Monday, February 08, 2016

Jets' Stafford Banned For One

On Monday afternoon, the NHL announced that Winnipeg Jets forward Drew Stafford was suspended for one game for his high stick against Colorado defenseman Nick Holden on Saturday night.  For your reference, the NHL Department of Player Safety's video can be seen via this link, as it doesn't appear that we can embed them anymore.

Stafford will miss Tuesday night's game between the Jets and the Blues in St. Louis and then will be eligible to return on Thursday night, when Winnipeg hosts Boston.

The 30-year old winger went into Week Nineteen action ranking 158th in overall pool scoring, with 16 goals and 28 points in 49 games with the Jets.

For Benson, he loses one of his more productive forwards, making up 8.4% of his season total of points for one game.  Benson's team is 74 points out of the money and 31 points clear of last place, something he'd preferably keep through the last segment of the season.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 8)

The Detroit Red Wings are hosting the Florida Panthers tonight and it sounds like they will be without defenseman Mike Green tonight, as he is dealing with a groin problem.  The oft-injured defenseman has been pretty good this year, playing in 46 games for the Wings, picking up 21 points in the process.  Jakub Kindl is expected to draw in for the Red Wings in his place and Green will be day-to-day with the injury, for now.

It has been a bit of a lost year for Benson, who opens up the third segment tonight in 22nd place and has no stock in the two mini-games that are still going on.  The finish to his season will be all about pride, I would assume.

The Minnesota Wild are expecting to be without defenseman Jared Spurgeon for at least one game, Tuesday's contest at home to Dallas, as he suffered a deep bruise in the lwoer-body area. The coaching staff didn't think that the injury was too significant, but he'll need some rest to get back up to 100%.

Allan didn't have much luck on the Newsletter with injuries and now you can add another skater game to be missed.  Spurgeon has been good for his side this year, having 21 points in 52 games, but should only miss one game here, so it isn't too bad.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Knee Injury for Pietrangelo

In Saturday's game between the Blues and the Wild, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had to leave the game with an apparent knee injury in the 3rd period, not to return. At practice on Monday, the dominant rearguard was unable to go, leaving much doubt in the minds of many, about his availability for Tuesday, where they are hosting the Jets.

That doubt was turned into full removal from the lineup on Monday morning after practice, when the team announced that he has been placed on the Injured Reserve with his knee injury and he will be re-evaluated in three weeks time.

Now a little bit more intrigue at the top of the standings, as Brenda & Seward have had some good returns from Pietrangelo, 23 points in 55 games this year.  With three weeks off, this won't be a huge number of points being taken from them, but a point here and a point there, a point every other game... it adds up over time.  With Jeremy's team getting hot last week, there will likely be some real concern at the top of the standings.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Week Eighteen Newsletter

I'm sure there are still going to be the whiners and complainers saying that Sidney Crosby is still not the same player he was or he's nowhere near where he should be this year, but his recent string of play has really turned the tide on his season and he's having a whale of a year.  In Week Eighteen, he was the only one to post an 8-point week in the pool, which makes him our Player of the Week.

In three games this week, Crosby finished with 5 goals and 3 assists, posting a hat-trick and an assist against the Senators on Tuesday, a goal against Tampa Bay on Friday and then a goal and 2 assists against Florida on Saturday.

This brings up his season totals to 22 goals and 49 points in 50 games this year, which is nearly a point-per-game pace, and he now ranks 17th overall in pool scoring, 10th among all skaters in the league.  No, it's not 1st overall... yes, he did have a slow start to the year... no, the Penguins are nearly as dominant these days, but the team has more working parts than just Crosby.

Crosby was the 2nd overall pick in the draft this year, taken by Mike, but he hasn't quite been putting up the value that the 2nd overall pick would.  Thanks to his slow start, he is now 27 points back of Patrick Kane, who is now ranked 2nd overall in pool scoring through the week and isn't likely to catch him before the end of the year.  Still, he could get a good boost and move up sufficiently, where it doesn't look nearly as bad.

The race at the top of the table is starting to heat up again thanks to a big week from the 2nd place team, as Jeremy posted a 37-point week, shrinking the overall lead back down to 3 points and with the Waiver Draft players going active today, it makes the race even more interesting, because Jeremy looked to make one improvement to his forwards in the week.

In Jeremy's first season in the pool, he has done a pretty good job putting this team together and it all starts at the back end again, where he has the current favourite for the Vezina Trophy, Braden Holtby, who led his team with 6 points in the week.  If it wasn't for the All-Star shortened week, he would still likely be in the survivor pool, but his team was the last to fall, thus it has already ended.

Also having a good week for Jeremy's team, Tomas Plekanec of the Habs, Mark Stone of the Senators and Kris Letang of the Penguins, each with 5 poitns in the week, which is a huge victory in itself.  After those three, there were another three players with 3 points a piece and then there were a few 2-point and 1-point players and only a couple active players on his roster that failed to pick up points.

In the second segment, which has now just ended, Jeremy's team finished 3rd in the segment, only behind Kristy & Don and Brenda & Seward in a pretty tight race.  His 3rd place finish in the first segment was also fairly impressive and he will go into the third segment with a healthy squad and high expectations.

He can thank a pretty healthy team this season, not to mention some good scoring rates, as his skaters rank 5th in the pool in games played, 11th in forward scoring rates, 9 in defensemen scoring rates, 11th in goalie minutes and 2nd in goalie scoring rates.  It's a sum of the total though, fairly reasonable across the board.

This is the first week in over a month that a team not belonging to a Stacey is in the Basement Dweller spot, as Cindy's team fell back to the bottom of the weekly scoring standings, for the first week since Week One, as her team only managed to rally together a 14-point week, in what was a pretty good week for scoring.  This was the highest scoring dweller week since Week Two, when Mike had 15 points, so there is a small silver lining, I guess.

Cindy's team had been doing some good things, leading up to Week Eighteen, as it finally got healthy and started climbing the ranks, but thanks to a poor week, dropped back down from 15th to 17th in the process.  It is definitely still within range of doing some good things in the pool, but it's getting rather unlikely that her side will finish in the money.

In the week, Tyler Seguin of the Stars was her team's top scorer, with 3 points in the week.  At the other end of the spectrum, five of her players finished with 0 points, including both goalies, who haven't really paid much for dividends this season.

Cindy opted to remain with the status quo through the Waiver Draft and will open Week Nineteen and the third segment 55 points out of the money.

As mentioned in the Mover & Shaker portion, the race at the top has become a little bit more interesting as Brenda & Seward's team dropped a good portion of their 10-point lead over Jeremy, who made up 7 points last week.  Still, it's a two-horse race at the moment, as John P., sitting in 3rd, lost ground on both teams, but did open up a little bit of space over 4th place, Neil, and 5th place, Stuart.

Brenda & Seward were stationary through the Waiver Draft, Jeremy moved one forward, John P. passed his two picks, Stuart picked up a new forward and defenseman and Neil passed his two picks.  How will this all shake out in the final nine weeks of the year?

The return of Connor McDavid indeed ramped up the pace of Ryan's team in the rookie pool, as his team is now 50 points clear of Clayton's, more than double Clayton's overall totals.  This pool was pretty much over at the drop of the puck at the beginning of the season, but it's not over until the final horn sounds.

Clayton chose Mattias Janmark of the Stars, helping his team with his third rookie on it, but the pool itself is way too far out of reach, since he only picked up 43 points through two segments and there's only one left.

The PIM pool isn't over until the final horn sounds too and at least this one has a little bit more play in it, despite the 50-minute lead that Wes has in the standings here.

His closest competitor, Dale B., did drop a couple of PIM duds on his team, but I believe he was looking for a little more scoring in his replacements.  That isn't to say they won't get more minutes, that's just not what they're there for.

Derek & Dan didn't move to goon up too much in their Waiver Draft moves, rather they did try to improve their chances of not finishing last and at the same time, they did pick up Zack Kassian of the Oilers, who should be good for a few more minutes.

John R., who moved back down to 27th in the standings, opted to goon it up in the Waiver Draft, but his team is 131 minutes behind Wes and is somewhat outclassed in the goon department.  His best hope is to move into the top five and see what happens from there.


I wouldn't normally expect the last week of a segment to be a record-setting week, but Week Eighteen saw the highest average scoring per NHL game this season, picking up 13.87 points per game in the week and we're only looking to improve on that after the Waiver Draft.  That's kind of exciting.

Skater games were up slightly and the goalie minutes were also up from a pretty poor All-Star week, both helping the cause.

It wasn't a record-setting week in the penalty minutes, but it wasn't far off.  12.1 minutes per game ranks second to the All-Star week, so it's getting feisty out there now.  With a lot of divisional games being queued up in the final weeks of the season, the fireworks will be going off for sure.


It's a busy note day, as I skipped Sunday's posts, thanks to a harsh night of drinking.  That was a lot of scotch.

It was a return to the press box for Colin Miller of the Bruins on Saturday night, his first time in over a week.  Boston has been running a solid rotation through the blueline and this Miller has found his way to the press box on numerous occasions.  It's definitely hard on his numbers, that's for sure, but the it's the way it goes.

Eric opted not to move out Miller at the Waiver Draft, not that there were many good replacements available.  In 17 games since Week Ten, Miller is only good for 1 goal and 5 points, not to mention his 4 PIM.

Things are not very rosy in Minnesota, as they have fallen well below the expectations set out for them at the beginning of the season and now the coaching staff has resorted to making statements in their roster as well.  On Saturday, against the Blues, both Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker were designated for the press box, which didn't necessarily help their cause, dropping that game, 4-1, but it did make a statement, that no one is safe.  I would expect both back in the lineup soon, but will they improve on their 1-8-1 record in their last 10?

Allan and Troy, respectively, had a little bit of a shock to their rosters, not getting that extra skater game before the end of the week and Zucker's performance this season has earned him a drop in the Waiver Draft, as Troy moved him out for a home run swing, Joseph Blandisi of the Devils.

Talk about a less-than-rosy situation of late, it has been the Montreal Canadiens, although they managed to pick up a quick couple wins over the weekend, so it might be turning around a little.  This isn't helping the cause of defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, as he was a healthy scratch for those two wins and when the team is winning, they are not likely to put players back into the lineup after being scratches.  I would assume that Beaulieu continues to be a scratch for a while yet, unless the unforeseen happens.

Of course, this won't help Cindy's team to try and get out of the Basement Dweller spot for the new week and since she stayed put on her team last week, that won't likely help either.  Beaulieu was one of her Week Nine picks and since then, he has picked up 7 assists in 23 games.

It was a nasty game between the Rangers and the Flyers on Saturday and that nastiness filtered through into a physical battle between Ryan McDonagh and Wayne Simmonds and it came to a head in the 3rd, when the two engaged in a ugly battle, which ended with Simmonds knocking out McDonagh with a solid punch to the head.  The Rangers captain had to leave the game, while Simmonds was handed a match penalty for the punch.  It was determined on Monday morning that McDonagh has suffered a concussion and will have to go through protocol, which will keep him out until Saturday, at the earliest.

Derek W.'s team opens the third segment 42 points out of the money and could really use McDonagh's presence in the Rangers lineup to try and make some ground.  Derek was busy, trying to improve his forwards during the Waiver Draft, so let's hope that it's enough to make up for this loss.

On Saturday, Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak left the game against the Senators, after taking an elbow to the head/chin from Mika Zibanejad, but there is still no confirmation on the injury that he has suffered, although the Leafs recalled three forwards on Monday morning, which can't mean good things int he injury department.  The Leafs are in Calgary on Tuesday night, so we should have an official update by then.

More bad news for Allan in this post, as his team was doing some good things in that second segment as well.  His team opens the third segment, only 1 point back of Derek W. above and if the Leafs are going to help his team turnaround, Bozak will have to be there.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Week Eighteen Waiver Draft (Feb 6)

There was a bunch more head way made in this week's Waiver Draft, but it is looking less and less likely that we'll get to see a bonus 3rd round, as there are a lot of passing teams dragging their feet or indulging in gravy soup.  Not naming any names.

We'll kick off where we left off, the logical starting point, as Dale B. made a second move this week, dropping forward Matt Moulson of the Sabres and picking up Jesper Fast of the Rangers to replace him.  Dale's team has taken a good kicking in the second segment of the season, so his team needs a miracle-type boost to get back up close.

Derek W. also thought to make another improvement on Friday, picking up the dropped forward Mikhail Grabovski, taking the Long Island player in place of Troy Brouwer in St. Louis, who hasn't quite found the scoring touch among a pretty talented team in the Central.  Maybe Derek knows something that John R. doesn't, although John was looking for goons this time around.

The third pick of the day went to Dale C., who thought a quick swap of defensemen would help his cause, even just a little.  Out goes Rangers blueliner Kevin Klein, who has been battling injury for most of the second segment and in came Devils regular, David Schlemko.  It's not the most ground-breaking move of the bunch, but it could help.

There were no more rookies of interest for Ryan this week, so he decided to pass on his 2nd round pick on Friday, which led to Scott's pick-up and he went to the mock draft for a little inspiration, picking up Vincent Lecavalier, who is finding his legs again with the Kings.  He dropped Matt Read of his beloved Flyers to make room for the cagey veteran, a good gamble move, I would think.

Brian's team is stuck between a scoring and penalty minute-hard place, as his team has some roots in both races this year, but there wasn't another move to be made by his team this week, unlikely to improve his team significantly in either race or both, for that matter.

Troy, on his way to Mexico, threw up a prayer for a big money payday with his 2nd round move, dropping Jason Zucker of the Wild and picking up Joseph Blandisi of the Devils, who was recalled in the last few weeks and made a little bit of noise this week, as he played in front of some friends and family in Toronto this week.  He has 8 points in 13 games in a couple of recalls, so if he sticks, he might have some traction.

In the last move made in the evening on Friday, Eric figures he'll have a bit more luck with Brendan Smith of the Red Wings on his blueline, rather than Oscar Klefbom of the Oilers, who was diagnosed with a leg infection this week, which will keep him out of the lineup for another indefinite period of time.  Something is better than nothing, especially when you'll open Saturday only 18 points back of the money.

That's as far as we've come and now we continue to wait... for Kristy & Don.  Their "great debate" on whether to keep or drop Philadelphia's Sean Couturier for the stretch run.  Tick-tock!

Spezza Crunched Back Onto IR

A hard hit on Thursday night landed Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza on the Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury.  There was no real timetable discussed, when it came to when the team expected their productive second line centre to come back to the lineup, but he'll be nursing this injury for the obligatory week, at the very least.

An awkward crunch from Colorado's Francois Beauchemin ended Spezza's night, as he was favouring his left shoulder on the bench, before leaving the game entirely and not coming back.  It looked a lot more like discomfort than anything, so take that as you will.  Might be a week, might be worse... thankfully, it isn't his head.

Speaking to the productivity of Spezza this season, he finished Friday night's action (where he didn't play) in 48th spot in the overall scoring standings, as he has 18 goals and 40 points in 52 games with the Stars this year and he would have been valued as a 2nd round pick in the draft, if it was re-done today.

Striking Spezza from Tony's roster is not good for him, as he goes into Saturday with the least amount of projected games this weekend with 10 and without Spezza, there is potential to fall even further in the standings, despite making some moves in the Waiver Draft.  This injury doesn't appear to be too serious, so hopefully it won't hurt his side too badly.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Couturier Placed on the IR

The Philadelphia Flyers are starting to put a run together in the Metropolitan Division, but now they'll have to continue their run without the services of forward Sean Couturier, who reaggravated a lower-body injury he was dealing with and now it sounds more severe. Four weeks more severe, in fact, as the team placed him on the Injured Reserve on Friday.

One could only assume that it is a groin problem, as the recent pattern of instances have suggested, resting for a few games, coming back, hurting it again and then resting it for even longer to make sure it becomes 100% again.  Pure speculation, but that looks about right.

Couturier has already missed significant amounts of time this year, only playing in 39 games this season and picking up 9 goals and 24 points, ranking 201st overall in pool scoring after Friday night.

As we're still waiting on Kristy & Don to make their 2nd round Waiver Draft move, I'm sure they are contemplating the pros and cons of what they might be able to replace Couturier with and how much of a difference it would make to the long haul.  Couturier is scheduled to miss the next four weeks of action, which is nearly half the third segment, but is there something better out there?

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 6)

A "nagging lower-body injury" has kept Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin at home this weekend, as they travel through Florida, starting with last night in Tampa Bay.  It was a bold decision move, especially with the Penguins falling out of a wild card playoff spot with their loss to the Lightning last night, but obviously, the team is looking at the long-term scenario, wanting the other top end centre on their team to be ready for the stretch run.  For now, he's considered day-to-day, expected to return next week.

The injury may have an impact on a few Penguins players, as Malkin has been having a decent season, but he is mired on the team leading the pool in PIM and he has been a good contributor to that cause as well.  For Wes' team this year, Malkin ranks tied for 28th in PIM, with 57 minutes this year.

How about some positive roster news this morning? Johnny Boychuk, defenseman for the Islanders, has finally been activated from the Injured Reserve on Saturday morning, after he has been out since the end of December with a shoulder injury.  The Islanders have a pair of games this weekend and I would assume that he would be 100% to play in both games or else they may have rested him further, but we'll wait and see.

Great news for Derek W., who practically gets a Waiver Draft pick-up for free this weekend and he's activated a couple days early with this news.  Derek's team appears to be pretty healthy for Saturday and Sunday, but that hasn't stopped him from making tweaks in his roster this week as well.  He's ready for the stretch run.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Friday, February 05, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Feb 5)

There have been uninspired afternoons, hence the lack of goalie posts, not to mention that the survivor pool is already over, so what's left to converse about?

Well, it's only four games tonight, so let's have a quick peek at our starters tonight and we'll move on from there.

It looks like it should be Marc-Andre Fleury (John R.) going for the Penguins against the Lightning, who will have Ben Bishop (Allan) in the home net.  Allan is only 36 points out of the money heading into tonight and could really use the win to help close that gap.

Cam Ward (Neil) is set to make his first start since coming back from a concussion, as he and the Hurricanes are in Winnipeg to take on the Jets.  Connor Hellebuyck (Allan) is expected to get the start tonight for Winnipeg, giving Allan two starts tonight.  I guess that's why his team won the survivor pool.  Neil, on the other hand, is still hanging around the money conversation, only 14 points out himself.

The Calgary Flames will get the Columbus Blue Jackets on the second half of their back-to-back nights and they'll throw their number one, Karri Ramo (Brenda & Seward) at them.  The Jackets went with Joonas Korpisalo (non-pool) in Vancouver last night, so it is more likely that they'll go with Anton Forsberg (non-pool), but who really knows for sure?  The pool's leading duo continues to carry a 10-point lead this week and Ramo may get an easy 2 points here with a win.

Finally, a late Pacific Division battle, as the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks will swim on the pond, with Anders Lindback (Dropped) and Frederik Andersen (Benson) in as the projected goalies.  Benson sits down in 22nd, but gets a key start in a divisional game for the Ducks, for whatever that's worth.

Week Eighteen Waiver Draft (Feb 5)

Yesterday, I had the luxury of a day off from the Waiver Draft, as the draft didn't progress on Wednesday, after I had finished the post.  Bonus, I guess...

So, fresh off the free day of updating the Waiver Draft posts, we had some movement in the 2nd round, which officially got started late on Wednesday night.

Grant decided on passing, likely hoping that his roster can getting healthy and getting him out of the basement.  There's no reason why that shouldn't happen.

With the 2nd drop/pick in the round, John R. has gone full goon in this Waiver Draft, opting for Ryan White of the Flyers, dropping Mikhail Grabovski of the Islanders.  His team hasn't quite been gooning it up yet this week, but with a couple of bruisers in his lineup for the stretch run, he'll jump up into the top five, for sure.

Mike, who is hanging onto Dennis Wideman in the pool, opted to keep him, as he believes there is a greater number of points upon his return, than getting any from the remaining defenders in the pool.  It's just a matter of when he'll actually be returning, after his appeal.  Mike officially passed.

Benson also decided to pass, since his only injury on his side is considered less-than-serious and there wasn't much that would improve his team in the pool from the available list.

In his fine form from the first Waiver Draft, Wes dropped a fine nugget upon the Waiver Draft, leaving Mike Ribeiro of the Predators to be snapped up, opting to continue his goon streak, picking Zac Rinaldo of the Bruins to fill his gap.  Ribeiro wasn't getting the chincy calls anymore, so he was booted for someone who chucks knuckles.

Then it was another pass, this time Stacey M. opting to stay the course.  There was no deal struck for any 100-point players in the Waiver Draft, so she was okay with her team the way it was.

Derek & Dan were gooning it up in the Week Nine Waiver Draft, but have found some shreds of pride, trying to move up in the standings and trying to catch some "jerk face" that is ahead of them.  So, they have opted to drop Derek Dorsett of the Canucks and improve their scoring prowess, while keeping a mean streak, taking Zack Kassian of the Oilers.

In possibly the best e-mail of the Waiver Draft, Stacey C. drops "Joffrey Loophole" of the Maple Leafs for "Blame Comeau" of the Avalanche.  Blake Comeau was dropped by Grant in the first Waiver Draft, but was one of the better forward options available this time around.

John Swan decided to play a hunch to try and make up whatever points he could in the side bets with Stuart, dropping Dennis Seidenberg of the Bruins for Erik Gustafsson of the Blackhawks.  It's a blueline swap that will hopefully pick him up a couple extra points before the end of the season.

The last pick made on Thursday night belonged to Clayton, who was out to try and improve his rookie crop a little bit.  The underachieving Ryan Strome of the Islanders was out and Mattias Janmark of the Stars was in to take his place.  It will be a minimal improvement, but anything to close the gap in the rookie race, I guess.

And to finish off this post, Allan's hot team didn't need to make any more moves, so he passed late on Thursday night and Cindy confirmed that her team is quite content in the middle of the pack, also passing on her pick on Friday morning.

This leaves Dale B. up in the draft and hopefully we can finish the 2nd round today, with a bunch more passes.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 5)

The Los Angeles Kings were hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night and they did so without defenseman Christian Ehrhoff in the lineup, who was pulled out as a healthy scratch again.  Ehrhoff has been a semi-regular healthy scratch this season, playing in only 39 contests this year and picking up 9 points.  I could see him being the occasional healthy scratch for the rest of the year.

I would have to believe that both the healthy scratches and the lack of production would be enough for Stuart to drop Ehrhoff in the 2nd round of the Waiver Draft, but that's still to be decided.  Stuart is only 7 points out of the money and he can't have a player not performing down the stretch.

With John Moore coming off the Injured Reserve and back into the Devils' lineup on Thursday night against the Maple Leafs, Damon Severson was the odd-man out, as he was the healthy scratch to make room.  Severson hasn't quite been living up to some expectations, having only 13 points in 50 games this year.

Severson has already been destined to be dropped at the end of the week, as Clayton has opted to pick up Olli Maatta of the Penguins to work in his stead.  For Clayton, this scratch came a bit too early, as it would have been okay if it happened next week.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Klefbom Possibly Out Longer

It sounds like the prognosis on Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom is getting worse, rather than getting any better. Klefbom was scheduled to be back after the All-Star break from his broken finger, but now a infection in his leg has now sidelined him for even longer.

There is no official timeline for his return now, but those infections can be really problematic for a player, especially trying to get back into the lineup.  It will certainly be weeks now, but how many is still up in the air.

Klefbom signed a pretty hefty extension in the off-season and wasn't quite performing at a great click offensively, before his injury, only picking up 12 points in 30 games.

If the Waiver Draft can get out of the second round in good time this week, Eric may want to reconsider having Klefbom on his side moving forward into the third segment of the year.  His indefinite status certainly won't help his cause, points or PIM-wise this year.  His team is almost 100 PIM back of 1st place, but one good goon on the back end could help him out, potentially.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 4)

The joys of blocking shots. T.J. Brodie of the Flames left last night's game against Carolina with a lower-body injury, after blocking a shot in the game.  There was no word in the morning about his status, but he tried to play on the injury, but couldn't go any more than five shifts in the 2nd period.  The Flames will host Columbus on Friday and we'll probably know just before then, how depleted their blueline will be.

More bad news for Mike, who is relying on the Flames blueline to help him through this rough patch, but it doesn't look like it is going to help him at all.  Currently, midway through Week Eighteen, his team is 31 points better than last place, so there is a buffer, but he'll be in good for a great draft pick next year.

One of those nasty bugs have gotten the best of Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan, as he hadn't been on the ice much this week and missed out on Wednesday night's game against Tampa Bay as well.  He's listed as out day-to-day, but after the morning skate on Thursday, he is expected to draw back into the lineup in Florida on Thursday night, taking Teemu Pulkkinen out as a healthy scratch.

Cindy's team has been somewhat stagnant in the standings, sitting around 15th & 16th spot for the last month.  This bit of news won't force her to drop Sheahan, but she might have to find something to give her team a boost this week.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Feb 3)

Only three games on the docket tonight, so we'll go over all three, right here... right now!

He won't count tonight, but Robin Lehner is warming up for his return to the hockey pool next week, getting the call for the Sabres against the Canadiens tonight.  At the other end of the ice, Mike Condon (John R.) is expected in net for the Habs, he was picked up in Week Nine and has been carrying the load in Montreal.

In Tampa Bay tonight, the Red Wings and Lightning will go head-to-head and this has the makings of a good goalie match-up.  At the visitors end, we'll have Petr Mrazek (Tony) and at the home end, it will be Ben Bishop (Allan).  Tony is 27 points behind Allan in this pool match-up; it might be quite the gap, but it all starts with a big game from your keepers.

Finally, Carolina and Calgary open up their schedule after the break with a game at the Saddledome and we should have Eddie Lack (Wes) against Karri Ramo (Brenda & Seward) tonight.  I don't think Wes cares if Lack wins tonight, just as long he handles the puck outside of the trapezoid or goes all Hextall on someone in front of his net.

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 3)

As expected last week, the NHL announced the full suspension for Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, after his incident with a lines in the team's final game before the break.  Wideman was handed a 20-game ban on Tuesday and that begins tonight, when the Flames host the Hurricanes, but the suspension is eligible for the appeals process, which could very well take it down some.

With only about 30 games left on the schedule for the Flames 20 games (or slightly less) will put a pretty big dent into what Wideman can do for Mike in the hockey pool.  Unfortunately, suspensions don't count towards the PIM pool or else his team might have a shot at a prize.  His second round Waiver Draft pick might be well used to be rid of the suspended defender.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Week Eighteen Waiver Draft (Feb 3)

When we left the recapping posts, Brian had just made a defenseman swap and since then, we kind of stalled.  Thankfully, just before this post was finished this morning, we did happily conclude the opening round of the draft, so that's a big bonus.

Troy was doing some homework this week, as he snuck Brandon Sutter of the Canucks through the ranks, adding him to his squad for the injured Patrik Elias in New Jersey.  Sutter has been a half a point-per-game, when healthy and now that he has just returned from injury, he could be a big add to Troy's side and the Canucks, for that matter.

Eric decided to pass on his pick in the first round, opting to not replace Oscar Klefbom of the Oilers from his side.  Probably a wise decision.

With the 22nd drop/pick, Kristy & Don looked to improve upon their forwards, as they continue to climb up in the standings, dropping Tomas Fleischmann of the Canadiens and picking up Teemu Pulkkinen of the Red Wings.  There may not be a lot of difference there, but Kristy could easily cheer for Pulkkinen, more so than Fleischmann.

Neil also decided to pass, as the available players list wasn't very enticing to him and the two players he has on the Injured Reserve shouldn't be on there for too much longer.

The last move that was actually made in the opening round saw Stuart "steal" David Pastrnak of the Bruins, who may have finally cracked the roster in Boston, while dropping Ales Hemsky of the Stars, who he picked up in the last draft.  Stuart is so confident of this pick, he added another side bet to his page with Clayton and John S..

And with that, the three money teams all elected to pass on the opening round of the draft, which brings us to where we are, when I hit the publish button on this post: opening up the second round!

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 3)

It was a bit of a head-scratcher in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, as Thomas Greiss was pushed to the press box as a healthy scratch, as Jean-Francois Berube made his second career NHL start, even ahead of Jaroslav Halak.  Berube earned the win for the Islanders and it really puts a notion of doubt into your head, about what's really going on with the Islanders.

Greiss belongs to Eric and he missed out on him even dressing, while Dale B. didn't record a start in this one, so this move has some impact to it.  Without a clear definition about what's going on here, it's really difficult to speculate.  Does it warrant a gamble this week in the Waiver Draft?  Yikes.

It hasn't been a great year for Rangers blueliner Kevin Klein, as he has been dealing with a number of injuries this year and he suffered another one in the opening game after the break. Klein suffered a broken thumb in the game against the Devils and he is now believed to be out indefinitely.  The thumb is a pretty important digit on the hand and depending on how bad the break is, that will dictate how long he'll be out for.

Dale C. has only managed to pull 10 points from Klein this year, which might have been grounds to drop him this week, as it was, but this injury should put him over the top.  The options may not be that much better, but at least they would be playing.

A pre All-Star break injury to Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has now cost him one game already, post-break.  The upper-body injury was reportedly suffered in the team's last game and it was significant enough to keep him out for another game.  He's currently listed as out day-to-day and I don't think the injury should be considered to be serious, as the team had more than enough time to diagnose and report a major injury by now.

There's a squeaky wheel on Brenda & Seward's team, as they open the week with a player that may cause them some concern.  Johansson has been good for them this season, but their team didn't miss too much of a beat without him, still picking up 11 points on Tuesday night.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Feb 2)

Well, now that the goalie survivor pool has been decided, we can now focus on the goalies who are helping out the teams to the big money.

Let's start at the top, where Brenda & Seward sit and they'll have one goalie going tonight, as Jonathan Quick is expected to take to the net for the Kings against the Coyotes and he'll be taking on rookie keeper, Louis Domingue (active next week).

The two teams that Jeremy's goalies belong to are going head-to-head tonight and only one is going... and it's not the All-Star.  Al Montoya will get the call for the Panthers tonight, representing our 2nd place team, while Phillip Grubauer (non-pool) will go for the Capitals.

In the bronze medal spot, we have John P., and he'll have one starter going as well, as Craig Anderson goes for the Senators in Pittsburgh, taking on Marc-Andre Fleury (John R.) and the Penguins.

Nine more games highlight the opening night, post-All-Star break, and their goalies include James Reimer (John S.) versus Tuukka Rask (Dale C.) in Boston, Henrik Lundqvist (Derek & Dan) against Cory Schneider (Troy), while J-F Berube (non-pool) makes his first start in Brooklyn against Devan Dubnyk (Derek W.), Mike Condon (John R.) will go against Steve Mason (Derek W.) in Philadelphia, Pekka Rinne (Ryan) entertains Brian Elliott (Grant) in Nashville, Antti Niemi (Stacey M.) makes his fourth straight start in Winnipeg against Connor Hellebuyck (Allan), Corey Crawford (Stuart) gets the nod against Calvin Pickard (non-pool) in Colorado, Joonas Korpisalo (non-pool) gets another start in Edmonton against Cam Talbot (Brian) and finally, it will be Frederik Andersen (Benson) hosting Martin Jones (Scott) in Anaheim.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 2)

As the schedule is about to kick off tonight, teams are coming out of the woodwork with more injuries and the Flyers are no exception. On Tuesday morning, the announcement came that they expect Michal Neuvirth to miss the next week to 10 days with a lower-body injury and they recalled Anthony Stolarz to fill in his spot.  It sounds like Steve Mason is ready to go, after he was dealing with a minor problem before the break, so Stolarz will back him up tonight, when they host the Canadiens.

This isn't quite the way that Neil wants to open up from the All-Star break, as he requires all the starts he can get.  Doesn't sound like there will be any this week from Philadelphia, so he'll have to find the points he needs to climb back into the money elsewhere.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website