Monday, December 18, 2006

Week Eleven Newsletter

I suppose if there was anything to describe the after-effects of Week Eleven, it would be that the best just keep getting better. With number one and number two putting up some pretty big weeks, the thought process is that they are building a big enough lead in case a catastrophe happens in the latter part of the season. 1st to 2nd place dropped to a 20 point difference... 2nd to 3rd increased to 12 points... 3rd through 5th remained the same... while there's a new team in 6th spot who is only 1 point behind 5th. Then there is a 10 point difference to 7th place. The money is somewhat safe of anyone new for a week or so... unless there's big gains in the bottom half of the Top 10.

Let's see what happened in Week Eleven...

Player of the Week
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The last thing this should do is come to you as a shock. If you didn't see Sidney Crosby light it up this week, you must have been under one hell of a rock.

In four games this week, Sid the Kid registered 3 goals and 10 assists for the Penguins, who went 3-1 in Week Eleven. With that huge performance during the week, he leap-frogged a couple players for the NHL scoring lead. Actually, it was his 6-point performance on Wednesday against the Flyers that brought him over the top. The 4 points against the Islanders on Friday night padded his lead.

This week's Mover & Shaker, Brydon, moved up a good four places in the pool to be solidly in the Top 20. He made good use of Crosby's 13 points, Iginla's 8 points and Thornton & Ovechkin's 7 points. That's all it takes... capitalize on a few players having hot weeks and hope that you have more of the players than anyone else does. Brydon, however, only had the third highest point total in the week, but it was where he was and how many places that he moved up which garnered him the award in Week Eleven.

You win some... you lose some. When the Ottawa Senators are your bread and butter, you got to hope that they play as dominating as they did in Week Four instead of cooling down, as they did in Week Eleven. Derek W. found this out the hard way, only garnering 49 points in the week and dropping 7 spots and out of the money. Out of his seven Senators, there was only 11 points gained... Jason Spezza having 5 and Dany Heatley had 3. That isn't the sort of production one needs to stay in the money, especially when the race is so close.

Last week, J-S Giguere had a pretty good lead in the points department in the pool, but was Sidney Crosby's huge week enough to de-throne the Duck from top spot? Actually, it was enough. Crosby now has a 2-point lead over the Anaheim goaltender and he also has a 5-point lead over Jaromir Jagr, who is in third place in pool scoring. Crosby, the Box 14 leader as well, has a 9-point lead over Jason Spezza, who is second in that box. It's no surprise that he was the most popular player in Box 14 with 17 selections as well.

Long-term Injuries and Pool Trades
Well, the trade wire has been very quiet of late. The first 10 weeks had trades coming from everywhere, but the last two weeks, nothing has changed. There are quite a few teams who have lots of trades remaining, so the trading shouldn't be done quite yet. I'm sure there will be some late season moves... some teams need to make that extra move to jump a few more places.

Rookie forward, Phil Kessel, underwent surgery to remove cancerous cells in his body. What was understood to be testicular cancer, was successfully removed by doctors in New England and Kessel should make a full recovery. It isn't clear when he'll return to the Bruins line-up.

Dallas forward, Mike Modano, has been put on the Injured Reserve list with a lower body injury. He is still considered day-to-day, but he has already missed a significant amount of games.

Although there hasn't been much for trades in the pool, two pool players were swapped this weekend. The trade saw defenseman Alexei Zhitnik move to Philadelphia for young defender, Freddie Meyer IV. Zhitnik has been brought in to help out a struggling blueline in Philly and Meyer, who has seen limited ice time all year, will find some more ice time on Long Island. This is really a band-aid solution for the Flyers, but it may give them a little more credibility when it comes to the Eastern Conference. Hell... it couldn't get any worse.

Hockey Night In Canada this week...

Alexander the Gr8 will be in Toronto as the Capitals will be hosted by the Maple Leafs in the early game this Saturday. Darcy Tucker and Mats Sundin will try to continue their current hot streak on the scoring sheet. In the late game, the Flames will continue their road trip in San Jose when they take on the Sharks. The Flames Pacific Division tour could be one of the toughest to win on, especially with their road woes as a concern.

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