Monday, October 20, 2014

Week Two Newsletter

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Trophy Talk

So, if you missed the prize post, you probably missed the announcement that we have three bobbleheads up for grabs, including the top prize, which is still unnamed.  The top prize, which will mean your name on the trophy and $500 cash is a simple race to the top of the pile in 27 weeks.  After Week Two, we have the same team leading the pool as Week One, which we'll explore a little bit more further down the Newsletter.

Kristy & Don opened up a 14-point lead in the week to have an early leg up on the trophy, but the season is long and as we saw last season, large leads evaporated quickly.  Grant S. also had a pretty good week, as did Wes and Tony, so I don't think the original pool duo will get too far, too quickly... well, unless they remain on fire.

In last place, the race is heating up for the Olli bobblehead... or should I say cooling down?  Benson now has a 5-point cushion on the Olli race, although Brenda & Seward, Stacey C. and Ryan all have the trophy in their rear view, in plain sight.

Finally, the skater games... injuries, scratches, time away in the minors, they all count towards the Jordan Staal bobblehead, as we'll give him to the team that has suffered the most.  In Week Two, the average number of skater games played between the 23 teams was a shade under 33 games per team and our new trailer in the statistical department is Stacey C., who only saw 26 games for his team, dropping down to 48 games played in total.  The pool average right now is 59.

Statistically Speaking

The Week One scoring numbers were likely an over-excited example of everyone anxious to get back to work, as the Week Two numbers did go down, 1.5 points per NHL game, which meant there wasn't quite as many points out there, as there was the week before.

The pool saw small declines in games played and minutes collected from our players in the pool, thanks in part to injuries, mostly.  The injury list isn't too long yet, but it did grow in the week, so that means our numbers are due to take a hit.

Week Two saw 44 NHL games played and 512 points were collected in total.  Week Three is also due to see 44 NHL contests, so it will be interesting to see how the pool responds to a down week.

One of my projections in the preseason was that Frederik Andersen was going to be the marginal number one guy in Anaheim, but with a Player of the Week nod in Week Two, the split could be a little bit more substantial than once thought.  Andersen is preparing to take this team from being pretty darn good last season, to one of the more remarkable teams of the decade... you know, as first impressions go.

Andersen is off to a perfect 5-0-0 start in the regular season, which included four starts in Week Two, where he obviously won them all... one of them was with a goose egg, giving him 10 points on the week and the crown as the best player.

A 5-1 win over the Sabres on Monday, 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers on Tuesday, a 2-1 win over the Wild on Friday and he capped it off with a 3-0 win against the Blues on Sunday.  There was just no room for John Gibson, who spent the weekend in the minors.

It should come as no surprise down below, Andersen belongs to our Mover & Shaker team, which still holds the lead in the standings, Kristy & Don.  Andersen was their 3rd round pick, so everyone had at least a couple of shots for the leader in pool scoring through two weeks.

PhotobucketBack-to-back Mover & Shaker Awards to start the season is unheard of in the draft pool. Since the 2008 season, no team has gone back-to-back to start the season out front, so with that being said... Kristy & Don are now well on their way to working a wire-to-wire win in the pool, breaking the curse and getting their name on the trophy for the first time.

At what point is it not too early anymore?  Yeah, Week Two is still too early to say, but it is a remarkable feat.

They have opened up a 14-point lead on the pool, thanks in large part to Frederik Andersen, our Player of the Week, who had 10 points, as well as Mikkel Boedker of the Coyotes, Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals and Pekka Rinne of the Predators, who each had 4 points.

Remarkably, our Mover & Shaker team has averaged a point per appearance in the first two weeks from their entire team.  67 points in 67 appearances, between their skaters and goaltending, which is incredible.  They are among the leaders in almost every important offensive category to start the season, so you begin to wonder when the wheels are going to fall off, if they will at all.

PhotobucketIt was a really rough week for Stacey C., who has been dealing with a couple of injury problems and some poor luck with the schedule as well.

Stacey is currently dealing with Dany Heatley of the Ducks being on the IR since the preseason and Viktor Fasth of the Oilers pulling up lame in his second appearance of the year, which haven't helped his side much. In total, his team only saw 26 skater games in the week and 84 minutes from the crease, which works out to be just over four periods, so it wasn't a great week there.

When it was all said and done, Stacey finished with 8 points on the week, which dropped him from 5th in the standings to 21st, a drop that can generally only happen this early in the season.

Things should start picking up for Stacey, as his team has 40 projected games in Week Three, so this should just be a blip... in theory.


This just in on Monday morning... Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been suspended indefinitely for a domestic violence, pending the investigation.  With the professional sports climate coming down on domestic violence, thanks to the NFL, this will be a touchy issue with a from a few standpoints, but this is something that the NHL appears to be taking seriously, so we'll see how it pans out.

This isn't the thing you would normally look for in an NHL season or something to take into account when sorting out your projections for your hockey pool draft.  Dale C. will miss out on some games from his blueline now, where he has already seen 2 points in six games from Voynov this year.  This is not good news at all.

It sounds like New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was smarting pretty good after blocking more shots on Sunday night against the Sharks.  Girardi had to get his leg stitched up after one such shot blocking incident and that pretty much ended his night early, as he didn't return to the game after his repair job.  The coaching staff said he was day-to-day and you know a warrior, like Girardi, won't be out very long.

This shouldn't be much of an issue for Ryan in the pool in the coming week, but it is worth mentioning, since Girardi did leave the game.  Ryan had a bounce back week from his early season Basement Dweller, so now he begins the long climb up the standings page.

The news isn't very good for the St. Louis Blues and their top free agent pick-up in the off-season, Paul Stastny, as the upper-body injury that he suffered was to his shoulder, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and it will keep the star forward out on a week-to-week basis.

This is pretty rough news for Wes, who never ceases to have injury trouble in this pool.  Wes is off to a good start this season, sitting in 3rd place after Week Two, only 16 points out of 1st place and 2 points out of 2nd place.  Things would certainly be much better with Stastny healthy, for sure.

The demotion for Jonathan Drouin didn't last more than the weekend, as his stay with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL was a fruitful one, getting on the scoreboard and playing a significant role with the club for a couple of games. The Lightning had two weeks to use for Drouin in the minors, but obviously, they have felt that he can make a significant impact with the club right away.

Great news for Dale C., who has only missed a handful of games from Drouin, and now his top prospect can get to work, helping him towards the money.  Dale will start Week Three in 7th place, 20 points out of 1st place.

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