Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 10)

The New York Islanders may be without defenseman Travis Hamonic for Wednesday night's game against the Florida Panthers, as he suffered an injury on Saturday night. The Islanders have not said what kind of injury it was, but the veteran defender was not on the ice for Monday's practice, which has raised a couple eyebrows.

Ryan's defense has been sub-par this season and Hamonic is one of the reasons for that, as the contributions have been few and far between and now if he is going to miss some time, it isn't going to get any better.

Morning Player Updates in the Draft (Jan 10)

Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was not in the lineup for the game against the Canadiens, due to an upper-body injury, one that he suffered on Saturday night. Oshie is listed as day-to-day and isn't too far away from making a return, as he was on the ice for the morning, so it might be fair to say that he got a night off as a precaution.

Marcie's team missed out on a key game from Oshie, who has been okay this season, scoring 13 goals and 20 points in 32 games, but has had his fair share of injury troubles.  Her team has been recovering from a bit of a spill, back up to 9th place, only 18 points out of the money.

On Monday, the Edmonton Oilers opted to finally give Jesse Puljujarvi some playing time and they sent him down to the AHL. Since he isn't a graduate of the Canadian Hockey League, he is eligible to do so as a teenager.  The 4th overall pick in this past June's draft has not quite lived up to the billing, but he hasn't exactly been afforded much time with the depth and seniority they already have in their lineup.

Unfortunately for Mike, this leaves another hole in his forward group, which already ranks 24th in scoring in the pool this season, with 137 points.  Puljujarvi certainly has some long-term upside, but his 2017 season might be close to done in the NHL.



Monday, January 09, 2017

Week Thirteen Newsletter



Between the Gold Medal Game for the World Juniors on Thursday night and taking an extra long weekend, the blog site got horribly neglected and the pool site wasn't exactly up-to-date for most of the weekend.  Hopefully, we're back to some regularly scheduled programming with the Newsletter and back to some kind of normalcy.  We'll see about that though.

Let's play some serious catch-up!



It was a battle of a pair of goalies for the Player of the Week nod this week, but it did come down to the ranking tie-breakers, which kicks off with wins, which may not make for the more impressive week, but it is what it is.  With a 3-0-0 record and a shutout, Ryan Miller outranked Braden Holtby, who had 2 wins and 2 shutouts, in the week for the nod, both finishing with 8 points each.

Miller beat the Avalanche on Monday, shutout the Coyotes on Wednesday and then beat the Flames on Friday night to earn the honour, his first nod since Week Fifteen of the 2015 season, nearly two years ago.  In the all-time rankings, this is his fifth Player of the Week nod, his first coming back in the 2011 season.

The Canucks have done the better part of the season splitting the playing time, but of late, it has been Miller's net, but his overall totals are still not exactly sparkling.  With the 8-point week, it brought the veteran keeper's numbers up to 12 wins, 1 shutout and 1 assist in 24 appearances, giving him 27 points, which is only good for 89th overall in pool scoring.

For Brenda & Seward, Miller's nod gives them two nods already this season, both coming from their goaltenders, and it has helped them up into the money conversation, since they finished the week in 4th place, only 2 points out of 3rd and 7 points out of 2nd.  Since I have the historical numbers up, this is Brenda's 10th Player of the Week nod, since she got started in the pool in 2012.

It was a fairly decent Mover & Shaker race in Week Thirteen and going into Sunday's action, Stuart's team was trying to hold off a few teams from trying to knock his off the perch, but in the end, his team had held on, picking up a couple necessary points and he gets his second nod of the regular season with 33 points and moving up to 8th place, from 12th the week before.

It was a pretty solid week through his active lineup, as only four of his players finished the week with naughts.  Cory Schneider of the Devils was the best of the bunch, finishing with 6 points in the week.  Zach Parise of the Wild was the next best, with 5 points, while Jakub Voracek of the Flyers, Victor Hedman of the Lightning and Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks all finished with 4 points.

Stuart's team is at least keeping his hope alive, as his team is the last of the bunch, already over the 300-point mark this season, and his team is only 14 points out of the money.  His team only made up 4 points on the current 3rd place team, but there is still half the season left to go.

Yeah, I guess we are at the official halfway point of the season... funny, I should only mention that right now.

The 2017 season, to date, has been rather up and down for Stuart's team, as it has been as high as 2nd place (end of Week Two) and as low as 16th (end of Week One), but since those early weeks, it has fluctuated between 6th and 12th.

It was looking like our former pool leader was going to take the cake for the Basement Dweller, but a little extra luck on Sunday got him up and out, leaving a tie for the bottom of the weekly standings between Tony and Eric to duke it out.  First tie-breaker... least amount of goals.  The margin here was 6-3 between the two teams... and it was Eric's team that couldn't light the lamp and his team takes its first Basement Dweller nod of the season.

Eric's team has suffered some significant injuries in the last few weeks, namely to Jamie Benn of the Stars and P.K. Subban of the Predators, really nullifying his scoring from a couple key picks.  His top player in the week was Patrick Marleau of the Sharks, finishing with 3 points, but he had six players on his active roster with nothing, really bringing the totals down.

At the start of the season, it was a real tough go for Eric's team and his team was 25th in Week Three, but was really starting to make strides up, going from 19th to 13th in Week Ten, then getting as high as 10th at the end of Week Twelve.  Unfortunately, the Basement Dweller week has now set him back down to 17th and the work begins from a ways back.

There has been another change in the money positions, mostly in 3rd place again, where Scott has seen his team lift back up in the money at Newsletter time, the first time since Week Ten.  Benson has now fallen from 1st to 5th in the matter of two weeks and his team is sinking like a stone.

Brian and Cam are still 1st and 2nd in the pool today and the gap between the two of them remains at 13 points, as their teams both finished with 26 points in Week Thirteen.  The gap between 2nd and 3rd is 5 points, so there is plenty of play left there.

Next, the goon team of the week!  Marcie's team continues to rack up those minutes, capturing the goon team of the week again at 34 minutes, 7 minutes better than Marcin's team, which isn't really in the overall race.  Cam was 10 minutes back in the week and his team is among the mini-game leaders, also trying to make some moves.

Kristy & Don's team must be feeling a bit nervous now, this is all they have left to play for and the next Waiver Draft might not come quick enough for them.  Their lead is now down to 29 minutes and now closing quickly.

It took until Saturday night, but Troy finally picked up his win, which has made for all four teams to make it through once again, no real faltering from anyone here at the moment.

This coming week, Week Fourteen, is another busy one, with 47 games again on the NHL docket, which means Troy, John S., Stacey M. and Mike all should have enough shots to make it through for another week.  This is already five straight weeks without an elimination, but we're only a couple weeks away from the All-Star shortened week as well.

If you missed it earlier last week, we did have the Winter Classic on Monday and a good recap of that game on the blog, one of the few things I got done on time this week.  But a quick recap now, as we are still almost two months away from the last game and we still have a Waiver Draft to help out that cause to come.

Marcie leads this mini-game with 6 points, followed by Derek B., Scott, Jeremy, Marcin and Stuart, who all have 3 points, in varying tie-breaking scenarios.  Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are slated to go on February 25th.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

It wasn't a great week for scoring or penalty minutes, despite the roughly even amount of participation in the league this week, comparing to last week.  Scoring was down from 13 points per game, down to 12.1 points per game on the NHL schedule, while the penalty minutes were down from 10.4 to 9.8.  It doesn't look like much either way, but when we crave points and minutes... we need more!!

NEWS AND NOTES

An upper-body injury was the reason why Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was held out of the lineup against the Panthers.  He was listed as day-to-day on Friday night, but the Predators didn't have much for updates on the forward going forward.  On Sunday, the Predators were in Chicago and he wasn't on the ice for that game either, but there still hasn't been much of an update made on his situation, except for his day-to-day listing.

Arizona Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal suffered an upper-body injury on Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks and that forced him from playing in Saturday night's game, at home to the Islanders.  There hasn't been any word on the results of any tests done, but he's currently listed on the news page as day-to-day and we'll see what the Coyotes have to say here in the next couple days.

Talk about a rough season for Edmonton's Jesse Puljujarvi, who hasn't been able to find any consistency in the Oilers lineup this season.  On Saturday night, he was a healthy scratch again in New Jersey.  The 4th overall pick in the Entry Draft has only seen 28 games this season and hasn't cracked the 10-point mark yet and he isn't getting much for playing time on top of that.

The Florida Panthers are still in the Atlantic Division playoff race, but things continue to be difficult for them on the injury front.  Forward Nick Bjugstad has been put on the Injured Reserve again this weekend, this time with a groin injury.  The Panthers are suggesting that he is expected to miss a couple of weeks.  The Panthers are also taking an injury approach to giving Roberto Luongo some time off, citing an upper-body injury again on Saturday night, giving him a night off away from the pads on what could be a scheduled night off, as he is expected to be back in net tonight in New Jersey.

Lots of confusion about the Ottawa Senators' lineup on Saturday night, when Bobby Ryan was a scratch for unknown reasons, when they were slated to take on the Capitals. The coaching staff was rather tight-lipped about the whole thing on Sunday morning, ahead of the second half of back-to-back games, home to Edmonton.  Ryan was able to dress for the game and play and just before the game, it sounded like he was a scratch for an internal issue of some sort.

The home-and-home series against the Flames was pretty rough on the Canucks, as they lost the services of a couple defenders, including pool defenseman Ben Hutton, who missed the second game of the series, due to an upper-body injury he suffered the night before.  Hutton ended up blocking a shot up high and that forced him from action, to which he's now listed as day-to-day right now.

The phenom that is Patrik Laine may have been grounded for a little while, as he was the recipient of a crushing blow from Buffalo's Jake McCabe on Saturday afternoon, a violent hit which saw some contact to the Winnipeg rookie's head.  It is believed that he has suffered a concussion, but we're awaiting that official word from the team, but there's a good chance he'll be walking through the concussion protocol, regardless.

There was one more note from the Nashville Predators, as forward Colin Wilson missed out on Sunday night's game against the Blackhawks, as he is dealing with an undisclosed injury. The Predators haven't said much here, at the time of publishing, but we're keeping an eye on it. He's listed as day-to-day right now and if anything major comes up, we'll have it for you.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Jan 5)

Well, last night's projected survival game didn't turn out to be the case, as Stacey M. didn't even get a start from Antti Raanta, so we're still watching all three teams that are not Mike's team in the mini-game. Troy, John S. and Stacey are all looking for a win and they are all getting some work tonight.

Cam Talbot vs. Tuukka Rask
The first of the survival games on the schedule goes in Boston, where Troy's only hope for staying in this mini-game, Rask, gets the start against the Oilers.  Marcie's number one goalie will get the opportunity to play spoiler tonight, with only a few nights left in the week after this one.

Pekka Rinne (unc) vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy
Although it is still unconfirmed, at the time of writing the post, it is fair to say that Stacey's goalie, Rinne, will get the start for Nashville and we know for sure that Ryan's goalie will be the one playing spoiler in this game tonight.  Ryan's team does have the better standing, but that won't come into play tonight, as this will be a pretty good game both ways.

Devan Dubnyk vs. Martin Jones
The last of the survival games will be one of the late games tonight, with the Minnesota Wild cruising through California and stopping San Jose for the night.  John S. gets a Dubnyk start, while Wes gets a start out of Jones again tonight.  The Wild have been hot with their goalie of late, but the Sharks aren't resting on any laurels right now.

Sergei Bobrovsky (unc) vs. Braden Holtby
It's the goalie that should have been taken 1st overall against the goalie that was taken 1st overall in this year's draft in Washington, as Mike and Jeremy's goalies go head-to-head.  The Jackets are still on their streak, can Holtby and the Caps knock them off their high horse?

Cam Ward vs. Jake Allen
Mike gets both of his goalies going again tonight, as if he needed the wins or something.  Allen will play host to one of the goalies of the pool leader, Brian, which makes for an interesting match-up.

Anders Nilsson vs. Corey Crawford
All of a sudden, there is a windfall of goalie minutes for Ryan's team and his goalies are taking advantage of it.  Nilsson gets another start for the Sabres, coming off of a win, taking on Marcin's rebounding team and his goalie Crawford, in Chicago.

Jared Coreau vs. Jeff Zatkoff
And we'll finish the night with a non-pool match-up, between the Red Wings and the Kings... who cares?  Not us... that's who!

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Jan 5)

The Anaheim Ducks were without forward Ryan Getzlaf on Wednesday night, as he has been dealing with a minor lower-body injury, but it was enough to keep him from dressing for a game.  He is currently listed as day-to-day and his availability for Friday night's game against the Coyotes is still up in the air.

Marcin's team has started to rebound after the huge crash that saw his team drop from 3rd to 16th, as it has climbed its way back up to 11th in the last couple weeks.  Getzlaf will be a big part of Marcin's rebound and his return will be required sooner than later.

One missed note over the holidays, mostly because I didn't think he was in the pool, but Troy Brouwer is working his way back from a broken finger, much like teammate Johnny Gaudreau had to earlier this season.  Brouwer suffered the injury on Boxing Day and has already missed a few games.  Already a couple weeks on, he's likely to miss another couple of weeks on top of that as well.

The Flames also scratched Jyrki Jokipakka on Wednesday against the Avalanche, but this isn't quite big news, as the Finn has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions.  With the Flames win, he might not draw in until after another loss, but we'll see.

The loss of Brouwer was a bit of a hit to Mike's team, since he had 17 points in 36 games this season, it was a semi-reasonable point production rate.  Jokipakka, on the other hand, belongs to Scott, and his team is in the money with a guy that has been lacking, with only 5 points in 27 games.  Doesn't seem to be that big of a deal.

The injury list for the Montreal Canadiens is growing game-by-game.  On Wednesday night, they added forwards Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher, both to upper-body injuries.  Both left the game, not to return, but Gallagher had to return home to Montreal to check on his hand after getting in the way of a Shea Weber slapshot.  We'll have to wait and see what the Habs have to say on the status of their players, before Saturday's game in Toronto.

Scott picked up Byron and Troy has had Gallagher since the draft, both are anxiously awaiting what the word is on their players.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Jan 4)

Stacey M. was unable to push through to next week on Tuesday night, so we still have three teams awaiting their ticket to be punched this week. John S. and Troy are the two others and it looks like it will be a limited amount of chances again on Wednesday night, but it is a 6-game schedule on the night.

I think it's time to change up the look of this post, so bear with me... it's only going to change a little bit.


Antti Raanta (unc) vs. Steve Mason
The Rangers haven't confirmed their goalie tonight, but after a loss on the first of back-to-back nights, it should be fair to assume that Raanta gets the start, making this the only survival game of the night.  The Rangers will get a decent test from the Flyers, but Stacey M. has another shot at a win, before it gets too close to the weekend.

Connor Hellebuyck vs. Roberto Luongo
It's Tony versus Cam in the pool standings in this one, but it is a battle of both team's number one goalies, which makes this match-up interesting.

Al Montoya vs. Kari Lehtonen
The Canadiens were in Nashville last night, so there's no surprise that Montoya got the start tonight, while the Stars saw a loss from Antti Niemi on New Year's Eve and this was the next game on the schedule, going to Lehtonen.  In the pool, it's Marcin versus Dale C., two teams separated by 23 points.

Mike Smith vs. Ryan Miller
A pair of veteran goalies get the nod in Vancouver tonight, down at the bottom of the Pacific Division.  Marcie gets a start from Arizona, while Brenda & Seward can move closer to the money with a win tonight from the Canucks' keeper.


Calvin Pickard vs. Brian Elliott
It could have been a survival game in Calgary tonight, but the Flames have opted for Brian Elliott instead of Chad Johnson.  However, this does make it into an all-Derek B. affair, likely giving him 2 points in the end.

Petr Mrazek vs. John Gibson
The Red Wings can't seem to get their goalie situation sorted, but they'll go with Stacey C.'s keeper tonight, while Dale B. gets the start from the Ducks.