Yeah, it's a late edition of the weekly newsletter, as I didn't really take much time on Sunday to do any preparation and since I have the week off of work, I thought I would put it all off until Monday, since I would need something to kill some time. Thankfully, for your reading pleasure, I'm now done the newsletter and you can marvel at all of the great achievements in the pools in the week that was.
The draft remains to be quite the interesting pool, as the lead is still in single-digits, now with only four full weeks of action left to go. That is just way too close for comfort on either side. The rest of the races are also nice and tight, as 3rd through 7th is only 23 points and we have just seen a week that would make those kind of leads tremble, so this pool is far from being over.
Despite having 52 NHL games on the schedule in Week Twenty-Three, the overall scoring in the draft pool was not terribly hot, as the 22 teams only collected 565 points, which was a shade less than 11 points collected per NHL contest. Now, the number of man games played and goalie minutes played in the week were also significantly down, leading to the lack of points collected, so that has to be taken into account. Since the second waiver draft, there have been injuries and without any way to avoid them, we're likely going to see these numbers go down in the stretch drive.
The sheet pool gets a better outline in the stat pack, but I can tell you, it's getting more and more exciting as the weeks go on. There may be the least amount of teams in the pool this year, but that hasn't taken away from the fun we've had. I'm sure there are number of teams keeping a close eye on the standings and rightfully so.
Let's see what we have going on...
Despite having a fairly significant breakdown during and a little ways after the HBO series 24/7 and the Winter Classic, it appears that Ilya Bryzgalov has bounced back to be the number one guy in the Philadelphia Flyers net, taking the Player of the Week nod for the second time this season with 10 points. Bryzgalov was the first recipient of the weekly honour this season, in the shortened opening week of the season and with the Flyers going through all kinds of injury problems, him standing on his head has come at a great time.
Bryzgalov is in the middle of one hell of a streak at the moment, winning 5 games in a row, while 3 of those wins came in Week Twenty-Three and he has posted back-to-back shutouts, working on a shutout streak at the moment. His current shutout streak is running at about 136:13.
On Tuesday, he made 37 stops against the Red Wings for a win, Thursday had a 28-save shutout against the Panthers, while it was a 29-save shootout shutout against the Maple Leafs on Saturday. That's some really good hockey from the big money Russian keeper.
With the 10-point week, this lifts Bryzgalov's total up to 65 points on the season, which is currently good enough for 24th overall in pool scoring. He is currently climbing up the scoring ranks in a big hurry and he could be a worthy 1st round pick player this season with only 1 more point. He's on pace to do quite well, which is good for Allan S., who picked him 9th overall in the draft this year.
Bryzgalov wasn't the only one working overtime for big numbers for Allan S. this past week, but the 10 points sure helped lift the numbers up for an absolute monster week in the pool. Allan was far and away the best team in the pool in Week Twenty-Three, as he set the season record with 53 points in the week and jumped from 10th place to 6th, right on the cusp of the money positions.
This is back-to-back weeks in the Mover and Shaker for Allan, who has the hottest team in the pool at the moment, leading the pool in points since the All-Star break with 206, while there is no team in the pool that has cracked the 180-point mark otherwise.
Without a doubt, Allan had the week that most people may have thought was possible, but certainly not probable. You can tally Bryzgalov's week of 10 points, add in Ilya Kovalchuk's 9 points, Max Pacioretty's 7 points and Tyler Seguin and Marek Zidlicky each picking up 5 points. Allan's team had a couple of players that didn't register a point, but everyone else was pretty good, including four more players with 3 points each.
Allan's team has had a crazy season, starting up at the top, ranking 1st in Week Two, and then dropped like a rock in Week Eight, going all the way down to 14th, the lowest point he was all season long. The long road to recovery had him up to 10th in Week Twenty, but all it took was a little bit of rocket fuel and he is now only 2 points out of the money.
With this huge week, Allan's team now leads the pool in points from the forward ranks (426) and points-per-game from his skaters (.712). It's a real shame that his team had so many injury problems, that his team doesn't have the games played to help his cause of being higher in the standings out, but those are all part of the breaks in a pool year.
The money race has become a lot more interesting with this huge week. This is exactly what we want as the season winds down.
While it was back-to-back weeks for Allan in the Mover and Shaker, it is also back-to-back weeks in the Basement Dweller position for Scott G., who has been extremely unlucky to this point in the season. This is the third time that Scott has been in the weekly basement in the last seven weeks, his only appearances in the position this year and it is very injury related.
Scott's team only managed 13 points this week, as he had only 35 skater games played in the week, which wasn't the worst, but it was among the worst and his goaltending pairing only managed to play in one game in the week. That hurts greatly. This season has quickly become a write-off, but I'm hoping that the learning curve has been travelled.
There is no word as to whether or not Nicklas Backstrom or James Van Riemsdyk will be back in their respective line-ups any time soon, because Scott could really use their help. Scott only has one player in the top 100 in scoring this season, Scott Hartnell, who ranks 35th after Week Twenty-Three, but one player is not going to carry a team.
There was a lot of movement in the selection sheet pool in Week Twenty-Three, which keeps the conversation for money very interesting. Sure, Jeff E. was able to open up a little bit more of a lead in the week, while Zac H. and Clayton C. are still sitting in 2nd and 3rd, but the rest of the top 10 had some movement and it was all very interesting.
Don D. overtook Justin L. for 4th place and will carry a 4-point gap into the new week, while Caterina F. jumped into 6th from 7th and Debbie G. had a huge jump into the top 10, going from 12th to 7th and now sits only 41 points out of 5th place at the moment. Falling out of the top 10 in the week was Scott G., who is just having a bad week altogether, but it is kind of funny that both of his teams are now tied in points with 1,210.
Now, Debbie's massive week in the standings did indeed mean that her team was the best in the weekly rankings, picking up 67 points. Her team may still be a little ways out of the money, but if her team can remain hot down the stretch, the lead, which now stands at 41 points could shrink significantly. Debbie owes her big week to Max Pacioretty (7 points), Alex Tanguay (6), Patrik Elias (6), Tyler Seguin (5), P.K. Subban (5) and Cam Ward (4). Her team has used up all seven of their trades this season, so they should be running at full capacity, in theory.
The goal-scoring mention goes to Robin F. for the week, who had a whopping 26 goals on their team, which was 7 tallies better than any other team in the pool. Robin's team currently sits in 15th place with 1,181 points.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Anaheim Ducks are rather skeptical that Corey Perry is going to be able to play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, in a key Western Conference playoff picture tilt, so they have called up forward Kyle Palmieri, to take his place, if indeed Perry cannot go. Palmieri has played in 11 games for the Ducks this season, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist in the process. I don't think the Ducks are necessarily looking for Palmieri to replace Perry's numbers, but as long as he plays some solid minutes, he should be in good shape.
The Boston Bruins continue to struggle with some injury problems, as a new concern has come to light this weekend. Forward Patrice Bergeron has said that he is now day-to-day with a lower-body problem, but he remains hopeful that he will be able to play on Tuesday night in Tampa. The Bruins have been rather scattered over the last few weeks, dropping as many games as they have been able to win, going 4-5-1 in their last 10 and the injuries are a huge part of that problem. The Bruins have some buffer space to give up, so there shouldn't be too much of a rush to get Bergeron on the ice, rather than getting healthy.
You don't really ever hear about pneumonia very much in the NHL, but Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera has been downgraded in his status from ill to actually having pneumonia. He will be listed as being out indefinitely now, since there doesn't seem to be a general guideline for the illness. The last player listed on the blog to have come down with pneumonia was Tomas Fleischmann, back in early 2009 with the Capitals. In 58 games this season, Sekera has 3 goals and 10 assists, making him a fairly valuable commodity in the Sabres line-up, which is now lost in the middle of a good playoff chase.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
The regular season is shrinking rapidly and the playoff races are heating up with little time for error. In the Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader, we'll have one major playoff impact game and in the other... well, not so much. This week's preview will highlight players in the money race, the best player in the game that could help his team earn some money.
In the first game of the night, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who go into the week in 12th in the East, 8 points out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture and they will go up against the Ottawa Senators, who currently sit in 7th and have no plans to help their provincial counterparts out any time soon. Desperation will be the name of the game, especially since the Leafs were in such a good position earlier in the season, but it has since faded away. It's time for another nod to Phil Kessel, who is 2nd in this game in pool scoring and belongs to Wayne H., who is currently hanging on to the 4th spot in the standings. Kessel's numbers have dropped a little, but he still ranks 10th in overall scoring with 71 points in 69 games.
In the late game, there really is no playoff importance to this game, unless you were to consider the Vancouver Canucks are really in need of being 1st overall in the Western Conference, but otherwise, there really isn't too much to this game. The Canucks will play host to the Blue Jackets, who are in line for the 1st overall pick in this Summer's Entry Draft, but have played fairly well since the trade deadline. The first money player in this game is Alexander Edler of the Canucks, who is still having a pretty good season, ranking 123rd overall in pool scoring, 4th among all defensemen in scoring, helping the cause of Stuart G. in the draft, who currently sits in 3rd place.