Monday, December 03, 2007

Week Ten Newsletter

I guess it won't come to anyone as a surprise that a recap of the Waiver Draft is in order at the one-third point of the season. Ten of thirty weeks have now been completed in the league and well, something had to change in the Draft... and things certainly did. Of course, it is unlikely that some teams will catch the leaders, but the leaders had 10 weeks to amass their lead, while the teams below have twice that to catch them.

The Waiver Draft went until 9:30pm on Sunday night, so the entire week was used up, as scheduled. Hopefully, come Week Twenty, the process will be a little bit smoother and we'll all have our picks done within a couple of days.

It was no real surprise when two goalies went one-two in the draft. Both Chris Osgood (Dale C.) and Pascal Leclaire (Marcus) were going to be the best catches in the draft and now they have to prove in the next 10 weeks that they are.

There was also no real surprises in who was dropped... Teemu Selanne (Wes), Scott Niedermayer (Jeff), Igor Grigorenko (Dale C.), and Patrice Bergeron (Clayton) were all definites to be dropped and any other player who would do much better than the lack of games these guys are playing. Peter Forsberg (Wes) was kept around due to some rumours abound about his foot and it being better soon.

Possible surprises not to be picked up... Jason LaBarbera, Eric Belanger and John Madden.

Eight votes! Eight votes! Woo hoo... now we're getting somewhere. Fortunately, I had some votes for making up a keeper draft. Well, I'll try and drum something up here in the summer and have it in the Facebook Group and the Domain Blog.

As for the next Draft... there were 3 votes for that! Fantastic! Hopefully, we'll nail down 30 people and have ourselves a really good draft. Tell your friends! The closer to 30 we get, the more interesting it should be.

And well, I didn't think the Sheet was going anywhere... and also, the more the merrier. Next year, tell your friends! It is grand fun, don't you think?

Which leads us to our next Poll Question. Could the sheet be improved a little bit in your opinion? Do you think the price should be higher? More boxes with players? Any other ideas? If you've got an idea... leave a comment. I'm all ears.

For the second time in three weeks, Benson had himself a whopper of a week, moving up from 4th to 3rd place with a 41-point week. That's one point short of his personal season record and 2 off the season-high week. To think, Benson was actually in 9th spot after Week Seven... that's what 40+ point weeks will do for a team. I'm sure we're all dying for something like that at the moment. Now, going into Week Eleven, Benson has added Mike Smith in Dallas and Mike Green in Washington, to help pick up the load that two players just weren't giving him.

In Week Ten, Benson received the most points from Zach Parise (6), Milan Hejduk (5), Mike Richards (5) and four others with 4 points. Only 3 players didn't register a point and only 1 of them were dropped in the Waiver Draft. Go figure.

On the Selection Sheet, it was Tim who had the biggest week, point-wise and movement-wise, so he's the true Mover & Shaker there. With his 69 points, he moved up a solid 6 positions in the pool, up to 13th. Tim had big weeks from Roberto Luongo (8), Chris Osgood (7), Paul Statsny (6), Alexander Ovechkin (6) and four others with 5. That's some pretty solid production through the week. He still finds himself 10 points back of 12th place, but with another week or two like that, he could find himself in the Top 10.

For some teams, the Waiver Draft couldn't come quite quick enough. For Ryan, his 10 points was a pool-low and he then fell down to 16th spot during the week. He needed 2 new players to keep him from falling down to the bottom of the pool and he managed to pick up Nikolai Antropov from Toronto and Chris Campoli from Long Island. Antropov was rated quite high amongst the available players, but has since cooled off with the team's record. Campoli has given the Islanders a strong start to the season, but will need to pick up the pace a bit more if Ryan is to really capitalize on his presence. He will also benefit from the return of Steve Sullivan, who is yet to play a game, but should be returning from his injury quite soon.

Around the middle of the Selection Sheet pool, you can find yourself dropping quite quickly, even with just a mediocre week. Denis had 43 points in Week Ten, but still managed to drop 7 spots down to 23rd. Denis had peaked at 5th spot in Week Three, but has managed to fall somewhat slowly down below the Top 20. There were 7 zeros on Denis' team page, but fortunately for him, he still hasn't used a trade yet. Maybe something to consider...

A franchise record held by Ken Lockett was broken on Thursday. Which franchise? Vancouver. Which record? The record for consecutive shutout minutes. After the game versus Columbus, his shutout streak was at 195:34. Unfortunately, on Sunday against Minnesota, the shutout streak only lasted for another 16:38. 212:12 was the final tally for our Player of the Week.

Well, of course it was going to Roberto Luongo (John B.). Did you think it was going to be anyone else? I didn't really. Call it bias, if you want... but, he did have 8 points, which was tied for the best week in the Draft this week.

In 3 games this week, Luongo had 2 shutout wins and a loss. On Tuesday, he stopped 26 shots against Anaheim in the win. Then on Thursday, the Canucks starter made another 26 saves against Columbus. Unfortunately, after 16 minutes, Luongo couldn't hold on for too long, but also couldn't beat the Wild on Sunday. Ah well.

Would you believe it? There is a cold offensive player in Carolina. Justin Williams (Ryan) didn't register a point this week for the Hurricanes.

Other News and Notes

There some good news on the horizon for the Oilers... Sheldon Souray (Marcus) is only 2 weeks away from recovering from his shoulder injury. The update came down on Saturday morning, which should have him back at the end of Week Twelve.

The goaltending situation in Atlanta is becoming favourable. Kari Lehtonen (Jeff) returned from his groin injury and his conditioning stint in Chicago.

After weeks of thinking he's almost ready, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally disclosed that Carlo Colaiacovo (John P.) is still 2 weeks away from being fully functional for the line-up after a knee injury.

Ironman streaks are a fallin'. Joe Sakic (Dennis) had his snapped at 200+ games on Saturday night. Sakic went down with a minor groin injury and missed his first game in quite some time. Another forward, Marek Svatos (Stuart) is also sitting out at the moment with a groin injury. Neither player seems to be making much progress with their injuries, so they may sit out one or more games in Week Eleven as well.

New pick-up, James Wisniewski (Dennis) has been sitting out the last couple games with a concussion. Wisniewski should have clearance to play again on Wednesday and make his debut for Dennis. Wisniewski has 10 points in 23 games for the Blackhawks, who are now scoring again at a reasonable pace.

The Dallas Stars just can't seem to get the production they so desperately need out of Joel Lundqvist (Box 9). He has already spent some time in the minors this season, but with some injuries, he has made his way back up to the big club, but lately has found himself in the press box watching the games. Since Box 9 is stacked with some young talent, it doesn't look likely that he'll make his way on to any Sheet teams any time soon.

In the Big Apple, the Rangers are having a game of musical hospital beds with their defensemen. Paul Mara (Ryan) has fallen to the injured list with a sprained shoulder, while Marek Malik (Box 22) has come back from injury over the weekend. Mara's shoulder injury may keep him out of the line-up for quite a while, but there should be some updates as the days go here.

The Coyotes have lost Radim Vrbata (Box 2) on a day-to-day basis with a groin problem. This should open the door for Fredrik Sjostrom (Box 9) to prove that he's worth having in the line-up, which the coaching staff is having a hard time believing. Vrbata's value in Box 2 is quite low and it will be at least 9 weeks before there is any consideration for him to be picked up in the second Waiver Draft, so this could be considered a moot injury point.

The youth movement in St. Louis is playing out a tad strange as Erik Johnson (Clayton) was a victim of a healthy scratch. This is more likely because of the rigors of the schedule more than lack of production, but who's to really say except for the coaching staff. He is likely to return to the line-up for the Blues' next game.

Capitals' captain, Chris Clark (Box 19) hasn't had the best of luck this season. He's now sitting out yet again, this time with a groin injury. He has already missed time with an ear injury, which required a ton of stitches. His value this season is falling by the week. Also fallen to the point of no return is defenseman, Steve Eminger (Box 22). He continues to be a scratch for the team.

Minnesota Wild forward Mark Parrish (Box 9) has now sat out the last couple games with a hip injury. Parrish hasn't been very popular in this Sheet pool and with an injury like this, it could be next season before he gets any consideration for any pool play.

Selection Sheet Trades
Lost amongst the Waiver Draft fracas was the Selection Sheet trades. As of Monday morning, there had been none reported, but there are some expected before puck drop on Monday. Once most of the Draft teams read over their teams, it is expected to see a couple trades and also a couple who are in the sheet alone.

Finally! The Canucks have returned to Hockey Night in Canada as the late game. Man, it's been weeks since they were anywhere near the 8pm MT time slot on a Saturday. And whoa! Look, it's Sidney Crosby (Benson) coming to town as well. Well, well, well... this should be one hell of a game. This should be touted as a marquee match-up as all the kids from Pittsburgh are going up against Roberto Luongo (John B.).

Also on the docket for HNIC is an Original Six match-up between the Bruins and Maple Leafs at the ACC.

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