All good things must come to an end. Week eight of the 2020-21 fantasy hockey season seems to be the toughest for Top of the Rock, who got blown out by last year’s champions Benn Tallon Sens Win, who still have a lot to prove.
The loss knocked The Rock out of first place, a place the team occupied for three weeks. Somehow the Benn Tallon erased an eight-point deficit, leapfrogged us, and now hold a four-point lead in the standings with just four weeks to go.
It was a gut check time for The Rock, who has never been a playoff spot this far into the season. The team failed to mustard up enough offence, and the goaltending was brutal, costing us dearly on both ends of the ice.
The Rock has been benefactors of the Yahoo Fantasy goalie rule, which states each team must have three goalie appearances in a week. In week eight, Alexander Georgiev (New York) and Jake Allen (Montreal) only combined to play in two games, which cost us all four goalie categories. It wouldn’t have mattered since Georgiev singlehandedly wrecked our numbers for the week, making it almost impossible to claw our way back. All we could hope for as the weekend rolled around that one of them would get into some action, and we could have tied the shutout category. Instead, nothing went our way, and we suffered on the scoreboard and in the standings.
We managed to win two offensive categories, penalty minutes (12-2) and shots on goal (85-71). After that, Benn Tallon mopped the floor with us regarding power-play points 12-4, goals-against average (1.93-4.27), and save percentage (0.930-0.860). They also collected four goalies wins compared to our zero.
In the three remaining categories our opponents won, we kept the deficit pretty close. Benn Tallon outscored us 13-12 and had a better plus/minus rating of +6 to +4 while collecting just three extra assists 13-10. Those are some close calls, but the matchup was never really that close.
We opened up the matchup by taking the first night with a score of 3-2. We battled to a tie after Tuesday (4-4) before Benn Tallon took over and never looked back.
They jumped ahead by three on Wednesday before we cut the deficit to one on Thursday. We were in pretty good shape, down by two after Friday; however, the weekend was not kind to us, and they expanded their lead past the point of recovery.
When you take a beating as we did in week eight, you will notice many of your team statistics take a hit.
It only took one week, but we returned to our place as the league’s worse team regarding wins. We also dropped a few spots in save percentage but stayed in the sixth spot with our goals-against average.
With just four power-play points this past week, we also dropped to 10th overall in the league in that category. We remained the seventh-best team regarding penalty minutes and ranked sixth overall in goals, assists, plus/minus and shots on goal.
After three weeks, a new number one in The Price is Right, a familiar place holder, Benn Tallon Sens Won. The defending champions became the third team to hold down the top spot after B Galli (four weeks) and us (three weeks).
Benn Tallon became the only team with a 0.600 winning percentage, while the next five in the standings all have winning records. The bottom six teams all have losing records.
The point spread for playoff contenders is 13 points. First place has 96 points, and the sixth seed has 83. Both the seventh and eighth seeds are within six points of crossing the threshold.
Last week our bench collected a whole boatload of points that would have snagged us another category win, but since we won the matchup, those numbers wouldn’t have mattered.
This past week saw quite a reversal of fortunes. Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville), Elias Lindholm (Calgary), Mika Zibanejad (New York), and Nicklas Backstrom (Washington) had off weeks, producing little to no points. The foursome didn’t score a single goal and had a minus-two rating for the week. They did collect seven assists (which would have won us another category), but their three power-points and 27 shots would have no significant impact on our week eight matchup outcome.
March 11, 2021, is a game that Alexandar Georgiev may want to forget forever. On just ten shots, the New York Rangers netminder gave up four goals. His daily goals-against average was 9.65, and his save percentage was only 0.714.
That was the final straw for us. He’s had a subpar season, and we couldn’t continue to take the hits. We cut Georgiev in favour of Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, whose team has five games coming up in our next matchup, meaning this backup should see some action.
Weekly Move Total: 1/4
Season Move Total: 11/50
Follow Top of the Rock all season long @keepingthestats or facebook.com/keepingthestats.