The long weekend edition of the Newsletter is running a little bit late, but we'll stop to remember on Remembrance Day.
As I'm writing the newsletter, the Boston Bruins are playing host to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the only game on the holiday Monday, so the score on the standings wouldn't update with the game, but that really won't matter when you get to reading the newsletter this week.
The Lead Grows
It's now been four weeks and no one has been able to unseat Kristy & Don from the lead in the standings. They have been without one of their goalies for the last few weeks, yet still, their team continues to motor along. The lead through Week Six is now up to 4 points, which still isn't a big lead, but the team now in 2nd place has changed, as it's now Allan S., instead of Chris M..
With Allan moving up to 2nd place, you can see him just moving along, as his team jumped into the pool lead in goals scored in Week Six, overtaking the Week One (and on) leader, Brenda F., after a 14-goal week. Allan now sits with 62 goals scored on his team, compared to Brenda's 58 and in 3rd place, Cindy's team has 50. Just for some perspective, Wes M.'s team is last in the column with 24 goals, followed by Doug K. with 27.
The Race for Josh Harding
We now embark on the big week before the Waiver Draft, where the standings after Week Seven will dictate the picking order for the substitution lottery, which will go during Week Eight. The list of available players will be updated periodically during this week and after every pick during Week Eight, so start your studying now.
Back to the race... well, it appears to be Doug's to lose. Doug's team has fallen even further behind and he'll need the substitutions to take place sooner than the two weeks from now, but unfortunately, that won't be the case. Stuart G. has a cushion between himself and Doug and then another one between himself and Mike S.. John S., who spent some time in the basement, had a great week and moved up in the standings, lessening his draft pick status, the more he moves up.
There are still quite a few injuries hitting the board, but we have had a good number of players return from injury this week, but it does seem to have evened out more than anything. The pool is still averaging less than 17 skater games played per NHL game and the pool dipped below 90 goalie minutes collected (88.0), so the overall scoring is not going to go up. This will be the thing we will see go back up, once the Waiver Draft concludes.
With the games and minutes not getting any better, the scoring remained the same from Week Five to Week Six, collecting 10.9 points per NHL game in each week.
I think one of the more interesting statistics is comparing the scoring from this season to the shortened season last year, where we had 17 teams in the pool, on the average week in 2013, the pool collected 9.5 points per NHL game. Even with more players taken, the greater chance for points by both skaters and goalies, we're not seeing many more points collected, as I would have expected.
It would have been fair to say, not long ago, that it was really questionable about Martin Brodeur coming back to play another season. After Week Six, it doesn't seem so questionable, as the veteran backstop worked his way back into a familiar position again... into the Player of the Week honour in the hockey pool.
Brodeur only played in two games in Week Six, but earned shutouts in both of those games, which was enough (8 points) to take home the honour.
On Thursday, Brodeur made 22 stops in a 3-0 win over the lowly Philadelphia Flyers and then on Saturday, he made 15 saves in a 5-0 win over Nashville. The low number of saves, plus a couple of shutouts is very reminiscent of the good ol' days, when the trap was prevalent in the Devils' game.
With the 8 points in the bank, this brings Brodeur's total up to 12 points, which is currently good enough for 118th in pool scoring after Week Six. This actually makes Brodeur into a bargain pick this year, as John S. took the veteran keeper in the 7th round, 152nd overall.
Now a tale about a team that has gone from worst to first in the weekly scoring totals, as Stacey C. liked being in the newsletter so much last week, that he thought he would be in it two weeks in a row, but the second time would be a bit more positive.
Stacey's team was mired in that awful tie for the Basement Dweller in Week Five, thanks to a blip in the schedule, where he didn't have many skater games played, nor did he have many minutes played from his goalies, but it all turned around when his team was 2nd in games played and 1st in minutes played, picking up 33 points in Week Six to take the honour.
Stacey's team saw big contributions from Jordan Eberle (5 points), Devin Setoguchi, Grant Clitsome & Braden Holtby (4) and four more players with 3 points each. Only three out of 14 players were held off the scoresheet for Stacey this week and he will go into Week Seven with a completely healthy line-up, by the look of things.
In the standings, Stacey finished the week in 9th place, which isn't quite his peak on the season (finished 8th in Week Four), but if his team can stay healthy and play at this high level, he'll be among the conversation for low draft picks in Week Eight and prizes at the end of the season.
Statistically speaking, Stacey's team ranks 15th points per skater game (0.553) and 20th in points per 60 goalie minutes played (0.917), which are not positive rankings, but he ranks 3rd in skater games played (206) and 4th in minutes played (1,440), which is keeping him afloat in the standings.
This is now the sixth newsletter published this season and this is now the sixth time Benson's name has come up in three main headers. This week will be his third time in the Basement, he has one Mover and Shaker and he has a couple Player of the Week nods to his name. Only Week Five didn't see his name pop up under the three headers, so he's really hogging some of the limelight... good and bad.
Yes, this is the third time Benson has been in the Basement, yet he sits in 18th place in the pool standings, still 22 points better than Doug, who sits in last place. Sure, those Player of the Week nods helped, but still.
Only half of Benson's team picked up any points in Week Six, with Drew Stafford and Brent Seabrook leading the way with 3 points each. Benson still has one donut left on his team, Gustav Nyquist, who still hasn't been called up by the Red Wings yet this year and he has one major injury, Cam Ward, who is close to returning in Carolina.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Anaheim Ducks held Ryan Getzlaf out of Sunday night's contest against the Vancouver Canucks, due to an upper-body injury, which he suffered late in the week. The team was saying that Getzlaf suffered the injury on Friday, but he was still able to play on Saturday (scoring a hat-trick), but did not feel well enough to go on Sunday night. There is plenty of heads being scratched on this one, but he is considered day-to-day for right now. Any news on this one will likely be added to the notes later on this week.
The Carolina Hurricanes again offered some injury updates on a couple of key players on Monday morning. Forward Jeff Skinner doesn't appear to be getting any better any quicker, as his expected date has been pushed another week, as he is still a couple of weeks away. Anton Khudobin is about a week away from coming back from his injury and Cam Ward has been on the ice, practicing with the team, so he should be getting close as well. There were no concrete dates given for returns, just vague ideas of when they are expected back.
Well, he hasn't quite returned to the line-up yet, but goaltender Craig Anderson will be back in the net for the Senators this week, as he is coming back from a stiff neck, which he suffered a week ago. The Senators were very cautious with their number one goalie, having him return to the bench on the weekend in a back-up role, but it now sounds like all systems are go and he should be back to regular activity on Tuesday.
Link to the Injury/News Page
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
There are going to be no early games on Saturday this weekend, period. So, that will mean another doubleheader on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and I'm not sure if this is going to be one of the better weekend showcases or not. The early game will have the lowly Buffalo Sabres in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs, while the Battle of Alberta will commence for the first time on Saturday night this weekend, taking place at the Saddledome in Calgary.
Much like this past weekend, Hockey Night In Canada will have four teams that has 49 pool picks between them. Currently, five of those players are on the Injured Reserve, two are in the minors, we have three (maybe four) back-up goaltenders and one has been a healthy scratch since his return to the NHL. These four teams have been picked apart in the early part of this season, which means pool points may be at a premium.
In celebration of the Waiver Draft order being determined, the Race for Josh Harding will be highlighted, as the bottom five teams in the pool will have a combined 15 picks (out of the 49) and the bottom two teams, Doug and Stuart, could each use Harding really badly.