If anyone told us at the beginning of the season that we would be the second-best team in the league… we wouldn’t have believed you. But four weeks into the 22 week season, here we are in second place.
People talk about franchise turn arounds, and if Top of the Rock were real, it would be one of the greatest reconstructions in history.
We did not track our record so carefully last season, but it was miserable. The final numbers were 78-97-25 for a 0.453 win percentage. Considering we have already collected 23 wins, we are 29% of the way to our previous wins total, and we’ve only played four games.
We are proud of the team we drafted and have become wise on how to play to the league settings.
MATCHUP AND SCORES
The streak of six-point wins came to an end at three. A 5-3 victory gave us our four straight matchup win and improved our place in the standings.
We won the assists category for the season time this season. Our plus-minus improved by 20 from the previous week, but we didn’t clean up the goalie categories like usual.
The matchup began with a 2-2 tie on day one and then quickly escalated into a blow out on day two. Things narrowed as the series progressed, with B Galli taking the lead on Thursday. We tied again on Friday before we pulled away for the win over the weekend.
STANDINGS & TEAM STATS
Top of the Rock stands a razor-close 12 percentage points out of first place. That’s the one point, which is one loss and one tie difference. Our gap from the last place grew again this week, and we now stand +15 category wins out of the basement.
Our distance from the last place will be a theme in every write up this season. This team was so bad last season that no one would believe we are the same 74-75 Capitals from 2018-19. We took the bumps in the previous season and learnt some valuable lessons along the way.
It only took four weeks, but we are now officially the meanest team in our league with 109 penalty minutes. If that wasn’t threatening enough, we also have the most shots on goal. So on any given night, we are going to fight your best players and wear your goalies down with plenty of rubber.
Goaltending is by far our greatest asset. We rank in the top three in all four categories. Unless our two-star netminders go off on a terrible losing streak, teams will be hard press to knock us from a few notches.
Since we have made zero progress in the assists, plus/minus, and power-play points departments, we made some significant roster moves to try and improve in our weak areas. More on those moves later.
The management of the bench players this season has been one of our most substantial assets. Each week when we look back at who didn’t play and what they contributed, not much would have affected our place in the standings. Our overall numbers would be a little better, but nothing record-breaking.
Our strongest asset turned out to be a big headache in week four. First, we left two power-play points on the bench, which would have netted us a tie in the category. Second, New York Ranger Alex Georgiev played against the Tampa Bay Lightning and notched a victory.
In that win, he only gave up a goal and had a 0.967 save percentage. Had he been in the starting up, that would have put us over the top in wins and save percentage. The final score would have been drastically different had those points been in play.
STUDS & DUDS
Best Player – Evander Kane – San Jose Sharks – 27 points
Worse Player: Ryan McDonagh – Tampa Bay Lightning – 6 points
In anticipation of our week five matchup, we made one roster shuffle. Ryan McDonagh (Tampa Bay) was an incredible +38 last season. We drafted him with the hope he’d keep that rating up.
As of this writing, he is currently -1 with only one goal on the season. The former New York Ranger was dropped to make room for recently promoted Ranger Filip Chytil. He scored goals in back to back games to start his call up, so we thought he was worth the gamble.
Weekly Move Total: 1/4
Season Move Total: 3/40
Stay tuned for next’s week recap of the Top of the Rock 2019-20 fantasy hockey season.