Standing alone at the top of the heap in the second-to-last week of the season is Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop, who finished with 8 points in three games played in the week. Bishop went 2-0-1 with a shutout and 2 assists, the only player with that point total.
A win against Montreal on Monday, lost in overtime to Ottawa on Thursday and then shutout the Panthers on Saturday was how his schedule went and he added his pair of helpers in the 1st period of the game against the Habs, helping to propel the team to officially clinch their playoff spot.
The 6'7" keeper is having quite the season in Tampa Bay, as he finished the week 4th in overall pool scoring, thanks to 38 wins, 4 shutouts and 4 assists, good enough for 88 points. In the year of the goalie, he has really risen to the challenge that was set out for him and his potential.
Scott has also benefited from the big season from the hulking netminder, as Scott made him his 2nd round pick, 24th overall, just after his 1st round pick of Dallas' Jamie Benn. Scott had a rough start to the season, but thanks to some steady play from his top picks, he's climbed into the conversation of the money with only one week to go.
If your team is in the middle of a race in the late parts of the season, it is the best time to pick up a Mover & Shaker nod, as your team is either moving into a better position or making the race that much more interesting. In the Week Twenty-Six edition of the nod, the race for 3rd place got a whole lot more interesting, as Clayton made up 9 points on Wes, thanks to his 35-point week.
It wasn't a great week for points, as only two teams managed to score over 30 points, so those teams came away like bandits in a low-scoring week.
Leading the way for Clayton's team was Philadelphia forward Brayden Schenn and St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz, who each finished off the week with 6 points. Alex Burrows of the Canucks was also able to chip in with 5 points, while Sean Couturier of the Flyers also had 4 points to help things along. The four players combined for 21 points in the week, better than seven teams in the pool.
With only six days of action left in the season, Clayton now trails Wes by 5 points and he'll have five more projected games in the final week of the season.
Of course, this isn't quite the week to be in the Basement Dweller nod, if your team is in a race. For Brian, his team was just looking to stay in the top 10 for a reasonable finish after a year that started awfully poorly. Sadly, his team is now limping to the finish line and his 13 points in the week dropped him down to 12th place in the standings.
His team had a little bit of help from Toronto's Nazem Kadri, Minnesota's Jason Pominville and Long Island's John Tavares, each recording 3 points, but otherwise, it was a whole lot of zeroes, including his rock star goaltending tandem.
Brian could still finish in the top 10, assuming his team smartens up in the final week of the season, as they only sit 4 points out, but that will be the best his team could possibly expect.
Well, the lead is now up to 87 points, the highest it has been all season, as Kristy & Don's team continues to roll along, uncontested.
Grant S. will be along with 2nd place, now that his buffer is at 26 points, so that money is all but his at this point.
The race for 3rd place has been highlighted already and it remains very exciting. Wes and Clayton will go down to the wire with this one.
Wyllie now has an 11-point gap between his team and Allan's team, which could be hard to make interesting, as Wyllie's team, as healthy as they are, just are not scoring at all. The Olli appears to be his.
Finally, the Jordan has been Allan's for quite some time already. Tony is 35 games up and given the troubles that Allan has had with his roster, the 35 skater games he has projected, likely wouldn't all happen, so Tony would be safe, even if he had the option to sit all of his players this week.
WINNING EVERY WEEK
Kristy & Don only had one win in the week, but they have managed to see their goalies win a game in each of the 26 weeks played and they could complete the sweep with just one more W.
It would likely take a Player of the Week nod for Johnny Gaudreau to lift Wilton into the top of the rookie scoring race, but since Dale B. has a trio of rookies, it does seem unlikely that the 6-point gap would be made up. Barring a minor miracle, this race is pretty well over as well.
LIGHTING THE LAMP
The five teams still running streaks through this point in the season are finding that goals are still pretty easy to come by. Stacey M. still rides the 4-goal per week streak, thanks to a 10-goal week, while Kristy & Don are riding along as well with an 8-goal week.
In the 3-goal week streak chat, Grant K. had 8 goals, while Ryan and Stacey C. each had 7 goals a piece.
CHRIS STEWART VS ERIK COLE
With Erik Cole still on the shelf for the Detroit Red Wings, Chris Stewart had a chance to shore up the bet to his side, with only one week to go in the regular season and the side bet.
Unfortunately for Stuart, his guy Stewart was unable to pick up a point in the week, so he still remains down a point, 14-13. Will Cole return to action in time to pad his lead or will Stewart be able to turn the tide or at the very least, negate any losses?
Looks like injuries ran rampant again in Week Twenty-Six, as the games played went down again, as did the minutes played from the goalies... and that all means that scoring went right down. As it was mentioned, only two teams eclipsed the 30-point barrier in the week, as 538 points were collected as a whole from 49 NHL games.
If scoring remains down, we might have one low-scoring finish to the regular season, as the schedule ends on Saturday and there are only 45 games to be played in the week.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Red Wings played the Capitals without forward Justin Abdelkader on Sunday evening, as the rugged forward suffered a hand injury against the Wild on Saturday night and the team wanted him to get checked out more thoroughly before he went again. There likely won't be much of an update on his condition until later on Monday or possibly even Tuesday. He'll be on the list as out day-to-day for now, while we wait to hear what the Red Wings say about his condition.
Cam was in the conversation for the money in the middle part of the season, but since the beginning of the third segment, his team really fell off, ranking in the bottom third in the final segment, which has dropped him to the cusp of the top 10. The last week won't likely mean too much to him now.
Scary moment for the Montreal Canadiens, as they saw their leading goal scorer, Max Pacioretty leave the game with an apparent head injury, but a definite injury to say the least. Pacioretty fell awkwardly after push from Dimitri Kulikov, hitting the boards with his head and a whiplash action. The team announced that he would return in the 2nd period, but there was no update on his condition at the end of the game. This could be the end of the regular season, if some suspicions ring true.
Stacey M. will start this week ## points behind the money, which is likely insurmountable, especially with the shortened schedule in the final week of the season. The gap likely wouldn't have been closed, even with Pacioretty in the Habs lineup, so it is even less so now.
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