Thursday, October 23, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 23)

It sounds like Travis Hamonic will not be in the line-up for the Islanders when they take on the Bruins tonight, as he hasn't made the trip to Boston, dealing with an upper-body injury.  The coaching staff has pointed out that he is day-to-day with the injury.  In six games this season, Hamonic has only 1 goal.  Preseason drop, Lubomir Visnovsky, has been activated from the IR today and will take Hamonic's place, just in case you're scouting for the first Waiver Draft.

Brenda's team owns the worst blueline in the pool through Wednesday night, having only picked up 4 points to this point in the season.  Her team sits in 16th place, so having the worst four defensemen hasn't hindered her team too much to this point.

There has been some confusion about the status of Lightning forward Ryan Callahan and his injury, as some reports have him listed as being out week-to-week, but in others, he's only day-to-day.  As of Tuesday night, when the Bolts visited the Flames, Callahan was still on the scratches list, so he isn't on the Injured Reserve, leading me to believe he is day-to-day for right now.  There hasn't been any definitive timetable for his return, so stay tuned to the NHL news.

Not being on the IR could be considered good news for Tony, who has him in the pool, taking him in the 11th round, 240th overall.  Tony has not had much luck with injuries either in the early part of the season, as his team has fallen below average in the games played department, throwing his name into the ring for the Jordan Staal bobblehead.  His team has played eight more games than Benson's team, who leads in the race for Jordan.

Eight games going in the league on Thursday night and we have seen some goalie match-up news already today. Chad Johnson will get a start for the Islanders in Boston tonight, which is good news for Mike in the pool.  Tuukka Rask will get the night off for the Bruins, which will likely be a scheduled miss for Dale B..

Thomas Greiss is expected to get the start for the Penguins against the Red Wings in Detroit tonight, which is a scheduled night off for Marc-Andre Fleury, Clayton's 1st round pick.

Corey Crawford didn't make the trip with the Blackhawks, so it should be Antti Raanta getting another start, away to Nashville on Thursday.  Dale C.'s goalie is out with either an illness or an upper-body injury.

After a night off, Coyotes number one Mike Smith will return to the net for their game against the Wild on Thursday night.  Good news for Wes, who has a share of the weekly lead in points going into the night.

By no means is this a complete list, but it is something to chew on before tonight's action.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 22)

The Carolina Hurricanes were able to welcome Andrej Sekera back to their line-up on Tuesday night, after he had missed some time with an upper-body injury. When one comes back, one has to come out and that one on Tuesday was John-Michael Liles,  Liles has already been a healthy scratch a couple of times this season, something that may have been missed on the blog already this year,  Liles has only played in three games this year, registering a single assist.

The return of Sekera is good news for Wyllie, but the scratching of Liles is bad news for Stacey C..  Neither player has really jumped off the page in the early part of the season, but the Hurricanes obviously see more value in Sekera than Liles right now, so this might be a regular occurrence.

Another interesting decision on the New Jersey blueline, as some bodies were getting healthy there as well, which has forced the hand of the coaching staff to make some difficult decisions. Eric Gelinas was the odd-man out on Tuesday night, as the Devils took on the Rangers, leaving a non-pool defender in the line-up in Adam Larsson.  In five games this season, Gelinas has 2 assists, which likely isn't quite the production they were hoping for early on and this scratch will aim to be a kick in the rear end to boost his offensive play.

Wilton's defense hasn't been too bad yet this season, picking up 12 points through Tuesday night's action, but is already 6 points behind the pool leader (Wyllie) in the category.  He currently sits in 12th place, 12 points out of the money, right now.

There have been a number of night-ending lacerations in the NHL to start the season, which is certainly a hazard of the job, but it just seems to be a small epidemic in the league. On Tuesday night, Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey left the game against the Maple Leafs with a facial laceration. There were no immediate updates after the game, but on Wednesday morning, Hickey was back on the ice at practice with a little extra protection around his face.

Hickey belongs to Clayton in the pool this season and has only scored 1 goal in six games for the Islanders, falling down in the depth chart after the acquisition of Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 21)

Good news for the Detroit Red Wings, as one of their leaders by example, Pavel Datsyuk, will return to the line-up after missing the first couple weeks of the regular season with a shoulder injury. Datsyuk only missed the first five games, so it isn't the biggest deficit to make up and the team's leading scorer is Gustav Nyquist, who has 4 goals and 1 assist in that time, may have a little bit more help.  The Red Wings are in Montreal tonight to take on the Canadiens.

The pool's current Basement Dweller, Benson, will finally get another body back tonight, as his team gets healthier by the day.  Benson now sits 7 points out of 21st & 22nd, 8 points out of 20th and having Datsyuk back should help him immensely.

Corey Crawford has been deemed to be under the weather tonight or as the team lists him, suffering from an upper-body injury, so they have called up Scott Darling to back-up Antti Raanta tonight against the Flyers.  Crawford has seen all the minutes to this point in the season, so it was only a matter of time before Raanta makes a start, so now is as good a time as any.

This might be considered to be a missed start for Dale C., but again, it was only a matter of time before he'd sit as part of the regular rotation for time.  The absence has just been bumped up to tonight and I would imagine that he would be okay for the team's next game.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 21)

There was one player note that was missed over the weekend, as St. Louis Blues forward Jori Lehtera was sidelined with the flu.  Lehtera was scratched for the team's game in Anaheim on Sunday night, but shouldn't be out too long with the illness.  The Blues will get back on the ice on Thursday night, home to the Canucks, so that should provide the 26-year old Finn ample time to recover.  He's listed as day-to-day.  In four games, Lehtera has 1 goal and 2 assists.

Grant S. used his 14th round pick to sneak in this sleeper of a free agent signing in the off-season and so far, he should be pleased with the results.  If Lehtera can keep up this pace, this should keep Grant in the thick of the race.  He currently sits in 2nd place, 14 points back of 1st.

The Bolts were not initially going to dress Jonathan Drouin last night, due to a high volume of play over the weekend, but they were forced to on Monday night in Edmonton, as Alex Killorn suffered an upper-body injury in the morning and was deemed unable to go. Killorn has been deemed out day-to-day for the time being and doubtful for Tuesday night's game in Calgary. Also doubtful for the game against the Flames is forward Ryan Callahan, who suffered a lower-body injury in the game against the Oilers, leaving the game midway through and not returning.  The details have been sketchy on Callahan's injury, but this has already been a costly trip for the Lightning.

It was supposed to be good news for Dale C. that Drouin was returning, but not at the expense of his other young Tampa player, Killorn.  The Lightning dropped the decision and Drouin was held pointless in his debut, so there was no winning there for Dale.  In Callahan's case, Tony loses out on his second Lightning player on this trip, as he also has Victor Hedman.  Dale and Tony are both top ten teams in the pool, so we'll be looking closely at this Tampa situation.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hedman Out After Hand Surgery

The downside of blocking shots has reared its ugly head upon Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman, who will go under the knife on Tuesday to repair a fractured finger. The team expects their number one blueliner to be out of the line-up for upwards of six weeks.

Hedman suffered the injury on Saturday night in a game against the Canucks, where he left the game early with the injury and was unable to return.

Heading into Week Three, Hedman is tied for the scoring lead among defensemen with Calgary's T.J. Brodie, scoring 3 goals and 4 assists, although Hedman had his 7 points in five games, where Brodie has already played in seven.

This is a pretty big injury to Tony's line-up in the hockey pool, as this is his 3rd round (56th overall) selection down the tubes for most of the first segment of the season, likely back around Week Nine now.  Hedman was lining up to be a sexy pick in this draft, especially since he's ranked in the top 30 overall.

Tony begins the week in 4th place, 17 points out of 1st, 3 points out of 2nd and 1 point behind 3rd.  Hedman was worth 14% of Tony's current scoring, which stings even more.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Wings Open Up Spot With Franzen to the IR

It's just another NHL regular season in Detroit with Johan Franzen heading to the Injured Reserve, isn't it?

On Monday, the lower-body injury that Franzen suffered over the weekend is now enough to have him on the IR for the next few days, to make up his week off, which will open up a spot on the roster, presumably for Pavel Datsyuk, who is returning from an injury of his own.

Franzen was hurt on Friday night, in the first of a home and home series against the Leafs, ended up missing Saturday night's game, to which Stephen Weiss made his season debut in his spot, but now the injury appears to either worsen or didn't improve at all in the last couple of days.  With Datsyuk coming back, the Wings need a spot, so this was a quick and easy way to get one without sending anyone through waivers to the minors.

The 34-year old Swede has 2 goals and 3 assists in four games this season, scoring at a magnificent pace, but the injury has cost him one game and definitely one or two more.  Into Week Three, he currently ranks 72nd overall in pool scoring.

Grant S. took Franzen in the 8th round, 171st overall, in the draft this year and was getting a good bang for his buck with the pick.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Week Two Newsletter

Newsletter Header

Trophy Talk

So, if you missed the prize post, you probably missed the announcement that we have three bobbleheads up for grabs, including the top prize, which is still unnamed.  The top prize, which will mean your name on the trophy and $500 cash is a simple race to the top of the pile in 27 weeks.  After Week Two, we have the same team leading the pool as Week One, which we'll explore a little bit more further down the Newsletter.

Kristy & Don opened up a 14-point lead in the week to have an early leg up on the trophy, but the season is long and as we saw last season, large leads evaporated quickly.  Grant S. also had a pretty good week, as did Wes and Tony, so I don't think the original pool duo will get too far, too quickly... well, unless they remain on fire.

In last place, the race is heating up for the Olli bobblehead... or should I say cooling down?  Benson now has a 5-point cushion on the Olli race, although Brenda & Seward, Stacey C. and Ryan all have the trophy in their rear view, in plain sight.

Finally, the skater games... injuries, scratches, time away in the minors, they all count towards the Jordan Staal bobblehead, as we'll give him to the team that has suffered the most.  In Week Two, the average number of skater games played between the 23 teams was a shade under 33 games per team and our new trailer in the statistical department is Stacey C., who only saw 26 games for his team, dropping down to 48 games played in total.  The pool average right now is 59.

Statistically Speaking

The Week One scoring numbers were likely an over-excited example of everyone anxious to get back to work, as the Week Two numbers did go down, 1.5 points per NHL game, which meant there wasn't quite as many points out there, as there was the week before.

The pool saw small declines in games played and minutes collected from our players in the pool, thanks in part to injuries, mostly.  The injury list isn't too long yet, but it did grow in the week, so that means our numbers are due to take a hit.

Week Two saw 44 NHL games played and 512 points were collected in total.  Week Three is also due to see 44 NHL contests, so it will be interesting to see how the pool responds to a down week.

One of my projections in the preseason was that Frederik Andersen was going to be the marginal number one guy in Anaheim, but with a Player of the Week nod in Week Two, the split could be a little bit more substantial than once thought.  Andersen is preparing to take this team from being pretty darn good last season, to one of the more remarkable teams of the decade... you know, as first impressions go.

Andersen is off to a perfect 5-0-0 start in the regular season, which included four starts in Week Two, where he obviously won them all... one of them was with a goose egg, giving him 10 points on the week and the crown as the best player.

A 5-1 win over the Sabres on Monday, 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers on Tuesday, a 2-1 win over the Wild on Friday and he capped it off with a 3-0 win against the Blues on Sunday.  There was just no room for John Gibson, who spent the weekend in the minors.

It should come as no surprise down below, Andersen belongs to our Mover & Shaker team, which still holds the lead in the standings, Kristy & Don.  Andersen was their 3rd round pick, so everyone had at least a couple of shots for the leader in pool scoring through two weeks.

PhotobucketBack-to-back Mover & Shaker Awards to start the season is unheard of in the draft pool. Since the 2008 season, no team has gone back-to-back to start the season out front, so with that being said... Kristy & Don are now well on their way to working a wire-to-wire win in the pool, breaking the curse and getting their name on the trophy for the first time.

At what point is it not too early anymore?  Yeah, Week Two is still too early to say, but it is a remarkable feat.

They have opened up a 14-point lead on the pool, thanks in large part to Frederik Andersen, our Player of the Week, who had 10 points, as well as Mikkel Boedker of the Coyotes, Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals and Pekka Rinne of the Predators, who each had 4 points.

Remarkably, our Mover & Shaker team has averaged a point per appearance in the first two weeks from their entire team.  67 points in 67 appearances, between their skaters and goaltending, which is incredible.  They are among the leaders in almost every important offensive category to start the season, so you begin to wonder when the wheels are going to fall off, if they will at all.

PhotobucketIt was a really rough week for Stacey C., who has been dealing with a couple of injury problems and some poor luck with the schedule as well.

Stacey is currently dealing with Dany Heatley of the Ducks being on the IR since the preseason and Viktor Fasth of the Oilers pulling up lame in his second appearance of the year, which haven't helped his side much. In total, his team only saw 26 skater games in the week and 84 minutes from the crease, which works out to be just over four periods, so it wasn't a great week there.

When it was all said and done, Stacey finished with 8 points on the week, which dropped him from 5th in the standings to 21st, a drop that can generally only happen this early in the season.

Things should start picking up for Stacey, as his team has 40 projected games in Week Three, so this should just be a blip... in theory.

NEWS AND NOTES

This just in on Monday morning... Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been suspended indefinitely for a domestic violence, pending the investigation.  With the professional sports climate coming down on domestic violence, thanks to the NFL, this will be a touchy issue with a from a few standpoints, but this is something that the NHL appears to be taking seriously, so we'll see how it pans out.

This isn't the thing you would normally look for in an NHL season or something to take into account when sorting out your projections for your hockey pool draft.  Dale C. will miss out on some games from his blueline now, where he has already seen 2 points in six games from Voynov this year.  This is not good news at all.

It sounds like New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was smarting pretty good after blocking more shots on Sunday night against the Sharks.  Girardi had to get his leg stitched up after one such shot blocking incident and that pretty much ended his night early, as he didn't return to the game after his repair job.  The coaching staff said he was day-to-day and you know a warrior, like Girardi, won't be out very long.

This shouldn't be much of an issue for Ryan in the pool in the coming week, but it is worth mentioning, since Girardi did leave the game.  Ryan had a bounce back week from his early season Basement Dweller, so now he begins the long climb up the standings page.

The news isn't very good for the St. Louis Blues and their top free agent pick-up in the off-season, Paul Stastny, as the upper-body injury that he suffered was to his shoulder, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and it will keep the star forward out on a week-to-week basis.

This is pretty rough news for Wes, who never ceases to have injury trouble in this pool.  Wes is off to a good start this season, sitting in 3rd place after Week Two, only 16 points out of 1st place and 2 points out of 2nd place.  Things would certainly be much better with Stastny healthy, for sure.

The demotion for Jonathan Drouin didn't last more than the weekend, as his stay with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL was a fruitful one, getting on the scoreboard and playing a significant role with the club for a couple of games. The Lightning had two weeks to use for Drouin in the minors, but obviously, they have felt that he can make a significant impact with the club right away.

Great news for Dale C., who has only missed a handful of games from Drouin, and now his top prospect can get to work, helping him towards the money.  Dale will start Week Three in 7th place, 20 points out of 1st place.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 19)

Two things were keeping an eye on after Saturday night's games... the first being an injury to Paul Stastny of the St. Louis Blues, who reportedly left the game in the 1st period with an upper-body injury and there were also reports of him leaving the rink with his arm in a sling.  There haven't been any more reports on Sunday morning, but we're keeping an eye on this one, because it could be big.

Stastny was the 4th round pick for Wes this season and has done well for his pool team, coming away with 4 points in four games.  This could potentially be a big blow for Wes' team, which sits in 4th after Saturday night's action.

Tampa Bay's top end defenseman Victor Hedman left the Lightning's game against the Canucks on Saturday night with an upper-body injury and was not able to return. Hedman quietly disappeared from the game after blocking a shot with his hand. The early reports are suggesting that Hedman may be heading home to Tampa Bay to get re-evaluated, which hurts, since the team is just starting a Western Canada road swing.

Tampa continues their road trip through Edmonton and Calgary on Monday & Tuesday, which may have been big point games for Hedman and the Lightning, so these could be big misses for Wyllie.  Wyllie dropped from 2nd at the end of Week One to 10th, heading into Sunday, but his team is only 9 points out of his former spot.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 18)

The line-up news is coming in on Saturday and for the Buffalo Sabres, it looks like forward Sam Reinhart is to become a healthy scratch, as his impact on his NHL club has been nil to this point, through five games of the NHL season. There are rumblings that Reinhart will be sent back to Kootenay of the WHL for the rest of the season, but an educational scratch will give a bit of a buffer, as Reinhart could still play in four more games for the club, before being sent down and not burning a year on his entry-level deal.

The Sabres have only one win in their first five games this year, so they will need some productive help and they can open a line-up spot with the demotion.

This is not good news for Troy, as his team sits in 17th spot going into Saturday, sitting at 30 points.  If it's a scratch that helps, which Troy surely hopes it is, then this is a positive, but that just doesn't seem likely at the moment.

It is also expected that San Jose defenseman Jason Demers will take a seat in the press box, as the Sharks take on the Devils in New Jersey. Demers has 2 assists in the first four games of the season, so the optics of a scratch seems to be a bit strange.  The Sharks are also 3-0-1 to start the year, so it isn't a matter of their results either.  Nevertheless, Demers is out, Scott Hannan draws in and we'll see what happens in the swamp, I guess.

More bad news for Troy, who has had a slightly above-average week, in terms of skater games played, going into Saturday with 23 to his name (average is 21.7).  Losing both Reinhart and Demers to scratches will greatly affect that result at the end of the week.

News from the Motor City, as forward Johan Franzen is a game-time decision tonight, dealing with a lower-body issue, which he picked up in the first game of the series with Toronto this weekend. Franzen left Friday night's game after scoring a pair of goals, but the coaching staff think he might still be able to play on Saturday night.  The Red Wings are not skating ahead of the game, which may provide rest for the injury prone forward.

Also in Red Wings injury news, Jimmy Howard will not be backing up Jonas Gustavsson on Saturday night in the return contest, as Howard is dealing with a minor groin problem.  The team has called up Petr Mrazek to be the backup tonight and it is believed that Howard could be ready to go again on Tuesday night, when the Wings take on the Canadiens in Montreal.

Grant S. is hopeful that Franzen is able to play tonight, as his team sits in 5th place, only 1 point out of 2nd spot.  With a couple goals last night, he'd hate to miss out on a potential hot streak, playing against the Leafs.  As for the goaltending situation, it seems likely that Gustavsson would have made the start anyways, which was good news for Tony, but an injury to Howard doesn't bode well for Dale B., who is neatly in the mix, 4 points out of the money.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Grabovski Out Indefinitely

It was noted on Friday that Mikhail Grabovski of the Islanders was knocked out of Thursday night's game against the San Jose Sharks, after taking a huge hit from Sharks forward John Scott. The team was insistent that the injury is not a concussion, but nevertheless, the 30-year old Belorussian will be out of the line-up indefinitely.  There doesn't appear to be any timetable, as of yet, for Grabovski, which is somewhat troubling and makes it harder to believe that he isn't concussed, but we have to go with what they've reported.

To start the 2015 season, Grabovski has been good for the Islanders, picking up 2 goals and 1 assist in the first four games, to which Long Island has proven victorious in.  Going into Saturday night, he is ranked 115th in pool scoring overall.

He has certainly been a bright spot for Allan, who picked Grabovski in the 13th round of the draft, 295th overall.  Already, he has worked out to be quite the bargain in the first couple weeks of the season.  The free agent signing on Long Island has been a big help to Allan, who has suffered mightily in the injury department, then helped out in the injury department, but Allan still sits in 3rd place going into Saturday, so it can't be all bad.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.