Monday, March 30, 2015

Week Twenty-Five Newsletter

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It was another good race for the Player of the Week nod, but in the end, forward versus goalie, the forward is going to win pretty well every time. Scoring goals is a big tie-breaker in this pool.

Of course, saying that, Ryan O'Reilly made it really close in the week, only scoring 1 goal and 7 assists in his 8-point week, taking the cake for the best player in the pool in Week Twenty-Five.

The 24-year old forward in Colorado played in four games in the week and registered points in every game in the week.  Monday, it was a pair of assists against the Flames, Wednesday saw a goal and 2 assists against the Oilers, there was another pair of assists against the Canucks on Thursday and then an assist against the Sabres on Saturday.

This brings O'Reilly's totals to 14 goals and 52 points in 75 games this season, good enough for 86th overall in pool scoring, to this point of the regular season, with only a couple weeks of action left to go.

Allan picked the forward in the 4th round, 74th overall, which isn't too far off where he has landed to this point, and since he's running hot at the moment, Allan may recover this pick to somewhere a little closer to his draft position.  O'Reilly is his best forward this season, having had to drop his highest picked forward, thanks to injury concerns.  It has just been that kind of season for him.

PhotobucketIt's feast AND famine for Dale B.'s team, who has now made it three straight weeks in the Newsletter, thanks to his second appearance in the Mover & Shaker over those three weeks.  If the other appearance wasn't a Basement Dweller nod, he could have moved into the last money position, instead of still being a ways back.

Week Twenty-Five saw his team rack up 35 points, which boosted him back a few more positions, now sitting in 7th place, up from 10th after Week Twenty-Four, but still down a couple spots from Week Twenty-Three, where he finished 5th.

This past week, it was a duo that led the way for Dale's team, as Wild forward Mikko Koivu and Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, each finished with 5 points a piece.  Four more players each had 4 points, while there were a trio of 2 points and a load of singles through the week, so there was lots of help from throughout his lineup, it just seems kind of funny that his team took a week off, completely, between two Mover & Shakers.

Dale is only 18 points out of 3rd place and made up 13 points in the past week on the position, so it isn't completely out of the question for these last two weeks, that he could jump into that spot, but he will have to avoid the basement in the coming week, getting out of the pattern, in order to achieve that.

PhotobucketThe Basement Dweller race was also quite tight and came down to the last few games on Sunday, but in true dweller fashion, Grant K.'s team failed to register any points to keep them out of the Basement for the week and with only 15 points to his team's name, the nod is all his.

This is Grant's first team visit on the Newsletter and unfortunately, it is in an infamous fashion.  His team got off to a pretty good start, opening Week One in 3rd place, but dropped off, hovering in the middle of the pack until the end of the second segment, when the bottom kind of fell out from underneath his team and it has been in 20th spot for the last month.  Remarkably, this is his first Basement Dweller nod this season, giving that his team has seen a pretty good slump this year.

Grant had a pretty good team on paper at the beginning of the year, but injuries and some horrible luck with some of his Waiver Draft pick-ups have really sunk his boat this year.  His team holds a -16 points ratio from the Week Nine Waiver Draft and is only a +1 from the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft, which has definitely hurt his side.

All three teams in the Olli bobblehead race did make up some ground on Grant this week, but his team still holds a 27-point gap ahead of 21st, which should hold him from joining the race... in theory.


Kristy & Don have had 1st place locked up for too long, Grant S.'s lead in 2nd over 3rd is 26 points, which isn't impossible, but fairly improbable at this point to close up.  Wes, who holds 3rd place, now only sits 10 points clear of Benson in 4th, 14 points clear of Scott & Clayton in 5th & 6th, and as mentioned above, Dale B. is only 18 points out.

Wyllie moved back into the Olli lead, now with a 5-point gap between his team and Allan's, while Ryan's team is only 8 points out and still somewhat in the mix, with a couple weeks left to go.

For the third segment, Benson is beginning to run away with the nod, as his team is now 15 points clear of Brian & Mike, while Scott is 22 points back.  Benson has had the hottest team and could still come away with money, if his team continues at this pace.


Kristy & Don's goalies are still dominating, posting 5 wins in the week and with two weeks to go, they could have a team that posts a win in every single week this season.  This hasn't been measured before in any other pool, so I can't tell if this has happened before.  I would imagine that it probably has.


The key to Dale B.'s team at the moment is his rookies, it would seem, as his team posted another 7 points in the rookie race, opening up his team's lead again, which now sits at 8 points.  Wilton would need a couple of pretty good weeks from his single rookie to beat Dale's trio.


Goal scoring doesn't seem to be much of an issue for the teams that are streaking still.  Every team is still in this one that was in it from last week.  I don't think there is much reason to waste much more time on this, unless a team or five drops out in the next week or so.


Well, out of the two players in the side bet, only one of them managed to play all week and that was Chris Stewart of the Wild, who finished the week with 3 points.  Erik Cole suffered an injury with the Red Wings this week and failed to play much hockey at all, failing to register a point.  Cole still holds a 14-13 lead in the points since the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft department, but the injury is putting a damper on the money, going from one pocket to the other.


Pick # Round Pool Player NHL POS Points
16 1 Wes Moroz Carey Price MTL G 101
8 1 Clayton Corley Marc-Andre Fleury PIT G 85
1 1 Stuart Greenley Sidney Crosby PIT F 79
14 1 Grant Saskiw Jonathan Quick LOS G 79
4 1 Brian Towers John Tavares NYI F 77
9 1 Kristy & Don Alex Ovechkin WAS F 74
23 1 Scott Gilmore Jamie Benn DAL F 72
19 1 Allan Scott Antti Niemi SAN G 71
11 1 Leo Macht Evgeni Malkin PIT F 70
5 1 Troy Berkley Claude Giroux PHI F 69
6 1 Ryan Miller Tyler Seguin DAL F 69
2 1 Cam Wagner Ryan Getzlaf ANA F 68
12 1 Dale Bradley Tuukka Rask BOS G 68
3 1 Grant Kanwischer Steven Stamkos TAM F 67
13 1 Stacey Campbell Patrick Kane CHI F 64
15 1 Stacey McDonald Jonathan Toews CHI F 62
18 1 Benson Greenley Semyon Varlamov COL G 62
20 1 Brenda Farrell Henrik Lundqvist NYR G 61
17 1 Mike Somerville Jordan Eberle EDM F 60
10 1 Tony Dourado Phil Kessel TOR F 57
22 1 Dale Corley Corey Perry ANA F 52
21 1 Derek Wilton Matt Duchene COL F 50
7 1 Derek Wyllie Taylor Hall EDM F 34

Out of the 23 players taken in the 1st round of the pool draft, only 12 of them would be considered worthy to be 1st round picks, given the scoring that has happened this season.  Ryan Getzlaf would be the last pick in the 1st round, if we were to conduct the draft, as per the points, as of today.

Of course, Patrick Kane would have been in the mix, if it wasn't for his injury and there may have been some merit for a couple other players, like Henrik Lundqvist or even Taylor Hall, if injuries didn't cut their season short.

Carey Price is the only player to hit the 100-point mark this season and is the leading candidate for pool MVP and to think, he was the 16th overall pick in the draft this year.  That's 15 players that should have been taken after him... that's a big season.


I'm not sure where all the points came from this past week, especially since the well was looking awfully dry for the last couple weeks previous.  The pool almost hit the 600-point mark in the week, averaging 11.2 points per NHL game, which is a pretty decent week, by this year's standards.  Skater games and goalie minutes were both up, meaning that players were getting healthier, which certainly helps.  Hopefully, with the playoffs right around the corner, more players will get healthy and we'll see another increase in production.


The news and notes will be somewhat abbreviated this week, as there is lots to go through and very little time before the new week starts to get them done.  It will look a bit rushed here.

Hampus Lindholm was the next Anaheim defenseman to take a seat in the team's rotation of blueliners on Saturday night.  Sunday, he was back in the lineup, as all the pool defenders were, but in that game, forward Matt Beleskey was a late scratch, as he suffered a lower-body injury in the warm-up.  He is listed as out day-to-day.

Also a scratch on the weekend, Devante Smith-Pelly had a seat for the Canadiens, as they work towards a division title in the Atlantic. Smith-Pelly was brought in to bring a physical element to the team and hasn't quite given the side what they've wished for, it would seem.

Nashville was without their captain on the weekend, as defenseman Shea Weber didn't play Saturday or Sunday, due to a lower-body injury, which he had suffered in the week. With only a few games left before the end of the season, the team will likely rest their best player for a long playoff run. He is on the list as day-to-day right now.

Sounds like a touch of the flu hit the Flyers dressing room and it cost defenseman Mark Streit a game down the stretch. The Flyers are now running on fumes for their playoff hopes and they had to tap the minor leagues to try and help them out. Fortunately, Streit should be ready to go again for the team's next game, which is good news.

A couple of notes from the St. Louis Blues, as forward T.J. Oshie missed out on Saturday's game with a bit of an illness as well, but he appears to be ready to play on Monday night, while Alex Steen suffered a lower-body injury in that same game and won't be able to go on Monday.  Steen is currently listed as out day-to-day.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were feeling awfully confident this season, but now that it is crunch time, some injuries may have put a dent in that confidence.  Forward Tyler Johnson is out day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss Monday's contest, while forward Cedric Paquette is a game-time decision with a lower-body injury and defenseman Jason Garrison will miss the next 3-to-4 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask had to exit Saturday's game a little earlier than expected, to which the coaching staff attributed dehydration as the reason why he left early. That didn't stop Rask for making a quick comeback, playing and winning on Sunday, as the Bruins beat the Hurricanes, the next afternoon.

The Panthers are scratching and clawing for points and in order to do so, they're scratching some veterans, as some of their younger players have been giving the lineup a bit more pop. On Sunday, Brad Boyes was a healthy scratch for the team and the team pulled off a big win, so there is a chance that he may find his way to the press box again.

Forward David Perron was held out of Saturday's contest for the Penguins, due to an illness, but was able to return for Sunday's contest against the Sharks, so this is only to mention the one game he missed, since he was back in the lineup right away. No big deal here.

A lower-body injury on Saturday against the Flyers sidelined Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Sunday's game against the Penguins, as he awaits some tests to tell him how long he expects to be out of the lineup. He'll be on the list as out day-to-day for right now, something we should hear about in the next day or two.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 28)

Big news for the St. Louis Blues, as defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is expected to be re-joining the lineup today against the Blue Jackets, as he returns from abdominal surgery in the beginning of February.  Shattenkirk was working at a dominating pace, when he left the lineup in the second segment of the season, as he was ranked 2nd amongst all defenders in scoring at the time, but his time away has dropped him to 22nd in the position, although he is still 1st in a points-per-game pace, just a shade ahead of Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.

This injury was a huge blow to Tony's season and frankly, I believe expedited his spiral into the bottom of the standings.  Tony had already dropped to 7th place from a money spot, but the loss of his best defenseman saw his team free fall, as it goes into Saturday in 19th place.

More confirmed returns for Saturday, as the Penguins will have forwards Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist back in their lineup for their game against the Coyotes this afternoon. Malkin has been dealing with a lower-body injury, while Hornqvist's ailment was never really disclosed, but each missed about a couple weeks of action and the Penguins have sure suffered in their absence.

In some of the meaningful races, Hornqvist will return to Allan's lineup, as he tries to stay away from the Olli bobblehead, while Leo will get Malkin back, but his team is safe from any extra bobblehead shame this season.

The NHL is going to be super busy all day, as there are 11 games on the schedule for this Saturday and five games will be morning/afternoon games, out here in the West.

Since it's a busy day, it will be just about the races today, but be warned, since the games are really early today, there will be a lot of projected goalie starts, more than confirmed starts.

Wes' lead over 4th place, Benson, is now 15 points and only 16 points on Scott, 17 points on Clayton, the four teams we'll look at for this race, as they're all within 20 points.  Wes will have both of his goalies going today, as Mike Smith should be in Arizona's net against the Penguins and Carey Price is expected to start for Montreal against Florida.  Benson is expected to have both Semyon Varlamov and Kari Lehtonen in their respective nets, as both teams, Colorado and Dallas, struggle with their dwindling playoff hopes.  Scott is expected to have both of his goalies go head-to-head, as Petr Mrazek has been confirmed to go for Detroit, hosting Tampa Bay, who should go with Ben Bishop, although it hasn't been confirmed.  Scott's best bet is one goalie earns a shutout tonight.  Clayton will be the only one of the four teams with only one goalie going, as Brian Elliott has already been tipped to go for St. Louis against Columbus.

5 points separates 7th through 11th today, so a shutout or two would go a long ways for these teams to solidify their spot in the top 10.  Stacey M. isn't expected to have any help today from the crease, Dale B. is expected to have Tuukka Rask in net for the Bruins this afternoon against the Rangers, Dale C. won't have any help today, Brian will likely have Devan Dubnyk in for the Wild again, this time against the Kings, while Cam might finally see the return of Craig Anderson today for Ottawa.  Not a lot of help in this race at all, eh?

Finally, the race for the Olli, sees Wyllie with a 2 point gap on Ryan and 6 points back of Allan going into Saturday.  Wyllie will have Michal Neuvirth going for the Islanders against the Ducks, in a tough game, but at least a little bit of help.  Ryan isn't tapped to have any crease help today, while Allan has both teams that provide his goalie help playing each other, but he is only expected to have Steve Mason in net, which will help who he should be cheering for in the Sharks/Flyers game.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bjugstad Done After Back Surgery

It appears that the lower-body injury that had kept Florida forward Nick Bjugstad out of the lineup for a couple games was far worse than initially expected.

On Friday afternoon, the team announced that the team's leading goal-scorer will now miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing successful back surgery.  It sounds like, if the Panthers make the playoffs, 3 points out going into the last couple weeks, Bjugstad won't be available for the Spring Dance, but he is expected to be 100%, come September.

In 72 games played this season, Bjugstad finishes his year with 24 goals and 43 points, which at this time, is good enough for 3rd on the team in pool points (behind Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Huberdeau) and 126th overall in league pool scoring.

Bjugstad was a fairly consistent contributor to Brian's team in the pool this season and that would be more than he asked for out of his 10th round pick, 227th overall.  Even without him in the last couple weeks of the season, this should still work out to be a big bargain pick.

Unfortunately for Brian, his season might have been hurt pretty badly by this injury, as his team had already dropped off, but it gets worse with this news.  Brian sits in 10th place, midway through the night on Friday and could go either way with a good or bad string of nights.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

More Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 27)

The Buffalo Sabres lost the services of forward Tyler Ennis during Thursday night's game between themselves and the Coyotes, the battle of the basement teams in the NHL, due to an upper-body injury. The Sabres are not considering the injury to be too serious, as Ennis will travel with the team, but it doesn't seem likely that he'll play until Monday.

Ennis belongs to Brenda & Seward this season, who have fallen on hard times in the standings, down to 17th place again after a good portion of the season.  They did move up a spot this week, which is good news, but a strong second segment couldn't be followed up and they fell back down near the bottom in the third segment.

Somewhat of a surprise listing, as Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan is expected to miss some time to an upper-body injury.  There was no word on when the young forward was hurt exactly, but according to the coaching staff, there will be some time missed.  He'll be on the list as out day-to-day for right now, since the description of the injury is quite vague, but if anything else should pop up here, then it will hit the blog.

A new twist in the race for the Olli, as Sheahan belongs to Ryan, who fell down to 22nd place again this week, still 5 points clear of 23rd, but nowhere near as safe as he may have thought he was a week or two ago.

Only three games going on this Friday night, so we'll have a quick overview, thankfully, I still have time before I hit the publish button before they start.

Devan Dubnyk will try and keep the Wild's good fortunes going at home against Karri Ramo and the Flames tonight.  Dubnyk will also try and rekindle Brian's chances at possibly jumping into the money in the last couple weeks of the season, while Ramo will try to spoil some hopes and keep Leo's team from the basement dwellers.

A former Central Division battle sees Columbus in Chicago, where it will be Sergei Bobrovsky against Corey Crawford.  It's Troy versus Dale C., respectively, in this one, 12th versus 8th in the standings, as Troy tries to make the leap into the top 10, but first he'll need to close a 12-point gap to 11th to do so.

Finally, the Dallas Stars are in Edmonton tonight to take on the lowly Oilers.  The Stars will rest whatever playoff hopes they have left on Kari Lehtonen, while the Oilers will try and play spoiler, using their non-pool back-up, Richard Bachman in net.  Benson, now in 4th place, is only 13 points back of Wes in the standings and could use, what should be, easy points from this game.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Playoff Pool Available on March 31

The New York Rangers became the first team to qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night, which means that the Spring Dance is only so far away.  Yes, we're counting down to the Playoff Pool now, with the expectation that the sheet will be done on Tuesday for release.  An online version of the sheet will be made available and I am also hoping that you will be able to choose your team online as well.

Entries will not be accepted without the $10 entry fee, but I will have all the details online when the pool goes live.  The sheet will likely have a number of teams still in the race, so you will likely want to wait to submit the sheet, but at least you can start doing your homework here right away.

The injury news page for the draft pool has already got a column referencing the boxes that players are in and there are a number of players who are hurt at the moment, so there will be some changes made ahead of time.  Those boxes will change, hopefully eliminating the injured players and keeping it as fresh as possible.

We don't have very much time left in the regular season, so if you're already out of the race in the draft pool, you can start your homework here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 27)

It's now looking like a pool defenseman carousel in Anaheim, as Thursday night saw the return of Cam Fowler to the lineup, after an absence of one game, while James Wisniewski took his spot in the press box for the game against the Bruins in Boston.  The way things are going there for the Ducks, the nights off are coming in single stops, so I would imagine that Wisniewski will work his way back in before too long.  The Ducks are on the verge of clinching their playoff spot, so resting players before the Spring Dance will be a must.

This season, between Columbus and Anaheim, Wisniewski has picked up 8 goals and 32 points in 64 games played, which has been decent for Scott.  Scott has been moving up the standings as well, of late, as his team has now reached 5th place in the standings and is now 15 points back of 3rd.  His team is keeping things interesting, that's for sure.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 26)

It sounds like the Winnipeg Jets are getting a boost to their playoff hopes tonight, as Dustin Byfuglien will return from his upper-body injury, which has kept him out since around St. Patrick's Day.  The versatile superstar will likely hit the blueline again for the Jets, as they look to maintain their position in the Western Conference playoff picture.

This is a very small consolation for Tony in this year's pool, as his team has tanked and fell to last place in the third segment, picking up a pool-low, 102 points to date.  In 12 weeks, his team has fallen 15 places, as his team now sits in 18th spot.

We're just short of getting the official word, but it sounds like the Bruins will welcome forward David Krejci back to their lineup tonight, as they are also in the hunt for a playoff spot, now 1 point out of a wild card berth.  Krejci has been listed as probable for tonight's game between Boston and Anaheim and it couldn't come soon enough.

Benson, now fighting to make it into the money, will also welcome the addition back to his lineup, as he only sits 18 points back of 3rd place and has a real shot at it, given how hot his team has been lately.  This could change the dynamic of the money race going forward.

11 games on tap for Thursday night in the NHL and the two races are now inexplicably tight, going into action tonight. As I've been doing lately, I'll start with the money race and then finish with the race for the Olli.

Wes' lead for 3rd place has gone up to 16 points, which is good for him, but only having one of his two goalies going tonight, may hurt his chances a little.  Mike Smith will start for the Coyotes against the Sabres in the battle for last place in the NHL, which may end up being an interesting game.  Clayton, who is now barely hanging on to 4th place, will have Marc-Andre Fleury going for the Penguins in Carolina tonight, as his only representation.  Benson, now 2 points back of 4th and 18 points back of 3rd, is waiting to hear if Semyon Varlamov will be in net for the Avs, when they take on the Canucks in Vancouver.  Varlamov was yanked in Wednesday night's game in Edmonton after a poor start against the Oilers.  Scott is still in the mix, only 1 point behind Benson, and will have Ben Bishop in the Bolts' net tonight, as they host the Predators tonight.

Allan has moved out of the basement again, having a pretty good week all around, plus he'll get some help from Antti Niemi (in theory), as the Sharks take on the Red Wings in Detroit tonight.  Wyllie moved back into the basement, but the two teams his goalies are from are playing each other tonight, but neither of his goalies are expected to start.  Ryan, now ahead of Allan on tie-breakers, won't have a goalie going tonight either and his 6-point cushion on Wyllie won't increase from the crease.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.