Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Jan 31)

So, the goalie survivor pool will continue with our two teams remaining and we'll highlight the starts where either John S. or Stacey M. has a start.  With the week starting a day later than normal, the 46-game schedule is slightly compressed, so it will be a busy one and that could mean back-ups could start a lot on back-to-back nights.

Stacey does have Antti Raanta back in the active lineup for the Rangers, but he won't be getting the start tonight, unfortunately for Stacey.  Instead, it will be Henrik Lundqvist playing host to Joonas Korpisalo, which is good news for Grant and a good scouting game for anyone who is looking for a goalie in this Waiver Draft.

Stacey does get a start in Pittsburgh, however, as it is expected that Pekka Rinne will be back in the Predators net, when they visit Matt Murray and the Penguins at the Igloo.  Scott's goalie will get the chance to play spoiler tonight, making the competition a little more interesting, as the anxiety would build with a Penguins win.

Finally, in Edmonton, the Minnesota Wild are opting to go with Darcy Kuemper tonight against Cam Talbot and the Oilers, since the Wild are playing the first of back-to-back nights and Devan Dubnyk is coming back from playing for the Central Division at the All-Star festivities.  John S. doesn't get a start tonight, but there is a chance that both of his goalies face each other in Calgary tomorrow night.  Marcie has the only pool goalie starting in this one in Talbot, the highest ranked player not to go to the All-Star Game.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 31)

The Colorado Avalanche will welcome Tyson Barrie back to their lineup tonight, as he missed the last week before the All-Star break with a lower-body injury. He was back at practice on Monday and deemed ready to play, when the Avs open their schedule against the Ducks.

For Mike, that's one less concern for his team, but his side still is at the the bottom of the pool table for projected games this week, even with the return of Barrie.  His team will open the week 52 points out of the money and in need of a real boost.

Another player coming off the Injured Reserve to start the post All-Star break schedule is Detroit's Dylan Larkin, who has missed a little more than a week with an upper-body injury.  Larkin is expected to be the Red Wings' lineup tonight, when they host the Devils at the Joe.

John S. is far more interested in his goalies, having seen his team drop down to 11th, but his team is only 26 points behind and with the Waiver Draft upcoming and his pick nearly being made in the opening round, things could turn his way for the big money.

The Ottawa Senators have three goalies back in the fold again, as Craig Anderson has now returned to the team and was practicing on Monday. I don't imagine that he will be ready to start for a few days, possibly a week, but he is back and should be activated from his non-roster status. Expect Mike Condon to get the start again tonight, when the Senators open up in Florida.

For Wilton, Anderson's departure was very unfortunate and was one of the main reasons he saw his team sink so quickly down the overall standings.  Thankfully, his team still has a race to play in, but the overall race was sacrificed for a better cause.

Week Seventeen Waiver Draft (Jan 31)

Can you already believe that it's the end of January already?  Well, we've made a little more progress in the Waiver Draft yesterday, so let's have a peek at what we've seen so far.

Mike is still lovin' those Oilers and he'll be living and dying by the team up north.  He dropped top prospect forward Jesse Puljujarvi, who is now spending time in the minors and he took veteran forward Mark Letestu to take his place.

For Wes' team, it was scoring on the menu and he opted to try and improve with Sven Baertschi of the Canucks, who has been relatively good this season.

Arguably, the goaltending side of Clayton's team was absolutely rubbish, so it took until the second Waiver Draft to try and sort that out, but he opted to take the now-healthy Michal Neuvirth in Philadelphia.

The last pick of the day came late, as Grant made his first Waiver Draft selection of the year, taking Anthony Mantha of the Red Wings, just trying to get a little bit higher in the overall standings, maybe see his team head back up to the top half before the end of the season.

So, now we'll wait for Marcin to make his first move and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can have the first two rounds done by Friday night.  Plans this weekend will likely take me away from the computer on Saturday/Sunday.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Avs Shut Down Varlamov

We're now coming out of the All-Star break and teams are getting their rosters settled down for the stretch run, while our pool teams are making their necessary adjustments for a number of races for the last nine weeks of the season.  The Colorado Avalanche are now planning on life without Semyon Varlamov, as the number one netminder has now been shut down for the rest of this dismal 2017 season with his groin problems, looking ahead to the 2018 season.

The news dropped on Monday evening, as the Avalanche are getting back to business and the team recalled Spencer Martin at the same time.

This season, Varlamov made 24 appearances in the Colorado net, winning 6 games, adding a shutout and an assist for 15 points on the year and that may have said a bit more about the team in front of him overall, in terms of results, and his overall health, in terms of playing time.

It's very disappointing news for Kristy & Don, who had absolutely no luck with their goaltending this season, Varlamov a 2nd round pick this season, failing to register many points.  Officially, Varlamov will conclude the season as the pool's worst pick in the 2nd round, since he'll do no better than 15 points now.

Since the duo are vying for the PIM pool, they would likely be better suited to save the ailing goalie for the injury round in the Waiver Draft, trying to capitalize on those 50+ minute forwards or defensemen that would help them secure their money back... you know, in theory.

Week Seventeen Waiver Draft (Jan 30)

Okay, I may have wanted to get off to a flying start to the Waiver Draft, but that may not have quite happened, as my weekend was a bit derailed from some social outings and scenarios that didn't allow me back to my computer until Sunday afternoon. So sue me.

Friday, I did receive a couple of picks, but they were not officially posted until Sunday.  Props to Troy and Wilton for getting on it.  Don't let the picture to the right fool you, Troy did go goon with the top pick, taking Nashville's Cody McLeod with the 1st overall pick, as his team tries to make up the 97 minutes between his team's and Marcie's.

Wilton followed suit, but his team is only 62 minutes back, taking Kyle Clifford of the Kings, who has been a consistent member of the nightly lineup in Los Angeles.

On Sunday night, it was when we really kicked off the festivities, when Derek B., 74 minutes back, added Zack Kassian of the Oilers to his lineup, improving both the penalty minutes and the points he was getting from Colorado's Carl Soderberg.

Tony was just about to recycle the Flyers' back-up goaltending on his team, but he thought better of it.  Instead, he took Washington back-up and best goalie available, Philipp Grubauer, as he tries to get out of the ranks of the goons, down at the bottom of the table.

The Dale C. removed one of the outdoor mini-game candidates off the list, taking Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust, as his Lady Byng eligible team didn't really have much else going for it at this point in the season.  Dale will go into the last outdoor game 5 points back of Marcie for this competition, but Rust is now his only player in that game, so it's a real long shot.

Kristy & Don, who open Week Seventeen in 2nd place in the PIM pool, are now playing catch-up.  When Week Eighteen opens up, they'll get some extra help, with Ryan White of the Coyotes on their side, as he was selected with the 6th pick.

The last decision made, at the time of this post, was Stacey M.'s hope that there would be catastrophic injuries to other teams, because she couldn't find anyone that would help her team's cause moving forward, opting to pass.  She might do the same, if nothing happens to her team in the upcoming days.

So, that's as far as we've come, Mike is now on the clock and he has been informed via e-mail.

If the All-Star Game Was a Mini-Game...

The 3-on-3 tournament format for the NHL All-Star Game is a complete hit.  I think we can all agree, more or less, that this edition of the tourney was even better than the last one, as the scoring was through the roof, including a couple of games where the winning team reached 10 goals.

Of course, there are going to be some detractors and critics to the game, but I still think those people want too much or expect too much from a game that literally means nothing.  It's so weird.  I think this is a great form of entertainment and when Alex Ovechkin is blocking shots in the final game with only minutes to go, you know there is something to this game.

So, for all intents and purposes, the All-Star Game doesn't have any value in the hockey pool this season, but one of these years, the mini-game might pop up on the wheel after a draft, so it's a good thing to get a good feel of the game.  Normally, I would think you would try to pick players that would be good for the All-Star Game, regardless, but some names you probably wouldn't even think would be heading to the mid-season classic.

Player Name Team GP G A W SO P Draft
Cam Atkinson MET 2 3 2 0 0 5 Cam Wagner
John Tavares MET 2 2 3 0 0 5 Stuart Greenley
Justin Faulk MET 2 1 4 0 0 5 Eric Wheeler
Johnny Gaudreau PAC 2 2 2 0 0 4 Tony Dourado
Bo Horvat PAC 2 2 2 0 0 4 John Swan
Connor McDavid PAC 2 2 2 0 0 4 Stacey Campbell
Nikita Kucherov ATL 1 2 2 0 0 4 Brian Towers
Cam Fowler PAC 2 1 3 0 0 4 Benson Greenley
Drew Doughty PAC 2 1 3 0 0 4 Clayton Corley
Jeff Carter PAC 2 1 3 0 0 4 Marcin Gieldowski
Vincent Trocheck ATL 1 1 3 0 0 4 Marcie LaPorte
Braden Holtby MET 2 0 0 2 0 4 Jeremy Dieser
Wayne Simmonds MET 2 3 0 0 0 3 Kristy & Don
Joe Pavelski PAC 2 2 1 0 0 3 Grant Saskiw
Taylor Hall MET 2 1 2 0 0 3 John Swan
Ryan Kesler PAC 2 1 2 0 0 3 Marcie LaPorte
Seth Jones MET 2 2 0 0 0 2 Stacey McDonald
Alex Ovechkin MET 2 1 1 0 0 2 Ryan Miller
Sidney Crosby MET 2 1 1 0 0 2 Brenda & Seward
Brent Burns PAC 2 1 1 0 0 2 Marcie LaPorte
Victor Hedman ATL 1 1 1 0 0 2 Stuart Greenley
Mike Smith PAC 2 0 0 1 0 2 Marcie LaPorte
Tyler Seguin CEN 1 0 2 0 0 2 Brian Towers
Auston Matthews ATL 1 1 0 0 0 1 Scott Gilmore
Erik Karlsson ATL 1 1 0 0 0 1 Dale Bradley
Jonathan Toews CEN 1 1 0 0 0 1 Derek Wilton
P.K. Subban CEN 1 1 0 0 0 1 Eric Wheeler
Vladimir Tarasenko CEN 1 1 0 0 0 1 Derek Bell
Martin Jones PAC 2 0 1 0 0 1 Wes Moroz
Shea Weber ATL 1 0 1 0 0 1 Marcin Gieldowski
Kyle Okposo ATL 1 0 1 0 0 1 Wes Moroz
Brad Marchand ATL 1 0 1 0 0 1 Cam Wagner
Ryan McDonagh MET 2 0 0 0 0 0 Derek Wilton
Sergei Bobrovsky MET 2 0 0 0 0 0 Mike Somerville
Frans Nielsen ATL 1 0 0 0 0 0 Dale Bradley
Carey Price ATL 1 0 0 0 0 0 Benson Greenley
Tuukka Rask ATL 1 0 0 0 0 0 Troy Berkley
Duncan Keith CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 Stuart Greenley
Ryan Suter CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 John Swan
Patrik Laine CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 Scott Gilmore
Nathan MacKinnon CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 Clayton Corley
Patrick Kane CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 Clayton Corley
Devan Dubnyk CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 John Swan
Corey Crawford CEN 1 0 0 0 0 0 Marcin Gieldowski

The Metropolitan Division were our outright winners in the tournament, as they defeated the Pacific Division in the final game, 4-3, in a much tighter game than the first two games to decide our teams in the final.

The social media voters ended up giving the MVP nod to Wayne Simmonds of the Metro Division, but as we can see in the table above, Cam Atkinson was the best player, by pool standards and he earns our MVP honour for the games.

If this celebration was a mini-game in the pool, Marcie would finally have her money back, as her team dances around a number of other mini-games and the overall points race.  Her team had four players playing in the tourney this year and her side finished with 3 goals, a win and 11 points overall, beating both Stuart and John S. by 4 points.

24 of 25 teams had players in the All-Star celebration and 22 of those 24 teams ended up with points, but it was a pretty broad range of scores at the end of the day.  Who would have thought that Atkinson or Justin Faulk would be atop of the scoring ranks in this game?

And what the hell is wrong with the Central Division?  They've crapped the bed two years in a row...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Week Sixteen Newsletter

Usually, I would save the Newsletter for a Monday publishing date, but with the All-Star weekend and the start of the Week Seventeen Waiver Draft coming together, I thought it would be very beneficial to get the weekly recap done early and published, that way I can sail right into the Waiver Draft. I am hoping that each one of you got my preview e-mail, the available players page should be updated for you, once the Newsletter is published, which will mean we are good to go to start with our picks.

One of the concerns leading up to the 2017 season for the Toronto Maple Leafs was whether or not they made the right move making Frederik Andersen into their full-time number one goalie.  Seeing as though this is now his second Player of the Week nod of the season, signs are certainly pointing to yes.

The week only spanned from Monday to Thursday in action and the Maple Leafs keeper still managed to pull 9 points out, posting back-to-back shutouts, the Flames on Monday and the Red Wings on Wednesday.  Andersen also posted an assist in the game against the Red Wings, lifting his total to the odd number and he certainly made the most of the schedule.

After a bit of a slow start to the season, Andersen has done well to climb up the overall scoring race table, now sitting 15th overall in pool scoring with 21 wins, 3 shutouts and the helper for 49 points this year.  He has made 39 appearances this season for the Leafs, so his scoring rate has been quite good this year.

Very good news for Brian's team, which retook the top spot in the standings, thanks to his number one keeper.

The shortened week didn't make for the biggest Mover & Shaker total of the season, but Marcie couldn't be too disappointed, as her team was still good for top spot in the week, collecting 26 points from Monday to Thursday, moving up three spots in the standings, from 9th place to 6th, in the process.

This is her first Mover & Shaker nod and it sets her team up for a good run down the stretch in a few places, including the overall point totals.

Marcie's goaltending has been pretty decent this season and especially so in Week Sixteen, as both Mike Smith of the Coyotes and Cam Talbot of the Oilers both walked away with 6 points.  Her goaltending combo has been good for 84 points, so far this season, which is good enough for 6th in the pool and that is with a fairly significant injury to Smith this season.

Her team's defense also had a pretty good week, as Brent Burns of the Sharks was good for 4 points and Nikita Zaitsev of the Maple Leafs was good for 3 points.  Those two almost outscored her entire forwards group, which was only good for 9 points in total.  Marcie's blueliners do lead the pool in scoring, up to 109 points in total.  Between her defense and goalies, they are really making up for a lacklustre performance from her forwards, which rank 21st in the pool in scoring.

If Marcie can shore up her team's forwards for the last nine weeks of the season, her team has a real shot at winning money in the overall pool race.  Will that mean that her team will have to forego the PIM pool or possibly the outdoor games pool?  Her team is in line for a lot of money at the moment, but how is her team going to swing all three?

It looks like Derek B. is trying to scoop some pretty good picks, since this is his team's second appearance in the Basement in the last three weeks and both weeks have not been very good.  The shortened week was only good enough for 7 points and his team improved one spot in the Waiver Draft, going down from 22nd place to 23rd.  This means he'll pick 3rd, when the Waiver Draft starts later on today.

A win from Calgary's Brian Elliott this week was his only highlight, as those 2 points were his team's best.  His team had five forwards with single points in the week and absolutely nothing from his defensemen, one of them thanks to injury.

His only route to money now will be in the penalty minute race, as his team is right in the thick of it all.  His team will open the other side of the All-Star break in 5th place, 74 minutes back, but that's a couple regular goons away from making an impact.  He'll be jockeying with Troy's team, I'm sure, but it will make for an interesting third segment of the season.

So, thanks to the Player of the Week nod, Brian did retake top spot in the standings, thanks to a 23-point week, 7 points better than Dale B., who dropped back to 2nd place.  Cam didn't exactly have a great week, picking up only 13 points and his team now sits 7 points back of Dale and 11 points back of Brian.  It was a short week, so it's not surprising that there was a little bit of movement in the money.

Brenda & Seward, Stacey C. and Marcie are all within 20 points of 1st place and even just behind them, it is still fairly close.  A good Mover & Shaker week from any of the top 10 teams and the dynamic will change.

Brenda & Seward were the goon team of the week, as their crew finished off the week with 23 minutes in penalties.  They were a whole minute better than our overall leader, Marcie, which means the top five teams were not exactly catching up to the leader in the shortened week.

Marcie's team will open next week with a 30-minute lead over Kristy & Don, who should also be gunning for some real goonage in the Waiver Draft.  Wilton, Eric and Derek B. round out the top five, but Ryan, Brian and Cam are all a minute back of Derek, so this race is far from over.  I don't think those three will be gunning for goons, but they might be able to find the best of both worlds, just in case.

The goalie survivor pool was this close (holding my thumb and fore finger together really close) from being over in the All-Star shortened week, but John S. will have to cheer on his goalies a little longer, as Stacey M. got a huge win from Pekka Rinne on Thursday night, keeping her team in the race and they will get Antti Raanta back from injury to start next week.

Week Twenty appears to be the next speed bump of a week, as the schedule will go down to 39 games, only six games better than this week, so we'll expect to carry on until then.


It was back to the press box for Nashville's Mike Ribeiro on Thursday night, as the Predators opted to have him as one of three scratches, instead of taking on the Blue Jackets.  Ribeiro's numbers have been far from impressive, only 4 goals and 25 points in 46 games, and somehow, the Predators were able to squeak out a win against a very dominant Columbus team, just as the All-Star break rolls around.

Ribeiro has been Cam's least impressive forward in the second segment and is the lowest-ranked active forward on his team with the 25 points.  Cam may be forced to keep the centre on board though, as there isn't many options available in the Waiver Draft, especially when it comes down to his pick.

The Washington Capitals granted forward T.J. Oshie an early start to the All-Star break, as he had to deal with some family matters at home. Oshie was a scratch for the team's finale before the break against the Devils, but didn't really miss him too much, beating New Jersey, 5-2.  I would expect him back when the team opens up their schedule again, Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

Oshie's absence didn't hurt Marcie's shot at being Mover & Shaker in the week, as we saw earlier in the Newsletter.  A refreshed Oshie should be good for the Capitals down the stretch.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Jan 26)

Well, Devan Dubnyk did the trick for John S. this week, as he won on Tuesday night, a 3-2 shootout decision over the Dallas Stars, ensuring that John will at least see Week Sixteen in the goalie survivor pool, but there is also a chance that he could post the mini-game win, as soon as tonight, because Stacey M. only has one shot at staying in it.

It is expected that Pekka Rinne will get the nod for the Predators tonight, giving Stacey that key start for her team's survival, but their opponents will be the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.  The Jackets are going to be sending Sergei Bobrovsky to Los Angeles for the All-Star Game festivities, taking part in the skills competition and the 3-on-3 tournament, but that doesn't appear to be enough reason to give him the night off tonight, as it appears that he'll get the start against the Predators.

Is Stacey nervous yet?

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 26)

On Tuesday night, the Ottawa Senators were without forward Mike Hoffman for their game against the Capitals, a game which they won, 3-0.  Hoffman was held out of the lineup, thanks to that ugly flu bug that has been traveling around.  The Senators will conclude their pre-All-Star schedule with a game on Thursday night against the ### and Hoffman's status is still questionable, leading up to the game.  Don't be surprised if he's a game-time decision, one that could go either way.

Derek B.'s team has been doing its best to improve its Waiver Draft selection this week, dropping down to 24th in the standings, but could still move up the overall table, as his team is only 3 points back of 22nd.

The San Jose Sharks also had scratched forward Joonas Donskoi again, Tuesday night against the Jets in Winnipeg, since his production has not seen any immediate increases since the last time he was sent up to the press box for an aerial view.  The Sharks were able to pull off a win on the road, which suggests that Donskoi may not make an appearance before the team gets their break this weekend.  The Sharks host the Oilers to conclude the schedule this week tonight and I would expect Donskoi to be a scratch again.

Mike's team is another trying to improve their Waiver Draft spot, dropping from 16th to 18th, and if the Sharks don't dress the Finn, he has a good chance to stay down below, and his team even has a chance at dropping one more spot tonight, if all goes well.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will conclude their pre-break schedule with a game in Boston tonight and it sounds like they will be without both Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist, both dealing with lower-body injuries.  The injury for Malkin will mean that he will also miss the All-Star festivities in Los Angeles, but it could be some precautionary rest and the team is choosing to miss a game before the break, citing injury, rather than missing a game due to suspension for skipping the marketing game.

Today's post seems to be about the basement teams, as they get ready for improvement in the Waiver Draft this week.  Tony's 23rd place team has Malkin, while Derek B.'s 24th place team has another appearance in the post with Hornqvist.  These two are separated by only 1 point, but only Derek really has a shot at the PIM pool, while Tony will likely just try to gain some sort of dignity through the Waiver Draft.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 24)

The Ducks are not resting on their laurels atop of the Pacific Division standings. On Monday night, defenseman Sami Vatanen was a healthy scratch against the Jets and that sort of move might have lit a fire under the division champs, as they were able to pull a 3-2 win out on the road. Vatanen hasn't had a terrible season, to date, by any imagination, but battling complacency was likely on the docket with this move.

Mike's team is already struggling to find games on the schedule in this shortened week and missing a game due to a healthy scratch is the last thing his team wants to see.

The Flames were in Toronto on Monday night, starting back-to-back nights on the road, and they did so with the scratching of both forward Micheal Ferland and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, trying to find a little jump in their lineup, but it seemed to do quite the opposite, as the flat Flames dropped the game 4-0 at the ACC.  One would have to think that one or both players would be back in the lineup for tonight's game in Montreal.

Derek B. may have missed his forward than Scott missing his defender, especially in the penalty minute race, as the game took a bit of a nasty turn, you would know that Ferland would find his way into the middle of that kind of fracas.

The flu bug continues to circulate and another pool player had fallen ill on Monday night, as Avalanche forward Matt Duchene missed the game against the San Jose Sharks.  Duchene hasn't exactly been on top of his game this season, along with the rest of the team, having only 28 points in 40 games played this season, it has been somewhat disappointing.  The absence certainly didn't help, as the Avs dropped a 5-2 decision on the night.

Another body on the list for Mike's team, which currently sits 17th, already down a spot this week, and only has 17 games projected through the rest of the week.  This is the week to drop a little bit, helps improve the Waiver Draft pick spot.

Bad news for the Montreal Canadiens, as Alex Galchenyuk re-aggravated his knee injury and he has been ruled out of tonight's game with the Calgary Flames in town.  Galchenyuk's season has been limited to 30 games, so far, which stings, because he has 27 points in those games, scoring at a very good clip.  Currently, he ranks 149th in pool scoring and he has already missed some significant time to injury.  He's day-to-day right now, but I'm sure there will be more tests to be had and he'll get his rest over the All-Star break.

The season has not been kind to Dale C.'s team, which has seen more inconsistent play than it has suffered through as many injuries, but that's not to say that injury hasn't played its part.  His team will start Tuesday night in 21st place, 63 points out of the money.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Jan 23)

We're down to our last two teams in the goalie survivor pool and instead of highlighting the entire schedule, which is pretty time consuming, I will highlight those games that matter in the final draw to the finish.

John S. and Stacey M. are our two final combatants in the survivor pool and it's All-Star week in the NHL, which means that play concludes on Thursday night.  So, as we lead up to the conclusion of the week, we'll look at the teams that their goalies have a spot on, providing a quick update for each and then moving on to the next project.

Stacey M. has a Rangers goalie, but Antti Raanta is still on the shelf with a lower-body injury, which means that there is no start there to be had tonight with the Kings in town.  Raanta is on the Injured Reserve, which means that his projected games aren't even showing up on the pool pages and there's a good chance that he won't see any action until after the break.

Henrik Lundqvist will instead get the call for the Rangers, no surprise there and he'll take on Peter Budaj of the Kings, in all likelihood.  This means it will be a Grant versus Wes game, respectively, in the pool.

John S. has stock in a game as well tonight, but it was confirmed early on in the day that his goalie, Chad Johnson, will not get the start for the Flames on Monday night in Toronto, instead it will be Derek B.'s starter, Brian Elliott, taking on Brian's starter, Frederik Andersen, at the ACC.

Win or lose, it would seem very likely that Johnson would get the next start, which goes tomorrow night in Montreal, as back-to-back nights have usually worked out to be the other goalie in the Flames' case.  Of course, that isn't a guarantee, but it certainly makes things very interesting in the pool, especially if Elliott has a great game tonight, they could turn around and start him on back-to-back nights too.

Let the anxiousness commence!

Just in case you're wondering, if these two teams are both eliminated this week... they will split the $60 as they were the last two teams standing.

Week Fifteen Newsletter

It's a big week upcoming and I am hoping to make sure that the blog reflects that, as much as possible.  Week Sixteen is the All-Star shortened week, where we will be limited in games, but on the plus side, the Week Seventeen Waiver Draft could get a bit of a head start.  We'll go over the Week Fifteen numbers and news first, but there will be an e-mail going out this week to alert everyone of the upcoming Waiver Draft, hoping that we don't have the same stalls that we did the first time around.

That was quite the race in Week Fifteen for the top individual honours, as it came right down to the wire on Sunday for the decision. In the end, there were two players with 9 points each and even another three players with 8 points, some coming in with 8 points and a game to play on Sunday. That's just how close it was. In the end, it was Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary edging out Long Island's Thomas Greiss for the honour, thanks to the goal scoring tie-breaker.

And who is this Sheary fella?  You don't remember him in the Penguins' run in the playoffs last year?  He was there, contributing 10 points in 23 games for their Cup run.  This season, the 24-year old has found a regular spot in the Penguins roster, because he has been able to put pucks in the net and dish it out from time to time as well.  On such a high-powered Penguins roster, this shouldn't come as that big of a surprise.

In the week, Sheary finished with 6 goals and 3 assists in four games, picking up at least a point in each game.  2 goals and an assist against Washington on Monday, an assist against the Canadiens on Wednesday, 2 goals against the Hurricanes on Friday and then another 2 goals and an assist against the Bruins on Sunday.  An evenly played week, if you ask me.

Sheary was taken with the 19th pick in the Week Eight Waiver Draft by Wilton, as his team was right in the thick of the money race... before his team's collapse.  Since being picked up in the Waiver Draft, Sheary has 22 points in 21 games and is Derek's 5th best forward this season, which says a lot about how bad his team has tanked since.

It was a great Mover & Shaker race this week, as the number of games ramped up to 52 on the NHL schedule in Week Fifteen, leaving lots of action to decide this one.  Stacey C. and Dale B. were tied at a record week of 40 points, heading into Sunday's action, where Stacey had the edge in games to be played and that was what separated the two teams in the end, as his team finished with a new record in the 2017 season, with 45 points.

Remarkably, this is the first time since the 2015 season where we had a Mover & Shaker over 40 points and there were two teams this week that did the feat.  The last team to do it belonged to Brian in Week Twenty of the 2015 season.

It was another Waiver Draft pick-up that was key to a pool team's success in the week, as Mike Condon, the fill-in starter for the Ottawa Senators had found a bit of a hot streak, picking up 8 points in the week, leading the way on Stacey's team.

Connor McDavid of the Oilers also had himself a pretty good week for the proxy team, finishing with 6 points, while Andre Burakovsky of the Capitals, Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks and Nino Niederreiter of the Wild each finished with 5 points a piece.  Also worthy of a mention was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Oilers, the only player on his team to finish with 4 points.  Stacey's team had a couple of naughts on the blueline, but for the most part, his team saw production from the better part of his team.

The big week in the points department did translate in the standings, as Stacey's team moved up from 13th place up to 7th and is only 18 points back of 3rd place, after gaining 20 points on that position already.  With another Waiver Draft upcoming, there is lots to play for on Stacey's team and there could be a couple of places in need of improvement when Week Seventeen rolls around.

Injuries got the better of Stacey M. in Week Fifteen, as her team may have to look to a mini-game to keep her money hopes alive and there is one in particular that she is likely keeping her eye on.

14 points was all that her team could muster in the week, but with three key players on the Injured Reserve, it should come as no surprise that the points were not going to be there.  Thankfully, her team has a guys like Pekka Rinne, who has been very solid this season and he led her team with 4 points in the week, also keeping her team in the goalie survivor pool, which there will be more on that a bit later on in the post.

Injuries to Aleksander Barkov of the Panthers, Max Domi of the Coyotes and Antti Raanta of the Rangers were certainly playing a role, but that wasn't an excuse for the three other players who were healthy in the week and failed to register a point.

Stacey's team was never really in the overall money mix this season, posting a peak position of 9th place at the end of Week One, 11th in Week Two and had only seen as high as 13th in Week Eleven after that.  She has climbed on Rinne and is going to ride this pony as far as he will take her in the survivor pool, it would seem.

We have a new leader!  Dale B., one of the two 40+ point teams in the week, made the jump from 4th place, all the way to 1st, jumping Brenda & Seward, Cam and Brian, in that order, to take the lead and made this race even more interesting!

Everyone from last week was just bumped down one spot with the big move and the difference from 1st to 4th is only 8 points, which as we just saw, means a good week can put a team in the pole position.

Our reigning champ and trophy holder, Jeremy, has also seen his team make some moves this week,  jumping from 11th to 5th and is now 11 points back of the money pack.  Ryan is only 2 points back of Jeremy to start the week, followed by Stacey C. and Scott, behind Ryan by 1 point.  Oh boy, the Waiver Draft is really going to mean something.

Troy, who put a lot of eggs into the PIM pool, takes another goon team of the week honour, but only with 30 minutes, narrowly edging our current mini-game leader, Marcie, by a single minute.

It wasn't a very good week for penalty minutes, as the pool, combined, failed to hit the 400-minute mark between 25 teams, which isn't uncommon, but the teams could do so much better.

Marcie's team picked up 8 minutes on her overall lead, which now stands at 14 minutes over Kristy & Don, while Wilton's team is 50 minutes back and holds a much better spot for the Waiver Draft than Marcie or the duo.

Troy's team was too focused on their goonage and Tuukka Rask was not able to get the job done in Week Fifteen, which means his team was eliminated from the goalie survivor pool, leaving John S. and Stacey M. to play for their money back this season.

That's right!  We're down to two teams and the All-Star shortened week is now upon us!  How exciting!  The week will play Monday through Thursday, leaving very few chances to earn that win.  John S. has five projected games from his goalies, Chad Johnson with three and Devan Dubnyk with two, while Stacey M. only has one healthy goalie at the moment and Pekka Rinne has two projected games this week.

This may be worth while of getting some smaller goalie announcement posts this week, trying to watch the finish of this mini-game... or its potential, at least.

We're still weeks away from any more updates on the outdoor games pool, but have you had a look at the available players?  The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will be playing in the last outdoor game of the season... are there any left to help you lift your team over Marcie's for the $60 win?


Just when Troy needed him most, but down 2-0, Tuukka Rask had to leave Sunday's game against the Penguins, as he was feeling under the weather.  This solidified Troy's elimination, not like the Penguins were going to relent on their scoring, as they finished up on the Bruins with a 5-1 win, getting the best of Zane McIntyre for another three goals.  The Bruins have yet to do anything about their goaltending situation on Monday morning, so there is some indication that Rask might be okay to either play or back-up on Tuesday night, with the Red Wings in town.

The Detroit Red Wings lost the services of Thomas Vanek on Sunday afternoon, as the scoring Austrian suffered a lower-body injury, believed to be in the groin area, in the 1st period against the Rangers. The word on Monday morning is that Vanek is not traveling with the team to Boston and will sit out at least that game, for sure.  More news came from the Red Wings camp as well, as Dylan Larkin was also hurt on the weekend, suffering an upper-body injury and he is now expected to miss the team's next two games as well.  That's two solid losses for the Red Wings forward group, as they struggle to find offense as it is.

The loss of Larkin has more potential for money lost, as he belongs to John S.'s 10th place team, while Vanek belongs to the goon squad of Kristy & Don.  Vanek hasn't exactly spent much time in the box, so there's that as well.

The dreaded illness that is sweeping the illness got the best of Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu on Sunday night, keeping him out of Sunday's late game against the Predators.  He's considered to be day-to-day, but as we've seen already this year, this illness can knock out a player for 2-to-3 games without blinking.

Ryan's team wasn't able to keep up as much as he would have liked in the points department, but his proxy team is still in the mix.  His team will open the week 17 points back of 3rd place.

We're still waiting to hear more on the injury that Kevin Hayes had suffered in Sunday afternoon's game against the Red Wings.  Hayes suffered the injury in the 2nd period and was not able to return to the game and the Rangers are turning around for a quick one on Monday night, with the Kings on Broadway.  As of the time of this post, there was no updates, but it would seem doubtful that he is going to play.

Rough news for Mike's team, which doesn't have a great deal to play for in the remainder of the season.  Mike's team is now 47 points back of the money, which would take a miracle pick or two in the Waiver Draft to get back, but I suppose it isn't impossible.

The Philadelphia Flyers currently occupy the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and they are still trying to prod their blueline for more consistency.  On Sunday, Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch, like some of his other qualified blueline mates, they have all found their way upstairs in a game or two this season.  I would imagine that Del Zotto would be back in the lineup on Wednesday night in New York.

Wes' team has started to find a scoring touch, but likely a little too late.  His team's 33 points in the week has now lifted him up to 19th place in the standings and it would seem very likely that his team will look for more scoring at the Waiver Draft next week.