Thursday, November 20, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 20)

The Bruins defense situation is now pretty close to dire, as non-pool defenseman Adam McQuaid has been put on the Injured Reserve for the long-term and now there is speculation that Dougie Hamilton might miss out on Friday's game in Columbus, due to a bout of the flu. Hamilton missed out on practice on Wednesday and the indications were not exactly positive going forward, but it is still a wait-and-see situation.  If Hamilton is to miss out on Friday's game, he'll be listed as out day-to-day.

It's now a dogfight up at the top of the pool standings and Grant S, who has Hamilton, could use all the help he can get to fend of Kristy & Don.  Grant took over the lead last week and his team will go into Thursday's busy night with only a 2-point cushion.

Buffalo goalie Michal Neuvirth only managed to play one period in Tuesday night's game, hosting the Sharks, before leaving the game to his counterpart, Jhonas Enroth.  As it turned out, Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to complete the game and on Thursday, the team recalled goalie Nathan Lieuwen to take his spot in the line-up.  There hasn't been much word on the severity of the injury, other than the coaching staff saying that it will be "longer than day-to-day."  We're not sure what that means exactly, indefinitely, maybe?  Neuvirth will be on the list as day-to-day, until he's placed on the IR, then he'll be downgraded to indefinitely.

The downward trend of Wyllie's team will not be improved with this news.  His team is one of three in the pool that have yet to hit double-digits in goalie points this season, ranking 21st with 8 points through six weeks and a few days.  His 19th place standing overall has potential to drop, while his possible Waiver Draft pick will improve.

It wasn't a great display at Madison Square Gardens by the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, getting shut out by the Rangers, 2-0.  Sure, there was good news in Claude Giroux didn't miss any time with his lower-body injury, but there was some bad news, as defenseman Michael Del Zotto left the game with a lower-body injury of his own, not to return.  Del Zotto left the ice in the 3rd period under his own power, which was good news, but his status for the second half of a back-to-back night situation is awfully questionable.  He'll be listed as day-to-day, if he doesn't play, assuming there are no more updates on Thursday.

The 24-year old defender was the 3rd pick in the Preseason Waiver Draft by Allan, as Allan had to discard Sergei Gonchar, who was injured in the preseason.  The returns have been decent, picking up 8 points in 17 games from his pick-up, but his defense is still below-average by pool standards.

As of first thing on Thursday morning, not all the goaltending decisions had been announced, especially since a lot of those are revealed at team's morning skates. We do know of nine goalies, who are indeed scheduled to start, out of 22 to play tonight and there are some interesting starters already.

Three out of the nine goalies that have already been announced for Thursday night are not pool goalies: Reto Berra in Colorado, Petr Mrazek for Detroit and Robin Lehner in Ottawa.

Cam will get a rare start from Nashville's Carter Hutton tonight, as he has been confirmed as the starter against the Senators.  Mike will also get a start from Jake Allen in the game between the Blues and Canadiens in Montreal.

No pool team has a firm grip on both their keepers playing on Thursday night, but there likely will be one or two teams, if not one or two more, that will carry that distinction tonight.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blood Clot Ends Dupuis' Regular Season

Doing some of the reading on Wednesday morning, seeing that Pascal Dupuis wasn't feeling well on Monday, saw a doctor and missed Tuesday's game in Montreal, likely due to an illness, didn't have me really concerned, especially with a lot of the bugs that have been biting players so far this season. The Penguins had a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, which announced that Dupuis has now been sidelined for at least six months, due to a blood clot that was found in his lungs.

Dupuis will have to undergo some blood thinning treatments, much like the treatments that former teammate Tomas Vokoun had to undergo last season, something that players cannot play through from a health and safety standpoint.

It sounds like six months is a optimistic suggestion of a timeframe, however, as there doesn't appear to be any concrete evidence that Dupuis will even be ready around then.  Vokoun has been told that he will likely be in need of these treatments for the rest of his life, which has likely ended his career and that has to be a concern for the 35-year old forward.

If Dupuis can come back in six months, that would put him back in May, possibly in the second round of the playoffs, but it would not be safe to bet on that.

This is a pretty tough loss for the Penguins, who have enjoyed some good production from the veteran winger this year already, as he has picked up 6 goals and 5 assists in 16 games.  As of Wednesday morning, he was ranked 132nd overall in pool scoring.

He became quite the steal in the Preseason Waiver Draft, when Wyllie picked him up for an injured player, before the season even started.  Dupuis was one of his better forwards, which is bad news for him, since his team has now sunk to 20th overall, only 12 points from the bottom.  The Waiver Draft is only a couple weeks away and this will be an immediate drop in the opening round when it all goes down.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 19)

 photo callosmtlphitorvan.jpgLet's start the blog post with a bunch of returns to action from Tuesday night, as we saw four key players return to their respective teams. David Krejci finally came back to the Bruins, didn't register a point in the 2-0 win over St. Louis, but at least he returned. The Hurricanes put Alex Semin back in their line-up for their win against the Dallas Stars, but he too didn't register a point in the 6-4 win. Semin was a healthy scratch for a couple games, due to a lack of production.  Adam Henrique recovered from a lower-body injury to return to the New Jersey Devils' line-up and he failed to register a point in the 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.  Finally, also with no points, Olli Maatta did, in fact, return from his cancer surgery on Tuesday night and the Penguins beat the Canadiens in Montreal, 4-0.

Good to see all of these bodies back in their line-ups, but I'm sure all those pool teams: Benson, Dale B., Wes and Cam, would have all liked to have picked up points at the same time.

A lower-body injury kept Flames defenseman Kris Russell out of practice and the game against the Ducks on Tuesday night, missing out on an okay offensive performance as well.  There isn't very many details on the injury at the moment, but he is considered to be out day-to-day for right now.  The Flames host the Blackhawks on Thursday and I would have to say that Russell's return is questionable, at best, given the amount of information out there at the moment.

Leo loaded up on Flames and all but the two goalies are now hurt for his side.  Those are some terrible odds realized in the early part of the season.  Leo's team sits in 16th, 11 points out of the top 10, but he'll need his injured bodies back soon before he makes any more moves up the table.

A slight feeling of being ill is reportedly what kept Alexander Barkov out of the Panthers line-up on Tuesday night, when they took on the Kings in Los Angeles, a game in which they lost, 5-2.  The word on Barkov is that he's day-to-day with the ailment and his status for Thursday night in San Jose is still up in the air.

Barkov only has 2 goals and 1 assist in 13 games this season for Stuart, a big disappointment to say the least, especially from a pool perspective.  Stuart is now 12th in the standings, 21 points out of the money and desperately needs Barkov to pick up his game.

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that Claude Giroux would not be available for Wednesday night's game against the Rangers, due to a lower-body injury, which he suffered on Monday either at or after practice. Giroux was checked out by team doctors on Monday night and then the prognosis came down on Tuesday afternoon, which will see the Flyers captain miss at least one game.  There is no word yet, if there will be any more time expected to be missed.

Bad news for Week Seven's leader for the Mover & Shaker nod, Troy, who's team has had a great start to the week, picking up 12 points, so far, moving up from 9th to 8th.  His top pick in the draft will be key to help his team into the money, so I'm sure he's hoping for a quick recovery.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 18)

The Boston Bruins have confirmed one of two question marks already this morning, as they don't expect to have forward Brad Marchand in their line-up tonight against the Blues, as he is dealing with something unspecified. Marchand left their last game on the weekend, but the team said it wasn't quite injury related, so it's still up in the air.

The other question mark in the line-up is forward David Krejci, who did take line rushes in the morning skate on Tuesday, but still remains questionable for the game tonight. He's been on the list for a few days now, so there won't be any changes to the list, unless he returns.

Marchand is a new wrinkle for Kristy & Don, the pool's 2nd place team, who have seen decent production out of the pesky winger (11 points in 19 games).  Benson is really hoping Krejci comes back though and you'll see why further down in the blog post.

Sounds like the Colorado Avalanche will be living life without their number one goalie again this season, as Semyon Varlamov will be rested with a groin injury, as the team has called up Calvin Pickard to back-up Reto Berra, starting Thursday, home to Washington.  Varlamov is only listed as out day-to-day at the moment, but the coaching staff has said that they will be cautious with the injury, which likely means they won't push him too quickly.

More bad news for Benson, who appears to be in line to be missing at least one start from Varlamov and there is some potential for more time missed with this injury.  With only being 5 points from moving out of the basement, this comes as a stunning blow to his team.

The status of Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk has been downgraded to out for Tuesday night's game against the Blue Jackets. Datsyuk's groin injury has been acting up again, as noted yesterday, and the team will keep him off the ice for at least one more game, possibly more, but it will be determined on a day-by-day basis.

Tuesday night appears to be a black hole of points for Benson, especially if Krejci doesn't play.  He'll have some players active, but bodies out of the line-up will keep the poor guy down.

It's another busy Tuesday night in the NHL, which means there will be lots of goalie points to be had.  11 games, 22 starting goalies, 20 of which are pool goalies, 13 of 23 pool teams represented, six teams with both of their goalies playing.

Clayton, Dale B., Grant K., Kristy & Don, Troy and Wes will all have their goalies going tonight.  None of the five teams have competing keepers, so they're all up for the full amount of potential points.

Notably, both Allan and Stacey M., neither have goalies going and their only possible starts are being handed to back-ups, as Troy Grosenick takes an extra start for San Jose and Michael Hutchinson gets the call for Winnipeg tonight.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mock Draft of the Week Nine Waiver Draft

I know some of the basement dwelling teams have been actively lobbying for the Waiver Draft to come sooner and sooner each year, but I have remained firm with the format of the pool and the drafts come at the segment breaks.  It doesn't really help those teams that have had some exceptionally bad luck, but it is designed to punish teams that picked especially poor at the draft.

There is still two-thirds of the season to come after the Waiver Draft, but for some teams, they may need more than two players.  Sadly, that won't happen.

As of the standings on Monday, here is what I've come up with for what I think the Waiver Draft may look like.  Of course, there have been plenty of surprises through the years, as teams went ahead and picked up some dropped players, but that tends to be something that happens more in the second Waiver Draft, when there isn't a great deal to pick from and dropped players can be just as good.

Pool Team Drop NHL Pos Pick NHL
Benson Teemu Pulkkinen DET F Filip Forsberg NAS
Stacey C. Dany Heatley ANA F Nick Foligno CBJ
Brenda & Seward Ales Hemsky DAL F Brock Nelson NYI
Ryan John Gibson ANA G Devan Dubnyk ARI
Wilton Jhonas Enroth BUF G James Reimer TOR
Wyllie Mikael Backlund CAL F Nikita Kucherov TAM
Brian Anders Lindback DAL G Robin Lehner OTT
Leo Olli Jokinen NAS F Lance Bouma CAL
Scott Alex Stalock SAN G Dustin Tokarski MTL
Mike Mathieu Perreault WPG F Justin Abdelkader DET
Dale B. Brandon Dubinsky CBJ F Christopher Higgins VAN
Allan Vincent Lecavalier PHI F Andre Burakovsky WAS
Stuart Alexander Barkov FLA F Tanner Pearson LOS
Wes Colin Wilson NAS F Kris Versteeg CHI
Troy Sam Reinhart BUF F Martin Hanzal ARI
Cam Carter Hutton NAS G Niklas Svedberg BOS
Tony Anders Lee NYI F Riley Nash CAR
Grant K. Evander Kane WPG F Leo Komarov TOR
Stacey M. Mika Zibanejad OTT F Michael Ryder NJD
Clayton Teuvo Teravainen CHI F Derek Stepan NYR
Dale C. Alex Killorn TAM F Boone Jenner CBJ
Kristy & Don Sam Gagner ARI F Brad Boyes FLA
Grant S. Matt Carle TAM D Anton Stralman TAM

The prize for being in last place in the standings is Nashville's Filip Forsberg, who has been on a tear in the last month, jumping up to the top of the available scoring race.  It would be an immediate score for any team to pick him up, but for how far out of the running Benson is for the money, he would be just trying to float up and out of the Basement Dwelling position and try not to sweep the bobblehead race, which aren't the top trophy.

Islanders forward Brock Nelson has cooled off from a very hot start and has dropped down to the 3rd overall pick.  Brenda & Seward would be happy to get him, I'm sure, as they have not seen any real production from Ales Hemsky in Dallas.

The goaltending situation in the Waiver Draft isn't very good, so if your team is in need of some help in the crease, it would be wise to make that move in the opening round, since there won't be much after the fact.  Ryan is projected to make the first goalie move, picking up Devan Dubnyk in the desert, who is seeing a little more action for the Coyotes.

Pool Team Drop NHL Pos Pick NHL
Benson Evgeny Kuznetsov WAS F Mark Stone OTT
Stacey C. John-Michael Liles CAR D Damon Severson NJD
Brenda & Seward Radko Gudas TAM D Justin Braun SAN
Ryan Devante Smith-Pelly ANA F Blake Comeau PIT
Wilton Chris Stewart STL F Antoine Roussel DAL
Wyllie Jason Chimera WAS F Zemgus Girgensons BUF
Brian Niklas Backstrom MIN G Thomas Greiss PIT
Leo Matt Stajan CAL F Lee Stempniak PIT
Scott Valeri Nichushkin DAL F Alex Burrows VAN
Mike Tyler Myers BUF D Zach Bogosian WPG
Dale B. Andrew MacDonald PHI D Alexsey Emelin MTL
Allan Andrew Ference EDM D David Savard CBJ
Stuart Mark Scheifele WPG F Nikolai Kulemin NYI
Wes Adam Henrique NJD F Markus Granlund CAL
Troy R.J. Umberger PHI F Ryan Carter MIN
Cam Brian Gionta BUF F Linden Vey VAN
Tony Tom Gilbert MTL D Marco Scandella MIN
Grant K. PASS
Stacey M. PASS
Clayton Thomas Hickey NYI D Cody Ceci OTT
Dale C. Patrick Wiercioch OTT D Sergei Gonchar MTL
Kristy & Don PASS
Grant S. Nick Holden COL D Lubomir Visnovsky NYI

The second round was good for the defense, which was also a pretty shallow pool to pick from, but a couple of veterans made it down to the bottom of the draft.  I'm sure with this posting, their stock may rise a little bit, but I think we'll see more blueliners taken here.

Let's also not forget the teams passing, as these teams may have a player that they could drop, they are likely better off opting to keep what they have, since there isn't a great deal of improvement in the available players list.

The Waiver Draft will begin on December 1st, so there isn't a lot of time left before we start making these changes.

Player Notes in the Draft (Nov 17)

It's pretty rare to have a Notes post on the same day as the Newsletter, but there have been quite a few player updates on Monday and I have the day off from work, so it all works hand in hand, I guess.  Let's see what could have been added to the Newsletter, if I could have waited a bit longer before publishing.

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a couple of updates on Monday, one regarding their top scorer, Ryan Johansen, who is now questionable for Tuesday night's game against the Red Wings, due to a lower-body injury that he suffered on the weekend.  There is no guarantee that Johansen will miss any time, it's just worth the update, just in case.

The club also offered up an update on injured forward Brandon Dubinsky, who has yet to see game action this season.  Dubinsky has been on the IR after preseason abdominal surgery and is slowly getting closer to a return.  The team says he is both day-to-day and week-to-week, some days being better than others.  There is no imminent return planned, but we're keeping an eye on him.

Clearly, the big news is Johansen, especially since he belongs to our pool leader, Grant S..  The young Blue Jackets forward has been one of Grant's best players and one of the big reasons why he has leaped into the lead last week.  Dubinsky, on the other hand, belongs to Dale B., who was last week's Basement Dweller.  His return would mean good things for the now 14th place team.

An injury update, which isn't necessarily a return post, but it's close. On Tuesday, Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta will be a game-time decision, as he's pretty close to be given medical clearance to play, only a shade over a week since his surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.  The original timetable was thought that he would miss upwards of four weeks worth of action, so this is really good news for the Penguins.

This also good news for Cam, who was seeing some pretty good returns from the young Finn, 6 points in 10 games.  Maatta's return would get his team back in the swing of things and right back into the thick of the money race.

Another questionable injury situation, this time in Detroit, as the Red Wings are not sure whether or not Pavel Datsyuk will play against the Blue Jackets. His groin problems are acting up and the veteran forward didn't practice on Monday, fueling the speculation.  Even if Datsyuk was to miss the game, he would be listed as out day-to-day.

Datsyuk is one of Benson's injury problems this year, only having played 10 games for the Red Wings, picking up 11 points.  Benson won't be able to get out of the basement if he continues to have Datsyuk on and off the injury page.

The Toronto Maple Leafs updated the status of one of their pool players in Joffrey Lupul, saying that he is just over a week away from being ready to play again.  The oft-injured forward has been out since the end of October with a broken hand and it looks like he'll be coming back sooner than some may have expected from the injury.

The injury prone forward has only 3 points in nine games with the Leafs this season, which is a big reason why Brenda & Seward have yet to see much success in the hockey pool through six weeks.  He is one of three players on the injured list and will remain there for a little while yet.

The Philadelphia Flyers have upgraded the status of defenseman Andrew MacDonald, calling him day-to-day now with his lower-body injury. MacDonald has been out for the last few weeks and his timeline was in the 4-week range, so he is coming around at roughly the right time. The 28-year old blueliner may likely even dress this week for the team, having joined practice on Monday with the club.

This is more good news for Dale B., who could really use all the healthy bodies he can get after his Basement Dwelling week.  His team does have 37 projected games for the coming week, but he could find himself with a few more, if MacDonald gets activated from the IR.

There is some good news coming out of Los Angeles as well, as the Kings have announced that defenseman Alec Martinez is only likely going to miss one week's worth of action after suffering a broken pinky finger last week. Martinez was listed as out indefinitely, but the prognosis was upgraded on Monday.

Brenda & Seward are getting some more finite news on their line-up, so now they have something more to look forward to for Week Eight, when most of their injured bodies would be back.  They go into Week Seven's action in 21st, 39 points out of the money.

Questions are abound about the status of David Krejci in the Bruins' line-up this week, as he practiced with the team on Monday.  Krejci has been in and out of the line-up all year long for the Bruins, dealing with a lower-body injury.  There wasn't much for an official update, but he is only listed as out day-to-day, so it could be just about any time for his return.

Benson's climb out of the basement will hinge on the return of Krejci, his 4th round draft pick.  Benson starts the week only 4 points from 22nd place and if his top end pick can return on Tuesday night, home to St. Louis, he could be well on his way out.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Week Six Newsletter

Newsletter Header

Another week in the books in the NHL season and the hockey pool and there is another goalie in the Player of the Week section, as Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens took top spot in Week Six, thanks to an 8-point week.

For Price, this is his fifth nod in the Player of the Week section of the Newsletter since the beginning of the 2011 season.  Price had a couple of nods last season, including his last one in Week Twenty-Four, helping Stacey M. into the money, but helping Wes stay in the top 10 this week.

In Week Six, Price went 3-0-0, shutting out the Jets on Tuesday, beating the Bruins on Thursday and sneaking one out against the Flyers on Saturday, before giving way to Dustin Tokarski on Sunday.

Price's 8 points in the week has now lifted his season total up to 24 points, thanks to 11 wins and a shutout, which has him in the thick of the pool scoring race, finishing the week in 5th place, 3rd among all goalies.

In the draft, Wes took Price with the 16th overall pick, so it is turning out to be a bit of a 1st round bargain at the moment.  To no surprise, Price is his best player, making up for 17.4% of his total points in the season, 8 points better than Jason Spezza, who is his next best player.

PhotobucketIt was a pretty competitive week in the pool and the Mover & Shaker Award needed a tie-breaker to figure out the winner, because two teams finished with 35 points a piece.  In the tie-breaker, Grant S. defeated Stacey M., 12-9 in Week Six goals scored, to take the nod for the week, making it back-to-back weeks for our new pool leader.

Out of six weeks, we've only seen three teams score the Mover & Shaker Award, Grant becoming the second team to pick up back-to-back honours and it has paid off, as he finally unseated the pool duo for 1st overall, making a 9-point swing in the standings.

It was a pretty solid week for Grant, as his side was led by his last pick in the draft, Jori Lehtera of the St. Louis Blues, who has turned out to be one of the biggest sleepers in the pool, as an import from Europe in the off-season.  Lehtera had 6 points for Grant in Week Six, while rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad had 4 points in Florida and then five other players had 3 points each in the week.

Just how good is Grant's team to this point?  Well, his team ranks 2nd in goals scored, 1st in goalie wins, 8th in skater games, 1st in goalie minutes, 3rd in forward points and tied for 1st in goalie points.  Yeah, he has had a pretty stellar six weeks in the pool and it will be interesting to see if his team can keep up this pace.  This is about the time we find a team that will ride the rest of the season in top spot, but we have seen leads shrink just as fast as they can grow.

PhotobucketNot sure that this is necessarily a good thing, but we have someone new in the Basement Dweller position in Week Six.

Dale B. spent the last three weeks finishing up in the top 10, but a Basement Dweller week of 14 points saw his team drop down from 6th to 13th and his team is now 5 points back of the top 10 and he's 15 points back of the spot that he occupied only a week earlier.

Two injuries have plagued his team since the start of the year, being without Brandon Dubinsky in Columbus since the start of the year and defenseman Andrew MacDonald in Philadelphia for the last few weeks, has not helped his cause.  Both players should be close to returning, but it is unclear when either will be ready to go.

Tuukka Rask of the Bruins led his team with 4 points in the week, but he had five donuts in his weekly total, which was the leading cause of his dwelling position.  There is still lots of time left in the season, he's got lots of time to get his team back into the money race.

TROPHY TALK

New leader!  Yes, the wire-to-wire run for Kristy & Don has ceased, but not before a pretty good run of five straight weeks at the top.  Grant S. has used a couple of huge weeks to take the lead away from the pool duo, but both teams have seemingly run away with the top two positions, as there is a 26-point gap between 2nd and 3rd.

Thankfully, the 3rd place money race is vibrant, as the week finishes with two teams at 151 points, as Dale C. and Clayton finish the week, 3-4, only 1 point up on Stacey M. and 3 points up on Grant K..  Tony, Cam and Troy are only one great week out of the spot as well, which should keep a few more people excited.

Benson reeled in a few teams in Week Six, looking to give away his lead for the Olli bobblehead for last place.  Benson stringed together a 25-point week and now only has a 4-point gap between himself and Stacey C., while Brenda & Seward and Ryan are only 6 points away.  I wouldn't say that Wilton or Wyllie are safe here either, as injuries have plagued many of these teams.

Dale C. may be in 3rd place in the standings, but his skaters have not played very many games, ranking last in the pool for Week Six game played, only 23 appearances by his skaters.  This has put him in 2nd place for the Jordan bobblehead, only 4 games up on Benson, who currently has the sweep on for the bottom bobbleheads.

STASTISTICALLY SPEAKING

Weeks Five and Six had the same number of NHL games in them and the gains were marginal, thanks to some returns of healthy bodies.  Skater games were up by 19, goalie minutes saw an extra period of play (up 25 minutes), which led to 2 more points scored by our pool players for a new season-high of 547 points in the week.

We have seen gains in a back-to-back weeks, even if they were small, but in Week Seven, the schedule will lessen to only 46 games, which has a good chance to proportionally lessen the number of points scored.

On the plus side, the news and injury page has cleared off a lot of players who returned to their respective line-ups, so that should mean we'll see a few more skater games played on average in the pool.  Will that be enough to set another season-high in scoring?

Just as a comparison, the best week we saw with 24 teams in the pool was Week Seventeen, where the pool collected 626 points in 50 NHL games.  I wonder how close our 23-team pool can come to that record.  Would our modest pool be able to hit 600 points in a week?  Last year's pool did it three times.

NEWS AND NOTES

It was another weekend off for Carolina forward Alex Semin, which can't mean good things for him or the team, especially since the Hurricanes are last in the Metropolitan Division.  This is the second weekend that we have seen Semin scratched, missing two games each weekend, so it will be very interesting to see what happens with the enigmatic winger, especially at a $7 million cap hit for the next three seasons after this one.

Semin was a pretty big gamble by Dale B. in this season's draft and the gamble is far from paying off.  In 13 games, Semin only has 5 assists, miles from where he should be at the cap hit that he is carrying.

The Columbus Blue Jackets received some bad news over the weekend, as they are now expecting to be without defenseman Fedor Tyutin for the next 4-to-6 weeks with a knee injury. On Saturday, they placed the injured defenseman on the Injury Reserve with a lower-body injury and Sunday, they dropped the news that it will be a long-term injury that will keep out the 31-year old Russian.

It doesn't looks like Benson can catch a break this season.  Benson's team already holds the lead on the Jordan bobblehead trophy and with a few weeks to go until the Waiver Draft, it appears that he'll have a pretty good shot at building a lead for it as well.

With only 8 points in his first 12 games this season, some might think that it is an okay start to a career for some rookies, but not for Tampa's dynamo-in-waiting, Jonathan Drouin, who was a healthy scratch again on Saturday night for the game against the Islanders. There is no sense of urgency with Drouin, in the case of the Lightning, who are already quite happy with a number of other young players in their line-up, but Drouin is suggested to be the next big thing, but healthy scratches are certainly working against that theory.

I don't think anyone is going to fault Dale C. on the rookie gamble on Drouin, because I think most of us had him on our lists to pick up at some point.  Taking him in the 5th round, 118th overall, might have been the biggest stretch, but the 19-year old is only 236th in pool scoring at the moment, not too far off of a 5th round pace.

The injury issues for the Anaheim Ducks continue to stack up, but they also got a helpful return as well, so I guess it isn't all bad. On Sunday, the Ducks placed forward Devante Smith-Pelly on the Injured Reserve, as he is dealing with an upper-body injury, which is believed to be his shoulder.  There was no timetable given for his return, so it remains unclear how soon he'll be back, after his customary 1-week stint on the IR.

In positive news, the Ducks did get forward Corey Perry back in their line-up for Sunday's tilt against the Florida Panthers.  His return didn't necessarily help, as the Ducks got tuned in, 6-2, by the visiting Cats.  Perry had missed a couple of weeks with the mumps and had also given it to teammate Francois Beauchemin, who remains on the IR with the illness.

This just means more bad news for Ryan in the pool this year, who can't seem to catch a break either.  Ryan is only 7 points clear of the bottom after Week Six and still has a 12-game buffer between his team and the Jordan bobblehead, but this injury will keep him in the mix.  Dale C. is also in the mix for the Jordan bobblehead, but he had a player come back, which could provide some extra room between his team and Benson's, but Dale is only four games up on Benson in the race, walking a tightrope away.

An unfortunate turn of events for Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele, who left Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild with what is believed to be a knee injury, after a teammate fell on his leg in the offensive zone, during a scramble in front of the Wild net. The Jets forward left the game, not to return, but there wasn't any immediate word on the severity of the injury. We should likely hear more either on Monday or Tuesday.

Scheifele only has 2 goals and 7 points in 19 games this season for the Jets, which isn't going to cut it for Stuart and his 10th place team in the standings.  This injury could be a pretty significant blow, as much as Scheifele hasn't really broken out yet this year, it only seems like a matter of time before he does.  We'll keep an eye on this one.

Link to the Injury/News Page