Well, I think that was the week everyone was looking forward to... a full week with a great compliment of games played, something that both pools could really take to the bank.
This season, I've decided to track the number of games played and minutes played (by goalies) on a weekly basis, trying to get a pretty good idea of what we are seeing, in terms of action on a weekly basis in the draft. Kind of geeky, I know, but also kind of interesting. Week Three saw 46 games on the NHL schedule, between Monday and Sunday, and the players in the draft collected 719 man games played and 4,996 minutes (which works out to be 83 full games worth of action), which shows that we have some pretty good coverage between 22 teams in the pool. In total in the week, the pool collected 522 points, which worked out to be 11.3 points per NHL game on the schedule. That's mighty impressive.
Yes, I truly believe we are now in the full swing of things now in the season and it feels like we had never left watching hockey to begin with. Week Four is ready to roll with 47 games on the NHL schedule, including three games on Monday night, so I'm hoping that we can get a little closer to 12 points per NHL game and really start turning out some numbers this year.
There was no mistaking who could possibly be the Player of the Week in Week Three, as it was a franchise record breaking week for the Kings' Jonathan Quick, who has now posted the longest shutout streak that the team has ever seen. With the win on Saturday night over the Dallas Stars, Quick has now stretched his shutout streak to over 188 minutes, which works out to be a shade over three games.
For the weekly performance, Quick played in the only three games scheduled for the Kings and winning each of them with a goose egg on the board. Three wins, three shutouts, 12 points in the week.
First, it was the St. Louis Blues and a 27-save performance on Tuesday, Thursday saw a 28-save shutout against the Phoenix Coyotes and then another 28-save win on Saturday against the Stars.
The big week from the Kings goaltender now puts him in top spot among all players in pool scoring, having 5 wins, 3 of them by shutout for 16 points, averaging 2.6 points per 60 minutes of time in the crease.
Quick is not new to the Player of the Week honour, picking up one nod last season, in Week Seventeen with an 8-point effort.
The Kiss of Death hasn't quite kicked in for Wayne H., being as though he was in 1st place after the first week of the season, he climbs right back into top spot after a very good week in Week Three.
Wayne's team was one of three to crack the 30-point barrier in Week Three, something we hadn't seen in the first two weeks of the season, taking 36 points to be the best team in the pool, both weekly and cumulatively. With the big week, he has now opened up a 7-point lead on Allan S. and already has a 16-point gap between himself and 3rd place, Stuart G..
The only other major category Wayne's team lead in thus far in the season is goals scored, so he currently has the first tie-break, if needed, with 27 goals scored. He ranks 2nd among forwards scoring and goaltender scoring in the pool and his defensemen are not too bad either.
In the week, he saw the best production out of Phil Kessel (6 points), Stephen Weiss (5), Lubomir Visnovsky (4), Kari Lehtonen (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3), Steven Stamkos (3) and Joni Pitkanen (3). Just looking down that list of names, you do get the feeling that it could be very tough to catch Wayne, especially if those guys are able to stay healthy all year long.
Speaking of staying healthy, Wayne's team does currently sit in a tie for top spot among skater games played thus far in the year, with 87, so he has seen his players play in most of the games set aside for them already. His team is also among the top five in minutes played for goaltenders, giving him a shot at points from the crease most nights as well. These stats are becoming increasingly important and will be watched as the season rolls on.
Even with a season-high (after three weeks) in games played in the league and points collected in the pool, it's kind of hard to believe that we still had teams that were below 20 points in the week for scoring, but there were four teams that fit the bill. Darren S. does take the Basement Dweller spot for the week, however, picking up 14 points in Week Three will do that to a team, dropping him down from 19th the week before to 21st spot.
Darren's team currently sits 4 points above last place and 10 points back of 20th spot, so there is a bit of a gap opening up at the bottom already and it could work out to be quite the dog fight for the first pick in the waiver draft, which is still five weeks away.
Darren's team is one of the pool leaders among skater games played through three weeks with 86 games to his credit, but ranks 20th among points per game scored by his skaters, averaging 0.4 points every time he chalks up a game. His goaltending tandem isn't working out too much better at 0.57 points per 60 minutes played, plus ranking below-average in minutes played. These stats will have to improve, if he wants to climb back into the conversation and soon.
In the selection sheet pool, we're still trying to find our feet still in the standings, but at least now, in the third week of the season, we can do some real comparisons with how each team is doing from week to week.
We have ourselves a new leader, as Wes M. has jumped up from 3rd spot after posting the best week in the pool, with 70 points. Wes had good performances from Ryan Miller (6 points), Daniel Sedin (5), Pekka Rinne (5), Simon Gagne (4), Lubomir Visnovsky (4), Vincent Lecavalier (4), Jason Pominville (4) and a slew of others with 3 points a piece. It may only be a matter of time before a team does come a bit closer to the 100-point mark this season, especially with some of the scoring done in these games thus far.
The big mover up the standings belongs to the first team of Scott G., as his team rocketed up eight spots in the standings, from 21st to 13th, and his team is one of six or seven teams to have already submitted trades for Monday evening, which should be entered in some time during the day on Monday.
A couple of teams have posted trades already and don't want to be left too far behind this season, so be sure to check out the injury/news page to make sure that you're not carrying any players that are out for the long term and start collecting those points. All of these points are crucial, but you should be only trading those who don't have the outlook of playing a lot of games, avoid trading the slow starters, for they might get hot sooner, rather than later.
I am also tracking the difference in goals scored in the week this season and Chris G. topped out Week Three with 27 goals scored by his team, which is 15 goals better by a couple teams at the bottom end of the scale in the week.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Anaheim Ducks welcomed Kurtis Foster to their line-up, as he made his début for the club on Sunday evening against the Coyotes. Foster was out after undergoing minor hip surgery to remove some wiring that was inserted in a previous surgery from another injury. Foster came back with a goal in his first game of the season, which should pump Ducks fans up a bit, as they have had a rough start to the season.
Early on Monday morning, there was an update provided for the injury that Zbynek Michalek had suffered over the weekend. The defenseman left Saturday's game with what appeared to be a hand injury, which in fact, turned out to be a broken finger. The injury is scheduled to keep the Czech defender out of the Penguins line-up for about a month, which would put him back in the line-up closer to the end of November. It's been a hard luck start to the season for the Penguins, but they seem to be managing fine thus far.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Good news! We have ourselves a Hockey Night In Canada tripleheader this coming weekend, with an afternoon matinee to get it all started!
The day's coverage begins from Madison Square Garden, where we'll see the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Rangers for the afternoon affair. The Senators have not been very good to start the season, but their opponents have not been much better, as they both enter Week Four with only 6 points in the standings, outside of the early playoff picture. The Sens may not have won a lot of games, but Jason Spezza is rolling on the scoresheet, as he'll enter this week as the leading scorer between these two teams, working with 11 points in the first eight games of the season.
In the regular 5pm MT start, the Pittsburgh Penguins will invade the Air Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in what could be an okay game. The Penguins should be getting closer to being completely healthy again, while the Leafs are hoping that they'll have some good news for their goaltending before this game, especially if their opponents do become healthy again. Phil Kessel leads all skaters in scoring in the NHL, finishing Week Three with 14 points, including 8 goals, so he's just flying out there. He'll be fun to watch again on Saturday night.
Finally, in the late game, we'll see the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals make a visit on their West Coast swing in Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Capitals are yet to lose a game this season and are rolling quite well, while the Canucks have gotten off to somewhat of a slow start again this season, but are starting to turn things around with some better results of late. The leading point-getter between the two teams is Tomas Vokoun, who has been hot in the net for the Capitals, winning 6 games and posting a shutout for 14 points, tied with Kessel, who's just above him.