My fantasy hockey league is just finishing up the 7th week of the season. This puts us about 1/3 of the way through the regular season. There have been some definite changes from the pre-season power rankings and a few teams have solidified themselves as the top of the competition. Without further ado, here are the power rankings through week 7:
The Bottom Third
12 – Team Sadness (Pre-Season Rank: 12) This team obviously has not been able to recover from his draft day blunder. He was unable to make the live draft and to this point has not won a single week matchup. His team has players like Stamkos, Tarasenko and Kuznetsov which have all had strong starts to their seasons, however, he fails miserably in net. His sole starter is Cam Ward and the remaining three goalies eat up valuable roster spots, but aren’t getting regular starts. Maybe he can trade one of the aforementioned forwards for a stud goalie? If not, this team is destined to stay in this spot.
11 – 3 Jakes N 2 Jacks (Pre-Season Rank: 2) I figured I had performed adequately by drafting my team using the method of relying heavily on power play points. Unfortunately for me (and the 10th ranked team) this strategy has yet to pay off. I stayed true to my guns and have made fewer moves than I normally do. I have since dropped and added some players and offered a trade. My offense is adequate, however, like the majority of the bottom third, I lack in goaltending. Dropping, adding and trading effectively will be the only key to my success.
10 – Burns Notice (Pre-Season Rank: 1) Looking at his lineup, I still am having difficulties in understanding why he dropped this far. Maybe it’s the issues in Pittsburgh with Crosby’s slump and not giving Marc-Andre Fluery the offense he needs. These two players are definitely under-performing their career stats up to this point. His lineup is road blocked in the middle with Thornton sitting on the bench in favor of Crosby and Backstrom. Perhaps he can orchestrate a deal for one of his center men and get a solid goalie in return. If not, he will be like the rest of the teams in the bottom third, pilfering for a diamond in the free agency rough.
9 – 3 Inches of Thunder (Pre-Season Rank: 10) Pretty much where I figured he would be, it looks like he will improve his record at the end of the 7th week, however, I think he will continue to be a bottom third team. His lineup rivals some of the best in the league, however, goaltending is still king and when you are literally only relying on Holtby (which has been better than predicted) it’s going to be a long road ahead. He needs to get Pavalec on the IR and find a goalie or two who splits starts, perhaps Enroth and Raanta? Maybe trade some of his stud skaters for a goalie? One little move could project this team to, at minimum, the upper half of this league. Will he be able to make the appropriate moves in time?
The Middle Third
8 – 2 Girls 1 Kop (Pre-Season Rank: 9) Not far from predicted, this team lands one spot in front of the team that he is currently losing to. The only reason why he doesn’t fall to #9 is simply because I don’t know how long 3 inches of thunder will be able to sustain the one goalie circus. This team has been hitting the free agent market aggressively, but the injury to Carey Price, has definitely derailed the long-term success of his team. Will he be able to salvage this season, or will he fall back to the bottom third?
7 – Halak-Ness Monster (Pre-Season Rank: 5) This team is definitely still a contender for sleeper of the year. As I stated in the pre-season ranks, I wasn’t sure about the goaltending situation, but I think it is safe to say Dubnyk is playing well and Halak, despite injury is on a team that can win games. To bolster his back-end he picked up the Canadiens back-up goalie who is getting some regular starts in Price’s absence. Getzlaf should come back around and this team will more than likely finish around the top of the middle third. I don’t think they quite have what it takes to crack the top third, but I have been wrong before.
6 – 6 pack Killers (Pre-Season Rank: 3) This team was originally managed by a different manager. The roster was not changed and the team fell to 0-4. Luckily, the league was able to find a replacement manager and he has instantly turned this team around. Assuming week 7 ends as it currently stands, he will have three wins in a row with his latest coming over a top third team. Considering his pre-season rank and the studs on his team, I think this may be the most conservative pick of the litter. Do not be surprised to find this team in the top third by the next power ranking.
5 – #MCloseshisshit (Pre-Season Rank: 7) This team is currently in third place in the league, however, they are losing to 6 pack killers. This will mark their second loss to a team that is placed lower than them in the standings and this power rankings. This could be argued as the most gracious of placements on the power rankings. Rasmus Ristolainen may not be your savior after all Tails.
The Top Third
4 – Flyerbillp (Pre-Season Rank: 11) The most surprising team of the season thus far. The only thing that separates them from the #3 spot is the fact that they one of their two losses came against a middle third team, while the #3 team lost to the two teams who are ranked #1 and #2. Looking at this roster, I am not sure how this team is producing wins. They are in the same goalie situation as 3 inches, yet sit five spots higher. Connor McDavid is on IR. Either this is sheer luck, or this manager has a knack for winning combinations. Either way he is currently set to hand one of the two undefeated teams its first loss. That has to say something.
3 – Shit Be Krejci (Pre-Season Rank: 4) A team that had a very solid draft is positioned to be consistently in the top of the league. The only two losses have come to the two teams ranked higher than them, both of which are undefeated. The only thing that would slow him down is his goaltending. Relying on Jones and Mrazek to handle the load may not be the best scenario in the world, but it has obviously working thus far.
2 – TakeMyBallNGoHome (Pre-Season Rank: 8) This team is currently in first place. This team looks like it will lose its first matchup of the season in week 7. This team doesn’t have a tie on their record like the first place team. Despite all of the above, this team sits at this spot for this reason. Henrik Lundqvist. I don’t know what is going on with him, but this last week he has proven he was human. Even without the injury to Price, Lundy was making a run for Vezina and leading by a considerable amount. If and when he comes around then this team doesn’t fall further than this and could easily sit atop the league for the majority of the season.
1 – MC’s Back…..Alright! (Pre-Season Rank: 6) As stated in the pre-season rankings, this team has made me eat my words. It absolutely irritates me to place him at the top of the rankings, but he has not lost a match-up yet and a tie is the only blemish on his record. Though he never has a rhyme nor reason with his draft strategy he has a knack for knowing who the top players will be. He was the champion last year and is not going to give up the title easily. He remains poised despite backlash from other managers and once had his heart ripped out on the last day of the season after he cracked a celebratory beer. That probably won’t happen again……