Monday, April 10, 2017

Week Twenty-Six Newsletter, Year End Edition

Well, in reviewing last year's post for the year-end, I had said that the 27 weeks of the 2016 season flew right by, but it seemed even faster this year and not just because there was one less week to the season.  I would have to say that the lack of a great pool team for myself and the fact that the Canucks were terrible this year, it really made the year fly by through indifference.  Ha ha ha.  Okay, first things first, we'll review the week that was the last week of the season and then we'll go over the prizes!

It's not uncommon to have two goalies tie for the Player of the Week nod, but it is certainly rare to have two goalies tied at 9 points in a week, because that would also take an assist to get done and that's really something.  And as you can see, our Player of the Week, for the final week of the season, is Jaroslav Halak of the Islanders.

Halak registered one more win than Craig Anderson of the Senators, going 4-0-0 with an assist, as the Islanders tried their best to win their way into a playoff spot, but they didn't have their fate in their own hands in the last week of the season.  They needed a lot of help, which didn't come.

Well, can you believe that Halak spent the better part of the season in the minors?  It will be interesting to see what happens with the Slovak keeper in the off-season, as he does have one more year on his current NHL deal.

Wins against Buffalo, Nashville, Carolina and New Jersey in week wasn't the most difficult schedule that I've ever seen ever (understatement!), but he was good enough to play in all four games this week and that brought his overall totals up to 12 wins, 2 shutouts and an assist, giving him 29 points in 28 games this season, ranking him 298th overall in pool scoring.  It was too little, too late for Troy, who was gooning it up all year, more than anything else.

The theme of too little,  too late comes to mind with the Mover & Shaker, although Clayton did move up one spot in the standings, thanks to his team's 37-point week, going up from 14th to 13th, right in the middle of the 25-team pool, making it neither a good or a bad year... just mediocre, at best.

The best skater in the pool during the week was actually Edmonton's Oscar Klefbom, who finished with 7 points, leading Clayton's team to the weekly honour.  Complimenting the Oilers defender in the week was Brayden Point of the Lightning and Henrik Sedin of the Canucks, each finishing with 6 points each, while James Van Riemsdyk of the Maple Leafs had 5 points to finish off the regular season.

I wish I counted, but I don't think there were very many weeks where there were a Mover & Shaker nod without points from the crease, as the last week of the season, both Jacob Markstrom of the Canucks and Michal Neuvirth of the Flyers were dealing with injury and neither were available to play at any point.

Clayton's team had to rely heavily on its forwards and defense and up front, his team ranked 4th in the pool in scoring, while his blueline was just alright, ranking 10th.  Those rankings just couldn't make up for being dead last in goalie points, with 26, 19 points worse than 24th and 145 points behind 1st in the pool (Mike).  13th place in the pool is just about right then.

The team that Clayton's team passed, needed to be the Basement Dweller, if his team was going to drop in the standings, and the collapse of Cam's team was made complete by an 11-point effort, his team's second 11-point effort in two weeks.

The injury to Roberto Luongo and the decision to go with Matt Murray, instead of Marc-Andre Fleury, in Pittsburgh was the leading causes for his team's collapse.  But an underwhelming blueline couldn't make up for his goaltending problems, while the scoring in Columbus seemed to dry up after they clinched their playoff spot as well.

Unfortunately, the third segment was not kind to Cam at all, as his team ranked 24th, ahead of only Troy's goon squad, picking up 175 points from the start of Week Eighteen, nearly 100 points worse than the best team in the segment, belonging to Eric (271).

Well, we've adequately looked at the week that was, so let's move on to the season that was.

In the 2016 season, Braden Holtby was the bridesmaid to the MVP nod in the hockey pool, losing out to Patrick Kane, 106-103, but that wasn't going to deter Jeremy from taking the Washington Capitals starting goalie with the 1st overall pick in this year's draft.  And talk about paying off!  Holtby edged out Connor McDavid for the nod this season, finishing 102-100 in the overall scoring race and taking his first MVP honour.

By my count, there were 984 players to take to the ice, skaters and goalies, in the regular season, so there was a lot to choose from with the 1st overall pick, but Jeremy did it right with his, but that isn't to say he did very well with the rest of his picks.

Holtby appeared in 63 games for the Capitals, picking up 42 wins, 9 shutouts and no offensive points, finishing with 102 points in total.  That was actually a point less than his 2016 season, but it was certainly good enough for top spot this year.

With McDavid finishing in 2nd in pool scoring, it actually made the first two picks in the draft accurate, as Stacey C. managed to snag the Oilers front man on his proxy team.

PhotobucketSo, let's get to it then!  The prize money, what we've all been playing for this year.

It has to be heartbreaking for Brian's team, coming into the final week with a 3-point advantage on Dale B.'s team, only to fall short, as Dale's team took off in the final week.  Dale's team was 10 points better than Brian's in the final week of the season and Dale finishes on top, 7 points better, taking home the $750 1st prize and he'll get his name engraved onto the trophy for all to see and revere!  You know, when I get the trophy back from our previous champ, Jeremy.

It's not a bad haul though for Brian, he still will see $300 Canadian dollars sent to the land down under, electronically, for his 2nd place finish.  This makes back-to-back years, where our good friend from Australia has finished in the money in this pool, making me wonder what's wrong with us Canadians?

The race for 3rd was also a very good one, but Eric's reign for the bronze medal wasn't challenged as one might of hoped for dramatic effect, as his team was good in the final week of the season, wrapping up the spot with a 31-point week, which was 11 points better than Marcie's team, his closest competitor.  For his efforts, Eric doubled his money, picking up $120 for the final money spot.

A hearty congratulations to our three money winners in the overall standings!

The final day of play was an absolute dud, when it came to the penalty minute pool, as neither Marcie or Troy really registered much of anything in the 10 games on the schedule, so it was a cake walk to the finish line for Marcie's team.

Troy's goon effort fell 39 minutes short, trying to close up a 102-minute gap at the start of the third segment.  The minutes were just not there in the end and Marcie's team earned the $60 mini-game prize, just by being themselves.

The goalie survivor pool is definitely a fun mini-game to watch, as it pits each team's goalies up against each other on a weekly basis, trying to just pick up one win to stay alive.  This season was much better than the 2016 season, as Stacey M. and John S. went all the way to Week Twenty-Three before we had ourselves a winner and with Pekka Rinne of the Predators and Antti Raanta of the Rangers, Stacey's team was best in the mini-game and it earned her side the $60 entry fee back.

The wheel of mini-games also chose the Outdoor Games option for the last competition outside of the overall standings and it was supposed to give a little bit more meaning to those outdoor spectacles that the NHL likes to put on year after year now.  The NHL had four outdoor games in total, a Heritage Classic in Winnipeg, the Centennial Classic in Toronto, the Winter Classic in St. Louis and then the Stadium Series game in Pittsburgh.  All four were pretty decent games and with the added incentive to watch with the hockey pool, it was a bit more fun... mission accomplished!

But Marcie's team capitalized on the first game of the four, as Cam Talbot was the hero of this pool, earning the shutout for the Oilers against the Jets and her team cruised to victory in this pool as well.  The 4 points from the shutout helped to give her team 6 points in total, which was good enough for top spot, which sounds kind of lame, but it worked.

Two mini-games for Marcie means that she takes home $120 in total, just as good as taking 3rd place in the pool.

And this is it!  Another regular season in the books and that's it from me this year.  No playoff pool this season, I just am not feeling the need and there hasn't been a lot of inquiries into a playoff pool, so I don't think interest is quite there either.  A spring to getting outside and then watching the odd game here and there will be so much better than sitting in front of a computer.

But not to worry!  The draft will be back next season, I don't think anyone will want to miss out on the first season with the Vegas Golden Knights.  Another NHL team means we'll have two more active goalies to pick up, including another number one, which should make things interesting.  Stay tuned to the blog through the Summer, as I will post happenings in the Summer, including my roster outlooks in the weeks to come.

Thanks again to everyone for playing this year!  It's been a blast as always... you know, except for my team being so mediocre!  Congratulations to our money winners, your cheques are in the mail.  Ha!

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