Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Winter Classic Preview

Now that tonight's games are over, let us look forward to tomorrow's outdoor clash, as the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins go head-to-head at Foxboro Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

This one really has the makings of a great game, in terms of the match-up, the importance of the game and just how many pool players are involved this year.  Of course, having 27 pool teams this season certainly helps the cause, doesn't it?

The Canadiens are struggling through some major injuries, especially to their number one goalie, which has seen them fall from a big lead they had in the Atlantic Division and now see themselves right in the thick of the race for the division lead, sitting just behind the Florida Panthers.  The Bruins, they are right behind those two and could find themselves in the lead, with any kind win over the Canadiens.

Let's have a look at the players chosen in the pool, shall we?

Montreal Boston
Mike Condon John R. Tuukka Rask Dale C.
Carey Price John S. Jonas Gustavsson Stacey C.
--- ---
Max Pacioretty Dale C. Patrice Bergeron Neil
Tomas Plekanec Jeremy David Krejci Dale B.
Alex Galchenyuk Dale C. Loui Eriksson Cindy
Dale Weise Stacey M. Brad Marchand Brian
Brendan Gallagher Derek & Dan Ryan Spooner John S.
David Desharnais Benson Matt Beleskey Brenda & Seward
Tomas Fleischmann Kristy & Don Jimmy Hayes Jeremy
Lars Eller Stacey M. Brett Connolly Mike
Torrey Mitchell Derek W.
--- ---
P.K. Subban Dale B. Zdeno Chara Brenda & Seward
Andrei Markov Neil Torey Krug Tony
Jeff Petry Stacey M. Colin Miller Eric
Nathan Beaulieu Cindy Dennis Seidenberg John S.

Players in red are injured, players in orange are suspended, players in blue are in the minors.

Dale C. and Stacey M lead the number of active players listed in this game, both teams having three players to hit the ice tomorrow.  Dale's team includes the projected starting goalie for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask.  It's unfortunate that the other two of his players are on the other bench, but that's the way it goes.  No one drafts for the Winter Classic.

What we do know for sure is that Brad Marchand won't be in uniform for this game, as his 3-game suspension kicks in tomorrow and what a poor time for that to happen.  This will strike one of Brian's players from the lineup, which maybe has more play in the PIM pool than the overall standings.  Also having some play in the PIM pool, was the announcement that Brendan Gallagher will be dressed for the Habs, returning from his broken hand.  Great news for Derek & Dan.

The money teams, heading into this game, have some presence or maybe it would be better to say, that only some of the money teams have a presence.

Brenda & Seward have a couple of key Bruins in the mix, which will keep it interesting for them.  Matt Beleskey hasn't quite been the force he was acquired to be, but Zdeno Chara keeps pounding away.

Jeremy has a player on either side, Tomas Plekanec of the Habs or Jimmy Hayes of the Bruins, both have some offensive upside in this game.

John P. is noticeably absent, likely because of his love for the Maple Leafs.

Neil, who has climbed up, back into the conversation, also has a couple players going on Friday afternoon, one on each side, Andrei Markov for the Habs and Patrice Bergeron for the Bruins.  Can he make the jump back in before the end of the week?

Goalie Announcements (Dec 31)

John P. was skunked again on Wednesday night and on a busy New Year's Eve, the only team that would possibly offer up a start for him is going with their other goalie.

The team in question, the Buffalo Sabres, they're hosting the New York Islanders and it will be a match-up between Linus Ullmark (Stacey C.) and Thomas Greiss (Eric) to finish off the calendar year for each side.

Brenda & Seward, our pool leaders, will have both of their goalies going tonight... head-to-head.  In Calgary, it will be Jonathan Quick against Karri Ramo in this one, so they should be almost guaranteed 2 points from that game.

It doesn't look like Jeremy will get any starts tonight, as Washington will likely go with Philipp Grubauer (non-pool) against Jeremy's ex-goalie, Eddie Lack (Wes) in Carolina.  The Panthers don't go tonight, so no start from Al Montoya.

That already rounds out the top three teams in the standings, so what's left?  No more teams have two goalies going tonight, so that's not really a story line.  Looks like it is business as usual in most rinks tonight.

Race to the Sin Bin (Dec 31)

In all likelihood, Wes will be finishing the calendar year with the most PIM in the mini-game and it looks like his team will have some chances to pad their lead, which goes into New Year's Eve with only 28 minutes between his team and Dale B.'s.

Wes' hired gun at the Waiver Draft, Cody McLeod, will go for the Avalanche against the Blackhawks tonight and then he'll have some support from Evgeni Malkin, who ranks as his 2nd-gooniest player of the night.

Dale B.'s team will also have a hired gun going, as Antoine Roussel and the Stars will play host to the Predators, who have a couple more of Wes' goons on it.

Now in 3rd place, Derek & Dan are having a very good week in this competition, leading the pool with 28 minutes in Week Thirteen, they'll have Justin Abdelkader going for the Red Wings against the Penguins and Shane Doan going for the Coyotes in the late game against the Jets.  Nothing that really says, gooning it up!

Brian and Dale C. are now starting to tail off a bit and neither team have players in the 40+ minute range of goons, so there are no real expectations for movement for those sides.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 31)

Ahead of the Winter Classic on Friday, the Boston Bruins looked to add some flexibility to their roster, by sending defenseman Colin Miller down to the AHL for the game and they decided to call up a forward, Alex Khokhlachev, to give some depth up front.  There's no indication about how long this demotion will last for Miller, but it's got to be a disappointment.

This removes a pool defender from the game, which we'll outline later on tonight.  Eric loses a body from the big game on Friday, not that there is any money in it or anything, but it's something.

It has been confirmed, the Montreal Canadiens will have Brendan Gallagher for the Winter Classic, as he has been given 100% clearance on Thursday, so he will dress after missing 17 games with a broken hand.  This will be a huge boost to the Habs, who have been reeling with injuries in the last month or so.

Derek & Dan's team has declared themselves as PIM pool contenders and this is like getting a new Waiver Draft pick becoming active for their sake in this mini game.  They are still 42 minutes back of Wes, heading into New Year's Eve, but this will be a good long run addition.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Injury Prone Hemsky Injured

Right around when the NHL schedule kicked into gear on Wednesday night, it was announced that the Dallas Stars had placed oft-injured forward Ales Hemsky on the Injured Reserve, due to a lower-body injury suffered on Tuesday night against Columbus. Hemsky blocked a Fedor Tyutin slap shot around his foot and was forced from the game prematurely.

The placement on the IR will be retroactive to the 29th, which means he'll be eligible to come off Tuesday, January 5th, when the Stars are in the Big Apple to take on the Rangers.  Whether or not he'll be able to come off the IR is another matter altogether.

Hemsky was a Waiver Draft pick-up of Stuart's, which hasn't quite paid off nearly as well as he would have hoped.  In 11 games since activation, the veteran Czech forward has only picked up 2 assists and really wasn't scoring a great deal beforehand either.

Stuart is still hovering around the money area, still a big week away from jumping up amongst the money teams, but he's in the second group, which reaches from 4th to 7th, not a bad place to start the New Year.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 30)

What was initially thought as an injury, it was actually a healthy scratch for Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Moulson, missing out on Wednesday's loss to the Capitals for performance reasons.  Ironic, no?  Moulson hasn't registered a point since December 10th in Calgary and his ice-time had diminished over the last few games, leading up to the trip to the press box.  In total, Moulson has 4 goals and 12 points in 36 games, with only 6 PIM to his credit as well.

Moulson is around on Dale B.'s for his scoring prowess, so no points for nearly a month is a big deal.  Sure, Dale is also in the PIM pool race, which he could always use another trip to the box from someone on his side, but that doesn't appear to be Moulson's forte either.  He could easily be dropped in the next Waiver Draft.  What a bum!

It was a surprise start for Jonathan Bernier on Wednesday night for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they were expecting to go with James Reimer instead. Well, Reimer, who came in relief of Bernier in the last game, experienced some lower-body tightness after the game and it continued through to Wednesday night and he was unable to go. This left the team scrambling, putting Garret Sparks on the IR with his lower-body injury and making an emergency recall of Antoine Bibeau to sit on the bench. On the plus side for the Leafs, they managed a shootout win over the Penguins and all was well in the world.

How does this shake out in the pool world?  Cindy got a surprise start and a win last night, while John S. saw his goalie go back on the shelf and missed out on a start, which he so desperately needs.  Ryan saw his goalie go on the IR, removing his projected games from his totals and a non-pool goalie played back-up.  How's that?

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marchand Disciplined Away From the Winter Classic

The nastiness that completed Tuesday night's game between Boston and Ottawa has cost the Bruins one of their best and feistiest players, as the Department of Player Safety has handed forward Brad Marchand a 3-game suspension for his low bridge on Senators defender Mark Borowiecki.

The details of the suspension are below in the video that is released by the NHL and it will go over the reasoning and some more details.

What does this suspension mean? Well, Brian loses a key forward in both the overall standings and in the PIM pool, going into a game that means quite a bit to both his team and the team he's playing against, a perfect game for his set of skills.

This season, Marchand has already racked up 15 goals and 26 points in 34 games with the Bruins this year, which ranks him 72nd overall in pool scoring, with play already underway on Wednesday night.  That would equate to a 3rd round pick in the draft this year, according to our structure and he was taken with a 10th round selection, making him into a big bargain pick.

His 56 minutes in penalties also has him ranked tied for 13th in the category and he's Brian's leader in the mini-game, where his team ranks 4th, going into Wednesday night's action.  A big loss in both competitions.

Marchand is eligible to return on Saturday, January 9th, in Ottawa, for the retribution game.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Goalie Announcements (Dec 30)

And now, we wait on John P.!

Allan secured his ticket to next week with the win from Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets.  He's safe... for now!

Now, we have five games on the go, this Wednesday night, and we do have some survivor pool excitement... or so I am led to believe.

Game #2 on the schedule tonight will see the Buffalo Sabres in to Washington to take on the Capitals.  Jeremy's Braden Holtby could win tonight's game and delay the possibility of John P. earning his ticket to Week Thirteen, as Chad Johnson is penciled in to start for the Sabres tonight.  Jeremy's side has already clinched their spot, so all they can do is play spoiler.

In other key starts today, James Reimer (John S.) will make his first start in quite some time, as the Maple Leafs visit the Penguins.  Pittsburgh will again go with a non-pool goalie in Matthew Murray, who already has a couple wins to his credit in Marc-Andre Fleury's (John R.) absence.  John S. has not seen much from his goalies in quite some time, so this will be a refreshing change for his side, which has dropped significantly in the last few weeks.

We'll also see Cory Schneider (Troy) and the Devils in Ottawa to take on Andrew Hammond (Dropped), Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers in Tampa Bay to take on Ben Bishop (Allan) and it should be Michal Neuvirth (Neil) going for the Flyers against Martin Jones (Scott) and the Sharks.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 30)

The Philadelphia Flyers won't be the only team with a huge return to the lineup tonight, as their opponents, the San Jose Sharks, will also get a boost tonight, with the return of Logan Couture. Couture has been out since December 8th, as he was dealing with a traumatic bleed in his leg, another bump in the road in an injury-plagued season.  Couture has only played in five games this season, picking up a couple of assists.

This is a huge pick-up for Jeremy, who snuck in to get him during the 1st round of the Waiver Draft, but saw some bad luck with an injury, not long after his activation.  Jeremy goes into Wednesday night's action in 3rd place, down a tie-breaker for 2nd and 8 points back of 1st place.  This could work out to be a huge boost in the long run.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Race to the Sin Bin (Dec 30)

What a great night for PIM it was on Tuesday, as the pool took in all kinds of big minutes from some altercations and hulla-baloo's through the schedule. Through 16 NHL games this week, the pool is averaging 12.9 minutes in penalties, a minor penalty more per game better than our best week, so far this season.

Let's hope the trend continues!

There's nothing that says loving like a couple of combatants that were picked in the Waiver Draft, especially for this pool mini-game.  It's New Jersey and Ottawa tonight and that means it will be Jordin Tootoo (Wes) versus Chris Neil (Derek & Dan) and this could be a good one.  Will it be rough and tumble like Ottawa had in Boston last night?  Probably not.  But Neil did pick up 14 minutes, so maybe he's fired up for some more fun in the box.

Derek & Dan has made up 6 minutes on Wes already this week and I'm sure he could use a few more minutes, going through one of his own guys to get there.

5th place in the PIM pool, Dale C., he'll have one of his big guys going in Wayne Simmonds, as the Flyers are in San Jose to take on the Sharks.  The Sharks tough guy, Brent Burns, belongs to 2nd place, Dale B., who is now 22 minutes behind Wes for top spot.  I don't think Burns is the type of guy that will go buck wild, rather just chip in.

Let's not forget about 4th place, Brian... his top goon of the night is also in the Ottawa/New Jersey game, as he has Devils defenseman Adam Larsson, who has been good for 44 PIM to date.  Not exactly a goon, but he has been contributing when he can this year.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 30)

With the Blue Jackets now 11 points back of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, dead last in the conference, I may add, they will get their number one goalie back in the lineup on Saturday, as they have activated Sergei Bobrovsky from the Injured Reserve on Wednesday, sending Joonas Korpisalo back to the AHL at the same time.  Bobrovsky has been out since the second week of December with a groin injury and his expected recovery time was three weeks, so he's pretty much on time.

This will now give Troy two healthy goalies once again, which couldn't come soon enough, as his side is currently flirting with the Basement Dweller nod this week, having only 2 points through two nights.  When Bob left Troy's lineup, the pool team was in 6th place, 9 points out of the money and when he comes back, Troy is in 7th, 17 points out of the money.  To be fair, the week after Bobrovsky was hurt, Troy went up to 3rd place without him, but it has been a recent drop that has seen Troy's team struggle.

Another big return is on the horizon, as the Philadelphia Flyers have activated defenseman Mark Streit from the IR on Wednesday morning/afternoon.  Streit has been out since the middle of November with a pubic plate detachment and it was thought to keep the defender out for upwards of six weeks and that's pretty much what we've seen, give or take a week.  In order to do that, the Flyers went ahead and buried Sam Gagner in the minors, who cleared waivers today to make the moves possible.

Mike had the option of dropping Streit at the Waiver Draft, but opted to keep him on, missing out on a few more weeks and now he's going to hope that the returns are good enough, that he wasn't going to get that from anyone he picked up.  When Streit left the lineup, Mike's team was in 19th, but his team has since dropped to 24th, but I wouldn't put that all on Streit's absence.

On Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars lost the services of forward Ales Hemsky, who left the game against the Blue Jackets with a lower-body injury.  There hasn't been a lot made of his injury status, thus far, but we should see something fairly soon.  The oft-injured forward hasn't missed much time yet this year, only being scratched for one game this season.  He'll be day-to-day with a lower-body injury, unless otherwise noted.

Stuart took a risk on Hemsky at the Waiver Draft and hasn't seen much for returns from this pick-up, as he has only seen 2 assists in 11 games played, since activation.  The Stars have three more games to play this week and Stuart's team is on the verge of making some noise, moving up to 4th place, but still 14 points out of the money.

Details are yet to emerge on why Zach Parise wasn't at Wild practice on Wednesday morning, but the early speculation is not very positive.  What we do know thus far is that Parise has already been ruled out of Thursday's game in St. Louis and any decision after that will be made when it is known whether or not he can practice on Friday.  There are some fears about whether or not this injury long-term, so we'll wait and see.

This has to be very concerning for Benson, whose team is mired in 23rd place, but not in any danger of being in the Basement Dweller this week.  Benson doesn't have any stock in the mini-games, as they are 120 minutes behind in the PIM pool, without a rookie and his goalies eliminated him off the hop.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Dec 29)

After the first night of action in Week Thirteen, we have one team through, as Jeremy's team is clear, thanks to a Braden Holtby shutout against the Sabres.  Allan didn't get his result from Ben Bishop, so we still have a couple of teams still left to qualify, with the better part of the week left.

We know that John P. will get his first quality shot at qualification for next week, as he'll see Craig Anderson climb back into the net for the Ottawa Senators, as they face Tuukka Rask (Dale C.) and the Boston Bruins, finishing off a home-and-home series.

It is expected, when the Winnipeg Jets host the Detroit Red Wings tonight, that Allan will get his shot at qualification today with a Connor Hellebuyck start, as he is to take on Jimmy Howard at the other side.

An interesting start tonight, as Ben Scrivens (Dropped), recently acquired from the Edmonton Oilers by the Montreal Canadiens, will make his debut for his new side and it appears he'll get the red hot Florida Panthers and Roberto Luongo (Kristy & Don).  Scrivens was dropped by Cindy in the Waiver Draft, because he was the third guy in Edmonton and it just wasn't working out for him this year.

Speaking of Cindy's goalies, the revitalized Jonathan Bernier is getting another start for the Maple Leafs, as he will get the assignment against Thomas Greiss (Eric) and the Islanders.

Dale C. will have both of his goalies going, as Kari Lehtonen will get another start after a shutout on the weekend.  Lehtonen and the Stars will visit Curtis McElhinney (non-pool) and the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, which has the makings of an easy game.

New leaders, Brenda & Seward, will have one of their goalies going for sure tonight, possibly a second, as Karri Ramo will get the call for the Flames, going up against John Gibson (Clayton) and the Ducks at the Saddledome.  Coming off a shutout last night, it would seem unlikely, that Jonathan Quick gets back-to-back starts, especially against an Edmonton side that may or may not show up.  Cam Talbot (Brian) will get the call for Edmonton, for sure.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 29)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that forward Jonathan Drouin has been activated off of the Injured Reserve and is now available to play, if given the green light by the coaching staff.  It did appear that he was activated for Monday night's game against the Canadiens, as he was on the scratch list, but it wasn't really announced.  Drouin has been out with a lower-body injury, which has been nagging him for a while this season.  If he doesn't dress, he will then be considered a healthy scratch.

This is good news for Allan, which suggests that his team is now completely healthy.  Now, his team can continue that push upwards in the standings.  Allan's team has seen some real improvement over the last few weeks, finishing Week Eleven in 18th and his team now sits in 13th to start Week Thirteen.

Obviously unhappy with his play of late, the Rangers coaching staff confirmed that forward Kevin Hayes will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday night, when they play the Lightning. Hayes has not been very productive, having only 1 assist, a -3 rating and 4 PIM in his last five games.  This is done to give the young pivot a good kick in the pants, see if he can get his game back on track.

Clayton could really use that, as his team sinks lower and lower in the standings.  Hayes was taken in the 8th round of the draft this year and is now ranked accordingly, at this point in the season.  He was off to a decent start, turning out to be a bargain pick and his game has fallen off since, hence the scratching.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Race to the Sin Bin (Dec 29)

If Wes' team is going to start defending its lead in the PIM pool, it will have to start soon.  One of his hired goons is slated to go tonight in Jordin Tootoo, as the Devils will go against the Hurricanes at home tonight.  He'll also have his main Predators going tonight as well, in both Mike Ribeiro and James Neal.

Wes is now seriously looking back at Dale B., who's team has really come on in this competition of late and Dale's main thugs will also be going here tonight too.  Scott Hartnell of the Blue Jackets will see the Dallas Stars, which incidentally has Antoine Roussel, another one of Dale's goons.  Dale could really clean up, if these two went toe-to-toe tonight.

Wes' lead is now down to 17 minutes, while the rest of the top five is 22 minutes behind Dale.  It's a two-horse race at the moment, but there are still lots of games left to play.

Brian has a good shot at still making the jump and he has Brad Marchand and the Bruins taking on the Senators tonight and this one could get pretty heated.  Chris Neil of the Senators belongs to Derek & Dan, so there is potential that these two teams could tag team their way up the PIM pool standings with an ugly game.

Dale C. still remains in the mix, although his team hasn't been quite as pugilistic of late.  His top guy going in the PIM department is Brandon Dubinsky, who is a ways down, compared to others noted in this post, but he will join Hartnell and the Jackets in a big game versus the Stars.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 29)

Leading up to Monday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was being touted as a game-time decision with a lower-body injury. At puck drop, he was indeed a scratch for the Capitals, ending a 412-game ironman streak.  Carlson was reportedly hurt on Saturday against Montreal and there was some thought that he would be able to play through whatever had ailed him, but that just wasn't the case.  He is on the list as out day-to-day for right now.

For Troy, he was certainly taking a fairly safe pick in Carlson, thanks to his ironman streak, but this injury is one of those things you can't really guard against.  Still, Troy could have used this skater game with a Washington win, he is still 12 points out of the money in 4th place.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Monday, December 28, 2015

Goalie Announcements (Dec 28)

It was a possible goalie survivor pool match-up, but instead, the Buffalo Sabres have opted to start Linus Ullmark tonight, giving Stacey C. a start in the net and he'll face Braden Holtby of the Capitals, giving Jeremy a shot at an early qualification for Week Fourteen.

Allan will get a start tonight as well, as Ben Bishop get the nod for Tampa Bay, as they host the Montreal Canadiens and Mike Condon (John R.) getting the nod.

John P. doesn't get a start tonight, as Chad Johnson plays back-up for the Sabres, so it is only two of the three surviving teams getting starts tonight.

All three teams should have a solid number of chances for their win this week.

Six games going in the league tonight and there will be a couple of non-pool goalies tonight, which doesn't help our numbers at all.  Darcy Kuemper (Dropped) and Calvin Pickard (non-pool) will each go for the Wild and the Avalanche in their respective games.  Nothing really too surprising going otherwise.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 28)

The Nashville Predators will have some help back in their lineup, as they have activated forward Mike Fisher from the Injured Reserve, as he is ready to come back from a lower-body injury, which has kept him out since the end of November, almost missing a whole month with the ailment.  Fisher only has 7 points in 24 games before his injury, so he'll need to improve those numbers, upon his return.

John S. has been hit exceptionally hard with injuries this season, which is a real disappointment after such a hot start.  John's team now ranks last in skater games played and he still has numerous players on the IR, which won't see him rise in the standings any time soon.

The New York Rangers have confirmed that they will get a couple of regular defensemen back in their lineup on Monday night, against the same Predators above.  Both Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein have been out with injury over the last few weeks, but now they appear to be ready and will kick off the new week in the lineup.  Girardi has been out with a knee injury and Klein is returning from an oblique muscle strain.

This is good news for both Allan and Dale C., respectively.  Allan opens the week on Dale's tail, both are ranked 14th and 13th in the pool standings, with only 3 points between them.  It doesn't seem very likely that either defenseman will make a big difference, but it won't hurt.

It appears to be Jacob Markstrom's net in Vancouver for the next little while, as Ryan Miller has been placed on the IR with a lower-body injury and the coaching staff believe he is still a week away from coming back.  At best guess, it is a groin injury, more than it is cramping and it will just need a little bit more rest to recover.  Miller will be eligible to come off at just about any time, but another week is what they believe he'll need.

At the Waiver Draft, Clayton was able to pick up another goalie to at least get some points from the crease and he'll need them now, as his 1st round pick is not healthy at the moment.  Clayton's team has not been very good this year, now ranking 19th in the standings and likely to fall without its 1st rounder active.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Krejci Listed as Week-to-Week

We saw an update on Boston Bruins forward David Krejci as we were finishing up the Newsletter this morning, as the Bruins now have him listed as out week-to-week with his upper-body injury, which will be a very big blow to their roster going forward.

Krejci left Sunday night's game against the Senators in the 2nd period, not returning for the 3rd, but there was no real mention of where or how he was injured in the game.  The week-to-week prognosis likely means that he will miss at least a couple of weeks, but more is certainly a possibility.

The veteran Czech centre has been having a great year, thus far, picking up 11 goals and 33 points in 35 games for the Bruins, really adding a scoring presence on this squad again, which was a nice boost after a lacklustre 2015 season.  At the start of Week Thirteen, Krejci was ranked 27th overall, which would make him the last pick of the 1st round, if we were to redo the draft today.

Krejci, a 6th round pick for Dale B., was another one of those huge picks in the draft this season.  This injury will be a massive blow to his side, especially if Krejci is out for any long period of time.  Dale has already fallen out of the money spots and he'll start the week 10 points back of 3rd place, so it could be an uphill battle for his team.

It's a good thing he's in the PIM race, just in case.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Week Twelve Newsletter

A limited amount of games in the week, thanks to that damned commercial holiday nonsense, had really limited the amount of points we were going to see in this week's Newsletter and from our Player of the Week.  The returns came in and 6 points was good enough to put our poster boy up top and after a quick tie-breaking process, Patrick Sharp of the Dallas Stars was our Player of the Week for Week Twelve.

Somehow, in this shortened week, the Dallas Stars still managed to play four games, a game a day in the week, so they likely were benefitting most from the Christmas Break.  Sharp managed at least a point in each game in the week, now running a 5-game points streak.  An assist against Minnesota on Monday, one and one against Chicago on Tuesday, an assist in St. Louis on Saturday and then another goal and assist against the Blues at home on Sunday.  There's his week, you can see he's really hitting his stride now.

This big week lifts his totals up to 13 goals and 30 points in 37 games this season, ranking him 46th overall in pool scoring, good enough to be a 2nd round pick in the draft, if we were to do it over again today.

That's important to note, because Stacey C. managed to snag Sharp in the 7th round and remarkably, he's not the biggest bargain of the round... but still, he's been a tremendous pick for Stacey.  Stacey's team, however, hasn't had many of these great picks, as they finished the week in 20th, but still had a decent week, despite the shortened nature of it.

This was a close race, until the final buzzer sounded on Sunday night.  It was down to Brenda & Seward and Stacey M. and it was going to be a hard one.  Same amount of goals scored in the week, same amount of wins in the week... up until that final horn sounded.  Karri Ramo came to the rescue of Brenda & Seward, giving them that extra 2 points, that extra win and a huge Mover & Shaker week, helping them to drive the standings and move right up into a very cozy position.

I don't think there is any escaping the irony in this section of the Newsletter this week, as Ramo, a Flames goalie, beat the Oilers, Brenda's favourite team, in order for the duo to earn the Mover & Shaker nod.  What was she doing picking a Flames goalie anyways, right?

It was a pretty good group effort for the duo's team, as Ramo led the way on their team with 4 points and then he was complimented by Derrick Brassard of the Rangers, Filip Forsberg of the Predators, Nino Niederreiter of the Wild, David Perron of the Penguins... all having 3 points in the week as well.  Four more players had a couple points each, while only one player failed to register a point on their side, which is very well-rounded scoring.

How much of an impact did this week have?  Well, the duo was in this same spot only three weeks ago and they finished that week in 6th place.  This week, with a few decent weeks in between, now sit in a tie for 1st place, only losing out on tie-breakers and now sitting in 2nd place in the overall standings.

Brenda & Seward's team have been very healthy and active this season, the biggest reason why they have been so successful.  They currently rank 2nd in skater games played and their team ranks 4th in goalie minutes played.  They have their players out on the ice a lot and thus, they're just sucking up a ton of points.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Benson may have had a few players playing this week, no doubt, but they were not sucking up much for points, rather they were just sucking air.  Sure, I could have made that much worse, but I elected to be nice.

Now, Benson's team is dealing with a couple of injuries, but it is only two injuries.  Only two of his players managed to pick up points in the week and they were both defensemen!  Alex Goligoski of the Stars had 3 points and Mike Green of the Red Wings picked up a point.  That's it.  4 points was his week, 24 points worse than the Mover & Shaker.

His team fell down to 24th overall in the standings, but on the plus side, his side is still 26 points away from last place, but even last place gained 10 points on his side.  Benson's team is really going to have to wake up here soon, because another Waiver Draft may not help his cause much.

John P. narrowly extends his Newsletter streak in 1st place to five weeks, as his side managed enough points to be credited as the 1st place team, but Brenda & Seward jumped up from 5th to a tie with John, now sitting in 2nd place.  Jeremy's team couldn't quite keep the pace, dropping down to 3rd, now 7 points back of top spot, a small gap to make up, in the next week or two.

Just outside of the money, we see Troy 6 points back of 3rd, Dale B. is 10 points back of the money, Neil is now 11 points back and Stuart is 15 back.  One good week and they can be back in it, since we've seen it a few times already this season.  Your team just needs to find a bit of a hot streak and they should be mixing it up with the dollars and cents before too long.

Yawn!  Ryan extended his lead in the pool to 30 points, thanks to some help from Robby Fabbri of the Blues and Artemi Panarin of the Blackhawks.

Ryan's team didn't lead the week in rookie points, rather it was Cindy's team, which picked up 4 points to lead the pool.  Jack Eichel did that in one game this week for the Sabres, but this was the production she was hoping he would have on a regular basis.  Cindy's side is now 3rd in the race, but 37 points back of Ryan, not really making much noise right now.  It's too bad she didn't pick up a rookie (or two) in the Week Nine Waiver Draft or else it could have been a little closer.

Another week, another elimination!

We are still four weeks away from the All-Star Break, which will be the toughest test for our survivors, but we only have three teams left to worry about it now.  Stuart was the latest team to fall victim to the survival of the stoppingest.

Stuart was down to one active goalie, Chicago's Corey Crawford, and it came down to Sunday night's contest against the Hurricanes, where his side fell 2-1 to that pesky team from Carolina.

This now leaves Jeremy, John P. and Allan left to scrap it out for the title and all three teams are staying fairly strong through this tough time. Allan and John each had a couple of wins in Week Twelve, while Jeremy only needed one win on Saturday to get the job done.

It's going to be a little busier next week, with 48 games on the schedule, but we'll count down to the All-Star Break, where it could get very interesting.

The PIM pool is getting very interesting and it's a surprise team that is really making all the noise.

Wes continues to lead the pool, but his lead is slipping.  Dale B. made up 15 minutes on Wes this week and now sits 18 minutes back of the lead, while Brian, Dale C. and our other established goon team, Derek & Dan, were all unable to really keep the pace.  Dale B. could thank Scott Hartnell for a huge week in the penalty box, which has really helped his cause in this race.

The goon team of the week, however, was actually Jeremy's team, which edged Dale B.'s team by a single minute, 31-30, but his team is 14th in the race, 117 minutes back of the lead.  That would be hard to make up, between now and the end of the year, even with a couple goon picks in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft.


The Christmas Break didn't help the pool a great deal, as the games before and after didn't improve anything except for the penalty minutes, which saw an increase, thanks to a couple of our goon teams and a couple that aren't necessarily declared as goon teams.  Scoring remained around 12 points collected per NHL game, but we saw slight decreases to injury in games played and minutes collected.

Everything ramps up on Monday, where we'll have 48 NHL games in the week, which will include a quiet day for New Year's Day.


Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks lost the services of defenseman Cam Fowler, in-game against the Flyers, as he left the game with a lower-body injury, not long after registering an assist on the team's first goal of the night.  There wasn't much for details after the game, so we'll be watching this one over the next day or two.  If nothing else gets posted on the blog, it's fair to think that it will just be day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Tony's unlucky streak continues with this injury, his side finished the week in 21st spot and his side ranks 25th in skater games played already and 21st in minutes played for his goalies.  Not a great year for staying in the lineup this year.

A trio of Bruins will hit the blog this morning, as defenseman Colin Miller was a healthy scratch for the game against the Senators, while defenseman Torey Krug was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury and then in the game, forward David Krejci left the game with a lower-body injury, not to return.  That's a lot of talent coming out of the lineup, which doesn't exactly make it a surprise that Boston lost to Ottawa, 3-1.  We'll have some more info on Krejci, later on in the day.

So, respectively, it was Eric, Tony and Dale B. having their players in that paragraph.  I would imagine that Eric will get his defender back next game, while Tony and Dale are left to wonder about these injuries.

Haven't seen much after Jeff Carter suffered an upper-body injury on Saturday night, so he will be listed as out day-to-day for the time being.  Carter left the game against the Coyotes in the 2nd period, not to return, with the injury.

This could be a bit of a karma bite for Kristy & Don, who jumped on Carter during the Waiver Draft, after Wes dropped him to goon up.  Carter hasn't really paid off too many dividends since activation, only picking up 3 points in eight games.

Michael Del Zotto was a late scratch for the Flyers on Sunday night, just before their game with the Ducks.  Not much for updates on Monday, but the initial thought is that the injury is not serious, so he'll be day-to-day and there is a chance he could suit up for the team's next game on Wednesday.

It doesn't sound too serious, but Grant is only 3 points clear of last place in the standings and he doesn't need another player down for his side.  It has been a rather unlucky year for him and this is just piling on.

After playing one game from an injury return, the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't want to put defenseman Kris Letang in a tough position in back-to-back nights, opting to scratch him for precautionary reasons.  The injury prone defender likely doesn't want to miss more time this season, due to injury.

Missing a game, for precautionary reasons, shouldn't concern Jeremy too much, but if his team wants to be on top of the standings, he'll need a healthy Letang.  Missing one game now, so he can play more games later, seems to be a decent trade off.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website