I have prizes! There are prizes to be had! Rejoice!
Unfortunately for some, I only managed to get one type of jersey, but on the plus side, I got four of them. They are all Toronto Maple Leafs Winter Classic jerseys, two are Phil Kessel jerseys, there is a Nazem Kadri jersey and a James Reimer jersey as well. They are not exactly perfect jerseys, likely why I got a good deal on them, but they do look pretty good, regardless.
How will these be broken down? Well, it's pretty easy. The money is the money for 1st through 3rd place, but we'll add a jersey for 4th place. That's exciting, right? We will also have races for each broken down segment, so after Week Eight, we'll hand out our first jersey. Then the most points between (and including) Week Nine and Week Sixteen will get a jersey of their own and then the same thing will happen for the last ten weeks of the season.
So far, the jersey prizes haven't really been overlapped over time, so we'll hope for the same thing this season. Each segment will also have Waiver Drafts to help the lower teams out and hopefully get them in the races for prizes, if they are out of the money by those times.
We Have a New Leader
Three weeks, three weekly leaders in the hockey pool, thus far.Week One saw Brenda atop the standings, Week Two had Grant looking down upon us all and this week, it is Kristy & Don, who have taken the throne for the time being.
The only difference between Brenda and Grant in Week Three is that Grant is the only previous leader still in the money in Week Three, as Brenda has dropped down to 7th place. Brenda is still in the race for some prizing, early on in the year, as her team now only sits 5 points out of 4th place and the final jersey prize.
The lead after Week Three sits at 6 points between Kristy & Don and Grant, which is only 1 point less than what Grant had on the duo after Week Two. There is still lots of movement to be had in the standings, especially with 26 weeks still left in the regular season.
After Week Three, we have Kristy & Don (2nd in Week Two), Grant (1st), Chris (4th) and Clayton (6th). Clayton is the new name to the prizing from the week before and Brenda, as mentioned before, dropped down to 7th, as her team was 3rd in Week Two.
Injuries Up, Scoring Down
Although we saw more NHL games in Week Three, we didn't see scoring get any better for us in the hockey pool. We had some injuries pile up in the week, which hurt our overall numbers and we also had some goalies fall out of favour with their teams a little as well.
There were 47 NHL games played in Week Three, compared to 44 in Week Two, and the pool collected 800 skater games and 4,986 minutes (83.1 games) in the crease, compared to 764 and 4,652 the week before. This meant that the averages were down to 17.0 games collected per NHL game played and 106.1 minutes taken in each game, which is less than two full games from the goalies.
With that being said, the pool only collected 11.6 points per NHL game (544 total points) in Week Three, while Week Two garnered 12.5 points per game (548) and Week One was 12.8 (434).
Week Four will only have 45 NHL games on the schedule, so hopefully the pool gets some bodies back from injury and we can start picking up a lot more points.
Well, I'm sure you have all seen it from over the weekend, as Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes scored a goal near the end of the game against the Red Wings. I have modified the team pages a little, as what used to be the assist column for goalies will now count as offensive points (OFF) for the goalies, which includes Smith's goal for Wes' team. They only count as 1 point, as awesome as they are, but on the plus side, they count right away.
There is a wee part of me that isn't quite surprised that we have back-to-back Player of the Week nods, I mean, Sidney Crosby is scoring at an unreasonable pace at the moment. Through three weeks and eight games, Crosby is already scoring at over 2 points per game and is showing no signs of letting up. I suppose this is why he was taken number one overall in the draft, right?
Yes, it was another marvelous week for Crosby, who only played in three games in Week Three, but continued his early season scoring streak, like it is nobody's business. This week, he scored 2 goals and added 6 assists for an 8-point week, bettering his total from the week before by 1 point.
On Tuesday, Crosby picked up 3 assists against the Oilers in a 3-2 win, then picked up a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the Flyers and then finished off the week with a goal and 2 assists in a 4-3 shootout win over the Canucks.
Crosby finishes only a point above a couple of goalies in pool scoring this season, so the race is far from over in the pool scoring race, but Crosby should be the guy that keeps this pace going.
Week Three was the first week that the Mover & Shaker didn't take over the lead in the pool, as Benson G. climbed up from 20th place in the standings, all the way up to 8th place, 6 points out of 4th place.
Week One did have the Player of the Week and Mover & Shaker relate to one another, Week Two wasn't quite the same, but we reverted back in Week Three. Sidney Crosby was again the Player of the Week and he was the biggest reason why Benson took the top team honour of the week. Crosby finished with 8 points in Week Three, leading the way, closely followed by Joe Pavelski, who had 6 points. Pascal Dupuis and Cam Ward each finished with 5 points a piece, while Anze Kopitar put up a 3-spot.
Benson's team currently ranks 3rd in points per skater game, picking up 0.69 points per skater game, but is only among the average in games collected at 90. If he was among the healthier or active teams, he would be in the mix for the money about now. He has seen some above-average minutes played from his goaltending, but they have not been able to produce much for wins, but Ward picking up 5 points in the week was a huge lift to the honour as well.
Benson is only waiting on one player to get called up from the minors and pick up a point, as Gustav Nyquist is now his only player with a donut on the season. Nyquist is also keeping Benson's team away from 40 games this week from his team, currently sitting at 37 projected games for his line-up.
Can Crosby keep up his pace and lift Benny up into the money in Week Four?
It was nearly a back-to-back performance in the Basement Dweller column, but the race was won (or lost) by Doug K. in Week Three, as his team only managed to pull 12 points in the week, scored only 1 goal and dropped down from 11th place down to 21st.
Doug got off to a pretty good start, despite a couple of holes in his line-up, but his team hit a bit of a rut in Week Three and some guys just couldn't quite keep up the pace. Jonathan Huberdeau, Jeff Petry, Patrick Wiercioch and Jaroslav Halak were his best players at 2 points a piece, accounting for 67% of his output in the week.
There are three donuts still on Doug's team, as Alex Goligoski has been held to nothing in Dallas, while still playing regularly, but Sam Gagner has yet to take the ice for the Oilers, thanks to a broken jaw and Jonathan Drouin was sent back to juniors from the Lightning, in somewhat of a surprise move. In Drouin's case, he'll have to be moved in the first waiver draft in five weeks time, but Gagner should be back in a week or two, now that he's on the ice with a cage on. Goligoski just needs to get his shit together and get on the scoresheet now.
Here's hoping Doug finds a bit more scoring from the rest of his line-up in Week Four.
NEWS AND NOTES
An injury update for Mike Cammalleri of the Flames... he has rejoined the team in California, as he draws closer to coming off the Injured Reserve after a hand injury. Cammalleri has yet to suit up for the Flames this season, which has been somewhat of a disappointment for Leo in the pool, who was expecting to have him earlier on in the season. There is no confirmed timetable for Cammalleri's actual return, but now that he is skating and practicing with the team, he should be any day/game now.
The Flyers are now expecting to have Vincent Lecavalier back in their line-up by Thursday night, as Philadelphia plays host to the New York Rangers. Lecavalier belongs to John, who occupies last place in the pool and he is in need of a huge lift, before the rest of the pool pulls too far away. Lecavalier is already late coming back from a lower-body injury, which was believed to only keep him out a week, which was scheduled to be a Friday night return last week, but an extra week to get 100% could be a good lift as well.
There is also an update for James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the club has said that they do not expect to have Neal back in their line-up for at least another couple of weeks. Neal has been out of the line-up since opening night, dealing with an upper-body injury and Dale C. has been without his 2nd round pick for way too long.
The Penguins also updated Kristopher Letang's injury status and things are looking better there. Letang is back on the ice with the team at practice, so he shouldn't be too far away. The Penguins haven't given a concrete date for his return here yet, but he is drawing closer and closer. Stuart could use a huge boost to his line-up and Letang would be just that.
The Sharks announced on Monday morning that they will be without defenseman turned forward, Brent Burns, tonight for their game against the Red Wings, after taking a puck in the mouth on Saturday night against the Flames. Burns is expected back for their game against the Bruins, but it will be a night off for the power forward. Burns has been a pretty good player for Wilton in the draft, who had 30 points in Week Three, lifting him up to 11th place in the standings.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
There are a couple of good showcase games for the hockey pool this weekend on Hockey Night In Canada, as we'll have a whole bunch of the league's top pool scorers playing in a regular doubleheader on CBC. The Pittsburgh Penguins will take their act to Toronto and take on the high octane Maple Leafs, while the Washington Capitals head West to the Pacific Division and take on the Calgary Flames. Both games have some real potential, so let's see what that potential looks like.
In the early game, it should be a fun game to watch, as the top scorer in the hockey pool draft through three weeks, Sidney Crosby, will lead his club in against Jonathan Bernier and the Leafs. There are nine players in this game who are in the top 50 pool scorers through three weeks, including the two already mentioned and they are all taken in the draft by some of these teams. In total, there are 28 players taken between these two teams, although only five are not currently active (minors or injury) and there is a back-up goalie, as well, so we're only projected to see 22 players in this game.
The late game will have its own set of a feature players, as Alex Ovechkin, a previous Player of the Week nod, will go in to take on Jiri Hudler, who leads his team in scoring through three weeks. The Capitals and Flames do not play all that often, but as both teams are going at the moment, this should be a wild affair, with plenty of skating and scoring. To compare against the early game, this one only features four players in the top 50 pool scorers, but I don't think that'll take away from the game's excitement. 24 players were taken in the draft from this game, one is in the minors, one is coming back from injury (may be back in time) and a couple extra goalies were taken, so it may only be 20 players active in this one.
Two good games coming up, will your team get their fill of points?