Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Week Twelve Newsletter

At the end of twelve weeks, you can really tell that the Top 6 are pulling away. The Top 6 have all eclipsed the 700-point barrier... the only teams to do so. There are teams that are keeping themselves close... relatively. With Dan at 712 points and in 6th, teams like Paul and Suzanne might be tempted to make a move to improve their status in the pool.

Another tell-tale sign that the teams up top have been starting to coast is that the Top 11 teams in the pool didn't move any positions. With a lot of relatively close looking players on their teams, all it could take is one trade to pull themselves away from one another. Don't forget, there are a few teams on the outside looking in who have players who are catching fire and making moves.

Hot teams over the last little while:
Larry: +6 places in the last 4 weeks
Caterina: +9 places in the last 5 weeks

On an elevator goin' down:
Stuart: -11 places places in the last 6 weeks
Derek W.: - 9 places in the last 4 weeks

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

Player of the Week
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A repeat performance of a Week Five Player of the Week award winning form, Bruins forward Marc Savard has come back to reclaim the award. Savard registered two goals and six assists in Week Twelve's three games.

Two goals and two assists against the Senators in the Bruins' 7-2 win, two more assists against Vancouver and yet another two assists against Montreal on Saturday. The six teams that have him as their Eastern second-line centre. Savard also gained a couple points on Box 20 leader, Vincent Lecavalier.

Well, it was kind of tough to pick the Mover & Shaker for Week 12, there are a couple really good candidates. In the end, I think spreading the recognition around to everyone makes a little bit more sense. Rob moved up five positions in Week 12, while amassing the third highest amount of points in the pool (only the leaders accrued more points). With players like Marty Turco (7 points), Ilya Kovalchuk & Vincent Lecavalier (6 points) in tow, Rob moved squarely into the Top 20 (16th). With a couple more hot weeks like this past one, Rob could move himself up into the Top 10, as he’s only 15 points behind 10th.

In hopes of keeping himself in the Top 20, Scott made his last trades of the season for Week 13. Sadly, it didn’t keep him away from the Basement Dweller spot, as he fell out of the coveted Top 20 and into 21st. It was a less-than impressive 38 points that moved him down in the Standings. He had a few guys that made great strides, but there wasn’t enough consistency throughout his line-up and that’s where he lost out to his peers. Fortunately, it looks like with the picking up of Sidney Crosby this week, Scott will back to his fine form and back where he wants to be, sooner rather than later.

Well, it seems like it’s somewhat of a two-horse race… ‘cuz the two horses that are racing are neck-in-neck. At the end of Week 12, J-S Giguere had made up the two points he was trailing Sidney Crosby, to tie up the lead at 55 points. Giguere picked up an assist on top of a normal two wins to end up with 5 points in the week, while Crosby only picked up 3 points. The two are still 4 points up on Jaromir Jagr, so it’s not like they are really running away with it at the moment.

Long-term Injuries and Pool Trades
Not much longer after the defensemen trade, the Flyers and Islanders were at the trade table again. This time, the Islanders sent Box 13 forward, Mike York to the Flyers in exchange for non-pool player Randy Robitaille. Is this really of any significance, you ask? Nope. No one has York. York hasn't played with Yashin at all. York will probably be a second line player for the Flyers... but they don't score much beyond Simon Gagne... who he won't play with. This is just a paragraph full of hot air.

On Monday, there was one trade that took effect before puck drop. Marcus decided to drop Rick Nash from his 4th place team and upgrade to Paul Kariya. A ballsy move to try and make up some ground on 3rd place, Don. Kariya, who doesn't play for any of the top six teams in the pool, will provide a spark in Box 1 for Marcus.

The Rangers on Tuesday sent the unproductive Sandis Ozolinsh to the minors since he wasn't claimed by any other teams on the waiver wire. There is very much doubt that he'll see action again with the Rangers, unless there is injuries to the current line-up. Even so, there might be a few prospects ahead of Sandis in the pecking order. If you're this team or this team... you may want to consider dropping him.

First line centre, Box 14 star, high scoring player, Jason Spezza, will miss six weeks after somewhat of a fluke injury that cost him his knee. Spezza, who has been a very strong player in the pool has been lost for a substantial amount of time. Three teams with zero trades remaining have lost Spezza for good. Seven teams remain to have Spezza.

With Jason Spezza going out, there were a couple trades made to compensate for his loss. Both Derek & Nicole and Scott both dropped the young Sens centre for one of the best players in the pool, Sidney Crosby.

There were also some other moves that might shake the core of the Top 10. Josh dropped a few players and upgraded his team to make a run for the Top 6. He's down in 12th at the moment, but with the pick-ups he made, there's a good chance that he could make up the 29 points that he's behind 6th place.

When this story is written, there is still a little bit of time before puck drop for more trades to be made.

Hockey Night In Canada this week...

The last Hockey Night In Canada of 2006 will have two division battles and 100% Canadian content for our viewing pleasure. The early game will feature the Ottawa Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. A game where points can be had... Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza will line-up against the Leaf blueline of McCabe and Kaberle. A barnburner, it should be. In the late game, the Canucks travel to Edmonton to face the Oil. The Sedin twins will try to work their magic against Petr Sykora and Jarret Stoll in a battle for position in the Northwest Division.

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