MHTPool-490x284

Since last week was American Thanksgiving I took a week off from writing the weekly wrap up so instead I could do a 1/3 season review. Truthfully the thought of breaking down the individual match ups last week with all the holiday festivities going on around my house was just too daunting. But please don’t be too replete with anger I think you will like this 2 week project instead. In this 2 week edition of the MHT Fantasy Leagues Wrap Up I will breakdown each team instead of each match up.

 

Montreal Hockey Talk League 1 Currnet Rankings 12/1/14
Jukebox Burgers Division Little Bear Pet Supplies Division
Rank Team W L T Pts Rank Team W L T Pts
2 Me So Vyborny 38 27 5 81 1 East Infection 47 20 3 97
3 Gallagher Gonads 37 28 5 79 4 Parenteau Guidance 38 30 2 78
5 Markov’s Bionic Knee 36 32 2 74 6 Coach Rules 35 32 3 73
7 MC Dreidal 33 31 6 72 8 Eric’s Team 33 34 3 69
10 Verlo Virgins 28 40 2 58 9 The Storm Troubas 30 38 2 62
12 Delta Sleep Blues 20 47 3 43 11 Pucking Right 25 41 4 54

 

East Infection (#1)

In League 1 East Infection (EI) has held a sizable lead (currently 16 points ahead of 2nd) most of the season and for good reason. They are top 5 in every category except 1 and they’re top 3 in 4 out of 10 overall. Here’s how things are breaking down for EI:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 97 169 35 228 77 398 26 2.17 990 0.919
Ranking 2nd 1st 4th 3rd 5th 5th T 3rd 2nd 8th 4th

East Infection seems to only have 1 weak spot on their team and that’s total saves. While they’re tied for 3rd in wins they’re 8th in total saves, that means they’re goalies are getting limited work in the games they play which is fine as long as they keep in winning. The only thing I would do to this team is try and trade for an elite fantasy goalie. I don’t know if Crawford, Holtby and Halak can sustain their current pace. I would be scared of Halak mostly because of his injury history. Selling high on him might be a smart move.  Offensively EI is in great shape because their stars are playing like stars, Tyler Seguin, John Tavares, Duncan Keith, JVR, and Brent Burns are all preforming at the levels expected of them or better. Compound that with some daft FA pick ups and nailing late round draft picks like Tyler Johnson, Brock Nelson, Blake Wheeler, and Erik Johnson who are all out preforming their expected totals by a lot, and you have the makings of a top team.

 

Me So Vyborny (#2)

Me So Vyborny (MSV) Is holding onto 2nd place right now by only 2 points over 3rd and is only 7 points out of a playoff spot. MSV is leading 4 categories and is top 5 in all but 3. Here’s how things are breaking down for MSV:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 102 151 67 190 88 537 25 2.41 1024 0.918
Ranking 1st 4th 1st 6th 1st 1st 5th 6th 7th 5th

MSV is in the same boat as EI when it comes to why their team is winning and where they need to sure up some problem area’s. MSV is counting on the return of John Gibson to give their goaltending the boost it needs. When Gibson returns you can bet that MSV will be looking to move out valuable asset Jonathan Bernier for a PIM’s leader. They should make up ground in net with Elliot’s injury and Allen becoming the #1 in St Louis but, one can never count on injuries in fantasy hockey. MSV is winning for the same reasons that East Infection is in 1st. MSV’s top 3 draft picks (Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price, Max Pacioretty) are playing at or well above their expected level of play. They also nailed the late rounds of the draft and added key free agents like Tyler Taffoli, Jake Allen, and Nick Foligno. With things being so tight it will be interesting to see if MSV can catch East Infection.

 

Gallagher Gonads (#3)

Gallagher Gonads (GG) is in 3rd place and is doing it solely on the backs of their core group of forwards. Being top 5 in 3 of the 6 offensive categories is helping them win but being 10th in 3 of 4 goalie categories hurts. Here’s how things are breaking down for GG:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 84 149 -10 194 78 384 13 2.88 1067 0.905
Ranking 4 6 9 5 4 7 10 10 4 10

GG is getting great production from everywhere in their draft. His offense is led by Patrick Kane, Nicklas Backstrom, Zach Parise, Tyler Bozak, and Ryan Kesler. They’re all playing at All-Star levels and are producing wins for GG. The problem they have is in net, the Mike Smith and Cory Schneider duo has been less than advertised. GG is in 10th place in 3 of 4 categories and that’s just not getting it done. Cory Schneider started out slow but has been good as of late but Mike Smith has been a total let down. Smith is currently being out played by as Coach K put it an AHL goalie in Devan Dubnyk. Hmmmm….. maybe GG should see if they can work a deal out for Bernier?

 

Parenteau Guidance (#4)

Parenteau Guidance (PG) is in 4th place but goaltending issues might derail their bid for a championship. They are top 3 in 3 offensive categories but are in the bottom half or middle of the pack in every netminding stat. Here’s how things are breaking down for PG:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 69 155 56 249 66 395 10 2.85 1025 0.915
Ranking 9 3 2 2 8 6 11 9 6 6

PG is off to a good start hanging out in 4th place but the inconstancy of their line up might be a problem moving forward. PG is in the top 3 in 3 of 6 skater categories with 155 assists but goals just aren’t coming. Any team that has the #1 overall pick and takes Sid “the kid” Crosby better be near the top in assists, so that’s good but I can’t believe that others are not putting the biscuit in the basket. PG has only 1 player with double digit goals (Vladimir Tarasenko 14 goals) and Crosby has 9. Their whole team has solid numbers across the board except for goals which makes leads me to believe that a turn around is coming in the goals department.  PG is being led by Crosby, Tarasenko, Shea Weber, and Kevin Shattenkirk who are all having a great season and with the exception of Crosby (Drafted #1 overall and is currently the #1 rated player) are providing great value compared to where they were drafted. The problem is players like Evander Kane, TJ Oshie, Mats Zuccarello, and Brandon Saad have yet to hit their stride and contribute on a constant basis. PG had problems in net this year mainly because their workhorse Sergei Bobrovsky went down with an injury leaving Craig Anderson and LA Kings backup Martin Jones to carry the load alone. With goalie Bob healthy and if E. Kane, Saad, and Oshie can finally start to find the back of the net more constantly PG will be moving up the standings fast.

 

Markov’s Bionic Knee (#5)

Markov’s Bionic Knee (MBK) is another team with solid skater numbers but less than average goalie numbers. They top 5 in 5 of 6 skater categories but are in the bottom half of the league in 3 of 4 goalie categories. Here’s how things are breaking down for MBK:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 79 149 39 202 80 446 20 2.78 1124 0.908
Ranking T6 5 3 4 3 3 7 8 3 9

MBK is having a little trouble scoring goals this season even with Steven Stamkos on their roster. Stamkos and Toews are the only 2 players that have double digit goals but even though the others are not scoring their +/-, Pim’s, PPP, and Hits are being racked up. MBK needs some of their earlier draft picks to pick up their play, a player like Jerome Iginla a perennial 30/30 guy with 40-50 pims and around 100 hits each year is not even close to that pace.  If they want to remain in playoff contention they will have to make some moves to solidify their secondary scoring. Their goaltending trio of Jonas Hiller, Kari Lehtonen, and Dustin “Ticker” Tokarski seems to be on a bit of a skid. Hiller started the season off on fire but has been losing time to Karri Ramo since the Flames announced they have 2 #1 goalies and will stick with the hot hand. Lehtonen has been plagued by a team that just can’t seem to catch a break. Dallas has had some of the worst puck luck I have ever seen, it seems like every bounce goes for the other team. Lehtonen’s .905 sv% is not good by any stretch but should improve, at the very least his win totals should climb as Dallas’s team shooting % should start to climb because its at an all time low right now. As Habs fans we all love Ticker but he will continue to see very little of the net as long as Price stays healthy. Either way MBK looks to be a team on the rise in the 2nd and 3rd parts of the fantasy hockey season.

 

Coach Rules (#6)

Coach Rules so far has taken an auto drafted team and put themselves into playoff contention. Solid goaltending seems to be their secret but if they don’t get secondary scoring soon they could find themselves at the bottom of the standings fast. Here’s how things are breaking down for Coach Rules:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 74 134 -21 145 70 308 23 2.23 1048 0.927
Ranking 8 7 10 9 7 10 6 3 5 1

Coach Rules is winning because their goalies are playing great and they have Evgeni Malkin and Rick Nash. While Jakub Voracek and Henrik Zetterburg are busy putting up lots of assists, Malkin and Nash are filling out the score sheet. Coach Rules is winning despite being in the bottom half of every skater category. While there goaltending has been very good an injury to Brian Elliott could derail things a bit. Jonathan Quick and Marc-Andre Fleury have been really good this year for fantasy purposes and it shows. Coach Rules is #1 in SV% and #3 in GAA. Getting Derek Stepan back from injury will help this roster a lot, his solid +/- and a potential 25 goals could prove to be a major part of this team hitting its stride. As good as Coach Rules has been, I wonder if Coach K spent a little more time trying to improve his roster through trades and FA pick ups how good his team could really be.

 

MC Dreidal (#7)

MC Dreidal is only 1 point out of a playoff spot and needs to get healthy to improve their chances of making the playoffs. The injury bug has bit many teams but MC Dreidal seems to be bit harder than most. Here’s how things are breaking down for MC Dreidal:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 84 121 26 133 65 305 26 2.38 1240 0.914
Ranking 3 9 6 T10 9 11 T3 5 1 7

MC Dreidal seems to have focused their draft on goal scorers and goalies that play a lot. They’re 3rd in goals, 1st in total saves and 3rd in wins, this is a good start so far considering all the injuries they’ve suffered. With players like Mike Green, Pascal Dupuis, and Brandon Dubinsky all on the IR for extended stays it’s undoubtedly going to take a chunk out of all the skater categories. MC Dreidal’s goaltending has been good through the 1st third of the season and should continue to get better. King Henrik’s numbers should only get better as the Rangers continue to get healthy and as long as Frederik Anderson and Jimmy Howard continue to maintain MC Dreidal should be solid in net. It might be in their best interest to try and trade one of those 3 studs in net for a solid back up and a high assist guy.

 

Eric’s Team (#8)

Eric’s Team team is is scoring enough points to be a contender but they seem to be giving up too many goals to crack the top 6. Their Goaltending is solid and are tied for 1st in wins and is top 5 in GAA. Here’s how things are breaking down for Eric’s Team:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 80 157 -27 174 87 438 27 2.36 977 0.912
Ranking 5 2 12 7 2 4 T1 4 9 8

Eric’s Team has a group of forwards that all score but not at high levels. They only have 2 players (Martin St. Louis & Phil Kessel) with double digit goals but they currently sit 5th in goals, so they must be doing something right. While they’ve scored a total of 237 points they sit dead last in +/- at -27. Eric’s Team needs some help getting pucks in the net from the blueline, only Dennis Wideman with 8 goals has more than 2 and Kris Russell has 0. Eric’s Team is top 5 in 5 of 10 categories and that’s pretty good, but with a few minor tweeks to their roster they could easily move up in each. While Darcy Kuemper and Ryan Miller have been strong in net so far Kuemper has yet to prove he can do it for a full season and Miller is no spring chicken. Adding a quality 3rd goalie and trying to solidify their backend should be number 1 & 2 on their to-do list moving forward.

 

The Storm Trouba’s (#9)

The Storm Trouba’s (TST) are trying to use the goons and goalie’s method to win but it doesn’t seem to be working. While their goalies are strong and they spend a lot of time in the sin bin they just can’t score enough. Here’s how things are breaking down for TST:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 58 110 18 263 53 461 17 2.52 1139 0.922
Ranking 11 11 8 1 10 2 8 7 2 3

TST is leading the way in PIM’s with a whopping 263 minutes and is ranked 2nd in hits with 461. They only have 17 wins and are carrying 4 goalies so I expect that total to climb once Varlamov comes back from injury. TST’s goalies have played well putting them #2 in total saves and #3 in SV%, the problem is their goalies play on bad teams. Niemi, Luongo, Mason, and Varlamov’s teams have all underwhelmed so far in the win department and that’s TST’s problem. While the SV% is high the GAA is also high because they see so many shots. Offensively they sit in 11th in both goals and assists. While their players know how to hit and commit penalties they need to score to to be useful in this league. Having one guy who can score 10-15 goals and get you 100-150 PIMS is great but when you have 3 players like that you lose roster spots for guys that can do more. While Lucic is not scoring as much as you would expect, Roussel and Steven Downie just don’t do enough in the other categories to win sometimes. TST had a strong roster heading into the start of the season but things on paper and the way they play out are always different. While Claude Giroux has put up 20 assists he still only has 7 goals combine that to what the gambling accusations have done to Tomas Vanek (only 2 goals so far) & you’re behind the 8 ball fast.  Maybe trading away a goalie and a goon could score them that much needed offensive threat.

 

Verlo Virgins (#10)

Verlo Virgins needs help everywhere being in the bottom half of almost every category except the 2 that they’re 6th in. Offensively challenged and goalie deficient the time for free agent adds and trades are here. Here’s how things are breaking down for Verlo Virgins:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 79 134 21 165 72 364 14 3.01 689 0.897
Ranking T6 8 7 8 6 8 9 12 11 12

Lets start with the forward core because this team needs help. Verlo Virgins only has 2 players with double digit goals, Ryan Callahan and Corey Perry.  While Perry has 14 goals he only has 6 assists and this team needs more from him to justify a 1st round pick. Verlo’s leading scorer is defenseman Mark Giordano right now with 25 points (6 goals, 19 assists). That’s just not cutting it. Verlo is saddled with players like Matt Duchene, Ales Hemsky, and Bobby Ryan who are all way under preforming compared to their draft position and expectations. Unfortunately for the Verlo Virgins their goaltending is in rough shape as well. Only having 2 goalies is okay sometimes when you have an elite pair but while Ben Bishop can be half that, Robin Lehner is a far cry from elite. Lehner has struggled all season long and is now relegated to back up duties again in Ottawa. Trading a hot D like Giordano and a stud like Perry should land Verlo Virgins the depth up front and in net they need to improve their standing in the league.

 

Pucking Right (#11)

Pucking Right (PR) is strugging due to injuries and a lack of making daily roster changes. It’s too bad because their goaltending is very strong. Here’s how things are breaking down for PR:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 47 89 -22 97 51 174 27 2.05 969 0.926
Ranking 12 12 11 12 11 12 T1 1 10 2

PR epitomizes the absentee owner and this league could be in trouble if they decide to take an interest because they have some nice pieces. Considering they haven’t checked their team since Oct. 2nd the fact that they are tied for 1st in wins and have the best GAA in the league is remarkable. PR’s goalie trio could land them some help with their injury riddled forwards. Losing Nathan Horton and Patrick Sharp really hurts your bottom line but not making daily roster changes kills your chance of competing most of the time. Just moving Chara and Sharp into the empty IR spots until they get healthy and dropping Horton could add as many as 20 goals to their overall total. PR is dead last in 4 of 6 skater categories and in the other 2 they’re in 11th. I will say grabbing Rinne, Backstrom, and Tuukka Rask has led this team to having the best goaltending numbers overall in the league. Trading Rask or Rinne could grab them a top forward and a middle of the road goalie which combined with making daily roster changes could really turn this season around for PR.

 

Delta Sleep Blues (#12)

Delta Sleep Blues (DSB) is in last place but it’s not for their lack of trying. They lead the league in roster adds with 28, and have tried to do what ever they can to move up the leader board. Here’s how things are breaking down for DSB:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP Hits Wins GAA SV’s SV%
Total Amount 66 117 33 133 50 362 6 2.97 592 0.902
Ranking 10 10 5 T10 12 9 12 11 11 11

DSB didn’t sit around and wait for players to start producing they took action. 28 roster adds so far this year is amazing and shows that they are working like dogs to get out of the basement. Anze Kopitar only has 10 points on the season so far and while that’s bad don’t be surprised when all of sudden you see 70 points and 30+ goals in his stat line by years end. DSB has added young players that are playing well above their projections. Players like Filip Forsberg, Nikita Kucherov, Nino Niederreiter, Jori Lehtera, TJ Brodie, Matt Beleskey, Karri Ramo, and Michael Hutchinson are all playing great and could provide the necessary lift DSB needs to get out of the basement. If I were DSB I would be trying to sell high a lot of these young players for a true #1 goalie and buy low on some under preforming players due for a bounce back. That’s just me but if DSB really believes in all these young guys and they keep up their torrid pace League 1 better watch out because DSB could rise in the standings fast.

 

 

League 2

Montreal Hockey Talk League 2 Currnet Rankings 12/1/14
Peel Pub Division Custom Conditioning
Rank Team W L T Pts Rank Team W L T Pts
1 The Rabid Desharnais 41 20 9 91 2 Slashers 41 24 5 87
3 Prusty Trombones 41 27 2 84 6 Nick’s Neat Team 34 32 4 72
4 #50in07 34 27 9 77 7 Kentucky Slims 33 32 5 71
5 Kit Kat 34 28 8 76 8 EightFive 33 34 3 69
11 Pamela’s Triple 8’s 22 24 6 50 9 The #AlmostBourques 29 35 6 64
12 Les Meatballs 20 43 7 47 10 Team Rage 24 42 4 52

 

The Rabid Desharnais (#1)

The Rabid Desharnais (TRD) is picking up right where they left off last year. TRD is the defending champion and has rode solid production back to 1st place Here’s how things are breaking down for TRD:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 87 140 -9 267 74 767 26 2.15 0.922 4
Ranking 4 T4 11 1 4 8 2 2 4 T4

TRD is top 4 in 8 of 10 categories so it’s no surprise that they are leading league 2. Their goaltending trio of Jake Allen, Antti Niemi, and Corey Crawford have been very solid so far posting 26 wins and giving them the 2nd best season in all of league 2 so far. On the skaters end TRD is led by a pair of Penguins that are having career years. Patric Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin have combined for 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points so far. Even the defense for TRD gets into the mix with Dennis Wideman and Brent Burns having 8 and 7 goals respectively. The one category that TRD is struggling in is +/-, which is seems strange with all the points they are scoring but never the less they are giving up more goals then they are scoring. If I were TRD I would think about selling on players that seem to be out producing their normal levels because it’s unusual to be 4th in goals and 8th in SOG. That shooting % might dip a bit in the 2nd and 3rd parts of the season. But if things stay the same for TRD they will be tough to beat.

 

Slashers (#2)

Slashers might be #2 in the standings but don’t sleep on this team because it has some real strenghts. Goaltending has been outstanding and their skaters really know how to score.  Here’s how things are breaking down for Slashers:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 69 182 21 225 87 838 29 2.07 0.928 4
Ranking 8 1 4 2 2 4 1 1 T1 T4

Slashers is in the top 4 in an astounding 9 of 10 categories and sits in 1st place in 3 of 4 goaltending categories.  Their only perceived weak spot is in goals but I suspect that to change as long as their team keeps shooting. Its no surprise that Slashers sits 1st in assists with perennial assist leaders like Claude Giroux, Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and breakout star Jakub Voracek rostered. It’s also not shocking to see a goaltending tandum that includes Carey Price and Pekka Rinne lead league 2 in 3 of 4 categories. This team seems rock solid top to bottom, and considering they have been without Victor Hedman most of the year I expect them to challange The Rabid Desharnais for the top spot all year long. I guess Slashers will have to decide if they think their players can produce at this pace all year or if they think selling high on some guys is the right thing to do.

 

Prusty Trombones (#3)

Prusty Trombones (PT) dealt with injuries and terrible play by their goalies and still is in 3rd place. Their skaters have been great but goaltending is a large issue. Here’s how things are breaking down for PT:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 88 163 25 150 97 936 12 3.13 0.899 1
Ranking 3 2 3 9 1 1 11 11 12 T9

PT looks like the real deal being in 3rd place which includes top 3 spots in 5 of 6 skater categories. PT has some work to do in net with Sergei Bobrovsky, Mike Smith, and Ben Scrivens leading them to the bottom 2 of all 4 goalie categories. Goalie Bob was injured for a while, Mike Smith has been out played by Devan Dubnyk thus far and Ben Scivens could be the best goalie in the world and would still post terrible numbers playing for Edmonton. Now that Bobrovsky is healthy again and Columbus is starting to regain the form they had last year, PR’s numbers should improve. Or they could deal some of their skater depth for another quality goalie. PT has got great value in 2 draft picks landing Mark Giordano and Valdimir Tarasenko, both are opening eyes all over the league. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for PT.

 

#50in07 (#4)

#50in07 is struggling offensively but it’s okay because their goalies have been strong. Their problem seems to be some key players under preforming. Here’s how things are breaking down for #50in07:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 68 128 -4 178 72 877 17 2.29 0.928 3
Ranking 9 9 8 5 6 2 T6 4 T1 T7

#50in07 skaters are all over the place, they have some guys preforming well above their projected value but they also have some key pieces preforming well below expectations. Some of the bright spots are Blake Wheeler, Johnny Boychuck, and John Carlson. They’re all playing well above their draft slot and are producing some great stats. The problem is its being countered by players like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Drew Doughty, P.A. Parenteau, David Backes and Bobby Ryan.  All of whom are playing well below their normal fantasy levels. David Backes for instance came into the season as the 50th ranked player overall and right now he is ranked 183th according to Yahoo’s player rater. Backes and the Blues have been disappointing for most of the season and if this lasts much longer #50in07 and the Blues both could be in trouble. The place where #50in07 has been constantly good is in the goaltending department, their backstops of Jonathan Quick, Martin Jones, and Roberto Luongo have all been good. My thought is that #50in07 under preforming players can make it back to their normal production and their surprise players can stay good this team is primed for a breakout.

 

Kit Kat (#5)

Kit Kat (KK) does 1 thing very well and it’s score goals. While they lead league 2 in goals they’re in the top half of every category except 2 and those they’re in 7th. Here’s how things are breaking down for KK:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 91 140 13 176 75 849 26 2.32 0.914 3
Ranking 1 4 7 6 3 3 T2 5 T6 T7

It’s not a surprise that a team with Stamkos on it would lead the league in goals but when you add in Forsberg, Bozak, and Toews it becomes expected. Bozak and Forsberg are a surprise to have double digits goals this early, but good teams always have surprises. Where KK needs work is on the blueline. Pietrangelo, Krug, Niskanen, and Goligoski have become anchors all producing points far below their expectations coming into this season. In net KK’s team is back stopped by Frederik Andersen, Jonas Hiller, and Jimmy Howard. This trio has provided good production so far this season but Hiller is stuck on a team that has said they are going to ride the hot hand and they have 2 #1 goalies. Frederik Andersen is also getting lots of starts right now but expect him to lose time when the future #1 John Gibson returns from injury. This team has been up and down this season but has become more constant as of late and if it stays that way, going deep into the playoffs will happen for KK.

 

Nick’s Neat Team (#6)

Nick’s Neat Team (NNT) sits in 6 place despite being ranked 11th or 12th in 4 of 10 categories. They’ve survived some injuries and got great goaltending to land in the 6th spot after the 1st third of the fantasy season. Here’s how things are breaking down for NNT:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 81 113 -13 103 68 675 25 2.16 0.925 7
Ranking T6 11 12 12 T8 11 4 3 3 1

Goaltending seems to be the key for NNT this season, thanks to Halak and Fleury posting 7 shutouts between them. NNT is top 4 in all of the goalie categories and is 1st in shutouts. They struck gold drafting Rick Nash but the rest of their team is not producing at their expected levels. Despite that, they’ve found themselves in a playoff spot but things could could fall apart if their offense doesn’t pick up their play. Being bottom half in 5 categories is not a recipe for success. Chris Kunitz and Dan Boyle going down to injury this week won’t help either. Players like Pavel Datsyuk, Eric Staal, and Brian Campbell better turn things around soon or NNT will find themselves out of the playoffs.

 

Kentucky Slims (#7)

Drafting young stars seems to have Kentucky Slims (KS) moving in the right direction. Some key injuries have led to a drop in the standings but the numbers point to a rebound. Here’s how things are breaking down for KS:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 89 141 17 144 72 835 19 2.77 0.903 4
Ranking 2 3 6 10 T5 5 5 9 10 T4

KS went youth in their draft and are being rewarded for it. Players like Jaden Schwartz, Tanner Pearson, Ryan Johansen, Brock Nelson, and TJ Brodie have all been great surprises. All of these players except for Johansen (71) were ranked outside the top 150 coming into the season but are all ranked inside the top 35 except for Pearson (150). Injuries and inconstant goaltending have left KS outside of a playoff spot at the 1 third season mark. While Ryan Miller has been constantly decent all year, Onjdrej Pavelec and Steve Mason have been Jekyll and Hyde all season. In Pavelec’s case he’s been solid but Michael Hutchinson has just been better and that means less starts for Pavelec. KS started the season off with a few key injuries that they’re trying to overcome and it’s been tough. Chara, Sharp, and Stepan all either started the season injured or were injured soon after. Stepan is the only player that has returned and he looks good but losing Sharp and Chara is still taking its toll. When they come back look out for KS to be a mover and shaker on the leader board.

 

EightFive (#8)

Inconstancy has landed EightFive in 8th place but looking at their team I see big things on the horizon. Goaltending has been an issue that’s plagued them all season but they’re trying to plug that hole. Here’s how things are breaking down for EightFive:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 85 131 20 205 68 816 17 2.54 0.915 5
Ranking 5 7 5 3 T8 6 T6 7 5 T2

EightFive has solid numbers across the board so its strange to see them sitting in 8th place, but when you dig a little deeper you see why. In EightFive’s losses they have run into teams best weeks and that happens in a head to head league, the schedule just sucks sometimes. This team has a chance to move up in the standings as the season progresses because things usually equal out on the luck side. But if they can’t get more constant goaltending that might not happen. Cory Schneider and Darcy Kuemper have been solid all year but unfortunately their teams have not. The Wild have had no puck luck and one of the leagues worst shooting percentages and the Devils are the leagues oldest team so wins have been hard to come by for both keepers. EightFive has recently added Martin Brodeur and Antti Raanta (both fill-ins for injured starters) to try and add starts but they will be temporary fixes. Maybe trading one of their young kids and a goalie for a true #1 fantasy goalie could help turn things around. But with this roster just sitting tight could work as well.

 

The #BourquesGone (#9)

The #BourquesGone (TBG) sits in 9th place because they’re in the bottom half of 5 categories. While their point production in middle of the pack PIM’s and shutouts really need work. Here’s how things are breaking down for TBG:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 81 135 38 132 69 809 17 2.64 0.914 1
Ranking T6 6 2 11 7 7 T6 8 T6 T9

TBG’s skaters are all doing well but the problem they have is in net. 2 of their 3 goalies were in the discussion for the Veinza trophy coming into this season. Unfortunately for TBG none of them are playing at that level currently. All 3 netminders have a sub .920 sv% and Lehtonen and the now injured Varlamov both are hovering around a 3.00 GAA. That GAA is misleading for both goalies only because their teams have been so bad defensively. I expect all 3 goalies to turn it around in the last 2 thirds of the season but if they don’t TBG is in major trouble. I like the top end of their draft where they grabbed Seguin, Pavelski, Simmons, and Couture. Those players are what we call 5 category players because they all contribute to 5 of the 6 categories. They also grabbed a couple of surprises like Nick Foligno and Tyler Johnson who have produced at an elite level so far. If they can get some help in net and at least a couple of their duds like Christian Ehrhoff and T.J. Oshie to start producing this team could present problems for the rest of the league.

 

Team Rage (#10)

It’s not a surprise to see Team Rage (TR) at the bottom of the standings when you look at the numbers. They seem to be struggling in every category because of under preforming All-Stars. Here’s how things are breaking down for TR:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 59 105 -6 151 35 720 16 2.84 0.902 1
Ranking 11 12 10 8 12 9 10 10 11 T9

TR is plagued by exceptional players not coming close to those expectations. Players like Anze Kopitar, Thomas Vanek, Patrik Elias, Marian Gaborik, Matt Duchene, and Jarome Iglina have all not just been bad but career worse bad. When you add in the injured players like Ryan McDonagh, Mike Green, and Joffrey Lupul it makes for a gloomy situation. Team Rage does have at least one bright spot and that’s Kris Versteeg. He’s been nothing short of amazing for TR and now that he’s getting time on the Blackhawks 2nd line with Patrick Kane and Brad Richards I don’t see that production stopping. TR drafted the #1 fantasy goalie coming into this season in Tuukka Rask, but his Bruins have been so bad that it’s pushed Rask’s numbers down to the middle of the pack. TR’s other goalie is on the inconstant Maple Leafs and that spells disaster for Jonathan Bernier and TR. TR could surge in the last 2 thirds of the season if his stars start to play like stars. I’m not sure what it would take for TR to trade some of their stars but they certianly have a lot of buy low players. This means TR will have to be careful when dipping into the trade waters. TR also has to be careful to not hold on to under producing players too long and be forced to drop them for nothing.

 

Pamela’s Triple 8’s (#11)

Pamela’s Triple 8’s (PT8) is in the same boat as Team Rage because of the same problems. PT8’s stars are not playing like stars and they are getting modest goaltending from what should be a really solid pair. Here’s how things are breaking down for PT8:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 57 128 -4 201 67 658 17 2.49 0.911 5
Ranking 12 T8 T8 4 10 12 T6 6 8 T2

Lets take a look at some of the players that are dragging PT8’s to the bottom of league 2. Jason Spezza, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dustin Brown, Michael Del Zotto, and Cody Hodgson are all players that should be top players on this team but are playing like bottom feeders. PT8’s is also in having an issue leaving players in starting positions that are on the IR. This is a dead roster spot that could be used for somebody that could at least put up a point or SOG every once in a while but when a player is on the IR you’re guaranteed nothing. Each league has 2 IR spots which means you can put them on IR (as long as they are on IR in real life) and add 2 players without having to drop anybody. They can stay on IR until they’re healthy enough to comeback (like in real life). PT8 has Kris Letang and Pascal Dupuis in starting positions and both are on the IR for extended time. Letang is a recent addition to the IR and worth holding onto but Dupuis is probably safe to drop because he will be out for a long time with a blood clot and might not play again (I really hope this is not the case). If some players bounce back and if PT8’s start to better manager their roster things could turn around in a hurry.

 

Les Meatballs (#12)

Les Meatballs is one those team that has turned a #1 overall pick into a last place team. Goaltending is a total disaster for this team and when you see the numbers you will agree. Here’s how things are breaking down for Les Meatballs:

G A +/- PIM’s PPP SOG Wins GAA SV% SHO
Total Amount 66 124 46 172 52 704 9 3.17 0.904 0
Ranking 10 10 1 7 11 10 12 12 9 12

Les Meatballs has failed to meet the minimum goalie starts 2 of 7 weeks so far. If they want to move out of the basement they need help in the crease. The Robin Lehner and Cam Ward tandum is not getting the job done so far and I am not sure is a winning formula. If you’re going to only carry 2 goalies you better make sure of a couple of things, 1 that they’re bonafide starters that play 60-65 games and 2 that they play for teams that are playoff bound. Neither of these goalies meet that criteria and it shows in the numbers, Les Meatballs are last in every goalie category except SV%. On the bright side they’re #1 in +/- and have some nice pieces on the skaters side. Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Max Pacioretty, and Ryan Callahan have all produced as advertised or better. I am sure if they decide to move Crosby they could land that #1 goalie they so desperately need and a solid forward or 2 in return. I love that even though Les Meatballs is in last place they haven’t given up and continue to fight in hopes of making the playoffs. I guess its fitting that Brendan Gallagher on their team because while they might be a long shot to make it they won’t go down without a fight.