number of teams haven't moved in the standings very much, meaning that we may have found the spot where the long groove stretches start happening in the standings.

Looking in the less-than-greatly-populated rookie boxes after six weeks, Kyle Turris and Magnus Paajarvi lead the West box (Box 9) with 6 points a piece, while in the East (Box 25), Tyler Ennis of the Sabres has 10 points.

NEWS AND NOTES

Now, I've heard a couple of conflicting reports about why Todd Marchant was not in the line-up on Sunday against the Blackhawks, one being it was a hamstring injury that he suffered earlier in the weekend, while the other suggests an upper-body injury was the reason for his distress. Either way, he should be considered out day-to-day for now, somewhat expected back for the Ducks next game.

Speaking of Magnus Paajarvi, it appears that he was a healthy scratch for the Oilers on Sunday afternoon against the Rangers. Paajarvi has been quite quiet in the past couple of weeks for the Oilers, especially on the scoresheet, having been bumped down in the line-up on some nights.  I would imagine that he was told to watch from up above and pick up some pointers and I would imagine he'll figure into the Oilers next game.

Very upsetting news for the Canadiens as it appears that they have lost Andrei Markov for another significant stretch after he appeared to have re-aggravated his surgically repaired knee on Saturday night.  It is only just speculation at the moment, but Markov could be out for upwards of three months and when that news is actually confirmed, I will do up a regular post for it.

The San Jose Sharks appeared to have lost the services of one of their defensemen as well, as Douglas Murray left Saturday's game against the Flames with an undisclosed injury.  The Sharks were not forthcoming with any more details about the injury, but they are going again on Monday night, so I would imagine we will hear more about the details before game time.  For now, he's day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Link to the Injury/News Page

HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA


A classic rivalry and a blossoming rivalry are the headlines for Week Seven's Hockey Night in Canada schedule, as the Canadiens host the Maple Leafs in the early game, while the Canucks and Blackhawks renew acquaintances in the late game in Vancouver.

The Leafs and the Habs were not the most popular of teams in the draft, both sitting in the bottom-third of teams in the number of selections with eight each.  This game does have the top pool scorer amongst the four teams going tonight, as Carey Price has quieted most critics with his 25-point start this season, ranking 4th among all players in the league right now.  Just for some contrast, the Leafs leader in points is Clarke MacArthur, who currently ranks 73rd after Week Six with only 13 points.

In the late game, the Sedin twins lead the way for the Canucks, having 20 points each in 16 games this season, as this game features 11 Canucks and 11 Blackhawks, for a better represented game as a whole on Saturday night.  The Blackhawks still have some good scoring on their team, as Patrick Sharp is doing well with 19 points in 19 games to lead the team from the Windy City.  Should be another instant classic in this one.
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