It's the holiday week in the NHL, which means there will be a couple of days off for everyone in the league, including myself. I'm kind of looking forward to it, although that means there will be no hockey on the television on Friday or Saturday night.
On the bright side, we'll be counting down to the World Junior Championships, which goes in Buffalo, NY this year. Everything gets started on Sunday and I'm hoping to have a mini-pool going on for that starting this week. I wanted to get something like the Olympics selection sheet pool up and going over the weekend, but didn't find the time to sit down and get that done. Hopefully, on Tuesday I can sit down and hammer one out. I'm sure it will just be a free pool for bragging rights and it will be super easy to join, so stay tuned!
We are starting to see some uniformity in the standings of our regular pools, as both the draft and the selection sheet has now had the same leader for a few weeks now. This has been a regular occurrence in every season we've had on the website. I'm hoping with a possible trade or two in the NHL after the roster freeze (which is now in full effect until next week), some of the details may change and we'll have some movement in the pool again.
Anyways, let's chug right along and see how Week Eleven panned out...
It's a clear-cut winner for Player of the Week in Week Eleven, as Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche maintained a winning streak right through the week that was and picked up an assist on the way for a 9-point week. Currently, the Avalanche have won six games in a row with Anderson in the net, but only four games registered in the week, which was good enough for top spot honours.
Anderson started his week on Monday night, opening up a home and home series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The opener in Denver was quite the back and forth game, even on the scoresheet, but at the end, Anderson made 29 saves in a 7-5 win. On Wednesday night, he made 35 saves in the second half of the series in Chicago, to help beat the Hawks, 4-3. Friday night, it was a 24-save effort in another barn burner, to which the Avalanche came away with another two points in a 6-5 win over the Senators. Finally on Sunday night, Anderson and the Avalanche beat the Canadiens, 3-2, where Anderson made 27 saves and picked up his first assist of the season, rounding off his week at 9 points.
Thanks to plenty of injuries and time away, Anderson has not put up the same sort of numbers in the 2011 season, that he did in the 2010 season. Through 11 weeks, Anderson has only won 10 games and registered a single assist for 21 points, which is only good enough for 113th in pool scoring, 25th among goalies. If the Avalanche continue to roll, you would have to believe that he'll catch quite a few of his rival keepers before too long.
It was a pretty good scoring week in the draft in Week Eleven, as we had the third-highest scoring week of the season in total points, while it was the second-highest scoring week per NHL game. The pool extracted 540 points in Week Eleven in 47 NHL games... and we had a clear winner for the Mover and Shaker nod as well!
With the high scoring week, it should come as little surprise that our Mover and Shaker hit 40 points, but we may be surprised to know that it was Ryan M.'s team that hit the 40-point plateau on the nose, which is only good enough to be his second-best week this season. Incredible!
With 40 points in Week Eleven, Ryan made a pretty big climb in the standings, jumping from 10th place up to 6th place, which ties his peak position that he has reached this year, after he hit 6th place with his best week of the season in Week Three. There have been plenty of peaks and valleys in Ryan's season, so far.
Ryan's team was led by Drew Doughty, who had 6 points for the Kings in Week Eleven, followed by Anze Kopitar with 5 points, Troy Brouwer, Niklas Hagman, Miikka Kiprusoff and Mike Smith all had 4 points, while three others had 3 points each. From top to bottom, that was a pretty consistent week throughout his line-up.
Ryan's team currently sits in 4th in the pool for goals scored with 91, only 9 behind the leader. He doesn't have any outstanding positions on his team, rather he has top ten forwards, defense and goalies, but nothing too amazing. Ryan may need something better from one of his positional groups though, if he is going to jump into the money spots in the standings, to which he is only 11 points out of 4th spot at the moment.
In the Basement for Week Eleven, we'll head down to the depths of the standings to find Dale C., who has not had a great season through until now. A 15-point week is not the lowest amount he has seen this season, but remarkably, this is his first Basement Dweller nod of the season, as he dropped from 17th to 19th in Week Eleven and was even up to 6th place in Week Four, with a steady decline to 19th since then.
In the week, there were eight active players on Dale's roster that failed to pick up a point, but had some bright spots, as Derek Roy finished with 4 points and Rich Peverley and Stephen Weiss had 3 points each as well.
The lack of points in the week also dropped Dale down to last place in the second segment of the season, having only 33 points through th first two weeks of the new segment. He is already 31 points behind the leader, but has a pretty good shot at some good draft picks in the second waiver draft to have a shot at third segment prizes.
Not a great deal of movement in the sheet pool in Week Eleven, as 13 teams remained stationary and only nine teams actually gained positions in the pool. With the amount of scoring going on in the league, I would have thought a few more teams would have seen some better movement, but I guess with teams trading for all of the same players, the little bits of individualism have kind of disappeared.
Nevertheless, we did have one interesting move, as Scott G. climbed into 3rd place in the standings with a 66-point week, moving past a couple teams to increase his money chances. Mitch F. continues to lead, finishing in 1st place for three straight weeks this season.
There was a tie for the best week in points, as both Dale C. and Roopi D. each finished with 73 points in Week Eleven. Since Roopi is lower down in the standings, I'd like to key on how he found 73 points and start his climb out of the basement for the rest of the season.
Roopi has only made a couple of trades this season, one having more impact than the other, but neither were really instrumental in his big week. Roopi's team was led by Tomas Fleischman (7 points), Jonathan Toews (6), Drew Doughty (6), Anze Kopitar (5), Jonathan Quick (5) and three other players with 4 points each. You can see a little bit of a Los Angeles Kings theme going on, with top players in the West boxes are Kings. Finally, one week the gamble has paid off, but they sure haven't scored like gangbusters to make that gamble worth while all season.
A few more trades are ready to be entered in this week, but not very many. I would encourage more trading, if you have any trades left to make. There is still plenty of time to close up some gaps and try and climb up the ladder. Hell, it's worth a shot, no?
NEWS AND NOTES
The season is now officially over for Kyle Quincey of the Colorado Avalanche, who underwent major shoulder surgery and is not expected back on the roster at all in the 2011 regular season. I would imagine that the injury will cost Quincey the playoffs as well. You could almost say that Quincey's season has come to a merciful end, since he was not producing offensively at all, having only 1 assist in 21 games before his injury. He found little value then and he has no value now.
Another lower-body injury has crept its way towards Pascal Leclaire, as the oft-injured goalie has found another reason not to participate in game or practice action for the Senators. The gamble of bringing Leclaire in a couple of seasons ago has not paid off for Ottawa, as he hasn't found a great deal of starts. Leclaire is on my injury prone list and should likely be avoided at most costs.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Due to the holiday season, Hockey Night In Canada will not be broadcast, since Christmas Day falls on the Saturday. The season will take a short break in Week Twelve, with action concluding on Thursday night and starting up again on Sunday evening.
Remarkably, since the schedule takes Friday and Saturday off for the holidays, the number of games during the week doesn't really take a significant hit. On the schedule, we will see 42 games between Monday and Sunday, which is the same number of games we saw in Week Two, the first full week of the season. Of course the average number of games in the week, not including Week One or Week Twelve, is 46.