Monday, April 02, 2007

Week Twenty-Six Newsletter

This is it... what it's all come down to all year. The final week of the season. Week Twenty-Seven is upon us. The money is getting polished up. The cheques are primed to be written. The anticipation is growing.

Dieter holds a 17-point lead over Don, who gained only 1 point on him this past week. There will be a few player battles to look forward to... Nash vs. Naslund (Dieter vs. Don), Iginla vs. Selanne, Huselius vs. D. Sedin, Beauchemin vs. Modry, Giguere vs. Nabokov, Kovalchuk vs. Alfredsson, Heatley vs. Ovechkin, Savard vs. Drury, Kubina vs. Preissing and Muir vs. Ward. That's a lot of players... so anything can happen!

The race for 3rd place is also getting a bit tighter. The difference is 14 points. The gain last week was 9 points. It's also not out of reach for Dale C. to catch Jeff. Eager anticipation grows to see the result.

Paul is only 3 points behind Caterina for 6th spot, the last money position. The closest race of them all... either you get your money back... or you get nothing. The drama... the excitement... the nail-biting. Hockey pool fever is reaching new temperatures. It's almost somewhere you'd like to travel for your vacation. Hot, hot, hot.

Continue to read through the week, I should be able to write up some more for the playoff races and the pool races as it happens. Don't forget... the playoff pool is now available. Download a copy of the rules by clicking this link and a copy of the selection sheet by clicking this link. Deadline for submissions is April 10th. Hurry!!

Hot Teams Over the Last Four Weeks:
Dale B.... 273
Brydon.... 262
Dale C.... 257
Larry..... 254
Caterina.. 252
Dieter.... 252
Don....... 252

Cold Teams Over the Last Four Weeks
Fred...... 145
Brian..... 164
Gerald ... 164
Mike W.... 174
John B.... 179

Let's see what happened in Week Twenty-Six...

Player of the Week

Well belive me when I say this... it pains me to write this column this week. As a die-hard Canucks fan, it pained me to see Miikka Kiprusoff (Box 6) not only getting this honour in my pool, but he beat my Canucks on Saturday night. Well, he's ended up with the week-high in points with eight... and no one decided to tie him in points... so it's gonna have to be him.

Kiprusoff and the Flames went 3-0-0, all road games, this week... beating Minnesota twice and Vancouver once. The first game, on Tuesday, was a 1-0 shootout win, which gave him the extra two points to carry him over the top. Not only did he shutout the Wild in regulation, but also shut them out in the shootout. It was a big week that left 25 teams smiling.

With very little movement in the Standings this week, it was sort of fitting to give Dale B., the biggest mover in the pool, the M&S award for this week. He's been really shaking out those points and moving up the ranks in the last couple months. I bet he's wishing it was only February, instead of the beginning of April. Dale has moved up 31st to 17th in the last 7 weeks, which is a lot of ground to cover in these late stages of the season. It's no wonder he's the hottest team in the last four weeks.

He managed to have a rather motivated team this past week which included; Kiprusoff (8 points), Jagr (6), Brodeur (6), Thornton (5), D. Sedin (5), Giguere (5), Ribeiro (5) and five others with 4 points. Not a bad week, eh? It should be noted that he's got 16th place in his sights and with this hot team, it wouldn't be much of a surprise if he made it.

Unfortunately for Mike R., he had the week-low in points. On the bright side, Fred will never catch him for 40th spot, so he couldn't possibly get any lower in the Standings. I don't know how much consolation that can give a guy, but that's probably gonna be the best he's gonna get from me. Nine active zero-point players for Mike was all he could muster up. It was a pretty tough week for a lot of his picks, while a lot of his picks that weren't dropped could have been. Oh well, the pain and suffering is almost over.

Martin Brodeur & Sidney Crosby – 117 points
Three games remaining for the Devils and the Penguins. They're locked in a fight for the Atlantic Division title. Brodeur and Crosby are also locked in the midst of a huge scoring battle, which will conclude this weekend. The question is... will Marty sit for any of the last three games? He has played quite a few and he only needs two wins to break Bernie Parent's single-season win record. Crosby on the other hand will not rest... he leads the Penguin charge into the playoffs and will need to stay sharp for the second season.

Box 6 goalie, Manny Fernandez, will sit for the last week of the season with his knee injury, with hopes that he'll take his spot in the Wild net come the first game of the playoffs. Until then, Nicklas Backstrom, will take his spot and may earn some first round playoff time as well. Backstrom could reach Cam Ward status, by winning the job on hard work and injury-luck for the stretch. Just in case you fancied the Wild to go a long ways, this is something to keep in mind.

Hockey Night In Canada this week...

TRIPLEHEADER! TRIPLEHEADER! TRIPLEHEADER! You heard it here folks, the last regular season edition of HNIC is a tripleheader. First, in the afternoon, the Canucks will be in San Jose to take on the red-hot Sharks. Both teams are jockeying for position in the West and this will be a clutch game to see where everyone lands. In the usual 5pm game, the Canadiens and Leafs will duke it out, possibly for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East. Only one point separates the two teams and it could very well come down to Saturday for who's in and who's out. Finally, the Battle of Alberta will conclude the HNIC season. The Oilers will send their battle-ravaged squad into Calgary to face the Flames who could still be looking to improve their standing in the West. It should all be worth while to see. Woooooo!! Tripleheader!

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