Friday, January 27, 2017
Week Sixteen Newsletter
Usually, I would save the Newsletter for a Monday publishing date, but with the All-Star weekend and the start of the Week Seventeen Waiver Draft coming together, I thought it would be very beneficial to get the weekly recap done early and published, that way I can sail right into the Waiver Draft. I am hoping that each one of you got my preview e-mail, the available players page should be updated for you, once the Newsletter is published, which will mean we are good to go to start with our picks.
One of the concerns leading up to the 2017 season for the Toronto Maple Leafs was whether or not they made the right move making Frederik Andersen into their full-time number one goalie. Seeing as though this is now his second Player of the Week nod of the season, signs are certainly pointing to yes.
The week only spanned from Monday to Thursday in action and the Maple Leafs keeper still managed to pull 9 points out, posting back-to-back shutouts, the Flames on Monday and the Red Wings on Wednesday. Andersen also posted an assist in the game against the Red Wings, lifting his total to the odd number and he certainly made the most of the schedule.
After a bit of a slow start to the season, Andersen has done well to climb up the overall scoring race table, now sitting 15th overall in pool scoring with 21 wins, 3 shutouts and the helper for 49 points this year. He has made 39 appearances this season for the Leafs, so his scoring rate has been quite good this year.
Very good news for Brian's team, which retook the top spot in the standings, thanks to his number one keeper.
The shortened week didn't make for the biggest Mover & Shaker total of the season, but Marcie couldn't be too disappointed, as her team was still good for top spot in the week, collecting 26 points from Monday to Thursday, moving up three spots in the standings, from 9th place to 6th, in the process.
This is her first Mover & Shaker nod and it sets her team up for a good run down the stretch in a few places, including the overall point totals.
Marcie's goaltending has been pretty decent this season and especially so in Week Sixteen, as both Mike Smith of the Coyotes and Cam Talbot of the Oilers both walked away with 6 points. Her goaltending combo has been good for 84 points, so far this season, which is good enough for 6th in the pool and that is with a fairly significant injury to Smith this season.
Her team's defense also had a pretty good week, as Brent Burns of the Sharks was good for 4 points and Nikita Zaitsev of the Maple Leafs was good for 3 points. Those two almost outscored her entire forwards group, which was only good for 9 points in total. Marcie's blueliners do lead the pool in scoring, up to 109 points in total. Between her defense and goalies, they are really making up for a lacklustre performance from her forwards, which rank 21st in the pool in scoring.
If Marcie can shore up her team's forwards for the last nine weeks of the season, her team has a real shot at winning money in the overall pool race. Will that mean that her team will have to forego the PIM pool or possibly the outdoor games pool? Her team is in line for a lot of money at the moment, but how is her team going to swing all three?
It looks like Derek B. is trying to scoop some pretty good picks, since this is his team's second appearance in the Basement in the last three weeks and both weeks have not been very good. The shortened week was only good enough for 7 points and his team improved one spot in the Waiver Draft, going down from 22nd place to 23rd. This means he'll pick 3rd, when the Waiver Draft starts later on today.
A win from Calgary's Brian Elliott this week was his only highlight, as those 2 points were his team's best. His team had five forwards with single points in the week and absolutely nothing from his defensemen, one of them thanks to injury.
His only route to money now will be in the penalty minute race, as his team is right in the thick of it all. His team will open the other side of the All-Star break in 5th place, 74 minutes back, but that's a couple regular goons away from making an impact. He'll be jockeying with Troy's team, I'm sure, but it will make for an interesting third segment of the season.
So, thanks to the Player of the Week nod, Brian did retake top spot in the standings, thanks to a 23-point week, 7 points better than Dale B., who dropped back to 2nd place. Cam didn't exactly have a great week, picking up only 13 points and his team now sits 7 points back of Dale and 11 points back of Brian. It was a short week, so it's not surprising that there was a little bit of movement in the money.
Brenda & Seward, Stacey C. and Marcie are all within 20 points of 1st place and even just behind them, it is still fairly close. A good Mover & Shaker week from any of the top 10 teams and the dynamic will change.
Brenda & Seward were the goon team of the week, as their crew finished off the week with 23 minutes in penalties. They were a whole minute better than our overall leader, Marcie, which means the top five teams were not exactly catching up to the leader in the shortened week.
Marcie's team will open next week with a 30-minute lead over Kristy & Don, who should also be gunning for some real goonage in the Waiver Draft. Wilton, Eric and Derek B. round out the top five, but Ryan, Brian and Cam are all a minute back of Derek, so this race is far from over. I don't think those three will be gunning for goons, but they might be able to find the best of both worlds, just in case.
The goalie survivor pool was this close (holding my thumb and fore finger together really close) from being over in the All-Star shortened week, but John S. will have to cheer on his goalies a little longer, as Stacey M. got a huge win from Pekka Rinne on Thursday night, keeping her team in the race and they will get Antti Raanta back from injury to start next week.
Week Twenty appears to be the next speed bump of a week, as the schedule will go down to 39 games, only six games better than this week, so we'll expect to carry on until then.
NEWS AND NOTES
It was back to the press box for Nashville's Mike Ribeiro on Thursday night, as the Predators opted to have him as one of three scratches, instead of taking on the Blue Jackets. Ribeiro's numbers have been far from impressive, only 4 goals and 25 points in 46 games, and somehow, the Predators were able to squeak out a win against a very dominant Columbus team, just as the All-Star break rolls around.
Ribeiro has been Cam's least impressive forward in the second segment and is the lowest-ranked active forward on his team with the 25 points. Cam may be forced to keep the centre on board though, as there isn't many options available in the Waiver Draft, especially when it comes down to his pick.
The Washington Capitals granted forward T.J. Oshie an early start to the All-Star break, as he had to deal with some family matters at home. Oshie was a scratch for the team's finale before the break against the Devils, but didn't really miss him too much, beating New Jersey, 5-2. I would expect him back when the team opens up their schedule again, Tuesday night in Brooklyn.
Oshie's absence didn't hurt Marcie's shot at being Mover & Shaker in the week, as we saw earlier in the Newsletter. A refreshed Oshie should be good for the Capitals down the stretch.