Monday, January 02, 2017

Week Twelve Newsletter

Four players finished off the week with a season-low of 6 points for the Player of the Week nod, so the tie-breakers have come down.  Two of the players are goalies, Marc-Andre Fleury and Sergei Bobrovsky, so neither of them scored any goals, the first tie-breaker, so they get shoved out, leaving Anaheim's Ryan Kesler and Toronto's Auston Matthews to duke it out.  Despite a hat trick last night for Kesler, he still didn't have enough goals to win the tie-break, giving the Maple Leafs rookie his first Player of the Week nod.

In three games this week, the 19-year old Matthews finished the week with 4 goals and 2 assists and in each game, he picked up 2 points.  It was a goal and an assist against Florida on Wednesday, a goal and an assist against Tampa on Thursday and then a pair goals, including the winner, at the Centennial Classic on Sunday afternoon.

The rookie is now up to 20 goals and 32 points in 36 games this season, good enough for 31st overall in pool scoring, to date.  He now shares the overall rookie lead in points, with Pittsburgh's Matt Murray, and both players belong to Scott this year, who is really capitalizing on the young talent that has emerged in the league.

We have ourselves a new post-week leader in the pool after Week Twelve and that's thanks to a pretty huge week, as Brian's team was a real Mover & Shaker, tying the season-high in weekly points with 38 and jumping over Benson's struggling team to capture top spot.  Everyone seems to be hitting their stride at the moment for his team, which can never come at a bad time.

Brian saw his best gains at the forward position, where all of his forwards managed to get on the board with at least 2 points a piece.  Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning and Tyler Seguin of the Stars led the way with 5 points a piece, followed by Andrew Ladd of the Islanders and J.T. Miller of the Rangers, picking up 4 points.  His goalie were also quite good in the week, led by Frederik Andersen of the Maple Leafs, who also picked up 4 points.

Brian's team has had an interesting mix of talent, from the positional standpoint, as his forwards are tops in the pool with 200 points, his defense ranks 22nd with 42 points and his goalies rank 3rd with 65 points.

In terms of the standings, the team based down under had been sitting in 2nd place for the last five Newsletters, but his monster week has boosted him into the lead and the loss of competition from Benson has now given him a solid lead, over Cam's team, which has also had a pretty good week.  Of course, there will be more on this down below.

One of the interesting statistics from the week, Brian's team may have led in points, but his team must be owning the power play of late, because they were 24th in the pool in their plus/minus ranking.  This would suggest a serious lack of 5-on-5 scoring to the good and picking up most of their points with the man advantage.  Brian's team was a combined -8 in the week, dropping his overall rating down to -15, which is tied for 18th.

It was a really rough week for Stacey C., who found his team down in the Basement Dweller spot for the better part of the holiday shortened week.  His team finished with 13 points, which kicked him down from 8th, all the way down to 15th at the end of the week.  On the bright side, the difference from 15th to 8th is only 10 points, which a good rebound week can make up, so all is not lost.

Stacey lost a couple key players to injury in the week, in Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks and Mike Green of the Red Wings, both hitting the Injured Reserve, and failing to register a point before doing so.  His only bright spot was Alexander Wennberg of the Blue Jackets, who finished off with 4 points, making up almost a quarter of his weekly output.

The second segment hasn't been too kind for Stacey's team, having picked up only 83 points since our Waiver Draft players were activated, 20th in the pool since then, 31 points off the pace of Cam's team, which leads the segment.

It's a pretty brand new look here in the race for the trophy and the money.  Brian has taken the top spot and his lead is already up at 13 points over Cam's team, which is also running quite hot.  Cam also jumped over Benson's team and these two teams are only separated by 3 points to start Week Thirteen.  Scott opens the week 5 points out of the money, Brenda & Seward are 6 points back and John S. is 9 points back and a big week can really change the complexion again.

Troy and Tony shared the goon team of the week honours in the week, as their teams finished off with 38 minutes in the box.  They were 9 minutes better than the next best team, so there were some serious gains to the top in the week.

Kristy & Don still lead, but they only had 15 minutes in the sin bin, so their lead shrunk a little.  Derek B. and Marcie both sit at 254 PIM in total, 49 minutes back of the duo, both teams making good gains in the week.  Troy, who gooned up at the Waiver Draft, is still 89 minutes back, but he knocked off 23 minutes from that lead, so he's moving in the right direction.

Well, Week Twelve was a bit of a bust, when it comes to the survivor pool for intrigue, as it happened.  Mike, John S., Troy and Stacey M. were all through to Week Thirteen on night number one, making this part of this pool much less interesting for a week.  The schedule ramps up to 47 games this coming week and will continue to ramp up until Week Sixteen, when the All-Star break happens.  That's when the magic happens!

With two outdoor games in the books, after the conclusion of Week Twelve, I can offer a quick recap of how the standings have fared, up until now.  Marcie has her name back in the money races, after her team posted another couple of points to bring her total to 6 points in two games.  Scott and Marcin both had 3 points in the Centennial Classic to be tied for 2nd place, while Troy, Kristy & Don and Stacey C. are all vying for the nod with 2 points each.

Last night, there was a preview of today's Winter Classic posted, so give that a peek and tune in later today to see how that shook out.


I don't suppose you've seen how big the news page has grown to this week, have you?  It was huge.  There was a lot of day-to-day stuff there and a good number of players returned from previous ailments too, so our participation stayed roughly even from the week before, but shockingly, we had the second-best week in average scoring, 13.02 points per NHL game.  That's the second time and the first time since Week One, we topped 13 points.  Incredible!

Well, there were no more notes to post, so that's it!  The Newsletter is done.

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