Sunday, December 04, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Dec 4)

All of the Waiver Draft waiting and other plans that happened during the week, really limited my time on the blog, but we'll get a quick goalie update in.

It's a busy Sunday with seven games on the docket, but none of them are survival games, which is bad news for a couple of teams, who couldn't make it out of Saturday's night schedule with a much-needed win.  I will certainly go into more detail about that in Monday's Newsletter.

We have an early start to the schedule today, so we'll go with the goalies that we expect to start, not all of them have been confirmed at this point in time.

In the early afternoon game, the Montreal Canadiens are in La-la Land to take on the Kings and we're expecting a pretty good game here.  Carey Price, although unconfirmed, should get the call for the Habs, while Peter Budaj is expected to take to the net for the Kings.  These are two of the top goalies in pool scoring, so far this season, and could end up being a good battle.

It's a shame for Wes that Budaj isn't active today, but I suppose there is no guarantee for a win, with Benson's top pick going at the other side.  Next week, however, that's when Budaj's numbers start to shine in the pool.

This afternoon in Raleigh, the expectation is that we'll see Andrei Vasilevskiy going for the Lightning, while Cam Ward should be getting the nod for the Hurricanes tonight.  Tampa is on back-to-backs today, while the Hurricanes had the day off on Saturday, so the goalie match-up makes sense.

This means Ryan versus Brian in the pool here in this game.  Ryan needs a big game from his Tampa keeper, as he is leading the Basement Dweller conversation and he doesn't need that mention on his record this year.

The Nashville Predators will play back-to-back today as well, as they played host to the Devils last night and will host again, with the Flyers in town.  It hasn't been confirmed, but we are expecting to see Steve Mason against Juuse Saros for this game, given the situations of both teams.

Brenda & Seward's team should have their goalie going for the visitors tonight, looking to set a season-high for points in the pool, as they are on the brink of a Mover & Shaker nod and one of the best weeks this season.  A road win would put a cherry on top of this week.

The Detroit Red Wings gave Jared Coreau the the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, so they have left Petr Mrazek to take on the New York Islanders tonight in Brooklyn.  The Islanders didn't play on Saturday, but their goaltending situation hasn't exactly been crystal clear these days and either goalie, Jaroslav Halak or Thomas Greiss could easily go.  I think the Islanders have proven me wrong on some of my guesses a few times already this year, so I hesitate to do so again.

Mrazek should be going, which is good news for Stacey C., while Halak could go for Troy or Greiss could easily go for Dale B..  Either way, it's all pool goalies in this one.

No Corey Crawford means that Scott Darling will likely be going on back-to-back nights, although that is still unconfirmed.  The Blackhawks have called up Lars Johansson, but it would seem like a stretch for him to make his NHL debut so quickly.  At the other side, we're expecting Connor Hellebuyck, as the Jets are also playing on back-to-back days and the Jets already saw Michael Hutchinson this weekend.

Hellebuyck will go for Tony today, while Darling belongs to Scott... 23rd place versus 7th.  The Waiver Draft will hopefully help that cause out a bit.

The Anaheim Ducks will be operating on back-to-back nights, so it should come as no surprise that Jonathan Bernier gets the start for the visiting Ducks, when they invade the Saddledome. The Flames are expected to keep running with the hot hand in Chad Johnson, trying to capitalize on a tired traveling team.

For a pool match-up, this is Eric versus John S., in a bit of a standings mismatch, 20th versus 4th.

The Minnesota Wild will take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Rogers Place and the traveling Wild will suit up their number one, Devan Dubnyk, most likely against Jonas Gustavsson, as Cam Talbot faced the Ducks last night in a late one.

This makes two starts for John S. tonight and he runs unopposed in the pool, as Gustavsson wasn't taken in the draft, nor did anyone take him in the Waiver Draft.  With the number of starts Talbot has made and will continue to make, the Monster's stock isn't all that high.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 4)

A huge turn of events for the Calgary Flames, ahead of their game against the Anaheim Ducks tonight, as Johnny Gaudreau is now expected to dress, three weeks early from a fractured finger.  The announcement came early in the day, showing off some new equipment to protect his healing hand and this should be a pretty big boost to the Flames' lineup tonight.

The Florida Panthers have recalled AHL forward Paul Thompson on Sunday, after the news that forward Jonathan Marchessault left Saturday night's game against the Senators with an injury.  I haven't seen any updates on the injury itself, but a recall right away doesn't bode well.  Marchessault has been one of the hotter players for the Panthers this season and it could be a pretty big loss, if its long-term.

Oh, Tony.  How much more bad luck can you muster up this year?  Sure, you get Gaudreau back from injury, but the Waiver Draft was your chance to help improve your chances and Marchessault was your guy moving forward.  Two steps forward and then another step back.  Marchessault would be eligible for a swap, if you don't want to wait on the news.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 4)

It sounds like a very minor lower-body issue was the reason why the Winnipeg Jets were without one of the league's top point-getters in Mark Scheifele on Saturday night. Scheifele was held out of the game as a late scratch, but the coaching staff has suggested that he could very well play on Sunday in Chicago.  He is listed as day-to-day and questionable for Sunday.

Scheifele has been one of the best bargains in the draft, so far this year, as Grant has collected 1st round points from his 4th round pick in the draft.  Unfortunately for Grant, the rest of his team surrounding Scheifele hasn't been nearly as great, as his team still ranks 18th overall in the standings.

Avs Lose Johnson Long-Term

The season has been anything but what was expected of the Colorado Avalanche, as the loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, also cemented their spot in the basement of the NHL standings.  Adding injury to that insult, the Avalanche also lost the services of defenseman Erik Johnson in that game, after blocking a shot from Tyler Seguin, and it ended up breaking his leg.  The defender is now expected to miss the next 6-to-8 weeks.

This season, Johnson's numbers don't look nearly as bad as his team's overall standings, but they are not exactly stunning either.  In 23 games, Johnson has 1 goal and 11 points, but has been playing some pretty big minutes this year.  It's a pretty shocking loss to their blueline, which has not been able to provide their goalies much help this year.

For Wes, this has already been a nightmare season for his team, toiling at the bottom of the standings and his team has been far closer to the Lady Byng Trophy than getting his money back in the PIM pool.  I am hoping to get the Waiver Draft done today and even though he has made a couple of moves, this injury would be qualified for a change as well, once the first two rounds have concluded.

Concussion Returns for Sharp

On Saturday, the Dallas Stars have again placed forward Patrick Sharp on the Injured Reserve, as the concussion symptoms that he was suffering with earlier in the season, have reportedly reappeared. Officially, the Stars placed him on the IR, retroactively to December 1st, but that might only matter for a quick return, which might not be happening this time around.

Since this is the second time Sharp is heading to the shelf with this head injury, it will be taken far more seriously and he certainly won't be rushed back to the lineup, until he gets the greenest of all lights.

The veteran forward has only appeared in 10 games this season, picking up a goal and an assist in that time, but with injury problems already a huge concern for him, these numbers likely won't be too much of a surprise.

This becomes another hit to Marcin's team, but we still have some moves to make for the Waiver Draft before it ends today and that will pass through his team before it's over.  I would wonder if his 3rd place team could use an upgrade here, especially since they haven't had much production from him already this year.

Emergency Appendectomy for Crawford

Before the game in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was rushed to hospital for an emergency appendectomy. It sounds like everything went okay for the keeper, but usually the recovery for this injury is a couple weeks and that was pretty well what the team had figured in their last release, as they expect him to miss 2-to-3 weeks.

The Blackhawks also had to make an emergency signing of an Amateur Tryout, just so they had someone to back up Scott Darling in the game, which had to be fun for those involved.

With 12 wins and 2 shutouts in 18 games this season, Crawford currently ranks 10th in pool scoring with 28 points to his name.  it has been a pretty good season, as the Blackhawks have sat upon the top of the NHL standings at a few points already this season and are currently tied in points with the Rangers for top spot.

This is a pretty heavy blow to Marcin's team, who will get a goalie to help on Monday, as the Waiver Draft picks will go live then.  It couldn't have come live at a better time for him, even though, he has a back-up in Montreal and not quite a starter.  Nevertheless, he isn't without a healthy goalie at the start of play next week.

Marcin's team will also open the week, still in 3rd place, 7 points back of 2nd and 7 points up on 4th, in comfy position, to say the least.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Afternoon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 2)

We're waiting to hear what the injury news is on Carolina's Elias Lindholm, as he left Thursday night's game against the Bruins with a lower-body injury.  The Hurricanes haven't been able to update anyone, as of yet, on the severity of the injury or his status for tomorrow afternoon's affair with the Rangers, but he'll be listed as day-to-day, if there is no update and he misses the game.

For Troy, it sounds like he's getting the goon squad together for a big throw down.  Rumour has it, he'll be looking to move another player in the injured player bonus round of the Waiver Draft, if we can get there.  If Lindholm is indeed hurt and misses Saturday's game, he would be eligible to be dropped.

We are also awaiting a little more word on the injury that occurred to Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader, as he suffered a lower-body injury as well, in the game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.  The Red Wings have already come out and said that the bang-and-crash forward will not be available for Saturday's game in Pittsburgh, but he is listed as day-to-day right now.

Now, if Derek B. wanted to throw his hat in the ring here, he certainly would be eligible to do so.  Abdelkader hasn't been the PIM machine that he was last year, as the Red Wings really needed him on the ice, instead of in the box.  His 8 points in 22 games isn't anything to really boast about either.

Goalie Announcments (Dec 2)

We still have three teams that need to qualify for Week Nine in the goalie survivor pool, as Troy was able to make it in on the shoulders of a Jaroslav Halak shutout on Thursday night.  Despite it being a busy night on Thursday, Troy's was the only team to qualify among the four that needed a win.

On Friday night, there are only two games on the schedule and there are no survival games on the docket, as both games either feature qualified teams or eliminated teams, so we'll have to wait for the busy Saturday for any more action.

It's an all John Swan affair in Calgary tonight, as Devan Dubnyk will take on Chad Johnson in a former Northwest Division battle tonight.  Both goalies have been confirmed to be going, so John should come away with 2 points either way.  John's team has moved their way up to 5th place this week, 3 points behind 4th and 8 points behind 3rd, so a shutout, one way or the other, would probably work best.

In the late, late game, we'll see teams at opposite ends of the standings have their goalies go in San Jose.  Benson, our pool leader, will have Carey Price in one net and Wes, in 24th, will have Martin Jones at the other end.  The difference between these two teams is 56 points, a pretty sizable gap, even for the Waiver Draft to solve.  It isn't out of the question though, miracles have been known to happen.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 2)

It was likely another learning experience for Oilers rookie Jesse Puljujarvi, as he was scratched ahead of the marquee match-up against the Jets on Thursday night.  The Finnish rookie hasn't quite found the scoring touch of his draft-mates from June, having only 1 goal and 7 points in his first 20 games.  The 4th overall pick in June hasn't quite seen the ice-time that some of the others have had, almost to the point where he may not have earned it yet.  We'll see how this affects his game.

Puljujarvi was Mike's only entry into the non-existent rookie pool this year, which hasn't quite rounded out for him at all.  Overall, Mike's team has been bumped up to 8th place in the standings and if his Finnish rookie can find his way to the net, more is definitely in store.

It was a performance related scratch for Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein, who found himself in the press box for the game between New York and Buffalo on Thursday night.  There's a pretty good chance that he'll be back in the lineup, when the Rangers go again, Saturday afternoon with Carolina in town.

Marcin has only picked up 6 points in 21 games from the blueliner, which isn't terrible, by any means, but I think it is fair, when the Rangers coaching staff say they expected better thus far.  Marcin can't complain too much, sitting in 3rd place, 8 points back of 2nd.

It was in the cards for a few days, but it was made official earlier in the week, when Craig Anderson departed the Senators for his family reasons.  There is no immediate timetable for his return, but he'll be listed as day-to-day for right now.  Both the player and team have been fairly forthcoming with updates in his tough situation at home and the team will allow him to take as much time as he needs.

Unfortunately for Wilton, this really holds his hockey pool team over a barrel, which pales in comparison to what Anderson is going through at home.  Wilton's team is hoping for good news and a quick return, I'm sure, as his team sits in 12th, 13 points out of the money.

Struggling forward Vladislav Namestnikov was a healthy scratch on Thursday night against the Blues, as his production hasn't been great this year, 3 goals and 10 points in 24 games this year.  A game up in the press box likely won't hurt his cause, more so it'll probably help him out.  The Lightning will welcome the Capitals to town on Saturday and there is a good chance that he'll draw back in after the loss to St. Louis.

For Ryan's proxy team, he contributed well, but in a slow week for his team, the scratching didn't help his cause much.  Ryan's team is currently tied for the Basement Dweller nod after four nights this week and he could really use a quick boost from somewhere.

The Winnipeg Jets have been welcoming back some healed bodies to their lineup, which means that there are some lineup conflicts and someone was going to have to sit at some point. Rookie forward Kyle Connor was one of those players on Thursday night, as he was a healthy scratch for the game against the Oilers. Connor hasn't quite made the impact the team may have expected, with only 1 goal and 4 points in 19 games.

For Eric, this won't be much of a worry, starting on Monday, as Connor was his first round drop in this week's Waiver Draft, which has taken forever to go through.  Eric's team will open Friday night's action in 19th, now 26 points back of the money.

Week Eight Waiver Draft (Dec 2)

Well, I won't lie.  This Waiver Draft has gone exceptionally poorly.

I will shoulder some of the blame, as Thursday was a bit of a wash, since I wasn't anywhere near my computer for the better part of the day, but the plans that were made were assuming that I would have been much farther through this than we are at the moment.

When I last did a post, I had left off with Eric's pick, which was 7th overall.  Three days later, when I started this blog post, I had only seen 11 picks and one pass.

Unfortunately for Grant, he was the pass, as he was unable to get in touch with me (and still hasn't) for a move and that was a 24-hour pass.

Jeremy kicked off the actual drafting again on Wednesday, picking up Tampa Bay forward Valtteri Filppula, trying to take advantage of his increased ice-time, thanks to the injury to Steven Stamkos.

Derek B. was able to scoop up the first defenseman in the Waiver Draft, taking Rangers rookie defender Brady Skjei, a very good up-and-coming prospects for New York.  He has already been doing quite well, under the radar there.

It took a little while to get Stacey M.'s pick secured, but she finally came around and she joined the Rangers bandwagon, nabbing Michael Grabner with the 11th pick in the draft.  He has been a goal scoring machine, so far... can he keep it up?

Clayton was next up and he opted for Flyers rookie forward Travis Konecny, trying to offer up a few more points and penalty minutes to possibly climb both ladders, if possible.  It's a bit of a stretch in most categories for Clayton, but he's also a player that will be playing outside in the New Year, so there's that too.

The Rangers continued to be a popular team to choose from, as Stuart picked up Brandon Pirri from Broadway as well.  It was almost like the Rangers were untapped at the opening draft.  Pirri has been another one of those guys that has been quietly putting up points under the bright lights.

The second defenseman of the Waiver Draft was taken by Dale B., who is obviously happy with his forwards and goalies, taking John Moore of the New Jersey Devils.  Moore has been seeing more regular time in the swamp and that has been translating into points.

Mike went all the way to Brooklyn to pull Josh Bailey out of the Islanders lineup and into his team.  Bailey has been trying to make up for some of the under-performing players that the Islanders have been rocking and the pool has been dropping and doing okay at it.

Stacey C. was quick to scoop up Mr. Underwood, Mike Fisher of the Predators.  The team's newest captain has been leading by example and now he's back in the hockey pool for another go-around.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have exploded for some big scoring games already this year and Cam is going to try and pull in some big points from Sam Gagner, who is on pace for a career year in Ohio.  Teams were skipping by the streaky scorer, but this is the sort of pick that can win a pool.

Ryan is also getting in on the act of teams that are playing outside this year, picking up Richard Panik of the Blackhawks.  His side is playing the St. Louis Blues at the Winter Classic on January 2nd, so there's an opportunity for more mini-game points with this pick.

The Penguins are finding ways to score with their depth and that includes forward Conor Sheary, who has been fairly impressive, especially of late.  Wilton has decided to add him to his side, since there is nothing wrong with adding a forward from an offensive juggernaut team.

And then finally, this morning, John S. pulled over to the side of the road to snag Brandon Sutter, right under Scott's nose.  John claims he did not get any of the notices about the Waiver Draft, but it was on the standings and the blog... and the e-mail!

Marcie is running in two races, both the overall points and the penalty minutes and she did well to opt for Patrick Maroon of the Oilers.  Maroon has seen some time on the line with Connor McDavid and I would have to think that he would go back from time-to-time.  This could be a very shrewd pick.

I thought Scott would have had his replacement pick by the time I finished this post, but I told him to take his time.  I already have Marcin's pick and Brian is probably asleep down under, so again we'll probably wait.  At least we're moving somewhat again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Nov 30)

It's a little later than usual, but we have ourselves a quick goalie post, just so we can highlight the survivor pool.

We saw two teams get their wins for the week, as Grant and Stacey M. joined Mike as the surviving teams through two nights of Week Eight and now we have one more survival game tonight, only leaving four more days to get the job done.

John S. gets the highlighted game tonight, as his surprising goalie, Chad Johnson, will get the start for the Flames with the Toronto Maple Leafs in town.  He might get a bit of a bonus too, as the Leafs played last night in Edmonton and that means that Jhonas Enroth is going to get the start tonight.  Enroth has appeared in five games for the Leafs and has yet to register a win, which bodes well for Calgary tonight.

It will be Matt Murray against Thomas Greiss in Brooklyn tonight, as the Penguins and Islanders go head-to-head in this one.  This is the early game on the schedule and it will feature Scott & Dale B.'s goalies here.  Dale is starting to get a bit more traction out of Greiss and he'll be put up to a good test tonight, I'm sure.

Well, we now know who Peter Budaj will be playing for next week and that's Wes.  He'll get to take a peek at both of his goalies in the Sharks and Kings game, as Martin Jones will indeed get the call for San Jose.  Unfortunately, 2 points is not guaranteed for him today, but soon... soon... it will be a real match-up where he can't lose.